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Hopes and dreams of an old fart


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I thought that might get your attention! Lol

 

I was reading through the 'What Does it mean to succeed' thread the other day and this one sort of has parallels with that I guess, but in a more personal way. I see the lounge as a bar and you guys here are my buddies, so, I'm gonna let you in to my life a little and see where this thread goes...

 

When I was a boy (pre teens) music to me was limited to records (my dads vinyl), radio and hymns - my hopes and dreams musically were limited to 'concerts' for my grandparents on a Sunday evening. I still remember my nans bemused face as I moved on from hymns and Celtic folk songs to Elvis 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' (this is starting to sound like a Johnny Cash biography! Lol). As I moved into my teens I used a reel to reel tape recorder a mic and a record player to record my own 'radio' shows. I dreamt of being a radio DJ presenting the top 40. Imagine if I'd have had access to podcasts back then...

 

In my teens, DJ'ing became my thing. Wasn't it everyone's in the late 70s early 80s? I also dreamt of performing 'live'; singing along with Sinatra at the Sands, Elvis, also in Las Vegas, Johnny Cash in Folsom oh, and Simple Minds in Berlin and Queen at Wembley! The only musical instrument I was allowed was a harmonica, with which I learned the melodies of those songs I grew up with. If I actually ended up in prison I'd be ok there then... lol

 

In my twenties I actually did some DJ gigs (parties and pubs) but then marriage and kids meant I had to put 'those foolish dreams' aside. I still had dreams though - although in my 30s I'd moved on to be Robbie Williams at Knebworth.

 

In my late thirties/early 40s I met my now (second) wife. Karaoke at times became my thing. I still remember us sitting in a pub in Birmingham and a complete stranger came over to us, started talking and offered to buy us drinks. When I asked if I knew him, the guy replied 'no, but you're the singing comedian' - I had taken to singing Sinatra classics and telling jokes in the long instrumentals. I think my biggest crowd was 50 max and mainly drunk. Fame at last! Lol. We moved to Yorkshire! 😂

 

My eldest daughter was now in her teens and had self learned guitar. I had just started playing and was really in awe one day when she picked up my guitar and played Demi Levato  'Skyscraper' - I'm not sure even now who Demi Levato is! Lol. On a trip to Dublin a few years later she amazed me even more when she borrowed the resident singers guitar and sang Taylor Swift 'Sparks Fly' to a packed Temple Bar pub. At 16!! She loved it and went back the next day (on invite) and did a 3 song set. She has done (and still does) the odd open mic. She's even allowed to drink now at 22! So I partly live vicariously through her! Thanks to the IPhone I also have these memories permantly saved. I've long lost the video tape that had me miming to Roy Orbisons 'Pretty Woman' with a cardboard guitar when I was 15ish but I like to think she got the musical 'bug' from me 🤔

 

Now, after a successful project management career, I am lucky enough to have retired at 51. We are about to move house where I have one room set aside to become my 'studio.' My wife has bought me additional kit for my recent birthday and I can't wait to get it all set up. There is a live music/open night venue in walking distance and my dreams now are twofold:

 

1. Keep writing stuff and sharing it here, maybe one day someone will take one of my songs and do something with it. I get a massive kick now if someone plays something of mine here (a couple have). For me it's as good as hearing it on the radio and I'm like a kid again! I don't ever expect fortune or fame anymore but at least I'm doing something I love (as well as Astronomy when the British weather allows!) 🌌

 

2. Perform one of my own songs at the open mic... that scares me sh*tless!!! Lol I wish I had the self confidence no fear I had in my 20s. I don't want to be the old fart who turned up and embarrassed himself... 😫

 

Anyway, this is the point in the 'bar' where my mates would say: 'Dazzy, shut the f... up and get the beers in!'

 

What about your story? Go on, you know you wanna...

 

🙂

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Nice topic Dazzy.

 

For me, I have always listened to music one way or another. My mum in particular used to have the radio on all the time in the house, so I grew up with the songs that shaped my formative years. My mum and dad were big fans of the Beatles and my mum also loved Queen, so you can imagine I had a decent start when it comes to the music I listened to.

