ABBA at Brighton Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, Myself and Fernando

My story: The Grand Hotel including the after show party.

Every time I listen to ABBA music or watch ABBA documentaries it always transports me back In time to one of the most remarkable nights I was so blessed to witness, an unknown band called ABBA winning the Eurovision song contest, let me share my evening with you.

In the early 70’s , being a fully dedicated musician in my band  ‘the USA band’ (I was the base guitarist and singer, aged 20 – see pictures on next page)

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Rolling Stone's 'Ruby Tuesday' performed by Bobby Ward

Arguably the finest arrangement and vocals since the original

A recent review taken from "More of a, "Jumping Jack Flash" type, it was only with Melanie's 1970 incredible rendition that I really took this beautiful song - and was privileged to hear her perform it at the Isle of Wight Festival that year (where her illustrious, artistic company, included the likes of Hendrix & the Who!!) Man, what an amazing difference Melanie's interpretation made to my earlier perception?!? Never, EVER felt the day would come when I'd be just as captivated with an updated execution of this masterpiece!! However, must take my hat off to you Bobby - AND I understand that the ageless Stones themselves have expressed their glowing approval?!? Furthermore as an ex-PE & Dance school teacher, I adore the simplicity of the video on the beach. Such a wonderful backdrop and performance adds an extra dimension to my continued enjoyment of your music!!!!" - Brian Ian Hamilton

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The Count of Monte Cristo Single - received in excess of 100,000 views on youtube to-date

Copyright, PRS and MCPS Protected.

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Rocking into the 90's With a little help from my friend Phil Collins from Genesis. Band no. 3. Artful Dodger

This modern world of social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook - the list is endless - the world of the net) I'm sure is good thing, but, nothing was more refreshing or welcoming than receiving a hand written letter, a postcard from abroad, something that someone put pen to paper - was really cool, and that's how it worked in the 90's. Amazing how we coped isn't it! No internet! Yet, the world got by just fine without it.

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Group portrait of the Beatles together with Brian Epstein and rare interior photographs of Kingsley Hill

Following my trip to Paris, I headed home knowing that I having the task of looking over back catalogues of my music correspondence relating to Phil Collins being my next blog following 'the Downing Street years'.

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A balmy summer in the 80’s at the Chateau d’Herouville

Recording at The Chateau d’Herouville, Pointiese Paris

Preparing my solo album was cathartic, it brought back so many memories of my very hedonistic days when I was involved with the Michael Schenker Group & recording my first single in a Sussex Studio and Air Studios in London – my band way back then was ‘Hayleys Comet’. I was requested to be at the Chateau in the balmy summer of 1981 and anyone reading this needs to google the volume of world-wide stars who have recorded there. It truly is unbelievable. I arrived in my new Daimler (see pic) which I was very proud of having become very successful as a session singer and musician.

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Band Name No. 2 - Hayleys Comet

The 80’s with Hayleys Comet

It was during the ‘80s after gigging round England that I decided to do a Paul McCartney “Wings” format  (destiny chose for us to meet some time later). Paul also wrote and composed a song called Another Day –which happens to be the name of a single off the debut album! I mention “Wings” because when Paul had formed this band following the Beatles split up he decided the only way to test the water (in my opinion a brilliant format) was to load up a van with his musicians and equipment and head up the motorway with no set venue booked. They stopped off at the first university they found. Paul walked in unannounced and asked if he could do a gig there. Being a bit surprised the university welcomed him. They set the equipment up, did a gig and that was the first the world heard of “Wings”! Anyway, it worked for him, so I thought I’d copy his idea and use the same format. Only I decided to do a mini tour in Europe. I managed to borrow my mate’s studios for free for a few months to get a good set list done.

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The Downing Street Years

My friendship with Mark Thatcher.

I phoned Mark up just after Margaret Thatcher left Downing Street to ask him how she was and his reply was “she’s taken it really badly”, so I had to think hard on what I should release of my Downing Street years. Out of respect for the late PM and her family I have decided to give a couple of humorous stories only as the friendship was built out of confidentiality and trust and therefore I believe it should remain so.

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Bob Dylan 'Like A Rolling Stone' - My Journey

I had to think of a suitable film for this song - it wasn’t that difficult. As it so remined me of my teenage years. I was actually homeless myself for a brief period in my late teens – (early photos of me (depicted in the video and shown above) as an 18-year-old sums up how lonely I was!) so I could easily relate to the words Bob Dylan wrote. I too slept in squats or bedsits yes even the odd bench sharing the floor or squats of musician friends who I mixed with and if I got lucky a sofa for the night or a blanket. One must remember in the early 60s most of us up and coming musicians were frowned upon anyway and we were seen as long-haired dropouts – a nuisance to society (how things have changed!) I vividly remember being very lonely and hungry most of the time whilst struggling to keep body and soul together my best friend being my guitar.

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