General News

Nov 2021 News Update

Nov 2021 News Update

Janschology notes

Way back in 2000 I released a six track CD entitled Janschology. This was my way of paying homage to the profound influence that Bert Jansch had on my playing. I would even goes as far as to say that his first album was life changing for this 17 year old fledgling guitarist!

I can count on the fingers and thumb of one hand the guitarists that influenced me. Starting out with Hank Marvin, then The Beatle’s George Harrison, followed by Pete Townshend, Bert Jansch, and finally John Renbourn. All markedly individual players.

Bert really was the main one for me at that time.

I recently received a request from the Bert Jansch Foundation, of which I am a patron to see whether I had any thoughts as to how I could mark the tragic passing of Bert and his beloved wife Loren 10 years ago. 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic passing of Bert and Loren. To this end I decided to re-release my 2000 CD “Janschology,” this time on line as a download and including the recording I did for a video to let the world hear how beautiful my new ‘Baby Fylde' sounded on this brand new recording of “Loren.” This is a personal tribute to a beautiful and remarkable lady who devoted the last years of her life to Bert and his career. She made sure that his legacy remained iron clad. In a similar way my own lovely wife Hilary has steadfastly supported all my endeavours over the past 35 years. Both remarkable and strong women.

It was my privilege to perform 'Loren' at a tribute concert to Bert at the Festival Hall a few years ago. I was determined to remind people of the great woman behind the great man.

The photo on the cover of the re-released Janschology was taken by Hilary at their wedding. Since lockdown Hilary has spent months sorting out photos. I was personally at a loss as to finding the right image for the cover, and literally minutes after discussing a cover idea with Mark Soden of MirrorNoir I walked into the office and there on the desk was a pile of photographs taken by Hilary on Bert and Loren’s wedding day. They had just surfaced from the hundreds of pics we have. The chosen image was not only beautiful but perfect for the cover and is of course copyright free!! Well done beloved Hilary. xxx

The CD should be available on /about the 22nd of November from MirrorNoir records.

Triple jabbed

Hilary and I have now been triple jabbed! Last month we went to the local town hall where they are giving the boosters, and my lovely old GP Tim Solari was there doing the injections. Tim is now retired but still doing his bit. It was great to see him. He told me he thought I looked well, which was a nice boost indeed.

Em of Em’s Tune

I’m delighted to hear from Roger Drew partner to Em of Em’s Tune fame that she is now out of hospital after being very poorly indeed for several weeks.

We send our very best healing good wishes to them both.

Archive pic

My pal Piotr over there in Poland is a big Marillion fan and whist watching their recent DVD documentary interviewing Ian Mosely and his history, this image came up on his screen. Taken just before the 'Fear of the Dark' tour in 79.

Left to right Rod Edwards, Ian Moseley, GG, John Gustafson, Eddie Spence and Roger Hand.

I’m not sure that Rog actually came on the tour at that time or was recruited for studio sessions, but either way an interesting moody pic. I have to say that I have seen better pics of myself that’s for sure. Check shirts were obviously fashionable way back then.


Nice to hear recently that one of my old tunes 'El Greco' was used for a clip on Gordon, Gino and Fred in Greece.

Also apparently they are showing old clips of the Kenny Everett show on TV, a year on from 'Heartsong' being a minor hit. Kenny loved the track so much he requested we make an appearance on the show.

Someone sent a clip from the TV and there was the band with John G Perry on bass, Clive Bunker drums, Eddie and Rod on keyboards and of course me on guitar.

Kenny Everett was without doubt a genius. His choral jingles were mini masterpieces, and he must have been an excellent musician. He came across as quite a shy person actually and was quite a tortured soul in his own way. Sadly missed.

Citizen Smith

Someone put this on Facebook. I was baffled as to why, then spotted the poster!

I look back on those days with a mixture of wonder and disbelief at my brief time as a minor celebrity. Good times but sad in many ways because of the total imbalance between my personal and professional life. It’s all in the biog of course!

Archive picture

Another archive pic unearthed whilst Hilary has been sorting out the hundreds of photographs.

This was taken around 1996 at Mono Valley recording studios where I was invited by Tony Iommi to play acoustic guitar on a Shadows Tribute album.

Left to right: Bev Bevan (ELO) Paul Stacey (Deep Purple) Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) Neil Murray (Black Sabbath) Unknown!

Graham Warren

I was so sad to hear of the passing of guitar maker Graham Warren's wife Julie last month.

As you know I have owned two of Graham’s beautifully made guitars. The first appears on the HEARTSONGS album and will reappear on a new recording of 'The Stars look down on Linda' featuring Nick Hooper on second guitar. That guitar is currently owned by our friend Mark Day. The second one custom made for me is still sounding lovely and of late has truly blossomed.

Graham still has a few guitars left for sale. This one I’m really tempted to buy because I have a feeling it will sound lovely, also Graham has stopped building because of fading eyesight.

Our hearts go out to him and his family at this tragic loss. Rest in Peace lovely Julie.

Top L: My first Graham Warren guitar

Top R: My current Graham Warren guitar

Below L: Playing my current Graham Guitar

Below R: A rare pic - Hilary in a candid photo of her playing my Graham Warren guitar.

First gig since lockdown

My first gig since lockdown all those months ago will be at The Great British Folk Festival in Skegness on the weekend of the 27th of this month. Needless to say I’m pretty nervous. During lockdown it gives one time to think, and I have decided to cut down the number of guitars I use. I purchased a considerably smaller FX unit and have decided to drop 'The Dodo’s Dream' from my live set. This is for a number reasons.

1. I have done it to death over the years.

2. It’s nerve-racking every time I play it hoping I don’t press the wrong pedal or screw it up. On a good night and there weren’t that many it was sublime but on a bad night, and there have been a few of them, it was painfully bad and disappointing.

I feel I can say all I want or need to say with just two guitars, a standard one and the small Viator travel guitar. Having less gear means I can set up quicker and pack up quicker at the end of the night. Also taking several high end guitars around is an incredible liability if one got damaged or stolen, and believe me these can’t be replaced whereas my Vintage JHS models to a degree can be replaced and are consistently good sounding instruments that do the job well. I will save my precious FYLDES for recording and really “posh” gigs!

Countryman Guitar

I have gone and done it again and bought another poorly Countryman guitar that needs restoring? £25 from local re- user shop.

These cheap guitars have a remarkably good sound when set up and this one comes with a pick-up.

I should get out more!!!

12 string

I’m delighted to report that this lovely and collectible Vintage 12 string has now been fixed and ready to go by Nathan Sharp at JHS. What a craftsman he is.

I shall report back next month once it arrives back here, probably brought by Carrie Martin who says she will kindly collect it for me bless her.

And finally.....

Settee free for collection

The reason I’m posting this is because our lovely bed settee is now surplus to requirements and is free to anyone who cares to get a large van and collected it. This piece of furniture is ironically a huge part of our history. I think our dear pal Carrie will have slept in it a few times! I have composed a few tunes on this old settee over the years!!

Contact webmaster Sue via the Contact page for pics and more info.