 

But when 1979 hit, everything changed. I heard 2 songs that would usher in a new world of music - Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star and M - Pop Music. Both to my then 9 year old ears and even now, are two fantastic pieces of music, well thought out and constructed and catchy as hell.

 

Then the New Romantic era hit and that was it for me. I use daily to sit every Sunday recording the charts from the radio onto tape and this is when I heard the band that would become my favourite group of all time - Ultravox. They had everything my ears realised they wanted to hear. The music was big, interesting and with twists and turns you don't hear in songs nowadays. The voice though, that is what pulled me in. Midge Ure has been overlooked by a lot of the music press and that is a shame. The man was responsible (with others) for some of the best songs to come out of the 80's, but was much maligned, even though he is one of the funniest and most charming people you could ever meet (and I have, several times).

 

I also loved other bands during that time, much of their sound probably comes through in the music I am making now, but I cannot hide that influence and nor would I want to, it is what I loved growing up and it is what I would love to listen to now. One of those bands that is hated and would never want to sound like is the Smiths and I cannot understand how anyone could think I sound like them in anyway;)

 

As the 80's moved on, I decided to start trying to write my own music, but being the kind of person I am, declined lessons in piano (i so regret this now) and my uncle was willing to teach me guitar and drums, which I also declined (again regrets, I've had a few). So I turned to writing lyrics at 16, with the songs in my head. I had a Casio VL-Tone which I used to make up little pieces of music, but it was very limited for what I could hear going on in my head. One of my friends had a keyboard and we wrote a song together, but it was more of a joke song (as they were the rage back in the early 80's), but I can still remember it and it was really catchy. It could have been the new Birdy song:unsure:

 

So, for a long time I wrote lyrics and became more and more frustrated at myself. I knew I could sing as I had been told this several times, being picked out at school for singing the lead vocal at one of the concerts etc. But I think I was very uncomfortable in the limelight and that is why I didn't progress this desire.

 

Time moved on and I stopped writing as much. Girlfriends came and went as did jobs, as I never seemed happy with what I was doing.

 

One of my later girlfriends had a piano and was classically trained. It was nice sitting at the piano coming up with a piece of music and then she would take what I had done and turned it into what I heard in my head. Not once did I think to record any of that.

 

I have done karaoke over the years and enjoyed it, but I still felt uncomfortable in front of people.

 

Then I met my now wife and feeling a lot happier, I decided I was going to take all those ideas floating about in my head and do something with them, so I purchased a keyboard and wrote several pieces of music on the piano. Some were decent, some of them really good, but as I had to layer them in the keyboards memory, I was limited with what I could do.

 

So I took the plunge and invested in software and a midi controller and the freedom that gave me was incredible. I wrote an instrumental piece within 30 minutes of sitting at the computer ('my friend played the piano bass part as I couldn't get my fingers to play it the way I wanted - didn't think to write it into the software - I was still very much a new band learning). That piece of music is still one of my favourites. I then progressed quickly and wrote a lovely song, which is mostly piano based and very intricate for me considering I didn't know how to play the piano and this sounds like a piano player - I still need to do something with this.

 

I then looked out my previous lyrics and realised most of them weren't as good as I remembered (very much written by a teen about relationships!!), but there were a few that I decided to incorporate into the music I was writing.

 

Time moved on and I was writing a lot of stuff, some crap, some okay and some I really liked, but I remembered reading that you should just keep writing if you want to get better, so I did.

 

One of my friends who is a musician listened to some of the songs I was writing and remarked that they were really good, but could probably do with some work on the arrangement side, so I wen glooming for a way to help me with this and eventually one day I decided to look for a website I could post to for critique and came across SongStuff. It was probably one o the best things I have done and since then, my music has evolved and I am looking to self-release a single shortly, with more to follow and then an album. This is something I have wanted to do from listening to the music back in the 80's and now that I am about to hit 47, I am about to fulfill that desire (talk about procrastination:rolleyes:).

 

I now can't turn off the tap when it comes to my music and I am constantly siting at that keyboard writing new material.

 

My daughters are hopefully going to get that bug and both are doing musical instruments, with one also doing voice.

