the age of 18 I left my parents' home for good and set about making
contact with like-minded creative contemporaries. In those days, it
was possible to find free accommodation by squatting, which most of
the people who I came into contact with were doing.
had heard through the grapevine that there was a scene happening in
Camden and I soon found that I was not alone in my desire for independence
and freedom from a society where I felt I did not fit in. The advantages
of not having to pay rent to live meant that we did not have to work
everyday to survive and that gave us the luxury of having time to develop
our technique as musicians.
approach to creating music integrated and reflected our philosophy of
life as freedom of expression and the sharing of knowledge through creative
consciousness. We became part of the alternative culture and a group
in the truest sense of the word and for a time it felt like we could
change the world.
were many travellers in America, who we had heard about, living the
alternative lifestyle as we were, among them were revered names such
as, Ken Keysey, Jack Kerouak and the king of the beats, Timothy Leary.
We felt like the revolution had started and that we were at the frontline,
joined in spirit by those that had set the scene in America and showing
strength in our unity.
after the creation of this musical collective, the desire to share what
we had discovered became a priority. We pooled our resources and bought
a second hand coach, which we then converted into liveable accommodation,
complete with wood burning cooking stove, bunk beds and a petrol fuelled
generator, that enabled us to set up our musical equipment and play
independently from a source of domestic electricity.
1978 to the mid-1980s Karma Kanix played all the major UK festivals
and recorded with future Stone Roses producer, John Leckie. The band
lived and travelled in a converted coach until the Battle of the Beanfield
put a stop to life on the open road. At this point I realized that I
was following in my grandparent's footsteps and I had become, in some
sense, a gypsy traveller.
recorded and released music cassettes and produced a fanzine highlighting
the dangers of global warming, capitalism and alcohol which we sold
at festivals to raise enough money for petrol, food and drugs.
had begun to become politically aware which gave me the feeling of power
that so often I had been frightened of. This knowledge of the political
arena opened my mind to the possibility of gaining control of my own
life and building a future. This gave me a sense of fulfilling a destiny
and I felt rewarded and wholesome.
musician colleagues I worked with, however, were not from the same background
as myself and had received an education that informed them of a great
number of contemporaries who were exploring musical avenues that led
to self awareness. As a direct consequence of this, I again had the
feeling of not belonging to a group that originally had supported me
and this became the signal for me to move in a new direction. Using
the skill I have acquired as a musical communicator, I moved into the
area of a studio session musician.
the past 15 years I have worked with many experienced musicians and
bands such as Public Image Ltd, The Cinematic Orchestra and Spiritualised.
I have worked with Stone Roses, and Radiohead producer, John Leckie
but still felt a weakness, that I lacked the knowledge and awareness
of those musicians, who had gone before me and knew that I would need
to find a course of study, if I were going to move forward.
realization that I needed to return to education at this stage in my
life became a huge barrier. Firstly, the idea of becoming an academic
went against the organic and spontaneous approach that I had cultivated
and now held so important to my way of life.
way of life, however, has changed. No longer am I a gypsy traveller
and I now have a responsibility and an opportunity to show my respect
to those pioneers of music who pave the way for my progress. The new
challenge now, is to assess and evaluate the key skills I have thus
far developed and find a way to express and clearly share my personal
experiences in academic terms.