I was born in Highgate, London, and as a child I lived in Parliament Hill Fields
My family emigrated to New Zealand in 1971 and settled in Wellington, where my father was an academic. I attended a rather nondescript secondary school; so nondescript, in fact, that it has since been closed down by the local authority. Wellington itself has matured into a vibrant, cosmopolitan and outward looking city, with a world class ensemble of restaurants,cafes and bars: unfortunately, however, during the 70s it was a grim cultural desert, and in 1979 I returned lo London, fired up by teenage enthusiasm for the burgeoning London music scene and crazy colour hair dye.
During the bleak and recession blighted years that embodied Margaret Thatcher's vision of a new England I enjoyed a wide variety of jobs, from artists model at St Martins College to kitchen porter at an expensive restaurant in Edinburgh, whilst never straying far from the sanctuary of the DHSS.
As my post-adolescent heroes either descended into glum gothic navel-gazing (The Cure) or reinvented themselves as dizzyingly trivial (Adam and the Ants, The Human League) I became aware that the glamour of late 70s nihilism was fading fast; I traded my bass guitar for a moped, and realising that monetarist economics and dole culture were passing fads I attended City University in October 1984. I graduated in June 1987 with an honours degree in philosophy. while also having found time to rebuild an ancient norton motorcycle and acquire an instructors licence (long since lapsed) in Chinese kickboxing.
After graduating I decided to put my degree to good use by working in the music industry, so I found a job at the Astoria Theatre on Tottenham Court Road. I started as a stage hand and rapidly gravitated towards the sound side where I worked in live music production and backline (roadying). Mention of the bands I worked for is best avoided, as the few who have not long since slipped into obscurity are now such dinosaurs of rock that any association with them would be positively embarassing.
My first child was born in 1989, forcing the realisation that it was time I got a proper job, but instead I started work as a camera assistant for the London office of RAI, Italian network television, working mainly on current affairs with a few documentary shorts thrown in. One benefit was that as the Arts are very important to Italians, I got paid to attend the opening of every major art exhibition in London for three years. Another benefit was that I got plenty of practice at remaining calm under pressure, while director, cameraman, presenter and researcher all shouted at each other.
Formal training schemes for technicians had more or less ceased to exist by the end of the eighties, with the main broadcasters "downsizing" their facilities and halting recruitment. People like myself had to find our own way into the industry, and along with on the job experience a major part was played by the Short Course Unit of the N.F.T.S. in Beaconsfield, where I attended several courses while working as an assistant.
Due to political upheaval in Italy, RAI stopped shooting in London in 1992, and I was on my own. I have been working full time as a freelance sound recordist ever since. I am now living in Islington , married with four children, and still looking for a proper job...