 

Cheers 

 

R

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23 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

when 1979 hit, everything changed. I heard 2 songs that would usher in a new world of music - Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star and M - Pop Music. Both to my then 9 year old ears and even now, are two fantastic pieces of music, well thought out and constructed and catchy as hell.

Holy crap, you have had a similar life to me!! Lol I quoted this bit cos I really got hooked on Buggles too. I don't own it, but it makes me smile whenever I hear it on Absolute 80s. A couple of other songs around that time for me was Bowie - Space Oddity, Queen - We Will Rock You, Duran Duran - Planet Earth (I think this was the first single I ever bought on my own) and Ultravox - Vienna. There are loads more obvs.

 

I never used to mind 'performing' but I think as you get older it takes longer to take the plunge - but I love it when I'm doing it - I don't really think about the crowd that may be watching.

 

Regrets, I've had a few, too (hmmm, that might make a good lyric lol), mainly that I had learned to play guitar earlier and maybe joined a band in my teens, but those are minor in the big scheme of things. MIDI has also changed my life, I had a Casio summat or other back in the day and I mainly used it for simple samples I used to mix into vinyl deck work. With what I can do now with a laptop and a midi keyboard and decent vst amazes me and is taking my sounds in a completely different direction than I could do with just the acoustic guitar.

 

Good to know others of a similar age still have the bug!i

 

Thanks for sharing!!

 

 

Daz

 

PS yeah, the Smiths are shite... lol

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15 minutes ago, Dazzyt66 said:

Holy crap, you have had a similar life to me!! Lol I quoted this bit cos I really got hooked on Buggles too. I don't own it, but it makes me smile whenever I hear it on Absolute 80s. A couple of other songs around that time for me was Bowie - Space Oddity, Queen - We Will Rock You, Duran Duran - Planet Earth (I think this was the first single I ever bought on my own) and Ultravox - Vienna. There are loads more obvs.

 

I never used to mind 'performing' but I think as you get older it takes longer to take the plunge - but I love it when I'm doing it - I don't really think about the crowd that may be watching.

 

Regrets, I've had a few, too (hmmm, that might make a good lyric lol), mainly that I had learned to play guitar earlier and maybe joined a band in my teens, but those are minor in the big scheme of things. MIDI has also changed my life, I had a Casio summat or other back in the day and I mainly used it for simple samples I used to mix into vinyl deck work. With what I can do now with a laptop and a midi keyboard and decent vst amazes me and is taking my sounds in a completely different direction than I could do with just the acoustic guitar.

 

Good to know others of a similar age still have the bug!

 

Thanks for sharing!!

 

Daz

 

If you liked Buggles you should listen to their song - Elstree - it is amazing.

 

I think most people our age will have had similar experiences, just with different music. Some may have lived out part of their dreams and now want to go back there, or experience part of it again. I think as we get older, most people have regrets (yes, that would make a great lyric - might have to write a song round that;)) and it depends on whether they want to dwell on that or move forward and do something about it. I am hoping to do the something about it part.

 

John asked me a question a while back and it was, if I was given the chance, would I get up on stage and perform my music. I said no chance at first, but I am now thinking that given the right venue and if I could put a band together, then I would maybe give it a try. As I have got older, I don't seem to have the hang-ups I had when I was younger and I'm now at a stage, I don't care what people think when they look or talk to me, they either like me or they don't, life is too short to worry about all that shit anymore.

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4 minutes ago, Richard Tracey said:

 

If you liked Buggles you should listen to their song - Elstree - it is amazing.

 

I think most people our age will have had similar experiences, just with different music. Some may have lived out part of their dreams and now want to go back there, or experience part of it again. I think as we get older, most people have regrets (yes, that would make a great lyric - might have to write a song round that;)) and it depends on whether they want to dwell on that or move forward and do something about it. I am hoping to do the something about it part.

 

John asked me a question a while back and it was, if I was given the chance, would I get up on stage and perform my music. I said no chance at first, but I am now thinking that given the right venue and if I could put a band together, then I would maybe give it a try. As I have got older, I don't seem that have the hang-ups I had when I was younger and I'm now at a stage, I don't care what people think when they look or talk to me, they either like me or they don't, life is too short to worry about all that shit anymore.

