My upbringing provided me the ideal start for a songwriter. My father Eric was an accomplished organist and choirmaster, who began playing the church organ as a 13 year old in 1942. He was a Senior Architectural Assistant by trade, but his spare time was dedicated to St


In the spring of 1977 something magical happened. My friend, Michael Tasker, gave me a compilation tape of music he’d recorded from the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1. This was like nothing I’d ever heard before. It was very up tempo, the guitars


Early in 1978 my school mate Pete Cresswell let it slip that he and another pupil Martyn Gilbert had been writing and recording their own songs onto  cassette. I suspect Pete kept these collaborations secret for fear of a rival “songwriter” muscling in.  When


Our regular Friday night visits to ‘The Moonstone’ (a heavy rock pub in St John’s Precinct) inspired a song called ‘Shelly’. Shelly was a strikingly beautiful barmaid by whom Slug was besotted, but surprisingly this was not reciprocated. I wrote an unrequited love


The greatest legacy of my short spell at University was much needed spending money. As a less well off student I’d been awarded a “full grant”, £60 of which I brought home with me. This saw me through to December when I signed on as unemployed. I


Songwriting was now an obsession. I thought about my songs all day, and yearned for the evenings when I could get into my bedroom to develop my ideas. Mr Hickey (my office manager) soon snapped me out of this trance. I sat


The results of my insurance exams came through in January, and I was called in to Mr Hickey’s office once again. This time he didn’t seem to care much about the 3 ‘Z’ grades I’d achieved. I expected another roasting, but he


Renee and Renato were at number 1 in the charts with ‘Save Your Love’, and everything was right in the world. We kicked off 1983 at the ‘Liverpool Warehouse’ in Wood Street on Friday 7 January. The Warehouse could hold possibly 1,000 people, and


Following The System gig we didn’t play live again for over 4 months. All our efforts were concentrated on avoiding death and rehearsing. My own efforts were focused on coming up with a new song of the same quality as ‘Martyn’s Brain’.  After more than 6


Dave pressed ahead with his plans for the album. He tried to persuade us that the ‘Wheels within Wheels’  recording from The System was excellent and our over all performance rendered the broken string fiasco irrelevant. His sage advice was rejected, and consequently one of our best songs was

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