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I've lost count of the amount of times people have said to me "what a great story, you should write a book about them all!"
My website is attempt to address this in a small way before they're forgotten, and also to provide a chronological journey of my life as a bassist in some of the craziest and most influential bands of the last 25 years. There's much more to tell, and I will regularly be adding to the stories and pics as and when I recall another event. Scurrilous, scandalous, perhaps unbelievable - they're all true. This is the just a start...


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Ottawa, 2000a

In 1998 I had a tough desicion to make. Some years earlier I had developed tinnitus, which I tried my best to ignore. Against good advice I continued to tour, which, unsurprisingly, made it much worse. To add to the problem I was tutoring music workshops between tours, and eventually it got so bad I couldn't sleep. Its hard giving up something you love doing, especially if it's also your life, but it had to be done, and believe me I tried everything - earplugs, maskers, alternative therapies, gin, the lot! At least I've got it thru' music - most of the poor sods at the tinnitus clinics had ruined their hearing by working in mines or steel mills all their lives.

So I have channeled my energies into new areas. I formed Mischief, initially as a studio and songwriting project. I resumed teaching the bass guitar privately, and I took on a variety of projects for Community Music Wales, principally in South Wales where I live, but also taking me to Ottawa and Amsterdam.

I'm also working as a Mentor for CMW on the New Deal for Musicians scheme for 18-25 year olds. They get to record in a professional studio, help with gigs, get CD's pressed up, learn about all aspects of the music industry and last but not least the benefit of my priceless advice! We even have our own record label, Complete Control Music, and some great bands have gained exposure including
Tetra Splendour (now signed to EMI) and newcomers Jarcrew.
I get to travel about, visit studios, A+R some great bands, and help aspiring musicians as much as I can. It is a logical extension of many post-gig chats with punters in bands - hey Paul, do I need a manager, how do you get a tape heard, how can I best market my band, what does a publisher do, why are there so many dodgy drummers etc. Two bands I've worked with in this way have recently signed major deals too - the Lost Prophets to Columbia and The Kennedy Soundtrack to Sony. Check 'em out!

Indirectly this has also involved mentoring for the
Princes Trust and the Musicians Union who have shed their old beardo image and have some excellent resources online.

In 1999 I got together with Alan Lee Shaw, another ex - Damned-ite. We hit it off, retired to my attic studio with much beer and emerged a while later with some pretty damn good tunes.
I roped in my old mate Jim Simpson (from UFO) with me and checked into Paul Durant's funky Grassroots Audio Zone to record. Suddenly it was fun again! And now you can buy it you lucky lucky people!!

"HUBBLE BUBBLE" now available from www.ndnrecords.com

email


For loads of info and sneak audio previews check out our website at
www.mischief-music.com.


Music Links

 

The Limit Club
Steve Seitz's fab unofficial site, including an interview with yours truly

Neat Damned Noise
Buy the Mischief album and more excellent stuff here!

Official Damned
Mark Orbit's megasite

The Damned
Aussie Damned fan site

Gabi's Official Hotrods Site
A labour of love and everything you need to know

Nick's Hotrods Site
New fansite, lotsa good stuff

Strangers In The Night

Irreverent UFO site

UFO
Dave Woods' UFO pages

Misty Green and Blue

Mike Pincher's UFO site

MC5
Excellent resource, great links, with html I've been trying to rip off for ages...

Yukiko Akagawa's MC5 website
Download Jap font pack for best results!

Johnny Thunders Cyberlounge
Masses of info and links on JT and the New York Dolls

Cheap Trick
Groovy site from one of my fave bands, check out the 8 string bass!

Motorhead
The Official site

Paul Chapman
My old UFO muckers site with plenty of excellent Q +A's, plus loads of history

Other Links

Annoyances.org
Excellent resource for getting rid of those Windows annoyances, especially XP.

The Who
Say no more...

 

Updates
July 25
Excellent tracks laid down with Free Peace Sweet last week with my co - producer Rob Reed. Mixing to be done when I get back from holiday - Hayley and I are off on the big silver bird tonight to Zanzibar, aka Spice Island for a few weeks. Expect some interesting music related news upon my return!

July 14
Had a long, happy ,rambling message from Paul Chapman on my ansaphone today - I suspect he had been at the old sauce over in Florida - informing me to take a look at his website as it was officially Paul Gray month! Theres a rather fetching photo of us all outside the Airport at Athens, prior to our return back to blighty.
Also check out Strangers In the Night, a bizzare UFO site run by the aptly named Batttttty, who sent me reams of questions collected from the UFO newsgroup to answer. They take up 2 whole pages and there's some really interesting ones there so take a look! Plus its worth seeing her "Uggerly Wall", and it'll get her hits up , bless her.

July 3
Well what a gig last night at The Riverside in Newport. The new revamped Free Peace Sweet played an absolute blinder - it they ain't stars in the making I'll eat my hat if I had one. New singer Ash is a find in a million. It's not often you see so many grinning faces and an empty bar area cos everyone was too into watching the band - yep folks, they were that good! Reminded me of the Hot Rods vibe when we started playing pubs in '76!
WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Plus a "Single of the Month" review today too for the Mombomb / Comic Book Heroes split single I helped organise - two excellent grunge / punk bands. I have to admit to an extra interest here as I produced the CBH trax. They're up in Londinium to guest on Malcome Dome's TotalRock radio prog on monday 8 June at 9pm - take a listen and check out their website - eets crazee!!