Do it, do it, do it!!

 

I agree with the do something about it part too.

 

If I do the open mic and die on my arse I may rethink this of course... probably need to build some instrumentals into my stuff so I can tell jokes just in case...  😂

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2 hours ago, Dazzyt66 said:

Now, after a successful project management career, I am lucky enough to have retired at 51.

How lucky are you???

 

I haven't reached that age yet but I feel like retiring every single day in the hopes of pursuing a "silly dream"  (sigh).

 

 

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@Sreyashi Mukherjee I know, I'm very lucky, even more so that my wife is so supportive and lets me live my dreams 😀

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Great to have you here Dazzy66! I don't get to the new joins section as often as I should and I'm sure I probably missed you joining up.

 

Best wishes to you in your musical and life journey. I really think it's the public appearances that can help to keep a person going. It gives me vitality. I'm involved in a few things that keep me moving and I'm considering re joining another weekly session event. 

 

My goal right now is to learn over 100 Irish folk songs by memory by the end of the year. They are piling up fast. I find that the cross pollination of playing different styles helps in all of them.

Music is music, but it doesn't seem as much like that if I only stayed on one thing all the time. I literally had a scare on piano this past Sunday when I played it the sounds were all off tuning. As it turns out, there were papers laying on the strings of the grand piano. Apparently fell into the piano while I was playing it. Fun things like that happen sometimes :)

 

Age is only a number. I'm a soul with a body wrapper. I'm a young looking old, so I don't worry about it. Yes little things come along to remind me that I'm getting up there in age, but I don't let them get me down. If anything we have more freedom to decide what we want to do and don't want to do. The only limitation might be health at some point. Right now it isn't a limitation. If it ever becomes a limitation I'll find something else to do musically. 

 

I'm not retired yet, but my job allows me a lot of freedom, so in a way it's the best of both worlds.Maybe in 10 more years I'll retire, but it really doesn't seem to be limiting my ability to do what I want to do. I'm going through the process of adding onto my house and that will include a new garage/shop/studio. It was going to be a second garage but I think it's going to be a studio ; ) I'll finally be able to move from my smaller space to a larger space to play and record. I'm ok now to do what I need to do, but it will be nice to have the room to have the kind of organization a studio really needs.

 

For me though, its enough to meet and befriend  local musicians and play with them, make some of my own music and just enjoy the process. I know a lot of older people around here who can really play well. Old, young, there's plenty of talent around.

 

 

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On 25/09/2017 at 3:19 PM, starise said:

 

My goal right now is to learn over 100 Irish folk songs by memory by the end of the year. They are piling up fast. I find that the cross pollination of playing different styles helps in all of them.

There are some great songs in this list I imagine. Although I grew up in Birmingham my grandparents were Welsh/Irish so I grew up singing a few of these in home 'concerts' on a Sunday night as a child. A couple of my favourites are The Black Velvet Band and The Streets of New York. I love songs that tell a story (guess that's why I like country music too 😀). In fact I still listen to a good selection when I'm on a long drive somewhere! Two of the first songs I learned on guitar were The Fields of Athenry and the Wild Rover (the latter it's believed actually originates from Scotland temperance movements but is always played in live music bars in Ireland at some point). If you want a laugh have a listen to The Sick Note and Seven Drunken Nights (The Dubliners do great versions - the latter had the 7th night verse banned so you may only hear six lol).

 

I have to stop typing now cos the more I think the more I want to suggest!!! Maybe I'll start my own list!!! Lol

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25 minutes ago, Rob Ash said:

 

 

 

 

Greta post, Daz. I hope you get to achieve your dreams to the fullest extent.

 

Just so you know, however, your are NOT a member of the fraternity UNTIL you lose it on stage.

 

Be it falling off the stage, forgetting the lyrics, busting s string, any of a hundred thousand technical issues that could ruin your sound... equipment failures... hell, maybe even a fire. The bottom line is, you don't get to consider yourself a "made" man until you fully blow it on stage at least once.

