Whilst living in Germany with no TV to entertain, my dad bought a bontempi single-manual chord organ which I thrashed to death from the age of 9.
Needless to say, it was soon out-grown and I progressed onto bigger and better keyboards through my teens. (I could have replaced ‘keyboards’ with ‘organs’ in that sentence, but to be honest, the organ jokes are wearing a bit thin now.)
I joined my first band at the very tender age of 17 – a very naiive, very much green-behind-the-ears (nothing’s changed there then) youngster playing in a manic 60’s soul/stax band. This was my introduction to blues and soul and, due to restrictive funds, my ‘Hammond C3’ was a Korg Poly 800 played through a borrowed VOX AC30 – nice!
None-the-less, the band gave me the experience of playing in some great venues (The Marquee, Royal Albert Hall and various theatres across the South Coast) and support to some fabulous soul stars.
Once my time was up wth the soul band, the blues took its natural course in my playing and I played in several different line-ups playing a mixture of blues, funk and soul in the UK and Europe. Essentially an organ player, my gear was upgraded several times, and has included a Hammond C3 (at last) and Fender Rhodes 73 Mk I piano.
This was the ultimate set-up, but I was finding that I was always the last to leave the gig – and my fellow musician ‘friends’, one-by-one, learned the art of sneaking off before it was time to load the van.
After time, and not too much thought really, the ‘Hammond C3’ became a Korg CX-3 Mk I and my Fender Rhodes became a Yamaha P120 – both easily manageable and I regained all my musician ‘friends’ back again. Then came the Nord, and the switch was made, a Nord stage for all the pianos and phasey stuff and an Electro 5D for the hammond.
So, that brings us to the present day, and Steely Scam – the type of band that many musicians lust after playing in, especially if it is done well – and Steely Scam certainly do that. A lot of hard work and effort has been put into this project and it is a great honour to be playing with such a great bunch of dedicated and focused guys who all have the same passion to play Steely Dan.
Nord Stage HA88
Nord Electro 5D
Neo Ventilator Leslie sim
Alto Professional active monitors
Behringer Xenyx 502 Mixer