There was this horse, Ballydor, whom every time he had to go in his own paddock each evening, he would play up – rock his head up and down, leaving his tongue out and sweating. The vet was sent for, but he could find nothing wrong. The vet said it could be something psychological. So unbelievably, Ken got in a Horse shrink and they found out that Ballydor did not want to be alone in his paddock. From that day on, he had a goat in his paddock and everything was fine and dandy. But I did not belong in the racing world. The need for my music became stronger, much stronger. It was the only thing that made my heart SING.
So I was on my way home, to re-charge. This time ‘I’ will decide what ‘I’ want to do. Fathers always think they know best for their son and usually, they are genuinely just trying to help. But its not always the case, as I found out for myself. I learnt that you should always follow your own dream and never give in, no matter what. If you have that something special, or the determination, stay patient and follow through. Sooner or later something comes up to get you to the next level, just believe in yourself….
There is another short story about my father; he was often like a sergeant major to me and I was afraid of him. He was very strict with me and he used to hit me. Probably because I was quite a live wire – (maybe it was all those ‘vitamin booster injections I was receiving from the family Doctor). Perhaps he felt a little let down that I wasn’t anywhere near as tall as he was. But I found out that he had been carrying on with another woman, behind my mother’s back. My mother idolised him. She found out through a friend that not only was he going with someone else, but he had a child with her too. He lost my respect for him completely. It totally destroyed my mother, who never really got over it. She never re-married either. She, my sister and myself became much closer together. Though, with my father gone, mother was more lenient with me and let me buy a 2nd hand full drum kit because I had good rhythm and did not want to waste anymore time. This was the beginning of my musical destination. I could not afford drum lessons, but determined as I was, I taught myself and studied band drummers on every level. The 1970’s brought in a different brand of players: Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Queen and Electric Light Orchestra. There were enough great rock bands around now. There were some unhappy times too; I remember the Beatles breaking up around April / May time and tornadoes killing hundreds of thousands of people abroad.
Thankfully I was lucky with my neighbours and I could practice playing my drums in my bedroom at the back of house. The neighbours one side of our house were never really in and the old guy living on the other side was almost deaf, but loved music (He had a record player, but only the 45rpm speed would work, not the 33!). I made a deal with him, he didn’t mind my practicing. He loved and had many military record albums, but could not play them so I played them loud on my machine with my bedroom window wide open (when mother wasn’t around). He would stand outside in his garden, listen and reminisce. It worked out well between us. It wasn’t long before my drum practices carried across the Sports field to the ears of a young lead guitarist, who had just broke up with his band.
Story continued in next blog post…