As a child I spent most of my weekends with my grandad who just adored classical and jazz music, every weekend I stayed with my grandparents I spent hours with my grandfather, and we talked and listened to Jazz and classical, mainly the greats, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday Charles Mingus to name a few, and also I developed an appreciation of Vivaldi, Debussy, Satie, and Saint-Saëns
My grandfather's love of Jazz goes way back, in 1917 he joined the merchant navy and his ship was torpedoed not long before the end of the first world war, anyway the ship made it to Australia where he left the sip and spent 4 years travelling and working in different parts of Australia.
He then joined another merchant ship and sailed to Chile and over the next 3 or 4 years travelled around South America and eventually made his way to Rio de Janeiro. There he joined another merchant ship and sailed to New York, and the spark of music inside him burst into flames when he heard Jazz.
Fast-forward some 30 years and the baton was passed to me, when he took me my first live gigs at the age of 14/15, The Venue was the Brummel club in Bromley, London, it was an amazing experience for me entering the live music scene – just check out the set list of who played there.
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Jeff Beck Group
Sonny Boy Williamson
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Alan Price Set
David Bowie & The Lower Third
Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames
About a year or so later I also started going on my own to the El Partido club in Lewisham, that is where my love for black music really woke up inside me, early Bluebeat and SKA and for the only young white boy there, I was around 15 at the time it was just electric finding new sounds, new music and new friends who took me under their wings and even invited me to their family parties, other clubs and pubs and introduced me to Motown, Stax, Chess music, the fire was well and truly lit inside me and that fire still burns to this very day.
Brummel Club Bromley - https://www.setlist.fm/venue/bromel-club-bromley-court-hotel-bromley-england-4bd5c732.htm
El Partido club, Lewisham - https://garagehangover.com/el-partido-lewisham/
My Cousin Ray