As many of you know I achieved my pilots wings on 7th August 2007.
I decided I wanted to be a pilot as far back as when I was five years old. I used to watch the Vampire's, Meteor's, Canberra's and Chipmonk's fly over my home in awe.
I was involved in my teens with building and flying model aircraft which gave me so much pleasure. Then music came along! The aircraft took a back seat until I was 55 years of age.
Angie gave me five one hour lessons in a Microlight for my 55th birthday. I was HOOKED.
I bought and studied all the books necessary to pass the five exams needed. That coupled with many hours of flying ensured I passed when taking my final GST test.
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I suppose the most frequent question I get asked is “why did you choose to play the steel guitar?”
The story starts in the 80’s when ‘Southern Breeze’ were about to cut their first LP. Our singer, Pete Geary, said he wished there could be steel on the album. We had all had a few beers and I told him, “you buy it, I’ll play it”.
A week later we got together to rehearse and I could not believe my eyes, Pete had bought one. My task now was to get it out the box, learn to tune it and play it. I contacted a couple of steel players I knew and asked for any help they could give me BUT I was virtually told to buy a book. I was on my own!
I spent hours and hours listening to American steel players, mostly Ralph Mooney. After a lot of trials and mostly errors I managed to learn the basics and even though I had only had the guitar for 6 weeks before cutting the album I managed to squeeze in a couple of tracks with steel guitar. I must point out I only used 5 chords and 2 pedals.
From there I progressed and now have a style of my own and feel extremely comfortable playing my Carter. But I am still learning every day. Between the Sho-
My favourite guitars are the Bennett and the Carter. I’m now practicing on Bagpipes…..you think I’m joking!