Beastly

Biological Biography

 I was born in Bromley, Kent, a suburb of London, in the early hours of 24 April 1957. My birthplace was on the first floor of a hospital which has since been demolished; birds presumably now fly through it from time to time.

I was brought up from the age of 7 at Broadstairs, Kent, by the seaside. My childhood summers were spent going to the beach almost every day, from before the season until after the holidaymakers had all gone again.

My parents gave me my first guitar for Christmas 1968 after I saw a holidaymaker entertaining his friends on the beach by playing the banjo. (They were all sitting in a ring on deck-chairs, the men's trousers rolled up and wearing hankies on their heads like Mr Gumby.) I switched to electric guitar after seeing Marc Bolan with T.Rex on Top of the Pops in 1971 and have stayed electric ever since.

I was introduced to mainframe computer operating by my girlfriend whilst doing the Southampton University BSc in psychology,1975-77 (I dropped out).

I then moved to Central London to operate IBM 370's. After 3 years I left London to write songs at home in Broadstairs and go for long walks along the beach.

 In 1982 I went west after my second Stonehenge Festival, settled in Devon and met Jenny. On the morning after Halloween I was handfasted to Jenny and on May Day 1984 we had a Registry Office wedding. We have two children, Solomon (son of Ritchie Cotterill of the Travellers' School charity) and Rose (daughter of me). We saparated in 1999.

I then started a new career as a microcomputer operator, partly because I'd married into a Macintosh-using clan, and partly because the Open University technology foundation course T102 introduced me to PCs. So I now make my living as a Mac & Windows consultant.

I also worked for Chris Eccleshall, the master guitar-maker, as an assistant for 3 years and rebuilt and was given the all-white prototype of his first-ever original design solid-bodied electric guitar, the Barracuda . This features a tone circuit I designed, which gives "maximum shred" at the treble end when required. I also own a 1963 Burns Sonic Model and use a 50W Marshall and a 120W Orange. Valves are cool.

I like to go naked when I can, and find this especially convenient at the Valley Beach (Totnesians' name for one of the coves of Start Bay which is inaccessible enough for clothing to be optional).

My main remaining ambitions are to record all the music that's in me,
and tour the world in an ocean-going yacht playing seaside venues.

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