A Square Peg in a Round Hole ! … But a Hell of a Musician !!… Literally. And Yes ! Some more free tracks for you !! Continue Reading !
It all started many years ago, when I was twelve years of age. I began to realize
that I had a connection with all things musical. I could sing, and used to have to do my
party piece at all the family gatherings which drove me crazy. But there was
something of a deeper musical nature growing with in me. I was drawn to musical
instruments and their workings.
I was constantly to be found at the piano picking out melody’s of the latest pop
songs of the day, and had also, against much opposition from those who had to be
obeyed, got my hands on my brothers guitar, and figured out seven of the basic chords and was trying to sing and play some songs.
There had been two earlier attempts to to have me taught music formally, which
were unsuccessful, as I arrived home from lessons with sore knuckles from rulers
used by the teachers for not having the right finger on the right note etc., and my parents stopped me attending.
So at twelve years old with all this discovery of natural musical ability coming from
within I was in a kind of musical limbo, with no teacher.
A school pal then heard my efforts at playing whilst in my house, and suggested to my mother to try their teacher and I was duly assessed and accepted for formal lessons.
At the first lesson the teacher made a pact with me that if I did the required practice
each week, she would show me tricks on the piano, naturally I was
These tricks were small melodic motifs which she showed and explained to me how
to use , and I was allowed to use them in my Beatles tunes,
(I was big into their music).
There is no doubt that by using these tricks, I developed over the years my own
distinct style of playing, which people constantly remark on to this day, as well
as becoming a well trained classical musician.
Fast forward to fourteen years of age.
In school in those yeas we did aptitude tests to give one an idea what career
you might pursue upon leaving school. When I was called to receive my results I was
asked was I studying music, to which I replied yes, and I was told to keep doing so
as future lay in this area. (Music to my ears)
I announced at the dinner table that evening what had been said at school that day. My father had a big emphatic No !! I would have to have a real job.
In those days being in the music business in Ireland
was not seen as a way to make a good living, the money one could earn was OK on the side, but you would need a real job to back it up.
Naturally I was devastated what a roller coaster !! But my parents were only doing their best for me and like most other people of the day had no idea what was going
to happen to the music industry in Ireland
Fast forward to sixteen years of age.
I kept following my passion and was inseparable from either guitar or piano.
My interest was broadening, and I had started listening to orchestras. The carpenters
were in vogue and they were using orchestral backing on their songs, also I was into the music of Burt Bacharach (still play his music today).
Off with me to the music shop. I bought a Baton, a book about the orchestra and a big picture of the New York Philharmonic. In my bedroom I placed the picture on
the wall, I read my book which covered the basics of orchestration, and conducting, so I was to be seen regularly conducting the orchestra for The Carpenters and Burt
Bacharach in my bedroom. (They all thought I was off the wall !!).
Fast forward to 18 years of age.
I left School !! and yes the real job arrived. Insurance !! Jesus Me in a suit ,
(hated the bloody things)9 am to 5 pm filing files, finding files for post ( used to drive me insane) Doing endorsements for policies when there was only one thing
on my mind, being involved in music.
But all the time I was involved on the side, I was playing music where ever I could, I was involved with folk groups, choirs and musical societies, musically directing and
conducting orchestras for local shows, but I always had to get up for work and the real job.
Fast forward to 25 years of age.
In the real job (Insurance) I had become a Loss Adjuster, (Claims Adjuster).
When I look back on it I always think that I was a LOST ADJUSTER !! I was sent to Galway in the west of Ireland to work for the firm. And all my musical activity
had ceased. I took up gardening for a while, another disaster, eventually my daughter
wanted a horse, so we bought her a pony, which took care of the grass cutting !!
To earn some badly needed funds, I started to play piano and guitar in some of the
hotels around Galway, and after a couple of years a distinguished gentleman came up to me one evening, after a gig, congratulated me on my work by saying
“Nice music Liberace”
I was quite flattered ,but thought no more about it.
The following day or two I received a phone call from Ashford Castle saying
that the manager wanted to meet me and would I come and see him. I did so
and yes I met that grey haired distinguished man once again.(The General Manager)
I gigged for 3 nights there and I have been playing music there ever since
(30 years now).
Loss adjusting vanished into the abyss, and I have been free to pursue a playing career. I have played music for and with some of the biggest celebs,music stars, statesmen, and royalty from all over the world, I continue to enjoy it and look forward to many more years performing as a professional musician.
When it comes to being a professional musician its not only the glitzy side that matters, its a feeling of being home, being part of something where what you have to offer is required in abundance, and that has been the case at Ashford where I am referred to as The Maestro by everyone. Its also knowing that your own creativity (compositions ) are readily received as part of your ongoing repertoire, these are the things that make it worthwhile and pleasurable. Its knowing that returning guests to the Hotel are coming back because you are a part of what they come for, they like the music, and enjoy it.
But most of all its YOU the listener that makes all of it matter. With out you we would not record music at all for you to enjoy.As a little thank you for your interest I would like you to have these three vocal tracks which I recently recorded, and which are presently unavailable,with my compliments.You can get them by clicking here and enjoy.
I look forward to the challenges, the ups and downs but always worth while experiences along this musical journey.
Here’s hoping your are part of that journey.
If you would like to hear the most recent milestone of that journey, click here to listen to my most recent album “An Irish Holiday”
Thank you so much for reading this blog post,
and most importantly for being a listener and making it all worth while.