about me...

La mia prima chitarra
Il primo gruppo "James Blaire"
Il mio secondo gruppo "Chug"
Il mio primo home studio
Consegna mixer a Falcon Valley
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Tra i libri

I was born in Romford in the suburbs of London, but my family soon moved to the quieter area along the Thames estuary to the county of Essex. This was probably where I developed the love of green open spaces, Mother Nature and The Beatles. Having done various humble and barely legal jobs, at the tender age of thirteen, I managed to save up enough money to buy my first electric guitar... a light blue "Top Twenty", built God knows where. But I had to wait another three years before I could purchase my first amplifier through working as a waiter during school holidays so that others could finally hear what I was actually playing.

I went to Rayleigh Sweyne Grammar School and when we moved to Kent I was sent to Borden Grammar School. “Grammar School” is where the name of the band I founded almost a quarter of a century ago comes from. We have been touring ever since playing pop-rock classics in a very original format.

By the time I was eighteen I had played in various local bands. It was the progressive rock era and for me playing technically challenging music gave the erroneous impression of technical competence even though I was still to learn just about every other trick in the trade.

Repudiating the excessive discipline and lack of freedom of expression at Borden Grammar School, I intrepidly faced a journey with five pounds sterling in my pocket and a guitar slung over my shoulder that turned me into a busker and took me to France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and finally Italy. The fascination I felt for Latin countries (probably due to my Great Grandmother whose name was Elisa Santos) enticed me into staying there to learn the Italian language. I managed to scrape a living by teaching English and then I was fortunate enough to frequent the Avellino music conservatory where I studied classical guitar under the late Maestro Edoardo Caliendo who patiently corrected my guitar technique that I had learnt "on the road". I learnt a lot from that institute and left just in time to avoid growing a pair of blinders.

In the meantime I played in a few progressive rock bands, but in 1978 I was contacted, and after a series of auditions, joined a well-established Italian pop group called Cugini di Campagna. I participated in the making of their first album as a singer-guitarist and songwriter. In the second, I did all the pre-production and most part of the arrangements but he was asked to produce the entire third album. I tried to combine the Italian melodies with the typical sounds of my Anglo-Saxon musical culture. The album was called “Gomma” and I believe is still an interesting piece of work, at least from the production point of view..

In 1984 I was offered a solo artist contract with an international label. So I recorded my first single sung in English at Union Studios Munich and mixed it at Wisselord Studios in Holland. Despite this very good budget for the production and the following enthusiasm shown by the label managers, for some unknown reason the record was never publicized and ended up a rare collector’s item.

 

The year after, being one of the few musicians on the Italian scene to know that MIDI was not something half way between MINI and MAXI, I was chosen to play keyboards and programme sequencers in the huge euro pop hit band "PINK PROJECT". This passion of mine for digital machinery (nowadays substantially back into its right perspective) brought me to learn how to programme synthesizers and sequencers and in 1988 I opened BYTE STUDIOS (a recording studio with the accent on midi programming and computers etc.) at Riccione near Rimini. With the exception of a few experimental electronic operas published abroad, I dedicated almost all of my working energies on third party client projects. Those were the gloomy years of HOUSE MUSIC that I used to find "very stimulating" to make but "rubbish" to listen to for more than once.

Eventally in 1997 I built my second studio called FALCON VALLEY among the beautiful hills of the Rimini hinterland, a place where the computer was to be confined to the corner so as to give more space to acoustic sounds. It was here that I developed the idea of a Production Station… discover the artist... give him whatever he needs to make the record... take care of public relations... get him a contract with a record company... and protect him from the sharks after he's been successful (hopefully). I started producing and writing again and soon had a number one hit with “Vivre la vie” sung by Kelly Joyce. I then went on to produce tracks in four of Australian superstar Tina Arena’ s albums and two entire albums of the French icon Sylvie Vartan. I was also chosen to be in charge of the musical direction of her highly successful 2004 tour that debuted at the Palais des Congrès in Paris for fifteen consecutive nights and ended the following year in Tokyo.

In 2008 I finally decided to catch up on my classical guitar studies. They came in very useful for recording a collection of ballads called “ 3/4” that I wrote, played and arranged the following year (all in 3/4 time). Later I transformed Grammar School into a multimedia educationally orientated show that has been a great success everywhere we have played.

In 2010 I started recording my first multimedia opera entitled “A soldier they called Tom” that I had been contemplating doing for years. It makes use of video and audio to tell the story of an English soldier who, during WW2, fought in Montefiore Conca… the exact place where I live now ! In 2016 I completed my second multi media opera entitled "The Italian Lesson". It is about 22 more or less famous Italian men and women who have contributed so much to Italy's splendour throughout the centuries starting from Cicerone and finishing with Judge Paolo Borsellino. I am looking forward to performing it solo on stage with my hi-tech set up and beloved classical guitar.

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Direzione artistica dei bambini del gruppo "Gam Gam". Pavarotti & friends 1998