a Punk Painter
I just looked at the about me page on this site and thought, "That tells people just about nothing". So. Here we go.
I was born in Belfast Royal Hospital and by the time I was six, we had moved to Garvagh. Just before the 66 final my Father took up a position at Dupont in London and my Mother was a PA at Conocco. We moved to Luton where I attended Hart Hill and Stopsley schools. When I was fourteen Mum spotted an old farm building in Pulloxhill, Bedfordshire which the whole family renovated. It was built in 1620 and from that time till this day I have had a love of historical Architecture and the countryside. I was tall for my age and got into numerous scraps at Stopsley. When I arrived home with a broken nose my Mother said "Right ! you are moving!". My Mother is a very strong Woman, the first Female Recreation Centre Manager in the UK. So I was off. Public school was a shock to the system. Bedford School was expensive and my parents had to manage the funds to make it possible for me to attend as a 'Day Boy'. The 'O' Level curriculums of Stopsley and Bedford didn't tie in so I was allowed to use the time to study any of my preferred subjects. I, of course, chose Art and the rest is History. Well not really. I got enough qualifications to go on to Art School but like many at the time, Rock and Roll became a driving force in my life. I started playing guitar when I was eleven and when I reached the the age of sixteen I had been been in many bands and written and recorded many songs . When I went to Barnfield College , Luton for my Fine Art Foundation Course. I had my own band along will pals from Bedford School. We were gigging regularly. It wasn't unusual for me to be in several bands at the same time and in my first week at art college I met a guy called Michael Austin. We decided to put together a punk/rock band with his friend Dave Wardhill and the drummer from my band Mick Harvey. We practiced in my house and at the local village hall. We arranged a gig at Ampthill School youth club and met one afternoon in 77 to decide on a band name. We all wrote out words that we thought could form a catchy part of a band name and put them in a bowl ( the David Bowie technique) each of us then pulled out a word and rearranged them. During the afternoon we came up with 'Spandau Ballet'. We were really happy with the new name and it was used in a poster and a banner for the Ampthill youth club gig. In a few years another band borrowed our name and never gave it back.
to be continued........