Thursday, November 20, 2008


Things about me.....

When I was a teen one of my all time favourite bands was Free.
I still listen to them even now, Paul Rodgers, Paul Kossoff, Andy Fraser & Simon Kirke were my musical heroes. Unfortunately by the time I discovered them they had gone their separate ways as a band so it was their subsequent outfits that I went to watch play live. The first time I saw bass player Andy Frasers band was at Leeds town hall, made all the more interesting because I encountered my bass playing hero in the toilets at the venue. I was so embarrassed I could only get a close to inaudible " Hello" out, before the moment was gone. Well he had his hands full so it would have been bad form to ask for an autograph! However, a year later at a gig at Leeds Polytechnic, I managed to get backstage & this time got him to sign my album. I didn't mention our meeting the previous year though.

I spent a year working for a girlfriend’s parents, they ran a successful TV & Film location catering company & we would travel away to location to feed the cast & crew. It very quickly dispelled any illusions I might have had about " fame", on the whole most of the people I dealt with were very shallow, I developed an abiding dislike of "luvvies" all of whom thought that they occupied the centre of the universe. I worked on among others, " last of the summer wine", " Shackleton " a drama documentary, " Emmerdale farm ", a film called " The keep " as well as others now long forgotten.

For four years I ran with my partner at the time a restaurant in Scarborough called " Pippins " it is now an Italian restaurant, it was hard work sometimes working up to 18 hours a day but was rewarding in so many different ways. Life as a restaurant owner, was a lot like performing on stage so I took to it so easily. However the long hours working with your partner & living on the premises meant we imploded dramatically after 4 years. I do not regret it though & am proud of the work we did there.

I worked for a long time in the UK as a manager for a national pizza chain, one evening when I asked a customer to refrain from placing salad items in his pocket (he was buying a takeaway) he promptly pulled out a knife & threatened me with it. Fear is a mans best friend, so I told him to take as much as he wanted, which he did. No amount of pilfered tomatoes are worth been stabbed for.

I also worked for a short spell as restaurant manager at Holbeck Hall in Scarborough, famous because years after I left it slid down the cliff it was perched on & fell in to the sea !

When I first moved to New Zealand I was vegetarian, I had been for 7 years, but as I was to discover in my new country, at that time it was virtually impossible to find much in the way of easy to prepare food. After much soul searching I decided to buy a joint of meat & roast it. Unbeknown to me, here in NZ there is a cut of meat called " Corned beef" which is not anything like the English canned version. Having purchased the said joint I then proceeded to roast it & upon tasting the cooked item could not understand why it was so salty. I forced it down & only later discovered that corned beef should be boiled not roasted!

In my first year in New Zealand I carried on a tradition of appearing in various media that I had started in the UK through my musical adventures, I appeared on national radio, on television & in print. It has been downhill from there but what a tremendous start! The reason was the opening of an American franchise called Pakmail, which was based in Takapuna & was the first store of its kind to offer an alternative to the Post Office, couriers & freight forwarders. It allowed people to walk in off the street with their item & send it through us, we covered everything from a letter across town to a complete house move. It was the beginning of my passion & love of working in the freight industry.

I am a great survivor; I have survived all of the major disasters, luckily for me.

There, some very carefully edited highlights which have managed to avoid some of my more salubrious claims to fame, which have included spending nights in a deserted warehouse with my girl friend, illicit substances, depression & others that I cant even mention in passing in order to preserve the identities of the innocent.


Katherine said...

Oooh, what an interesting life you've had! Thanks for spilling those beans. I just knew you were fascinating.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I guess I saw Free live at least seven times. They were brilliant - raunchy - together... Of course, those were in the days when music really mattered to me. It was the raft I clung to as I sought to avoid drowning in the angst and self-doubt of my teenagehood.... Hull City Hall, Bridlington Spa, The Isle of Wight... Fortunately I'm "Alright Now".