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I was born in Birkenhead, across the Mersey from Liverpool. A hard and tough town. As a kid it taught me a lot. My early memories are of ship building at Lairds and my dad who grafted for all of us. He was a Joiner. Big hands the size of plates and a big sense of humour that went with them. A good man. For someone who is the son of a Joiner I’m the worst DIYer on the planet. Useless. Give me a saw and I’ll cut my foot off with it. That’s probably why I opted for being a drummer. I suppose it’s a bit like being a joiner in that you sound like you’re building a shed sometimes.
When I was 10 I got my hands on my 1st drum kit. My brother brought it back to our house with him one day. I still don’t know were he got it from and being only 10 things like that didn’t really matter. It was lying in bits in the front room and I figured out how to set it up. Then I figured out how to make a noise on it. All good. Then the drum kit disappeared. Not good.
The rhythm bug had got me and I needed to continue making a noise and hitting things.
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With the drum kit gone, I never found out where, it left me with my mums knittings needles for sticks, 2 biscuit tins for drums and their lids for cymbals. Not the best looking or sounding drum kit in the world I know, but it stopped the cravings. It sounded great to me anyway, not so good for the next door neighbour though.
I’d put on a record and play along to it. I loved it. Just me, a record and some biscuit tins.
After I had served my apprenticeship on the biscuit tins I got the OK to sell my Raleigh ’Chopper’ bike and spend the 30 quid I got for it on my very own real drum kit. My dad found it for sale in the Liverpool Echo. It was an Ajax kit drum kit with Ringo Stars autograph on the floor tom or so the guy that flogged it to me and my dad said. When I could get my dad off the drum kit then I would have a shot myself. He played along to Glenn Miller records and was a pretty good drummer himself.