Graham George

Story

60 years playing guitar, from hobby to professional and back! Looking to connect with like minded musicians to share/critique my work and collaborate with. Started professionally when I was *16, although I had played a guitar since I was eight years old. It was a natural thing to me, I can't remember anything else that I wanted to do, except my parents had other ideas. (If everybody else is telling you "You're a natural don't listen to them!" it might be wise to consider they could be right!) * I was still at school and formed a band with friends who wanted to play, like me. It was called "The Opaques". We were playing professionally for kids of our own age at the Pier Mecca Ballroom, Southampton, south UK, on Saturday afternoon matinees. We also played at the school dances and in our local area of the UK, covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Searchers and The Animals, to name but a few. So after school I went on to Art College. Yep, I didn't take their advice about being a natural, that's how I know you should make up your own mind! Despite that I played at the weekends and rehearsed in the evenings. In those days it was vinyl records and I wore all of mine out, listening to and copying my guitar heroes of the day. Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Page, etc. My band was called "The Velvet Moon", after a line from one of Jimi's songs . . . "Burning of the Midnight Lamp". We played at the famous "Whisky a GoGo" club in Wardour Street, London, where ironically most of the bands that I had emulated when at school, had also played! Five Live Yardbirds, The Animals, John Mayall and The Blues Breakers, etc. We had the honour of playing the Southampton Art College Bash, as support band to "Robert Plant and The Band of Joy", shortly then to become "Led Zeppelin"! Then "funk" appeared on the scene and I joined forces with jazz funk musicians in a group called "Cycle", playing all around the south coast of the UK. After that a show band called "Suger Shack", there is still a band called this today but is not related to the one I played in. Again we played the south coast extensively and won "South Coast Band of the Year" in the late seventies. In later years I was asked to dep' for Andy Summers (Police), with "Zoot Money and the Big Roll Band", as Andy was unable to do the gig. It was a special all day, thousands of people, charity concert and Zoot's band finished up the night as the main band! It was also the original players of his band's "Special Reunion" gig as well, so it was an honour to take Andy Summers place. Over the following years I had played many times as guest artist with the "Southern Jazz Quintet" in Bournemouth. Then I moved to Spain fifteen years ago, and started a new band here, "Jazz Canvas". We played funk and jazz funk, with some straight ahead jazz as well. We were invited to open the first local Jazz Festival in my then town of Rojales, Costa Blanca. It is now a popular Jazz Festival! We also were the feature band of another local Jazz Festival "San Fulgencio Jazz Festival". Since then over a further ten years, I have played many jazz sessions especially local jams. In 2016 I was part of "The Gathering", a unique live concert band, with totally improvised evenings of music, some numbers lasting almost the whole performance! Now I'm retired to my home studio, and still playing and composing, and posting my work here on Drooble. I can't say how grateful I am to Drooble and its incredible team for providing this amazing platform, it's my window on the music world and I have so many good friends here already! A small but very important for me, update: I'm thrilled say that I am now a member of the Drooble Team, as Creative Business Advisor! Loving every minute of it too! NB: There are also some photos in my album called "History" showing: The Opaques, I'm second from the right. Mecca Ballroom, where I played when I was 15 years old. Wardour Street, London. I played, aged 18, at the Whisky a GoGo club - well known for hosting famous bands of the 60's, although I wasn't famous it was a thrill to play there! Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band. The guitarist then was Andy Summers, referenced in the story above. Robert Plant, also referenced in the above. Jazz Jam, one of many here in Spain. With well known pianist Luis Suria, bass player Jesús Marco Gea, and drums Pablo Egío. Just like to mention, if you've read this far . . .? (and if you have I sincerely thank you!), that I'm also a digital artist/graphic designer, and also create images/logos/image branding for Drooble Members. You'll find a link in my webpages above! Thank you!

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What is music to you? What does it give you?

60 years ago, I was fascinated with guitar and playing for the publics enjoyment. It has been a major part of my life and still is today! ? It gives me great satisfaction to compose and create music that is sometimes different from others who play electric guitar.

What is your music dream?

At this late stage in life, to continue to share my works with others, collaborate and enjoy musical life to the full! ? ?

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Leaving out religion and politics, I would have the world take the Spanish way of thinking in the part of Spain where I live. Every school child gets the option, and is encouraged to do so, to join the school band/orchestra and learn to read music! ? Even though I don't read!

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

"Apache" by The Shadows! ?

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I have so many but I guess as a solo guitarist "Julian Lage" and "Snarky Puppy" my fav' band . . at present that is! ?

What inspires you to make music?

An internal passion that never goes away. ?

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Expressing emotions that others will connect with whilst exploring my musical boundaries, pushing at them with fusion concepts. Also not to be "tied up" by genre or style, experimenting is fun! ?

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

It's been an incredible experience throughout my life to do so. ? For me sharing with an audience is possibly the most exciting way to experience your own abilities and musical pleasure. Sadly I no longer perform live, but places like Drooble help me continue to share!

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I love the fact that we can do it all from within our homes, yet being in a live band is an unbeatable experience in sharing and learning from others! ? I would recommend that every "closet" musician try it, at least once in their lives. ?

What do you think of Drooble?

Incredible musicians social network! Unbelievable Help Desk Team and the friendliest musicians network I've come across all round. Despite it's size and amazing quantity of interesting content, it functions smoothly day to day! Wouldn't be anywhere else now! ?

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Being looked down upon by those who read music and consider themselves to be superior! I don't read a note of music yet have been privileged to work with some of the finest jazz musicians in the UK and Spain. ? Many have been gracious because I don't read, sadly many have not.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes, as a known local player myself, I understand how important support is. Where I live I've supported many other local musicians of many different genres of music throughout the years. Now I do it here on Drooble! ?

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Simply be aware of changing genres, unless you enjoy playing music from other eras. Fusion music is one great way to do this!

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Brice Delage, Julian Lage, Joey Landreth, Mark Lettieri, Mono Neon, Joey Alexander, for starters!? . . . ?