TechnologyTechnology has developed at a huge speed since c.1957 when my parents won a third dividend on the Pools (c.£200) and bought our first tv set, which only had one channel - BBC! Several neighbours came round to see it! The first FA Cup Final I watched was Man U v Aston Villa (1957). Also, I remember my grandfather brought back from holiday a “mobile phone” which were not available in UK then! I took it into school! Even teachers at my school were amazed!
Our Dreams When young, we are often influenced by our upbringing. I had a piano tutor and started learning how to play a piano from 7 years of age. Later when I was 11, my grandfather brought back an acoustic guitar from a holiday in Cuba, which he gave to me! I taught myself using Bert Weedon’s book “Play in a Day”. My parents paid to have some of my early song compositions recorded at a Newport studio and then a disc printed of two of the songs (see opposite) ………………..
Pop Music How music has changed! My parents loved singers like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. My cousins had one of the early 78 rpm gramophones which had to be wound up with a handle to make the disc rotate. However, the main influence for the music revolution of the late 50s (ie Rock ‘n Roll) came from black musicians like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis & Bo Diddley. Many American radio stations at this time would not even play music by Afro-Americans, but from the mid-1950s onwards the biggest pop star was Elvis Presley. My own songwriting began around 1960. There’s two early samples opposite.
Click on images to hear a relevant audio track -Unfortunately, some old recordings are poor quality
“The Dream” & “You’ve Gotta Fight” c.1964 -Dave’s first vinyl record (Click on photo below)
“In a Million Years” c. 1965
“Grandfather’s Reunion” c.1968
“I Had A Girl” c. 1965
“You Are Mine” c. 1965
“Crazy World” new version recorded 2015 (Originally recorded 2006 with students from Canon Palmer School)
“Free Again” c.2004 Sung by my best friend, the late Paul McDonough
“There’s a War Going On c.” 2006 Sung by Omari Ramsay and other students from Canon Palmer school
“Peace on Earth” 2004 Sung by Frazer Downie, Dave & students from Canon Palmer School
My Apology Firstly, I wish to apologise for my generation’s huge errors back in the 60s and 70s! Like millions of other people in the UK and the Western world, we believed in the Capitalist Dream that wealth would “trickle down” from the rich to everyone. We were wrong! It doesn’t! That’s why we now have billionaires while others are so poor!
Wars The world is in a mess!
I remember joining the protests against the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003! Look what’s happened since then with terrorism everywhere! Blair and Bush should be in prison!
Since then, the Cold War has once more reared its ugly head, this time related to the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine which was annexed by Russia in 2014! Did you know that all along the East European border with Russia there are now thousands of troops and weapons?
As if that wasn’t enough, there are now allegations that elections in America and other countries were interfered with by harvesting data from millions of Facebook users by British company Cambridge Analytica! The latest crisis involves our UK government expelling Russian diplomats, alleging that an ex-Russian spy who defected to the UK was poisoned by a Russian military-grade nerve agent! Since then another 23 countries have also expelled Russian diplomats! Russia is retaliating! What’s next?
I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, ending on the 28th October 1962, standing in my school’s hall with other students, waiting for the nuclear war to begin between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies! A similar situation is happening now!
Addiction is a major problem! We humans can become addicted to almost anything - drugs, alcohol, smoking, mobile phones/tablets, the internet, certain foods/drinks, sugar, sports, television, gambling, fashion, sex………..etc.
I admit I am an addict, (particularly to watching football)! However, I do believe that cannabis should be legalised as research proves it is less dangerous than alcohol and should be available in shops rather than from dealers who often sell really dangerous drugs as well!
“Addicted” c. 2009 from Dave’s Album “The Meaning of Life”
“If We Could Start Again” (sung by Chinazam Nwokonkor & Omari Ramsay from Dave’s musical “Is This Really Britain (2007)
Social Class There are still many people who remember the old social classes of the 60s - the Upper Class (Royalty, Lords, Aristocrats, Land Owners), the Middle Class (Teachers/Lecturers, Doctors/Nurses, Social Workers, Fire Fighters, Police etc) & the Working Class (Labourers. Factory workers, Painters/Decorators etc). Now we have the Super Rich, the old Upper Class and the Rest of Us! The Tories have cut funding to the old Middle Class (Public Services) so much there is now a funding crisis for Schools, Hospitals, Police, Fire Fighters and Social Workers!
EmploymentThe number of people unemployed or on “Pay as you go” contracts in the UK is now at a record high! Technology, automation and cheap imports are threatening our factories (eg Port Talbot Steelworks); part-time contracts are rife (eg Uber) and wages in real-terms have fallen since 2010! Never mind the result of Brexit!