It was back in my first year of high school in my home town of Perth, Western Australia where I was sitting in excited anticipation in the school drumming class waiting for my turn on the real drum kit, as opposed to sitting at the practice pads! Feeling the deep thud of the bass drum and the high sparkle of the hi-hats was my first taste of the rush of playing music and I knew I wanted more.
One day about a year later I heard my best friend’s older brother play a riff on guitar and it stopped me dead in my tracks….. I was like “You gotta show me how to play that!!” I thought it was sooo cool! I didn’t know it until years later but it was the opening riff to the Brian Adams song Run To You. I pestered him until he taught it to me, and from that day on that was it, I was hooked on guitar! That was 25 years ago and I’m super grateful to say I have never put it down since.
I was quite an introspective kid and often found it difficult to talk about how I felt so when intense things would happen I’d find myself writing a song about the experience. It brought me such a sense of relief. It allowed me to get it all off my chest by turning all of that teenage energy and confusion into a song.
At the age of 19 after being together for 2 years with my first love; our relationship came to an end and I was aching with pain deep inside. My feelings poured out onto the page, and through my guitar, into what was my first ballad about a girl. If I didn’t have music as an outlet for my feelings I reckon I would have internally combusted!! Sitting in my bedroom playing guitar became part of how I got through life in one piece.
When I came across some old VHS tapes of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan doin their thing at live shows I knew that one day I wanted to do what they did. Hearing the warmth, depth and tone of them playing their Fender Stratocaster electric guitars inspired me to save up and eventually buy one of my own!
Growing up since then I always kept my love for playing drums alive and well. Along with bass playing, percussion and a few other instruments too.
From when I first fell in love with playing guitar a dream grew inside of me born from an inner knowing that each and every one of us are born with the freedom to create the life that we choose and a life that inspires us. There was a fire inside me that told me that no matter how inconvenient or confronting that path may be; I must persevere even when my external world was telling me it was a waste of time.
I now know that the one rule for making your dreams become a reality is :
No matter what – keep going!!
I’m extremely lucky and grateful to have been blessed with this life of making an inspired living writing, recording and performing the music that seems to comes out of me almost any time I pick up an instrument. And teaching music to kids and adults who can benefit from all of my years of playing.
But perhaps even more importantly than all of that, it’s YOU, the listener, that makes all of it matter.
I look forward to many more inspiring and sometimes challenging, but always worthwhile experiences along this musical journey. Here’s hoping that you are part of that journey.
If you’d like to hear a milestone of that journey, click here to listen to my debut full length album Rise & Shine. Thank you for being a listener and for making it all matter.