Okay so here it is … my story so far.
I started playing guitar when I had just turned fourteen. It was actually the Beatles that first turned me on to music but as I grew my musical tastes broadened. I spent most of my teenage years playing in lots of bands and spending many hours in sweaty rehearsal rooms and playing to half interested audiences in lots of dark dingy venues – if you’re a musician yourself I’m sure you have done the same. As my musical tastes broadened I got into Blues, Funk, Jazz, Rock and Fusion. I actually spent most of my early years as the rhythm guitarist and singer with only the occasional noodle on lead guitar. But the more I played the more people started to comment on my guitar skills. So I focused on the guitar more and before long I became completely obsessed. I started practising for six hours plus everyday, listening to all kinds of guitar players, and took some lessons with notable guitar tutors such as Alan Limbrick (Joan Armatrading, Mike Oldfield), John Etheridge (Stefan Grappelli, Soft Machine, Andy Summers)) and Shaun Baxter (The Jazz Metal guy) at The Guitar Institute in London (now called The Institute of Contemporary Performance I believe). I was seriously on a mission and nothing was going to stop me.
During my early years I became really good friends with drummer Darrin Mooney who now plays for Primal Scream and has played drums for Gary Moore, Bonnie Tyler, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Josh Smith and various other rock and pop acts (okay, enough name drops!). We are still really tight and he played drums for me on my first two albums. Back then we were both determined to make it as session musicians and I used to dream of being like Steve Lukather – playing sessions on all the hit records with all the great artists. But even back then something was telling me Darrin was more determined to take that path than me. Why? Well I had this other burning desire that just wasn’t going away and, if anything was getting much stronger. I wanted to make my own music and reach out and touch people with it. Eventually I had to conclude I was not just a session player. I was a music artist and I had to be true to my heart.
So Darrin and I took different paths with Darrin going on to achieve great things in the session world and me being determined to get established in a good band where I could flex my songwriting muscles as well my guitar skills. I went on to spend many years working away in the hope that I could land that perfect combination of band and songwriting expression. At first I struggled big time. I got involved a few bands but most turned out to be going nowhere and very rarely getting paid for anything. For a while I started to regret my decision but all the while that music in my head kept building up and I knew I had to find a way to get it out. After a lot of trial and error I did eventually manage get a reasonably successful band up and running with regular shows. One thing led to another. Through the singer in that band I got the opportunity to go to Australia for a year and play in a really busy rock band. This was a total blast. Great gigs with big audiences and some even better after show partying – a real education in rock n roll if you know what I mean!
After returning to the UK I actually took a break from music and went back to school. I started to struggle to get music work despite getting some great auditions with Luke Goss and a nineties soul band called The Pasadenas (both of which went really well ironically) but I just didn’t fit the picture they were looking for. Somewhat disillusioned I enrolled at the University of Southampton and embarked on thee years of study for a degree in Archaeology. I never did well at school when I was a kid despite knowing I had the ability and so decided it was a good time to prove that point to the world – and, more importantly, to myself. It worked. I passed with First Class honours.
I was all set to get a ‘proper’ job and put my music dreams behind me. But … no matter how hard I tried to ignore it the music in my head just would not stop pushing its way to the surface. This was clearly my calling in life whether I liked it or not. So I knew I had to start again. But this time on my own terms. I was going to do it alone.
I started focusing on my own songwriting. All instrumental guitar music to start with. I had a point prove about my guitar playing and was determined to get it off my chest. I wrote, recorded and produced my first album entitled The Time Has Come in 2004. Twelve instrumentals with lots of guitar ‘showing off’ and experimentation. When I look back now I had a lot to learn but somehow my efforts started get a little attention.
I managed to get some of the music used in radio commercials, for online slot machines, low key media projects, computer games and one of the tracks, Just Another Wibbly Bibbly, has been used as the theme for a roller-coaster. On top of all that I managed to get myself a pretty profitable teaching career with all kinds of guitar players coming to me for lessons. I was getting asked to play in a variety of bands, occasional studio sessions and have even found myself playing in a theatre production. To top it all the British guitar manufacturer ‘Vintage’ asked me to endorse their guitars. My reputation was building.
Spurred on by the positive reaction to my first album I decided to make another. This time with vocals. This was for two reasons. Firstly, you know how when you get so used to hearing a successful instrumental artist perform it kind of feels weird or even awkward if they start singing something? Well, I figured I need to get the singing thing in before people really start to associate me with just the guitar. Secondly, I had so much to say that needed words. So out came The Horne Supremacy which I realised as two ‘sides’ in 2007 and 2009. I figured that like when we all bought LPs each side was like a separate journey which we can no longer experience since the invention of the CD so if I separated them in time it would give the same vibe (there wasn’t supposed to be that much gap in time between the two sides but my wife and I had a couple of kids in between). Fortunately, people took well to my vocals and the album went down well with the fans that I had. So onto make a third I thought. It took me a while but managed to get Rock n Roll Ltd released in 2014. By then I was starting to get the hang of this recording and producing thing and now in 2020 I’m in the middle of making my next release. Watch this space for news on that.
I currently spend most of my time playing shows when I can, playing sessions when they come up and managing a hectic guitar teaching schedule. But my main occupation is still trying to satisfy that music that keeps filling my head and won’t go away – I’m happy to say!
Thank you for taking an interest in me and my music and if you’ve had the chance to listen to my music thank you for letting me share it with you. It means a great deal to me.