I got into music when my aunt gave me an old white gloss painted semi acoustic when I was about 14. It was a really bad guitar but I got to grips with it and learned a few chords. First album I bought was Electric Warrior by T Rex and I started getting serious when I bought Machine Head by Deep Purple and started slowing down the tracks, on a brand new radiogram that my parents had just bought and learning the guitar solos. I also started learning things Brighton Rock by Queen. By then I was playing with a 10p piece on a Gibson Les Paul that I bought for about £250. I wish I still had it!
2 – Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?
As many people know I have had two music careers. The first from 14 to 23, the second from 2011 to now. I didn’t play in-between for thirty years.
At the age of 19 I had a record deal and i guess my music was influenced by Elvis Costello and Squeeze. The deal was with a company called Genetic Records, but they folded six months later so I carved out a career as an assistant engineer in recording studios. At the age of 23 I was working as an assistant engineer in the West Indies for Air Studios Monserrat. I was working on an Elton John album and I crashed a car on a day off. I drove the car off the edge of a steep slope and ended up upside down in a mango tree. I was bleeding to death but was rescued by an off duty cop who saw the headlights of the car in the tree as he drove past. I nearly died but worse still!! ….I had badly damaged my left hand. I had severed all the tendons and had to have many operations back in the UK to put in false tendons. Unfortunately it was a new procedure and the tendons they fitted were too short leaving my hand like a paddle. It wasn’t until I bought a Harley Davidson and used its heavy clutch lever for 14 years that I realised the bike had brought the hand back to life. So yeah, I went thirty years without playing. I started again in May 2011 and started the Cowboy Hat project just two years ago in 2011.
In those 30 years, I didn’t listen to much music. I wasn’t interested. But as soon as I started playing again I did a lot of catching up. But the music I have listened to in the last three years has been mostly contemporary stuff. Main influence? Jack White, Jack White, Jack White. I just find whatever he is doing either with the White Stripes, Dead Weather, Raconteurs or solo, it’s all interesting. He is the saviour of Rock as Esquire magazine once labelled him. Others, well maybe Ron Sexsmith and The Rival Sons.
3 – How long have you been playing/writing?
Again two careers 14 to 23 ……….and then 2011 to 2014 the Cowboy Hat phase. So musically that makes me only 26!
4 – How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?
I have a new band. We’ve just started playing together. We should be ready to play in a couple of weeks and we will be doing the Camden, Soho originals circuit soon. We’re looking forward to doing a lot of gigs in 2014. Watch the gig listings for more info.
5 – What has been your favourite moment in music?
The release of the debut album June 3 A History of the American West and Other Stories. After what I’ve been through it is a monumental effort and result. I am really proud of the album and I have two more albums worth of equally strong material that I am ready toy release. I want to get to that 5 album landmark. I think that’s the point as an artist where you really know what you’re doing. The music is focussed and mature.
6 – Where is the best place to find you online?
We have a website www.cowboyhat.tv and there links below:
Cowboy Hat and That Fuzzbox Voodoo