Like many baby boomers I was raised on a diet of rock concerts, comics, magazines, no computers and no television. The focus of our upbringing was centred on respect, integrity, outdoor activities and the necessity to use our imagination.
We attended live rock concerts wherever possible because there was no other way to see the performance and we listened to our treasured vinyl 45's and 33's through oversized speakers and overpriced headphones.
When television finally arrived in New Zealand I glued myself to every possible music related show, albeit in black and white, and lived the dream of becoming a star through people like Ray Woolf, Eddie Low, Gray Bartlett, John Rowles, Suzanne Lynch, Peter Poser and Ray Columbus.
John Miles released a song "Music was my first love, and it will be my last" ... I know exactly how he feels!
Have you ever wanted to be a rock star, or a gold medal winner, or a movie star?
All my life I have wanted to sing and perform. The dream to play the guitar became a must-do when I fell in love with "The House of the Rising Sun" and a good friend was patient enough to teach me the fundamentals of the guitar when I was seventeen years old.
It is interesting to note that when young children sing, in tune or otherwise, we all applaud and commend them on their fine performance! Yet as we reach maturity, the same people who smiled and encouraged us can often destroy our self esteem with well meaning comments like "don't give up your day job!", "you should stick to whistling" and "not everybody can sing in tune".
Friends and family were quick to let me know that singing was not my strength, so I withdrew into my private music world and only sung on rare occasions.
New songs and lyrics would often leap into my spirit when I was tinkering alone with my guitar. I would never share these creations for fear of being ridiculed and had no way of writing them down, so over time they vanished and so did my desire to pick up my guitar.
Before long an exciting career as an IT Geek swept me into long hours of working and often forgotten family commitments consumed whatever time and energy was left.
People used words like hard working, honest, innovative, caring and ambitious to describe me, yet in later years I found myself compromised in a business partnership and soon my entire existence collapsed around me.
I found strength in my silence, in my prayers, in my true friends and family, and I finally picked up my guitar and finally embarked on a long overdue journey of musical discovery.