What started all this? Well, at the grand old age of 16, i decided I either wanted to be a spy or a rock star... and i don't like getting shot at... So after years of doing the 'sensible job' stuff, I decided if i didn't try, I'd never know... I'd written poems and things for years, and I loved music and had sung for years, but I wanted to do more - so i tried to find a course that would teach me how to write a hit song. Imagine my surprise when i couldn't find any... Next I approached some musos I knew and asked them if they'd put music to my stuff... but they were usually busy working on their own stuff. So, in the end, I thought 'hey, it's my song, why don't I write the music?' Of course, I had to learn how to play guitar first... (as the stuff I like has got lots of guitars, I figured it would be better learning how to write with one). That wasn't as hard as it sounds. I learned a few basic chords and then went along to see Richard Lara, who's shown me lots of interesting things you can do with a guitar. I've got my own - an Epiphone Les Paul Special, which is black, and I think, possessed. You can see my guitars here. Influences? Aha, the dreaded influences question!! Well, I don't know so much about influencing, but I certainly listen to these people a lot. I'll try and say why. The Screaming Jets An amazing Oz Rock band. They deserve the capital letter. Better than anti-depressants, and heaps more fun than speed. (Not that I'd know) A truly great Rock band that deserves good things to happen to them. Buy their stuff, listen to their albums, I know you'll agree. Nice blokes, too. Acetone Another amazing Rock band. These guys hail from the central coast of New South Wales... I actually met their drummer, Gavin, at a Jets show - he gave me one of their demo tapes and I've been hooked ever since. Their recordings aren't commercially available, but I'm sure if you email them they'll tell you how to get one. Hot live, too. Well worth it. Iron Maiden Yeah, like I have to tell you how good Maiden are!! Bruce Dickenson just has THE most amazing voice I've ever heard. If you attach that to the incredible musical work and songwriting skills that abound in this band, there's just no way these guys could've avoide international success. Haven't seen 'em live (yet) but heard their live albums... and they definitely come under influences, because I'd love to handle an audience like Bruce does... Steve Stevens AKA the guitar sidekick for Billy Idol, Steve also has done some work in films (he played the theme from Top Gun, 20 minutes to record, from sheet music to final emmy-winning product!) also worked with Michael Jackson on the Bad album and just about everyone else. He's also done some recorded jamming with Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin, not to mention his very own 'Flamenco a go-go' album. All worth a listen, coz this guy knows his stuff. The Choirboys Vocally, second only to Bruce Dickenson, Mark Gable of the Choirboys also gives THE nicest hugs. ;-) Another great Oz Rock band, they're not quite as in-your-face as the Jets, but they certainly shift some air when they play... Bloody impressive songwriting, too. AC/DC This is a little bit like Iron Maiden, hey? You don't need me to tell you how good these guys are, unless you come from a different planet... and even then you probably know. Dave Gleeson David's one of the more influential people on my list, for a bit more obscure reasons than the others. Those reasons are: He can sing!!! I mean, this man can sing with a cold that would have a normal person in hospital, or at least bed, he can sing when he's tired, he can sing when the mic is soaked and dripping, he can sing when the foldback is feeding back, or not working, he can sing a'capella (by himself without music) he can sing in the street, in a musical or on stage. I've learned a lot just from watching Dave, and his stagecraft is also pretty impressive. He's probably blushing right now... if he's ever read this, coz he's a nice bloke. Buy him a beer or something. ;-) He can write well, too... Others that haven't been mentioned are: Ozzy, Whitesnake, Van Halen, the Angels, Alice Cooper... these are just great people and brilliant musos. You'll probably know the reasons they're on the list...