Now, I think this picture was taken in 1982, so that’s like a billion years ago!
I’m in my bedroom at my childhood home in Essex and if you look carefully, you can see my Atari 2600 games system (look it up kids) and even my white cat-face pyjama case! Cute, right?
The bass I’m playing was my first instrument, a Kay EB100 bass. Made in Japan, it was a cheap and cheerful model to get me started and I loved it, despite the fact that the strings were so high above the fretboard you could park a bus under there! My parents wanted to get me started but were reluctant to buy anything too expensive in case my attention wandered onto the next shiny thing and the bass became an expensive door stop.
I played this bass every spare second of every day! In this photo, I can see my school rugby shirt under my school jumper and the slightly wayward nature of my hair ( I did have some once) suggests I’ve just got home from a rugby game and am getting a few hours of practice in before reluctantly dragging myself into the bath. I say reluctantly because I wanted to continue with my practice, not that I was a reluctant bather!
I had a small Laney practice amp in my room and all of my spare time was taken up learning Madness songs. I bought every new release that came out and and I even had the music books which, despite not being able to read music at that time, taught me all the bits that weren’t obvious to my ears. Mark ‘Bedders” Bedford of Madness is still my idol and my biggest influence.
The Kay bass was to make way for my first ‘proper’ instrument, a Fender Squier Jazz in 1984. White with a tortoise-shell scratchplate, she became my first gigging bass. I now began playing occasionall with my dad’s jazz-funk band as well as the school band ‘Injustice’, The Prudential Youth Swing Band and it’s jazz-funk side project “Quality Club’. You could say I had a pretty diverse entry into the music business.
The Squier Jazz gave way to a wonderful Jaydee Mark King model in 1987 which I still have the receipt for… £796 from Monkey Business Music in Southend!
I have had many basses since then but these 3 were the beginnings of my career and still hold a very big place in my heart. I wish I could’ve kept them but that’s not how we think at the time.
Categorised in: Bass guitar