30 October 2016
As a young boy and growing up I always saw myself working somewhere in the music industry. I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to a music school in Durham where I sang in the cathedral, so music was my life from a very early stage. I spent my early years learning the piano and writing song after song, convinced that one day I’d get that lucky break.
It’s so important especially as a kid to have people to aspire to be, something to aim at, a benchmark to beat. Its too easy to accept that, “this is the way life is, it’s the way its always been and always will be.” I have always been a bit of a dreamer, I was the kid at school with the low concentration threshold and the one permanently looking out of the window and to this day, I am still the dreamer. I still struggle to concentrate for long periods of time.
Its quite extraordinary to consider that I have actually made a success out of anything when you look at the string of disasters throughout my schooling. Yet somehow, I have been lucky.
But having a dream and having someone to aspire to be, a Hero if you like, is more important than people realise. In a world where it gets tougher and tougher on kids year in, year out, where demands are placed on them at such an early age, it’s so important that they grow up with a hero in their head. It might be a footballer and rugby star, a musician or an artist, but unless you have someone you can associate with, someone that you respect massively for their sacrifice in their lives, how do you shape your own way?
If there was one musician that I loved as a song writer and entertainer, it was Bowie. He wrote songs about a parallel universe, with lyrics that made no sense but rolled off the tongue with consummate ease, over chord progressions that stood the test of time.
And whilst on my journey I changed direction and closed the piano lid and put away the manuscript paper, swapping them for computers, deep down I have always felt an affinity with musicians and artists and one day still believe I will return to my destined path that I strayed from 20 years ago.
And sat on a remote island a million miles from anywhere, hanging out with my kids and family, my daughter Poppy asked me to drop her off for a play date at her friends house that she’d met.
Driving in the buggy through the little roads with Poppy she asked, “who’s David Bowie?”
A little shocked, I responded,”Who’s David Bowie! Wow! Why do you ask?”
“Because my friends are staying in his old house Mandalay. That’s where we are going.”
I was suddenly feeling rather pleased that I’d volunteered to drop Poppy off.
Bowie was one of these rare artists that managed to reinvent himself across 5 decades. He was regarded as an innovator and someone who wasn’t afraid of exploring new ideas and sounds. Whilst I’d swapped my medium of innovation from music to software and business, his influences impacted on me massively as a young adult growing up. He was one of those artists that whilst looking out of the window, I’d dream of playing with and meeting one day.
And whilst Poppy ran in and launched herself in to the pool with her friends I took a moment to look around and appreciate the Balinese carvings and beautiful surroundings. There is something incredibly calming about Mandalay, it’s a magical place.
And whilst I was never lucky enough to meet Bowie, it was a nice second place to see Poppy swimming at ease and having so much fun in such a legends house.
Maybe its time t0 swap my computer keyboard for the real thing and start writing again. One day perhaps, but until then I will just have to keep dreaming.