Getting Older

Fast forward 15 years. Forgivingly the parties subsided somewhat. The networking been and done, and my weeks mainly spent with people who I had dealt with for the last 15 years. I now treated these people as equals, they were no longer on a pedestal I once had them perched on and the need was less great to be out every night 'showing my face' at the opening of the proverbial envelope. My 'little' black book was now a 'hadoop cluster' (adtech people notice I was taking notes, mere mortals google it) of media professionals (ha!) who I plied my trade with on a daily basis.

I had more time on my hands than I knew what to do with. My evenings had become a concoction of Netflix and lasagna, Apple TV and M&S sweets. I was depressingly hitting middle age, or indeed had hit it and had little to show.

So what do you do when the 'come down' lands upon you like a UFO and all that is in front of you is soap operas and unhealthy TV meals? You revert to being a teenager again! You remember your passions. Out came the guitars. Music production hard/software was on every birthday/Christmas list and a brand new iMac was purchased. I was now a budding musician again and more importantly, after a string of unpleasant relationships and my 20 years of partying, I had enough material to fill a Jackie Collins book.

I set to work straight away with thoughts of grandeur filling my head, no contemplation of the severe lack of practice and to be completely honest discernible talent.

Over the course of a few months I had written a few bits and pieces. A few ditties you might say. My basic knowledge of pro-logic 8 had allowed me to record them in a primitive fashion, with lots of what was effectively messing about, mixed in.

I enjoyed the process and was able to have them on my phone so I could wheel them out in the pub with my equally middle aged and bored media friends at every opportunity. For 2 minutes every now and then at least, I felt what it must be like to be a rock star.

Professional Musicians

Who would have thought at this point professional's getting involved with my efforts?

But this is exactly what happened. A trip to Berlin with my brother to watch his favourite band Spandau Ballet was to change my 'down time' for a long time and introduce me to the world Steven Stelfox so eloquently describes above. To cut a long story short after a day on the sauce in Berlin with 'our kid' we were refreshed and in high spirits. After the Spandau gig we chanced our arm at getting back stage with the band and, to my brother’s absolute delight, we were ushered in. Here I met Toby Chapman for the first time, the keyboard player for Spandau Ballet. Full of confidence and full of beer I leapt at the chance to let him listen to my recordings. Maybe being polite or scared of two six foot plus Geordies in front of him, Toby agreed to produce my stuff, all I had to do was give him a ring in a couple of weeks when the tour was over.