 

And the more you bite the weeny, the better, because it will get the jitters out of your system. Especially if you manage to overcome the fall (metaphorical or otherwise) and go on to do a great show. There is nothing people like better than a come back story. Especially if they are there to witness it.

 

So forget all about those butterflies and just let it happen, bro. If you screw the pooch, you'll not only learn incredibly valuable lessons for the next time,  you'll also end up with at least one hell of a story to tell.

 

 

Oh, I've lost it a few times - Angels by Robbie Williams is a no no!! Lol And singing the Boys Are Back in Town with a live Karaoke band had bad BAD timing mistakes on my side. Sinatra saved my arse on both occasions! I better take a backing track of Thats Life with me... cos I am gonna do it at some point - hopefully before Xmas - so I'll keep ya'll posted...

 

Oh, I've just remembered when I had a guest DJ slot at a club in the 80's, leaned over the decks as I started and the whole lot toppled over!! The resident DJ was not impressed while we got it up set back up to laughter - I never got invited back lol got a good round of applause when I got the first record (yep, in the vinyl days) on. So thanks Rob, I dunno if I'm more scared now or know it can't be worse than that? Can it....? Lol...

 

...I suppose I could always START a fire as a distraction... lol

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3 hours ago, Dazzyt66 said:

There are some great songs in this list I imagine. Although I grew up in Birmingham my grandparents were Welsh/Irish so I grew up singing a few of these in home 'concerts' on a Sunday night as a child. A couple of my favourites are The Black Velvet Band and The Streets of New York. I love songs that tell a story (guess that's why I like country music too 😀). In fact I still listen to a good selection when I'm on a long drive somewhere! Two of the first songs I learned on guitar were The Fields of Athenry and the Wild Rover (the latter it's believed actually originates from Scotland temperance movements but is always played in live music bars in Ireland at some point). If you want a laugh have a listen to The Sick Note and Seven Drunken Nights (The Dubliners do great versions - the latter had the 7th night verse banned so you may only hear six lol).

 

I have to stop typing now cos the more I think the more I want to suggest!!! Maybe I'll start my own list!!! Lol

 

Dazzy, I wish I had more exposure to those kinds of songs early on. Lots of Scotland/Ireland music merges in places for sure.

My parents listened to country music and I grew up in a place where a bunch of it originated or close by. That and early gospel were what my mom liked.  Now we have the old country and the new country which can sound a lot like rock sometimes. They liked the old country. My dad frequented bars and took me in a few. There was always a country tune playing on the juke box.  I guess I never took naturally to it because it was "my parents" music. I have learned it's an aquired taste and now I like it at certain times. Almost takes me back to those memories now.

One of my uncles was actually a Gibson who was related to THE Gibson who created that guitar. He lived on the road playing country music.

The Irish music is big here if you know where to go.

I started of on the basics like 

The Kesh

The Swallowtail jig

Road To Lisdoonvarna

Morrisons

Cliffs Of Mohrer

The Hag At The Churn

 Went to some of the more difficult ones like

The Tarbolton

Star Of Munster

Stuff like that

Now I'm learning Polkas, hornpipes and some airs which are fun to play. 

 

There must be thousands once you get past the more common ones.

It's all fun!

 

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40 minutes ago, Rob Ash said:

 

Probably my best, told in short form:

 

Had long, Dee Snyder hair in the 80's. We were a glam metal band then. Pop metal and hard rock. We used to love to use flash pods. And risers. I was on a riser one night next to the drums on one side of the stage and decided to do this David Lee Roth type jump to the front of the stage. What I didn't know was that the crew had placed a particularly potent flash pod right behind that riser. I leaned back to sing a really high note and the pod went off, catching my hair on fire.
 

My girlfriend had a big Slurpy or a Dr. Pepper fountain drink with ice or whatever, which she promptly ran on stage with and dashed over my flaming head, putting the fire out. I just kept on singing. It was only later that I learned I'd burned the back of my hair away and would be wearing weaves, courtesy of my girlfriend, on stage for the next four months while it grew back in.

 

The crowd, thinking the whole thing to be just a part of the show, applauded wildly, but otherwise let me burn.

 

 

Now THAT is rock n roll my friend! Great story!!

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