Vivid memories of early childhood in the north east of England during the 1950’s. Charles draws pictures of extended family life, which could almost be described as Victorian, but remembers with fondness and humour, scenes from a bygone era.
The tragic loss of his Mother disrupts life for eight year old Charles, and he moves from country to city where he is cared for by his Aunt and Uncle in a Newcastle Victorian back to back. Charles gives a moving account of his experiences, whilst providing as always a feast of sights and sounds of the time.
Charting his mischievous course through early adolescence, Charles starts to take a fateful interest in music (and the opposite sex). The early sixties come to life through the eyes of a Geordie teenager with mixed ambitions.
Charles’s first sexual encounter touchingly portrayed against a detailed backdrop, describing the complications, humour and warmth in his relationships with a rich tapestry of characters.
Charles’s memories of Geordie musician and hit songwriter friend Alan Hull – the very under rated Geordie song writer – he probably made the most money on Tyneside out of writing some of the best songs in the world.
Charles describes his progression from enthusiast to professional musician with an amusing account of early bands and gigs, which will be familiar to anyone who has or had similar ambitions. The Club Ago-Go was, during the mid 60’s, the place to play in the north-east, and he relates to his experiences alongside various famous names including: The Animals, The Spencer Davis Group, Wilson Picket, Chris Farlow and The Thunderbirds, Jimi Hendrix, The Nice and more.
Another tragic event takes Charles from the place he has called home, forcing him to go it alone at the early age of sixteen. He moves into bed-sit land, which he describes with zeal, and continues his difficult progress through his latter teenage years, learning the ropes as a musician and young adult.
A hilarious account of his move to London, where he encounters the first of many well-known colleagues.
Life on the road with a popular touring band, creating havoc and mayhem in their wake. Describing in detail their pranks, Charles makes today’s bands seem tame by comparison, and the idiosyncratic 1970’s make a colourful backdrop.
A new woman – a new town. Life in a haunted house in South Croydon. Charles’s account of a phantom and an exorcism is both funny and fascinating.
Not many Laughs
Life with the actress ‘Madam X’ – from their initial encounter through the three years of living together. This is a generous and warm-hearted account of a genuinely difficult relationship with a petulant ex-Hollywood movie star – No matter how generous and warm hearted this account may be, she made sure that her heavies still threatened this writer with a fate worse than death if I did not delete her real identity from these pages – so it is for this reason that she will be referred to as Madam X throughout these two chapters.
Madam X and Charles visit Kathmandu where they live for six months in the wing of a Shah’s palace. Charles gives a fascinating account of this fascinating place experienced during the dying months of their relationship. He describes being sexually pursued by Barbara Adams, Mistress to the King of Nepal, how at one of Barbara’s many dinner parties the chief of police pleaded with Charles to take him back to London in order that he may learn the basics of British law to take back and adapt to the kingdom of Nepal.
In a heart to heart conversation this man explained to Charles that he’d just been released from prison after completing a six month sentence for carrying out the biggest Nepalese drugs bust of all time (he still held his executive position in the police force), the huge shipment of heroin was flown into Kathmandu valley from the far east and was addressed to the man the Nepalese worshipped like a god, once close friend to Prince Charles and our own royal family, the king himself. Years later the Nepalese Royal family shot themselves to death.
On returning to England Charles moves out of Madam X’s house and into a very strange environment, once again, using all his visual skills to describe the horror and humour of this situation. Picking yourself up, dusting yourself down and starting all over again and living in the madness of the real life ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ – a housing association flat in Sutton Court Road, Chiswick.
Charles picked himself up and built a successful recording studio and production company. A series of events persuades him to put to one side his commercial endeavours and begin what will become the biggest musical charity project of the 80’s – A double album boasting a host of stars and ego’s which Charles as executive producer and writer successfully sees through to its conclusion, working with the likes of Ringo Starr, Elvis Costello, Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney, Hayley Mills, John Cleese and many more, and culminating in a top job offer from David Mellor as his right hand man at the Home Office.
With darker forces at work, the British government buried without trace and no questions answered, this most credible pop music charity project – This most controversial project in the history of British popular culture had got in the way of parliament’s own campaign for their 1987 anti heroin project.
EMI records had strict instructions from the top of the political tree to ditch “It’s a Live-In World” (and all who had performed and contributed) over night; BBC Radio 1 were instructed not to give it radio play listing either – What would have been Britain’s number one smash hit Christmas song of 1986 disappeared without trace.
One man’s determination and hard work, over a period of twenty months had the potential to indeed put the governments multi million pound anti heroin campaign into the shade!
Charles nervously meets up with Elvis Costello to arrange producing tracks for him at Olympic recording studios in Barnes, followed by the first of many visits to Ringo Starr’s home at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, Berkshire. Once home to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Charles meets Ringo Starr to start recording sessions in one of the world’s most famous home recording studios – “Imagine” that!!!
Charles’ determination and hard work, over a period of twenty months had the potential to indeed put the government’s multi million pound anti heroin campaign into the shade!
Charles cements his relationship with very gifted singer and songwriter Lauren Field. They go back to live work playing venues throughout England and Europe. Artists and audiences alike will enjoy his hilarious anecdotes concerning the joys of performing in both the most prestigious of concert halls to smelliest of pubs that resemble the world’s worst toilets. His journey continues with their marriage and the births, of their son Gabriel and daughter India. Charles concludes this first part of his tale from a very happy and comfortable place as he takes stock, gets Lauren’s career on the map as an international solo recording artist in her own right, garnering many awards from both sides of the Atlantic – producing and selling many albums and working with yet another impressive list of high profile multi hit recording artists to date.
Lauren eventually hangs her live performing microphone up and becomes founder of the very successful community choir Rock Chorus – writing some of the most dynamic and striking choral arrangements of well known songs from the 1960’s to the present day Lauren makes a name for herself in a different way. www.rockchorus.com
On Christmas eve 2010 that evil and insidious disease strikes and Charles is diagnosed with bowel cancer. Luckily caught in time, borderline between stage three and four, major surgery seemed to take care of his ordeal until three years later when he is re-diagnosed with rectal cancer and having to go through chemotherapy, having his backside fried to hell with radiotherapy and then followed up once again with major surgery – the outcome is very favourable.
Both Lauren and Charles look ahead to the future with the eager anticipation of evergreen optimists.