On leaving school I started my first job as a trainee printer at Boosey and Hawkes a company in Edgware which dealt with musical instruments and printed music, I used to take my guitar into work and practise in my lunch hour. One day a workmate told me that a group was looking for a guitar player, Of course I jumped at the chance and before knew it I was being auitioned for....Wait or it! ''The Skeletones''. Although the keyboard player was not altogether convinced they took me on and the next minute I was out there playing the local youth clubs and halls around Edgware.
The first group I joined were called ''The Skeletones'' playing local halls and youth clubs around Edgware,I was swiftly chucked out for upstaging their keyboard player with my , shall we say my (at the time)? ''over enthusiastic'' playing style?
I then went on to form ''The Trekers''with school friend Kenny Bacon a couple of gigs followed and then when Kenny left to form his own band he was replaced by Trevor Roberts.The group soon had a following and a regular gig every week at The Crown pub in Borehamwood where we were going down a storm with our mix of Rock/Pop and R&B tunes,although we did loads of gigs we disbanded after a couple of years.
The Trekkers.... from left to right...Alan Warner (Lead/Rhythm/Vocals, Trevor Roberts (Rhythm guitar/Vocals), Willy Watson (Bass Guitar) and Don Guyver (Drums)
Tel Thorne and The Dwellers
At the age of 16 I went for an audition with Essex based band ''Tel Thorne and The Dwellers'',despite the age difference (they were all in their 30''s & 40''s I was asked to join immediately,before I knew it I was off playing all over the place playing mainly American air bases around the country where they were hugely popular, I was earning a small fortune but more importantly I was gaining the expereience and playing skills that you can only get with a fully professional working band.
The Leesiders Sect
Although I enjoyed playing with The Dwellers I kept thinking (quite naturally) that I ought to be playing with people the same age as myself so when The Leesiders Sect came along I settled in straight away,also I was getting more into Blues/Rock at this point and it was like a breath of fresh air to be able to experiment and improvise more. From L to R Ray Skinner,Mick Beith, Chris Hamilton and Alan Warner.
After a while doing gigs and recording sessions as a freelance guitarist I joined an irish showband who were gigging around the london irish halls and clubs circuit,the band decided to go over to Ireland to get onto what was then a huge showband circuit,however they decided to go out as a 5 piece band when they found out there was a thriving Club scene in Dublin,They called themselves ''The Line-up''.and soon gained an army of fans with their raw exciting mix of R&B,Rock/Pop. From L to R Alan Warner( Nicknamed Lucky by the Irish fans ),Ricky,Terry Cassidy(Sitting).Brendan Brophy & Do Do.
The Black Eagles with Phil Lynott
When The Line-up split up I Stayed in Ireland for a while before deciding to come back to England, a few days before I was due to leave I recieved a visit from the manager of a group called The Black Eagles asking me to join them,I was taken round to a house in Dublin where they were all set up for a rehearsal,in the front room,,although the music was good and the guys were great, I had set my heart on returning to England,little did anyone know at the time that The Bass Guitarist, Phil Lynott was to go on and form Supergroup Thin Lizzy.
The Foundations at The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London. From left to right. Tim Harris (Drums), Mike Elliot (Sax), Eric Allendale (Trombone), Pat Burke (Sax), Clem Curtis (Lead Vocals), Alan Warner (Guitar/Vocals), Tony Gomez (Keyboards/Vocals), Pete Macbeth (Bass Guitar/Vocals).
After securing a record deal with Pye records Pluto released their album entitled (would you believe) Pluto.
Early promo pic of Pluto for The Terry King agency. From left to right...Paul Gardner (Guitar/Vocals), Alan Warner (Guitar/Vocals), Derek Jervis (Drums), Mick Worth (Bass Guitar).
After Pluto split up I decided that I needed a break from touring and being away from home all the time and I was missing my family so, I decided to stop gigging and start giving Guitar lessons which I''d been thinking of doing for a while. I stuck an ad in the local paper and before long I was busy teaching morning, noon and night.
As with a lot of other musicians, I fancied the idea of having my own recording studio so that I could record my music and songs when I felt like it rather than having to book a studio in advance. Like a lot of other small studios which were springing up at that time, mine started in an upstairs bedroom. I recorded a few of my own songs on a Revox stereo tape machine using overdubbing techniques to enable me to record the voice and instruments myself. I then upgraded by adding a 4 track Teac machine to improve the quality of the recordings. Word got out about the studio and I started getting enquiries from other musicians and songwriters wanting to book the studio for their demos and so, I then upgraded again, first with an 8 track machine, things really started to take off and before long it became a fully fledged 16 track studio, equipped with loads of other recording gear + keyboards, effects units and so on.
To be continued...
Telephone: Mobile: 07876611781