I was born here, emigrated to Canada, my family emigrated to Canada. I came back when I was five. Went to prep school and then to Haberdashers’ School and did very badly. Left at first year of sixth form. I got a place at Brighton art college that I didn’t go to and went to work in a garage. And then four years later I started a rock band which I was in for four and a half years touring minor venues in the UK and in Europe.
That was Guggenheim?
No, that was Witches Brew. Guggenheim was before all of that.
Witches Brew were quite well known, weren’t they?
Yes, on the sort of club circuit they were known. They weren’t a known band as bands are known now. And I first met Chris Pye when we did the Guggenheim album in the Granada studios in 1970.
In the Granada studios?
Yes. On a Sunday in the sound studio. I don’t know if anybody knew we were there.
Was Chris already working?
Yes, he was already there. It must have been about ‘71.
All right, okay.
And a man called Dave Kent-Watson was one of the sound engineers there who then started up a studio round the corner called Indigo studios, do you remember that?
Yes, I do.
Which is where we’d recorded a second album in ‘76. Which was never finished.
What were you working as over the 70s, the mid 70s?
I was working in a garage and then I left the garage to form the rock band after we’d recorded the Guggenheim album.
And as I said, four years in the rock band. And then when that came to an end, Chris Pye invited me up for the weekend to his house in Saddleworth to try and work out what I should do next, and he said, “There is actually a job going at Granada, would you like to stay on until Monday and come in and meet some people?” So I went in, I met Andrew Quinn. Was offered a job and we moved up four weeks later.
Good heavens, what was the job?
It was organiser of local programmes, working for Harry Urquhart.
The wonderful Harry Urquhart who was my mentor.
What year was this? What year did you…?
And on my first day I remember the first person I met when I walked in was Steve Leahy who looked after me wonderfully.
You were given a job as organiser of local programmes.
What did that entail? Was there an interview process or were you just offered the job?
Well the interview was the meeting with Andrew Quinn who was then general manager. Interestingly, I didn’t meet Harry Urquhart. So I was imposed on Harry Urquhart.