The short version...
I got my first guitar at age 10, but didn't start playing seriously until I was nearly 15, an opportunity to play a few chords at a local jam session proved to be a pivotal moment in what was to become a life long passion.
My musical taste is pretty varied, I was inspired to play guitar after seeing Wet Wet Wet at the free concert at Glasgow Green in 1989. Along with Graeme Duffin, my influences include David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, Brian May from Queen, Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi also American instrumentalists such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Dave Weiner are a big part of the mix. I also enjoy listening to some modern pop, and has a soft spot for various contemporary female vocalists.
While becoming a member of the house band at the Cumbernauld jam session, an association that would be major part of my musical education for the next 10 years, I also started forming bands with school friends and other acquaintances. The most notable musical experience came from jam session friendship, and the band 'Feel' was formed, and while musically strong, the differing personalities in the band led to us going our separate ways in the late 90's. After a break and a brief reformation with some new members, it was decided that Feel should be left as a memory.
After taking a year or so away from live music, the Cumbernauld jam session was restarted in 2000 and ran successfully for about 2 years. Not long after this, my jam band days came to an end, as did a number of friendships that had endured over the years.
Having been cast out of the Cumbernauld musical community, I had began to explore other musical avenues, including attending various jam sessions in Glasgow and being introduced to a much larger, and far friendlier, musical community. It was also around this time that Jim Kielt (of Middle of The Road) suggested I should start teaching guitar.
The most significant effect of the jam session in Cumbernauld was the formation of rock band 'Speedtrap', we played regularly all over Scotland and beyond for over 7 years, coming to an end in 2009. Since 2016 the band has reformed for one-off reunion gigs at Christmas time.
Following on from acquaintances & frienships made with Speedtrap, I annuly teamed up with original Speedtrap vocalist Michael Marx, and took to the stage with 'The Big Shot Show Band', while not a permanent engagement, these gigs were a wonderful mix of performance and flamboyant showmanship, that, had you seen us, were an experience you wouldn't soon forget. Our normal UK engagment was at the Thistle hotel in Glasgow in the weeks leading up to Christmas beween 2005 & 2010, and a scaled down version of the band has performed several times in southern Spain.
A chance look at the fan forum on wetwetwet.co.uk in 2005 led to a new friendship with vocalist Al Devine who wanted to form a Wet Wet Wet tribute band. The band was named 'Picture This', and played together for about 2 years before splitting. An unexpected result of this was that I did a number of gigs with Bassist Paul Ross's band 'Independence', and after filling in regulary through 2007, joined the band in January 2008. Picture This reformed in 2012 and played a number of dates.
In 2011 I was introduced to the director of Madison Wedding Band and was asked to cover a single gig, this one off engagment led to several similar bookings in 2012 and eventually joining Madison in 2013.