Where did it all begin?
I was born in Newport, South Wales, in March 1946. My parents lived in one of the prefabricated buildings that were
built after the war as temporary accomodation. The same prefab still stands today, over 60 years later.
I seemed to have had every childhood illness, spending a large proportion of my early life, in and out of hospitals.
Pneumonia was followed by scarlet fever, mumps, measles, tonsilitis, thyroid problems, Osgood-Schlatter disease, broken
arms (four times!!) and then the big one... TB. I spent 2 years in 2 hospitals, that were, for some unknown reason, at
opposite sides of the country, 6 Months in Essex and 18 months near St Brides Bay, Pembrokeshire. The distances involved
meant that my parents were unable to visit me as often as they wished. Eventually illness passed me by and I managed to
pass the 11+ exam and went off to grammar school at St Julian's High School, in Newport
Like many in the early 60's I wanted to join in the 'new' music that was emerging. Some friends, from near where I lived,
and I decided we would form a pop group. We begged our parents to get us some electric guitars, and my brother was
going to be the drummer. My parents bought me a Selmer Futurama III, on hire purchase and my brother got a snare
drum. We started practicing and before long it became obvious that my brother was not really interested and also
suffered from a complete absence of rhythm, so he gave up. We found a replacement drummer from the school I attended
My first memories of playing live for money were at a local Youth Club in Newport, South Wales, playing Shadows tunes.
The club not only let us practice; they also paid us to play regularly at dances. I was about 15 and a half.