Hello and welcome to my site.
In April, I had the great honour of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It took place in Cleveland, Ohio, and a good time was had by those of us who made it there. Which didn't include Mark Knopfler. John Illsley did an exemplary job of dealing with his absence. The attention and praise bestowed upon those of us who did attend - John, Guy Fletcher and myself - was humbling. And it was nice to catch up with some old friends.
I've been working with Trevor Horn on a record he's producing, and we played a show in his new Music Bank Village rehearsal venue, on July 19th, to launch both it and the record. Trevor doesn't mess about: it was an 11 piece band playing along with a pre-recorded orchestra - see below. And we’re playing another show to launch the record on 2nd of Nov at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
I've been flying back and forth to Rome, over the past few months, writing songs with Phil Palmer for an Italian megastar, and we’ve very recently written and recorded a song for a young Italian artist called Manuel Aspidi, to perform at the San Remo Song Festival.
Most of last year was spent producing and writing an album for a band I'm in called LEGACY. We (myself and fellow producer Phil Palmer) recorded the initial tracks in Los Angeles with Steve Ferrone and Pino Palladino at Steve's Drumroll studio, then we moved to my favourite studio in the world: Forward Studios in Grottaferrata, Rome. The record is called 3 Chord Trick, it's available now on all digital platforms (iTunes etc), you can buy CD's and vinyl on Amazon, and it's also available on DSD (an ultra-high definition format that has 256 times the resolution of a CD).
I've autographed some things in my time, but signing the vicar's collar at my mother's funeral is going to take some beating.
I'm currently a member of two bands:
LEGACY records and plays songs written mostly by myself and Phil Palmer. In the band are Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Dire Straits members Phil Palmer, Danny Cummings and Mel Collins, legendary record producer/singer/bass player Trevor Horn, and Italians Primiano De Biase on keyboards and Marco Caviglia on guitar, with occasional additional vocals by Jamie Squire. And, er, me.
DSLegacy is the same line-up, the difference being we play mostly Dire Straits music plus some tracks from our Legacy record, and at least one of Trevor’s hits, and we’re thinking of adding a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song soon, seeing as we have the band’s drummer in our band. This year we played in Brazil, we just got back from playing in the US, we’ll be in Helsinki on 3rd November, and we’re playing 8 cities in Italy starting 20th of November. More info when you click on the link below:
When I’m recording in Italy, I stay in the Villa Mercede hotel in Frascati. A big thanks to owners Luigi and Gianluca, and everyone at the hotel for making it my home from home in Italy.
RELIGION: Some of the songs on the Legacy record have religious titles (Jesus Street, God's Land, Magdalene, Epiphany) and I've been asked more than once if I'm religious. I don't subscribe to any religion. Jesus Street is a street in Tarifa, Spain (Calle Jesus). God's Land is about Northumberland. Magdalene is... you figure it out. And then there's Epiphany.
Back in February, I was in Newcastle performing on the Sunday For Sammy charity show - the "Geordie Command Performance" - at the Newcastle Arena. Since it began back in 2000, they've opened the show with a recording I made of the Geordie song Blaydon Races*, and this year Tim Healy also performed my song God's Land, from LEGACY's 3 Chord Trick album. Multiple award winning record producer (and now LEGACY bass player) Trevor Horn also featured in the show, performing the song that brought him into the limelight with his band Buggles: Video Killed the Radio Star.
* I recorded the famous Geordie song Blaydon Races, 15 or so years ago, to try to persuade Newcastle United to adopt it as their theme instead of Knopfler’s Local Hero, which is actually a song about Scotland. It was a long shot.
When I'm at home, I'm very keen to get into the mountains on this:
My mountain bike. It's a Scott E-Genius 700 Tuned, which means it's an E-bike with state of the art components that include a Shimano engine and electronic gear change, full suspension, hydraulic disk brakes and a bunch of other amazing stuff, and it's an absolute hoot - everyone who rides it wants one. It excels in the worst off-road conditions, but it's also a great bike around town. My association with Scott goes back to the early 90's when they first set up in the UK, and every bike I've owned thereafter has been a Scott. This picture was taken when I was riding the mountain trails around Lake Ullswater. In the background is Howtown bay where I learned to dinghy sail when I was 12 yrs old. And that led to a love of windsurfing, see below.
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