Gone Too Soon - writer, vocals, guitars
My first musical experiences were learning clarinet from the age of 8 or 9. Mum and dad were avid fans of swing and Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. So clarinet it was. I had this wonderful teacher, Gary Matherson , who had been a flautist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Gary lived in a converted boatshed on the water where he was building a concrete yacht. I got involved in rescuing his yacht which had slipped its mooring during a major storm! Gary organised his students into woodwind quartets and had us playing in old peoples’ homes and the like. I remember him driving our quartet down to Bungonia to set up and play deep in a limestone cave - wonderfully eccentric!!
I discovered guitar in my early teens and was immediately hooked. Bought myself a Yamaha G55 classical guitar ($45 I think) and taught myself to play. Earliest influences were Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Harry Chapin and Neil Young - all the acoustic stuff which I could attempt to emulate. I also have strong and pleasant memories of dancing around mum and dad’s lounge room with brother Phil in Miranda playing air guitar and singing along with Steve Miller - The Joker, Fly Like an Eagle - and Bad Company and Backman Turner Overdrive. Steve Faggotter, my mate from the Shed, introduced me to an eclectic array of tastes in my late teens including Steely Dan, Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, Galapagos Duck, Led Zeppelin, Chuck Mangione, Phil Manzanera, Traffic, Larry Carlton etc etc.
I wrote some trashy/juvenile lyrics and songs in the late 70s and early 80s and then put the pen away in the 90s until I started to write songs again in 2009.
I now have a number of electric guitars and amps in my “quiver” , and enjoy jamming on them, but still feel most comfortable on an acoustic.
A Sutherland Shire boy originally, I now live in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney where I have met many wonderful and amazing musicians. Music truly is “soul-food”. It has been a delight to be welcomed into the Shed and to enjoy the jamming and musical collaboration.