After composing poetry from as early as the time that I'd become proficient at joined up writing, my first songs followed in my early teens. Admittedly, those early efforts weren't so much the kind of style that I like to consider my own these days, but we all have to start somewhere. In fact, back then they didn't even have music as such. But the tunes were in my head. I carried so many of those early melodies in the back of my mind just knowing that one day I'd learn to play guitar and finish the job properly. It wasn't until I left school that I finally got around to buying one, and by that time I guess I must've had a hundred or so unfinished songs to get me started.
Two weeks after first plucking a string I played my first gig at a folk club called the Castle in Newport South Wales. It's all pretty faded now, but I can remember that the response I received befitted my then lack of experience. Things could only get better though which they did in leaps and bounds for the next five years.
A few years later I was playing infrequent gigs at the Kensington Court Club in Newport. It was for quite a while the happening place with what was to become an impressive line up of house acts. There were Kimla Taz who were later to be renamed Budgie. Shakin Stevens with his band The Sunsets started there, and Amen Corner were regulars at the time of their debut single Gin House, as were Love Sculpture led by Dave Edmunds, when they hit the charts with Sabre Dance
Over the following few years I played some really memorable gigs, like the Speakeasy in London which was the local hangout of everybody who was anybody in the early seventies. The night I played there a group of loud mouthed Americans hustled their way into the joint, borrowed a p.a., played four songs and disappeared. That was the first time that the New York Dolls ever played in Europe. There were other highs too like supporting Slade at the Weston Super Mare Pavillion or playing backup to AC/DC when they were third on the bill to Medicine Head in Plymouth following my (almost) success on the preliminary heats of a Melody Maker talent competition. That was a mere chance thing though. What happened was that I did my thing on stage at the Plymouth heats of the competition. I came second but on the strength of my performance was invited to join the bill the next evening.
In 1974 I moved to Jersey, got a real job, and existed until 2000 by which time Id clocked up well in excess of a thousand songs. I decided a long time ago though that if I wasn't famous by the time I was fifty I'd give the whole singing/songwriting dream a miss, and since reaching my half century birthday I haven't written a song or performed live.I did come out of creative retirement to write Tangents though.