ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born in 1968, and came from a small village which at the time only consisted of two garages, two pubs and two shops, and loads of young kids that liked roaming the streets causing trouble by hedge-jumping and cherry-knocking or playing football on the village green until it got dark, then sometimes we’d still carry on, by getting the older generation with motorbikes to switch their headlights on to act as if they were spotlights. Even from an early age, music played a massive part in my life, and still does to this very day, all I can really remember was from such a young age that I wanted to be a glam rock/pop star like some of my idols I’d seen on ‘Top Of The Pops’ at the time, Brian Connolly (from The Sweet), Marc Bolan, Roy Wood & Wizzard, even Noddy Holder. I even ran back from the village green one Saturday morning after being told by someone that I couldn’t play football any longer on there as they were about to prepare trestle tables for a fete, upon finding out that there was going to be a fete and something called ‘fancy dress’, well at that age, I hadn’t really got a clue what exactly that was all about, so with about an hour or so before the fete started, I managed to persuade my mother to dress me up like a glam rock singer, even wearing make-up provided by one of my sisters, so looking like a cross between Roy Wood, Marc Bolan and David Bowie I went armed with my acoustic guitar in hand, I didn’t care to be really honest where I finished in the competition, as at the time I thought I was invincible. I was announced as being second, to this day, I still can’t remember what or who beat me, but I didn’t care. Nothing was going to ruin my day, as after all, I had been noticed – I was a glam rocker and I had my proof, I had make-up on and I had my guitar.
Infants and Junior school days past by so quickly, and before I knew it I was heading for Chosen Hill School, where for about the first four years you learnt which teachers you could play up and which ones you had complete respect and admiration for. One music lesson I do remember, was that we as a class had to sit and listen to The Beatles 1962-1966 (Red Album) and had to say why we thought these types of songs were popular during the sixties and how and why people were still listening to The Beatles during the 1980’s, I raised my hand and asked to be excused from the classroom, as I wasn’t allowed to listen to The Beatles at home, I never really knew many of their songs, you see I came from a house where only Elvis Presley records seemed to be allowed on the downstairs record player. I quickly learnt where the detention room was from this point onwards. Strange now, years later the 1962-1966 album and also the 1967-1970 album found their way into my CD collection. In an English lesson we had to talk about someone we knew a lot about, someone who had inspired us, well everyone thought I was bound to do Elvis Presley for my 40-minute talk, but someone else had already chosen him, and we weren’t allowed to repeat the person, so surprisingly I chose John Lennon, it’s amazing what you can learn in the short journey from Shurdington to Churchdown on the Bennett’s coach, now these were long before the days of looking things up on your phone, tablets or social media, information would be passed around the coach for a small nominal fee.
I started writing lyrics in 1989 and sang in a 3-piece band called ‘Never’ which was quite apt, because it (never) materialised. In 1991 I was given the opportunity to take photographs for several local singers and bands, becoming their ‘general gopher’, before learning the ropes by becoming a roadie, backing singer and a songwriter. Many tours, one-off concerts and local gigs went by, from which I went on to meet many of my music and television idols. I became a band manager for a local 5-piece group, but arguments between members soon reduced that down to a two-piece. Around this time I started singing vocals with ‘Gordon Bennett & Two Dodgy Geezers’, we busked around almost the whole of Gloucestershire and picked up a little cult following in the pubs and clubs we played. I was a pub quiz organiser for 9 years and tried desperately for a couple of those years to try and get my quiz books published, I had many replies, but all to no avail. In 2006 my life changed for the better when I met Amy, we moved into the heart of Cheltenham and settled down happily, and surprisingly even during my weirder days, I still find her by my side, so admittedly ‘This Must Be Love’, after a few years away from the music business, it was obvious that I needed something else to keep my mind active, so it was suggested that I wrote some kind of horror novel, and that was where ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ was born. 2011-2012 saw me back in the music business again as part of ‘Dixie & Dave’, recording 3 albums and 8 CD singles, one of them, a cover version of Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’, which remained at Number One on the Reverbnation charts for a total of 8 weeks, I even found the time to travel to London for an audition at ‘X Factor’ in 2012.
2018 saw me finally give up any more music challenges due to a debilitating illness, now instead of the constant life and pressures in the fast lane, it has been time to pull over onto the hard shoulder and I have now found the time to put my mind (and fingers) to a better use, by writing novels.