Sunday, 9 February 2014

Foreword... and forward

The late great Lou Reed made a special series of shows for BBC 6Music in 2012, in which he boldly stated:

Lou Reed“Music changes your life; it changes everything.”

There are some people who cannot relate to this; most of these people I couldn’t care less about.  Music does change your life, and there is no doubt in my mind that it has continually changed, shaped and defined mine.

Back when I was a young boy, when I had to stand on the back of the sofa to reach my parents’ strategically-placed (away from small sticky fingers) record player, I fell in love with pop music.  Over the years, just as being in love with a person, there have been many highs and lows.  Periods of excitement, fascination, elation and joy often ran alongside phases of disappointment, frustration, despair and sorrow.  But I do believe that if any relationship can provide such profound feelings of pleasure and pain, it really has to be worth taking the knocks in order to enjoy the utter delight that ultimately results.

Thus when Abba broke up in 1983, while at the time it was hard to take, Frankie Goes To Hollywood were just months away from stealing my affections.  And though R.E.M. split in 2011, their best years were undoubtedly behind them, and if it hadn’t been for them my wife and I might never have got together in the first place.

Anyone who has truly loved music will share similar stories.  It really doesn’t matter what your preferred genre is either.  A music fan – a proper music fan – will appreciate music in all its guises, even if he/she doesn’t particularly like some of it that much.  It means something to someone.

I could talk about music for hours.  Days, weeks, months even.  If anyone cares to listen or take part, so much the better.  I often considered writing some kind of ‘music memoir’.  Then I thought ‘who the hell is interested in my self-indulgent gibberish?  Get a grip, man!’  When I read Giles Smith’s wonderful ‘Lost In Music’[1], I realised it had already been done in a far more eloquent and amusing manner than I could ever hope to produce.

I finally concluded that I should do it anyway, if only for myself.  I’m glad I did.  It has allowed me to reflect on a number of key moments in my life, some very influential people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, some wonderful – occasionally hilarious – experiences and one or two not-so-pleasant times which have been quite difficult, though ultimately rather therapeutic, to write about.  The common link in all these things is music.  It has kept me going through all the good times, the bad times and the truly awful times.  It still does.

If you’re reading this and you’re not me, then I’ve decided to go public with the results.  What you see before you is my life in words and music, in numerous periodical installments.  It’s not meant to flow in any particular order or anything (though it is largely chronological); it’s mainly a series of short essays, reviews and similar articles.  Neither is it an autobiography, though I’m aware it reveals more about me than I might otherwise be willing to divulge.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten quite a lot of stuff, and some of what I’ve recalled may not be entirely accurate thanks to the passing of time. 

Music changed (and continues to change) my life, just as it changed Lou's.  Here's my story.  Whatever you make of it, thank you for bothering, I hope you enjoy it. 



  1. Looking forward to all of've set very high standards with these first two postings.

  2. Lost in music is indeed a wonderful book, looking forward to following the blog