A Little Off The Top Please, Barber

Doesn’t it just drag your butt when you read something and it sticks with you for so long that you have to respond to it at some point in the vain hope that it will get it out of your system. Well, that is what has happened to me over the past couple of weeks ever since I read this most excellent post by Holley Perry over at ChasingDestino  – Reading that post urged me to comment and if you click this link  it will take you to the comment that I made. Well, that comment has stuck with me ever since and has now forced me to write this. (more…)

Music and Me

Over on It’s Just A Ride I made mention that I had started the process of embarking on a few new creative things. Mostly this involves writing as my efforts at visual art (outside of my stuttering photography) is poor to damnable. I am pulling together a few ideas, but the one thing that is playing a big part in my creative thinking is Music.

Right from when I was old enough to hear, music played a big part in my upbringing. At 3 years old I “conducted” my Dad’s brass band in a concert in a Pub beer garden. When I got older (12/13) I started taking lessons in Brass (I played pretty much every Brass Band instrument going.. I sucked at all of them.) I moved on a couple of years later to Drumming. Animal was always my favourite Muppet and banging the skins always appealed to me. I joined a Marching Band in the town I grew up in. I got a good grounding in how to keep time and the basics of drumming. The problem was, I couldn’t remember anything I was taught.. so I made it up and hoped no one noticed to much. For the regimented part of stick work, I made sure I was in time with everyone else so as not to look out of place, but the actual playing.. I drummed to my own tune.

I should have realised then that my musical aspirations were severely limited and I should probably look for a more “suitable” outlet for my creativity. There was one small problem in all of this though.

My Dad.

My Dad was a musician from the age of 12. He was taught music at school by the same teacher who taught me in the same school my Dad went too. My Dad played in the local Brass Band for god knows how many years. It was part of him. I doubt he ever would have called himself a musician, but in hindsight I can look back and say most assuredly, he was. He may never have written an original piece of music, but I do know that he could transcribe music from one instrument to another with relative ease. He was the one that taught me the C scale on the Cornet. He wrote the scale out on a chalk board that I had gotten for Christmas one year. Each night he would sit with me and help me practice for a few minutes before dinner. He did the same for my Brother.

I couldn’t give up whatever form of music I was playing. My Dad had invested too much time in the past to make me want to play. I got kicked of the Brass course at school. I had stopped attending the lessons and I had given up taking my instrument (whichever I was favouring that week) home to practice. I guess the teacher couldn’t be bothered with me anymore… he gave the slot I used to take to someone who actually gave a shit. This left me with a bit of a problem.. I no longer had a “proper” instrument to play. I was a drummer with the Marching band.. but I don’t think my Dad took my wanting to be a drummer all that seriously. I knew I would never have my own Drum Kit, the best I got was a Casio Drum synth. It was pretty cool and it sounded close enough to the part that I could use it for when my Brother and I started a rock band with a couple of friends from school.

I left the band just in time for them to go into a studio to make an EP of some self written stuff and a Jimi Hendrix cover. I was more proud listening to that tape than I have ever been listening to any other music. The reason being, my brother was all over that tape. He was still a novice compared to where he is at now. I have mentioned numerous times before that I am so envious of my Brother because of the ease he seems to be able to do anything he sets his hand too. Music, Design and being a great Father.  It all comes super natural to him (or so it seems.) I am sure if I could find that tape now and played it to him he would cringe and deny all knowledge of ever playing on it… but it was my favourite release if the year.

Once I stopped playing in the Marching Band and with my Brothers band, I pretty much gave up playing music. I would still drum along with my favourite tunes with my hands on my knees, but that’s about it. That’s when listening to Music became more and more important to me.

As I mentioned earlier, music had always been a big part of my life, but after 16/17 years of age, I pretty much inhaled music on a minute by minute basis. I never left the house without my Walkman and a spare set of batteries.

My creativity that had been filled by making music, quickly shifted to working in the Theatre (you can read about my Theatre exploits in the Limelight stories here here here and here .. it’s an unfinished masterpiece that will probably never get finished..lol.) Working in a Theatre there are a lot of hours where you are in a dark room painting things black or hanging curtains and music (and coffee) helps to pass the time.

It was in one theatre on what was probably a very boring Tuesday evening that I first had a proper real exposure to the band that had dominated my life ever since. Pretty much for the past 17 years Pink Floyd have redefined how I approach music and how I hear the world around me. That boring Tuesday evening was like a beacon on a hill that shines bright. The album in question was The Division Bell. I thought that album was the best thing I had heard in years. That stayed the case for a couple of weeks until I managed to lay my hands on the topic of my next post…

The Wall

Until Next Time…

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