Born 11th March 1947 Cardiff, South Wales, took piano lessons from age 10-15 years, studied music theory at Cardiff's Royal College of Music.
1962-1965 Played keyboards (any old house piano,Clavioline/Farfisa/Vox Continental) with local Cardiff bands - Brother John & The Witnesses with Dennis Bryon (later to drum with Amen Corner and the Bee Gees), Lawrence & the Arabians, The Intellectuals to name but a few :-).
In 1964 I decided to make my fortune in London but actually did 2 gigs and starved for a year, I stayed with a great Canadian guitarist called Steve Hammond, who sadly died a few years ago, he had a day job and very kindly let me sleep on the floor of his flat. This was fantastic because in the flat below us lived Zoot Money who had a band called Zoot Money's Big Roll Band they were one of the best soul bands in London at that time and a very young Andy Somers(Police) was the guitarist. Zoot was a fabulous Hammond organist and a great piano player, I used to listen to him play for hours. Some of his friends (Alan Price, Georgie Fame and others) used to come round and jam, I'm sure those days influenced my style a lot. Finally went back home (thumbed a lift complete with Farfisa Organ) and after playing with more local bands Andy (Fairweather Low) who had made it big in Cardiff with a band called "The Sect Maniacs" asked if I would be interested in getting together with him and five other local musicians with the intention of making it professionally, the result of that was Amen Corner.
Our first gig outside Wales was in the Bournemouth Pavillion, we had just learnt a song that was an American import and not played in this country it was called "Knock on Wood". When we played this the audience went wild we had to keep playing it over and over until the manager came on and said we had to stop to let the other band play. As it happened the other band thought we were great and went back to London and told their manager about us. The next day we had a call to come to London and play for him, we played the following Saturday in one of his gigs in Romford we had an amazing reception and he signed us up. Within a couple of months we had a record "Ginhouse" riding high in the charts. Apart from not making any money until the Bee Gees days I haven't looked back since and consider myself very fortunate to have been making music thru the 60's, 70's 80's and 90's some may now call me a "has-been" but I don't mind, better that than a "never-been" or "never likely to". Maybe one day I'll bore you even more and expand this section to include the "Strawbs, Mott and Bee Gee days".
A Brief Career Résumé
1965-1970 Keyboard player in pop band called Amen Corner(later Fairweather). We toured with artists including- Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Hermans Hermits, Gene Pitney, The Nice, Status Quo and many more. Success in Europe included Top Ten hits -"Ginhouse","Bend me Shape me","High in the Sky","If Paradise is Half as Nice", "Natural Sinner" ----
1971-1973 The Strawbs. Hits included two top albums and Top Ten singles "Lay Down" and "Part of the Union". I also did lots of session work with many groups and artists which included- T.Rex(Get it On,Telegram Sam), Lou Reed(Berlin), Family, Alice Cooper(Billion Dollar Babies), Graeme Edge(Moody Blues)
1973-1974 Mott the Hoople. On one American Tour Queen was our support act. Mott were the first rock band to play on Broadway. For a few months during this period I also played keyboards in "Streetwalkers" featuring Roger Chapman on vocals.
1974-1975 Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson Band. We recorded and toured Europe.
1975-1982 Lived in America. Member of the Bee Gees(Barry,Maurice & Robin, Alan Kendall, Dennis Bryon & myself). Played Keyboards Co-Produced and Co-wrote songs. This period of the Bee Gees was very successful - Saturday Night Fever/Main Course/Spirits Having Flown and many other albums. In America we equaled The Beatles record of 6 consecutive number one records. During one week in 1978 I played on 8 of the Top Ten records. I also did session work and played keyboards on albums by Chicago, Stephen Stills, McGuin Clark and Hillman, The Osmonds, John Cougar Mellencamp. During this time I started composing music for TV Advertising (won an "Local Emmy" for music on Calder Racetrack ad in Miami/NY). Wrote with Robin Gibb and Produced album for Jimmy Ruffin we had a big International hit with "Hold On to my Love". Co-Wrote with Barry Gibb a BMI 2 million performance song "Our Love(Dont throw it all away)" for Andy Gibb (now also a big hit for Barbra Streisand).
1982-2002 I returned to London and since then have played keyboards,produced and programmed computers with many top recording artists and groups such as-The Pet Shop Boys(also played & programmed a Fairlight on their first live gig at the ICA, just the 3 of us on stage, it was a live Max Headroom show) , Art of Noise, Stevie Wonder, Miguel Bose, Duran Duran, Propaganda, The Damned, Billy Ocean, Swing Out Sister, Five Star and Clair Johnston.
2002-Living between Spain & Germany. I have a small digital recording/editing studio and now enjoy creating and composing music for advertising, corporate videos etc. and have worked on film soundtracks for Palace Pictures(Vacuum Cleaner Solo on Absolute Beginners), Joe Hisaishi, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hans Zimmer(Sound Effects for K2.) I have worked on a series of jingles for Labatts,Ariel and music for Volkswagen, Dance version of "Night Fever" from the current musical and recently an exciting new Virgin Band called "Birth" (thanks D.L. & Lenny ).
The Strawbs 1973 line-up was wheeled out (just a zimmer in my case :-)) for 2 very succesful tours, not quite a "Bridges of Babylon" more like "Bedsits in Bridlington" also more recently the Strawbs 45th Reunion concerts in Twickenham, London.
I am currently a patron of the Music Producers Guild(UK) "the MPG" and would encourage anyone who has any association with the music business to check out http://www.mpg.org.uk.