Liverpool is not a bad place to be born if you want to be in the music business. It has a certain kudos worldwide due to my uncle Ringo and his mates (just kidding about the uncle thing!).
I got my first gig with a band when I was 14 due to the bands drummer dying in a bizarre boating accident ... destiny!! Since that day, the drumming bug bit and I was hooked.
It's an interesting ride, sometimes brilliant, sometimes scary. Playing 'dives', moving continents, practicing, not practicing enough, meeting great people (musicians are the funniest people on the planet) meeting not so nice people (record executives are NOT the funniest people on the planet!) playing beautiful venues in countries I never would have visited and generally feeling very lucky to be able to make a living at the thing I love the most.
Most of the 80's were spent back and forth to New York, which became my home for 5 years. There I became professional, more confident and a more experienced player after doing a lot of gigs, a lot of little sessions and my first big budget sessions with people like Regina Belle, Aretha Franklin and David Sanborn. The New York experience taught me everything, as I met and played with so many great musicians. I also did a bit of studying at the Drummers Collective.
I got the taste for touring too, completing two long crazy jaunts around U.S.A with platinum selling indie popsters: Modern English, playing every city on the map, it seemed. I thought all tours would involve stage invasions, fans throwing themselves at our moving cars and revelry of the highest order, but no ... it doesn't always happen like that. In fact, it has never happened since!
On the birth of my first child we returned to the mother country and I basically started again. Not easy, but since then, through the 90's, I managed to continue to play some great music with some wonderful people, touring and recording in equal measures all over the place. Not living in London and therefore not being part of any 'clique' I have found myself playing with some non mainstream, obscure artists from far flung parts of the world, such as Israel, Germany, Australia and France. This is great as you get a cultural experience as well as a musical one. Adventures. Excellent.
For the last 6 years I have been working with French superstar Patricia Kaas, who as one of the few French artists to sell records around the world (15 million of them!) it has enabled me to play in 20 different countries and to play in front of literally millions of people.
Prog-Rock, Pop, R+B, Blues, Acoustic, Indie Pop, Rap/Dance, Country, Folk, Avant-Garde, Experimental Instrumental, Gospel.
That's what the last 15 years of drumming has encompassed. Never a dull musical moment (No ... actually, that's not exactly true!!).
With all the negative stuff you have to deal with as a freelance drummer: the uncertainty, the diplomacy, the absence from your family, the insecurity, I occasionally sit behind my drums and look out at a venue such as a Roman Amphitheatre on a balmy Mediterranean evening and I realise why I keep doing it, despite everything.