My passion for music drew its first breath when Radio Rentals took our TV away. I was 10 years old.
Not being one who waits to be entertained, and being of a curious nature, I decided to explore my mother's vast record collection, the bulk of which represented the genres of folk and country. But, hidden in its depths were some real sonic treasures; after a short search, I unearthed Bob Marley’s Burning and the Wailers albums; Donny Hathaway’s Extension Of a Man; and the complete works of Ray Charles and Millie Jackson: this was truly my Eureka moment!
Now I had a new passion; now I could see a path before me, one that I would follow from that day forth.
Paper-round money was now being used to service a new addiction — a new hunger. No longer would I be visiting the local toyshop to buy yet another Airfix Spitfire (1:72 scale) to cover in inappropriately-applied glue. No, from now on, it was now the racks of vinyl in my local record stores that beckoned me with their seductive contents; Aylesbury's Record House, Earth Records and Our Price were my after-school haunts. Even now I can still recall, as if it were yesterday, the alluring scent of clean, fresh vinyl that permeated these (what were in my mind) palaces; these shrines dedicated to music; sanctuaries where I could escape from the world and be Me.
The Grundig radiogram, my then pride and joy, with the glow of its valves radiating evocatively through the louvered vents of the rear cover, would now be pumped to the max, and my my bedroom window would be wide open. This was the life; sharing the music I loved with the kids playing outside my house, while Mother would scream her own chorus of disapproval, "NIEL! TURN DOWN THE BASS!".
Did I listen to her? No, of course not; I pretended I couldn't hear. What's more, I kinda think her objections were tinged with a touch of maternal pride.
Then there were the late nights, trying to tune in to Sunrise, Horizon, Capitol Radio or any other Soul, Funk, Dance or Reggae music shows — few and far between in those days. Greg Edwards and David Rodigan were Gods in my mind.
I knew it in my heart, my blood, my soul: I wanted to be a DJ.
1984 finds me at agricultural collage. It is at this time I put together my first mobile disco — a truly Heath-Robinson affair! But I didn't care what the equipment was or where it came from; my first light controller was made using the pulsator from a milking machine, working in conjunction with some traffic lights I 'purchased' from the roadside. I had Just one deck and talked between each record, but nobody noticed or mentioned this.
The only thing that mattered was that I was a real DJ, playing to people who shared a common love: music.
From these early days, I progressed steadily; parties, pubs and clubs, moving gradually up, and can proudly say I rode the decks at Ministry Of Sound. I continue to gig regularly; and now, by the power of the Internet, a whole new horizon of prospects are on offer, including a truly world-wide audience — hey, there may not be millions (even tens!) listening, but if my shows can make one person happy; transport him or her off with a memory, or a new experience; help that person to leave the worries of the day behind, that means the world to me.
And what else do if fit around my love of music? Well, if music be the food of love, and seeing as I love music, it should follow that I love food, which I indeed do! I like to consider myself a pretty mean chef, with a penchant for seafood. Yes, good food and fabulous music — music of all kinds — just seem to go together. And in My World, my music tastes a far-and-wide; from Elvis to electro; R&B to reggae; funk to folk; and all stops in-between. There is a universe of music out there for us all to enjoy; my goal is is to taste as many of its myriad flavours as is humanly possible!
So now you know a little more about me from my perspective. In the eyes of others I've been described as (amongst other things that I think I'll keep to myself!) charmingly and uniquely amusing; but, I will let you, my beautiful listeners, be my judge...
I look forward to playing my music for YOU, live from my lounge, with a rather large glass of shiraz within easy reach of my DJ's chair!
You are most welcome to join me.
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