June 30
After using a '73 Precision bass on my last lot of home demos for The Damned that I foolishly sold, I've been on the lookout for a replacement, and I've just found one. My mate Craig (who also gets a namecheck below) and who knows everything there is to know about basses has found me a slab body '79 P bass. Origionally Olympic white, its now faded to what I can only describe as a lovely nicotine stain yellow! Rosewood neck as well - never really gone for maple. Most importantly its got that lovely growl that certain old P basses have. And now its mine!
Talking of demos, I have some tracks recorded on my portastudio from 1993 - 1997 that have never seen the light of day. Most were recorded with The Damned in mind, but obviously never got round to being used. I may try to upload one as an mp3 or something in the future...you lucky people you...

perle bleue отзывы
Проверьте!
http://www.laboutiquebienetre.fr/ru/perle-bleue/
http://neofossen.com/nl/
Controleer!
http://neofossen.com/nl/

 

 

June 30
Pino Palladino stepping into The Ox's shoes for the US tour eh? Sheesh...to me that ain't The Who...this from alt.binaries.who newsnet sums it up for me:
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend were in a minor car accident
today in Las Vegas. Both suffered very minor injuries yet will not be able
to tour. But
an announcement
from the Who Spokesman at Trinifold Ltd. said the Who tour would go on as
scheduled without them.
Also Rosemary Clooneys' tour is going on as planned.

June 28
Well, what can I possibly say apart from that I'm absolutely shocked...my bassmeister mate Craig Addeccott called me early this morning to impart the news about John Entwistle's death - the greatest bass player in the world, ever, period. If it wasn't for John, you wouldn't be reading this website, and I wouldn't have had the career I've had. Go and get "Live at Leeds" play it loud, and marvel. You ain't never gonna hear the likes of those basslines ever again.
God bless.

April 19
A few Hoegarden's at Le Pub in Newport last night to see new drum 'n' bass matal band TRIP. I'm mentoring bassist Jason in the wonderful workings of the music industry. They were just great and if there's any justice in the world they'll be on the front cover of Kerrang! this time next year. Check out their own label website www.tripwirerecords.co.uk for some fab mp3 downloads!

March 4

To The Point last night to see Mountain. What a band, and one of the best gigs I've ever seen - Felix Pappalardi (RIP) was a bassist of huge influence on me - take a listen to "Dreams of Milk and Honey" from Flowers Of Evil, guitar, drum and bass interactions don't come any better. When I played the Knebworth Fayre with UFO in 1985 they were on the same bill and were great then, but last night just knocked me out. Corky Laing is probably the best rock drummer alive today, and guitarist Leslie West was just awesome , as our friends across the pond say. Thoroughly recommended, witrh the old tinnitus it takes a lot to keep me at a gig for 3 hours I tell ya!

January 9
Mr Gray is about to become a DJ! Well I haven't quite decided yet but last night, down at The Barfly in Cardiff to see Drivedog I was asked if i wanted to do a DJ set of the records that influenced me for a Punk Week type thing. After a few pints of Stella it sounded like a great idea but when I woke up this morning I realised there was probably more to it than bunging a record on the turntable. Watch this space...

January 24
A razzy night down at the lovely Coal Exchange again to see the Lost Prophets. Seriously good, and any band who had hordes of screaming teenies moshing upfront has to get my vote. Guitarist Lee Gaze, who I was mentoring last year, spotted me at the side of the stage, grinned, and did some weird hand signal at me. I dunno, kids today, when I were a lad it was the good old V sign and nowt else...supporting was Jarcrew who are coming along something lovely...

January 5
Just got back from spending the New Year in Prague. Wonderful place. Seeing Mozart's "Requiem" in the Baroque Smetana Hall was a highlight. They've obviously never heard of heath & safety rules, on New Years Eve the central square was jammed with 1000's of people chucking bangers at each other and firing off rockets in their hand. The air was raining down with debris, bloody mad the lot of 'em! Bloody freezing too, and tried to keep warm by imbibing a steady stream of Gluwien from the Xmas stalls. I can also thoroughly recommend the local beer called Gambrinus! The Hotel Waldstein can be well recommended too - a 16th century marvel nestling under the castle walls.

December 18
Spent the day with tech wizard Rob Reed in his studio mastering the MISCHIEF album. I've gotta say it sounds great - we've got the levels up by 20% so be prepared for some serious speaker pumping!!

December 7/8
Hangover from the previous nights notwithstanding, up to Loco Studios near Usk for two days helping out New Deal starters Free Peace Sweet. They just won the Smirnoff - sponsored Battle of the Bands competition over 75 others - can't be bad! A band to develop over the coming months, and subsequently one to watch.

December 6/7 2001

Two nights of partying down at the first Welsh Music Awards at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay. First night was rock & pop, and despite being a great idea that was very well supported guest and industry wise, it was a shame more of the award winners didn't show or even send a delegate on their behalf. So it was hats off to Tetra Splendour and especially the Lost Prophets for both turning up and playing absolutely blinding sets, and not forgetting those who gave tham a hand on the way up.
On the Dance Music night every single winner except Paul Oakenfold turned up, and even he managed to send a video thank-you to the voters. It was a more united, friendly and less cliquey atmosphere than the bnand night, with a real sense of occasion - a lesson to be learnt methinks

October 17 2001
Appeared on a panel at a seminar for the Radio 2 Live in Cardiff thing, called "Is there life for musicians over 30", with the very nice Janice Long and Tommy Hingley from The Inspiral Carpets. Time was when I thought over 20 was pushing it! We had a good old waffle to the assembled, er, masses and decided as we'd all managed to stay alive after 30 there very much was. "Its a bit like fish fingers" quoth I. "Just because Findus has been making them for donkeys years doesn't mean to say they've got to give up and let someone else have a go!" which went down very well. We all agreed, however, that if Phil Collins stepped down the world would be a much better place, which went down even better. Discussed selling CD's online thereby avoiding ludicrously low record company royalties and it looks like I'll be putting the MISCHIEF cd out this way very soon.