We lived in Birmingham, (or as we affectionately call it ....'Brum')I started playing drums at 19..... it all started with the local group 'The Interns'. Every now and again their drummer didn't show up, but his kit was always set up by the group's friend RayWinkett (before the label of Roadie was in common parlance) He was affectionately known as Winkie .So they asked me to help out, I guess it might have been because I was always tapping along to their playing.After a while I was asked to join them, as their drummer was leaving .........he was more into jazz.To this day I am still in touch with two of the members .. Malcolm Bell, Ivan Adams, (Sadly both Jimmy Walpole and Winkie are no longer with us ....RIP)
Our local community center was (It's still standing now) Nechells Green Community Centre. ...It was there that bands like.... 'Good Earth' rehearsed ........ (who ?) They later changed their name to 'Earth' and finally became .................'Black Sabbath'... Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and of course, Ozzy Osbourne. They all lived just down the road in Aston. We were all pals, all eager to get on that stage......
Subsequently as years went by I played with several groups, in and around Birmingham, some of which you will find on the 'Brumbeat' site (see Links).There are too many wonderful musicians and friends to list, not wishing to miss anyone out .... some I have completely lost touch with, but I try to stay in touch with most.Moving on ............. to the seventies ... 1970 to be precise, a few of us got together to form a band to back Carl Wayne who was pursuing a solo career after The Move split.The backing band consisted of Birmingham's finest:Bob Brady ......piano/vocalsKeith Smart .....drumsRick Price ......bass/vocalsRoger Hill ......gtr/vocalsMyself ......congas/perc/vocals
After a few weeks rehearsing Carl was doing more sessions, and jingles etc , s0 he became more and more tied up with solo work which included cabaret residencies in London. So we went our separate ways, and as we had a ready made band we carried on.
Bob Brady was writing more material by now, so most of our repertoire consisted of his songs. We decided to call ourselves 'Mongrel'. We later cut an album "Get Your Teeth into This....."not a very inspiring title but .....Hey! it was the seventies after all.
Shortly after a gig at the 'Belfry' ......Myself, Rick, and Keith left the band to form Wizzard with Roy Wood .. which started off as an eleven piece at first... after two weeks rehearsals our first gig was at Wembley Stadium at the 1972 'Rock 'N' Roll Festival, headlining were....... Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Little Richard and Bo Diddley (We Recorded an album with Bo..... I think it was the following day or two. It was aptley named 'Bo Diddley The London Sessions'
After that we had a couple of more hits............and as the saying goes, "The rest is Geography".
In '76' after Wizzard split ,... I moved to London due to work in the West End rock musical 'Teeth 'N' Smiles' ...that led to further work in the theatre ..... I worked with Nick Bicat (He wrote the music for 'Teeth N Smiles) on a couple of other productions, including....a rock version of 'All's Well That Ends Well' .....which we took to Hong Kong for a short stay
As Musician /Actor.... I worked on several fringe productions in London, Holland and a couple of tours in the U.K. I appeared in a few commercials for tv here in the UK, and one for Danish TV and of course 'The Bill' (Let's face it who hasn't) and a considerable amount of walk on parts in TV and feature films. During this work, I was lucky enough to be on set with a couple of my favorite people.. Robert De Niro, ( Mary Shelly's Frankenstein) Jerry Lewis (Funny Bones) it was fun. I still find it fascinating watching a scene in any given movie, knowing what went into it, a lot of patience, and repetition, till the director is satisfied. Loved it.
Skip to the present....................I now work in Kent, with Blind and Visually Impaired children and students. I teach Drums, and I work in the classroom supporting them in their lessons.
There are, and have been, some very talented kids here both in music and academic work. Working with these kids gives you a sense of satisfaction, especially when we put on our annual concert in which they get the chance to shine. It is wonderful seeing them enjoying performing. They certainly keep you feeling young.
Also I made some great friends socially. There are a lot of dedicated people here at Dorton House.
You can wake up now !