SCOPERISE: What is your first memory of
you singing or playing music?
Playing my father’s piano.
and I were exposed to music at a very early age as my mother and father would
sing us kids nursery rhymes and rehearse in the lounge room. If we
drove anywhere in the car together there were always sing-a-longs.
Like 'There's a Hole in my Bucket', 'Ten Green Bottles' and 'The Lady
Who Swallowed a Fly'.
father was a music teacher and instrumentalist, my mother a singer and
my sister played a bit of guitar and was a dancer
in Tasmanian dance group ‘The Byronettes’).
Dad played recorder in a duo with
renowned Australian classical guitarist
Sadie Bishop. So that
was my first memory
of seeing a live performance.
How old were you when you
started singing and or playing music?
12 years old. I started to learn violin, trumpet and music theory at
high school where I played in Brass Bands and Youth Orchestras. I started to learn
guitar in 1973 when I picked out the chords to ‘Brain Damage’ on an
acoustic guitar just after
buying Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album in Canberra. I
had gone to visit Stephen in Canberra and I blew my entire $6 holiday
budget buying the album on the first day. So Stephen suggested we
only play side 1 that day and then play side 2 the next. That way
it would be as though I had spent the money over 2 days rather than 1.
The irony of that was two of the tracks on the album were called 'Time'
and 'Money'. Needless to say we couldn't resist playing it several
times over and over on the first day.
few years later I picked up Bass guitar and played it at a country and
western gig with my drummer mate. As far as vocals go, I joined a
madrigal group as a Tenor and recorded vocals on my own tracks
When did you first record
1973 I recorded a version of ‘The Ying Yong Yong’ by The Goons. My
friend Stephen and I used a
Revox tape deck with half/double speed for the chipmunk effect.
Stephen (Sadie Bishop’s son) aka
George Washing Machine also had a musical background and later performed
guitar and vocals with his band 'The Dead Ringers'.
What other instruments
would you like to be able to play?
Saxophone, like Dick
Parry or John
Helliwell. When the DX7 came out I loved the sax sound it
could make especially with a breath controller so that became a solo
on many of my recordings. Sax is probably one of the coolest and
most expressive instruments ever invented.
What styles of music did
you like when you were younger?
Pop, rock, progressive rock, jazz fusion, electronic. I went to Hawthorn
West primary school and every day after school I would go to a friends
house who had a Telly and watch The Beatles cartoons. Those early
Beatles hits really took a hold in my head.
Also in the 60's I started getting into Crystal Sets (DIY radios that
didn't need batteries). So in the garden with a good earth and
aerial I could pick up pop stations and listen to The Carpenters, The
Kinks, The Moody Blues and Cilla Black etc.
In the 70's I had
moved to Tasmania and a school friend got me into the
Australian record club where I amazed to receive 6
albums at once. Slade Alive, T-Rex 'Get It On',
Santana 'Caravanserai', Led Zeppelin IV, Jethro Tull
'Thick As A Brick' and Emerson Lake and Palmer 'Pictures
At An Exhibition'.
Do you prefer listening to
a particular style/genre or have a general appreciation of music?
Particular styles (as above). My musical taste hasn't changed too much
over the years as my main connection with modern popular styles has been through
reality shows such as 'Australian Idol' and 'The Voice'
other bands, solo artists etc composers influenced you or whose music you've
liked over the years?
Mid late 70's I got into Jazz Rock Fusion listening to
John McLaughlin with the Mahavishu Orchestra, Chick
Korea, Jean Luc Ponty.
What other career paths
have you taken throughout the years?
Taxation (public service) and computer programming – commercial and corporate software development.
Music has been a hobby for me, not my career. But I enjoy them
both pretty much equally. I have often wondered if things were the other way around whether that
would have been different. My mother used to say music and
programming both came from my visual cognition, but later research
suggests the brain is not nearly as dichotomous as once thought.
So that's kind of intriguing.