The first photo I could find of me and Huw performing circa 1977. Hair by Black and Decker.
But then another conversation began about the description of me on my profile. 'Writer and artist and occasional songwriter' it says. 'What songs had I written?' I was asked. Well, nothing you'd have ever heard of. I've never had anything published or recorded. But, then again, I've never really tried. And probably with good reason ...I started writing songs back in the mid-1970s after my dad had taught me a few chords on the guitar. He taught me to play drums first of all, but drums were no use to me for songwriting. I needed some way to record the tune. And I had so many tunes and lyrics in my head. Being honest now, much of it was angst-ridden teen poetry that had appeared as soon as I became spotty and pubic. But writing poetry was always going to get me beaten up, so I called the poems 'lyrics' and thus became more credible. I still got beaten up occasionally but that was because I wore flares.
1978 - My Meat Loaf phase. Just 827 burgers to go.
I formed a strong friendship with Huw Williams whom I first met when we were about 13. He, like me, listened to Yes, Genesis, ELP, Argent and the Alex Harvey Band while many of our peers were still clumping their platform shoes to Gary Glitter and The Sweet. He was learning to play piano and bass while I was doing guitar and drums. We decided that we were the perfect songwriting team and, over the next 30 years, we've utterly failed to become particularly proficient in all four instruments. However, we have written over 200 songs. We still write to this day, but it's only relatively recently that we've thought about actually getting any of our songs recorded. So far we've 'laid down' (Ooh - get me and my rockstar lingo) two tracks. It's taken us three years, mind you, and neither of them are finished yet. But given our normal rate of progress (in terms of our musical careers), we're practically supersonic.So, despite the fact it's not quite finished - it needs some real drums, a few more horns, a solo and the vocals need to be recorded properly - I thought I'd share one of them with you. In kindness to Huw, I've chosen a song that I wrote back in 1994. Therefore, your cabbages, eggs and tomatoes need only be thrown in my direction. That said, the sound of the finished product is as much due to Huw as to me as he came up with the horny-sounding bridge and the overall arrangement. Clever chap, that Williams. Just throw soft fruit.
The song is called The Girl from Coverack and it's almost semi-autobiographical. However, it isn't about any one person; the young lady in question is an amalgam of four girls that I used to know. Back in school, I had a bit of a thing for two girls called Tracy and Andrea ... but I could never get near either of them. My looks may have had something to do with that. But I also had very little to offer a potential mate when compared to the sailor boys from the nearby naval station (RNAS Culdrose) who had cars and wages and fags. Consequently, my lusts (and finer sentiments) went unrequited. There was also a girl at school called Debbie who I did have a brief encounter with but who also then discovered the lure of the matelot. She, however, fell pregnant, got married and was soon swifted away to quarters in Portsmouth. That sort of put the mockers on any future relationship hope I might have had. Finally, there was a fourth girl - I can't honestly say that I was very fond of her - but she too married a sailor and moved away. My interest in using her for the song lies in the fact that, some years later, I discovered that she was working as a stripper in Plymouth. So I put all of these girls together and created the song.
1989 - Huw wondering if he can reach the third keyboard with his willy. Annoyingly, the answer is probably yes.
And the title? It's just a play on The Girl from Ipanema, nothing more. None of the girls in the song came from Coverack, which, if you didn't know, is a very pretty little Cornish fishing village on The Lizard, very near to where I grew up.
I've always been very pleased with the lyrics (which I hope are clear enough - if not, I'll post them up some time). I've also made up a little video to go with it. I hope you enjoy the song.