Where did it all start?
As a kid, I was raised out in Singapore. As you can imagine, there wasn’t much music out there at the time. One day my Dad’s old American Forces radio was playing and on came The Shadows. It blew my mind!
Did it stop there?
No, not at all! Jimi Hendrix was next, along with Fleetwood Mac and Grand Funk Railroad. In about 1969, I remember buying their 7” single with ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Inside Looking Out’ on. That clip of them playing ‘Inside Looking Out’ live somewhere in the USA was a huge influence on me as a kid. He had this strange looking guitar that I’d never seen before!
So, its always been the classic rock?
Actually, about ten years later I started getting into blues – John Lee Hooker, Lightning Hopkins, Buddy Guy, BB King, Albert & Freddie King. The list goes on!
So when did the guitar addiction start?
My late older brother, who also loved music, knew I liked guitar. I used to play The Chicago Transit Authority’s 1st LP non-stop, especially the guitar parts. He encouraged me to get my first Stratocaster so I ordered it from Melody Maker for £320. I kept that guitar until 1983 when I was offered £3,000 for it!
I presume you saved that money or invested it wisely…?
Well, you could say that! I went straight down to Denmark Street in London and bought several other 1960s Stratocasters for about £500/600 each.
Brilliant! That is exactly what I’d have done too Dave. What happened to all of those?
Funnily enough, one of the guitars was a beautiful 1963 Fender Stratocaster in red with a rosewood fingerboard. Two guys turned up at my house one day in 1984 and knew I had this guitar. One of the guys took the guitar apart and checked it for the date stamps and pot codes. The other guy stood there quietly. They offered me great money for it so I decided to sell. A few years later I saw the front of a Guitarist Magazine with the same long haired guy on the front with my guitar! Turns out it was only Mike Oldfield…
What was the guitar that really got your attention?
It has to be one of three. Either Hendrix’s Strat, Peter Green’s Les Paul, or the Les Paul Paul Kossoff played at the Isle of White.
And what about the guitars you’ve owned?
It would have to be the 50s Stratocaster or an 80s Gibson Standard Heritage 80. They were an absolute beast of a guitar! I’ve been searching for that sound ever since.
So you regret selling some of your guitars then?
I really should never have sold my early guitars as I’ve been trying to replace them ever since. You can’t replace your first loves, or the history they have.
So the way you’ve tried to justify selling your early guitars is by buying hundreds now, right?
Yes! I’ve got guitars coming out my ears. They’re in my hallway, under my sofa, in the loft, propping up my dining room table, under my bed, in my wardrobe…
How many do you own?
There’s got to be around 200, surely!
It’s a joy to call you not only a customer but also a friend. How has The Music Locker helped you with your “healthy addiction”?
When something nice comes in, I’m the first to know. If I can’t afford it at the time, you’ll find a way for me to own it – whether through trades, part exchanges or a good price. Also, you don’t find many companies that want to befriend you as well as deal with you.
And have we helped stop the addiction or is the addiction growing?!
That sound I’ve been searching for for the last 30 years, I found on my last guitar off you – (a 1978 Ibanez Artist). Lets hope the bug has stopped!