I was born at an early age to surprised parents who really wanted a dog. After a brief sojourn with the mini-banjo (see pic below left) I moved on to the piano, but it got too heavy for my mother to drag around, so I took up the guitar instead.
By the time I was seventeen I had mastered enough chords (two) to be able to go out and join a local band called Dickie and the Donuts (it was nearly Ricky and the Rock Cakes – you decide). Despite the ‘amusing’ name the band featured much local talent, including the legendary Mik Fletcher on bass. However, when they heard my efforts on guitar I was immediately given keyboard duties. Undaunted I persevered and eventually bought my first electric guitar, an ‘Eros’ Les Paul. Mmm, lovely.
I eventually acquired some decent equipment, and stints with various bands followed, during which time I also took up playing the bass guitar. Interestingly, one of the bands I played with during this period featured no less a personage than one Tilley S. on drummage.
By the late seventies I was pro, playing American Army and Air Force bases all over Germany. The Americans were a friendly lot, whose favourite shout seemed to be ‘Take a break!’. Then followed years of summer seasons, hotels, holiday camps, trips to Florida, yes, I saw the world and got paid for it (not much). I also did a few recording sessions at London studios such as CTS and Abbey Road and I still have a few 7” records (??) which feature my playing. In November 2005 I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from Simon, who had decided to try to put together a band to play the music of Steely Dan. He had already secured the services of Bob Phillips on bass, and he was wondering whether I would be interested. Interested, what? Count me in!! We then found a keyboard player and another guitarist and arranged to get together to see what happened, but unfortunately nothing much did.
About a year later, by which time it looked like the whole project was about to implode, along came Ray Drury and Mick Steele on keyboards and guitar. With this line-up we played gigs in and around Southampton as well as further afield, and always received a rapturous welcome.
Unfortunately Mick has recently left the band to pursue other interests, but we have been very lucky to be able to secure the services of Chris Smith on guitar. It is every players dream to play with a group of guys who have all been through the musical mill and who are all pointing in the same direction. Steely Scam is the realisation of that dream, and it just keeps getting better and better.
PRS Custom 24 25th Anniversary
1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb
Fender Princeton Reverb