Fast forward probably some fifteen years to late 2011. I’d retired from the Fire Service at the end of February that year after thirty years service and with a reasonable pension. Both of my daughters had moved out of the family home, so there was no longer a need for us to stay in the London area.
Having always been city dwellers, we decided to move north and experience living in the English countryside. We found a very desirable chalet bungalow with a lovely garden in a peaceful little village in the Cambridgeshire Fens called Earith. The village has only a pub, a convenience store and a duck pond. The nearest town is about five miles away. It’s a lovely place to be.
But that’s not all folks! The new place had enough rooms for me to get my home studio back, Hooray!
After such a long layoff it was a slow start rediscovering my musical “mojo”. I felt like I needed something to shake me up, so I started taking guitar lessons. I wanted someone to teach me to play the guitar beyond “Guitar by Dan Morgan”.
One thing led to another and I started learning to play the blues on the electric guitar. A spin off was that I also started broadening the range of the music I was listening too. I discovered a liking for Metallica, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana, amongst others. All music that I was aware of but had never taken notice of before. It has made me a more rounded musician.
However, the big hurdle I had to overcome was to actually find a way to write my first new song after such a long time. I remembered a recurring theme from the past “Write about what you know!” I bought a small notebook and started to write down ideas as they came into my head; sentences, song titles, short sections of verse relating to my feelings and experiences.
It took about a year, but I eventually managed to wedge something into a crack in the flood gates and they began to open. I was a songwriter again!
Learning to play the guitar properly focused my mind into wanting to perform again. In the Autumn of 2015 I looked through some sites online that connect musicians and there was a guitarist in my local town looking for a singer to form a covers duo.
I hesitated for a whole two weeks before I finally gave him a call. I met up with Tom at his house for a chat, we got on really well and decided to work together. Our duo is called Shades of Grey and we perform mostly at private parties in other people’s houses. I get to sing all the songs I like from the 70’s and 80’s and have a lot of fun.
In February 2016 I finished my first EP containing four of the newest songs I’d written, It’s called Perspectives because each of the songs is taking an ‘outside’ view of different situations. I got it released online so it’s available from all the digital and streaming music outlets. You can also buy the CD or Digital Download from my website store.
But then it was like “So what do I do now?”
I’d started producing new music again, I had a decent back catalogue of songs, but there was no one listening to them. How do I make people aware that my music is there and available, ready for them to hear and enjoy?
That’s when I began to seriously start promoting my music on social media, which is probably how you found me.
Then just before Christmas 2016, I became aware of a Pledge Music campaign started by one of my musical heroes Gary Numan. He was creating a video diary whilst recording his new album ‘Savage’. That really inspired me to do the same thing myself: begin recording an album of my own songs and create a video diary whilst doing it.
That resulted in the release of my first solo album Night Life named after the title of the first track on the album.
I decided I had written some good songs in the past that had never been released so set about updating and recording them. The plan was to release an EP of tracks that I’d written during my Real World days. However, my songwriting continued at a pace so it seemed more logical to aim for a second full album.
So I began work on Thoughts & Crosses, due for release in September 2019.
If you’ve made it this far then I applaud your resolve and perseverance. Ha, ha!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the story of my journey and I really hope it has generated a little curiosity to want to hear some of the music I am making today?
As I’ve probably mentioned, the only way I can continue to make music is through the support of people like you who buy my stuff. Please help me continue my work by treating yourself to one of my CDs or a digital download, it will really help me out.