Music has always been a part of my life. From the moment I was born I was initiated in Rock through the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones and Queen. There was also plenty of sixties music, Folk and Disco to name but a few others that my parents listened to. As I grew older this all had a profound effect on my tastes resulting in an ever expanding, eclectic palette. The first musical acts that I truly became a fan of (in my early school years) were Bryan Adams, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and to a lesser extent Bruce Springsteen. In my teens and twenties I would buy every single, album and release you could find from these artists. Over the years I have also attended virtually every Adams, Jovi and Snake tour that has hit the U.K. and on some occasions attending more than one day in a tour and one time seeing Adams three times in a week. In fact the first concert I ever attended was in 1991 at the Milton Keynes Bowl with Little Angels, Thunder, The Law, Bryan Adams and ZZ Top.
Through my college years, this taste in music continued with Thunder, AC/DC and Def Leppard also featuring prominently as well as my interests expanding into Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and even New Country. Just after I finished college and entered the world of work I was introduced to “THE ALBUM” by a close friend of mine, an album that has remained my all-time No1 since that day. That album is ‘Stranger In This Town’ from Richie Sambora and it is also responsible for my all-time favourite song in ‘One Light Burning’.
Although getting slightly heavier, my musical interests remained fairly similar until we entered the new millennium when two random moments resulted in a wholesale change. One night, I was sitting up awake channel hopping and came across Nightwish’s ‘Walking In The Air’. I had always liked the song but this style of Operatic Metal (as I thought of it as the time) totally blew me away. Not long after, I found myself out of work with plenty of time to peruse YouTube and upon searching “similar selections” to Nightwish I came across Leaves Eyes ‘My Destiny’ and Delain’s ‘The Gathering’ and my love for Female-Fronted Metal just exploded. For almost a decade now, aside from Whitesnake and Sambora, these have been my favourite types of artists and it’s a love that has expanded exponentially since I joined the Fireworks team and one I now instantly describe as my favourite genre.
Outside of music I would like to think I have been involved in several things that are as equally varied as my musical tastes despite the fact my professional career has always been office and customer services-based. In my middle to late teens I was involved as a DJ on a local hospital (then community) radio station hosting Rock and Metal shows as well as helping with the Saturday Sports Show. In my twenties I became involved in a fantastic theatre company called Quirky Productions. We put on comedy shows in Andover, Basingstoke, London and even took a sketch show to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I started out as an extra, but over time filled many roles including actor (although it certainly wasn’t acting according to the company manager), Stage Manager, Lighting, Sound and on many occasions a multiple of these for a run. After this, I spent a couple of years working as a DJ in a local late night pub doing their Sunday Rock Nights and for a while their Thursday Party Night.
In the mid 2000’s I was asked if I wanted to help set up an American Football team. We started on a muddy field with fifteen people in Jan 2004 and I took over as Chairman for the Andover Thrashers later that year. When I stepped down due to work commitments in 2007, the club had grown to over a hundred strong and it remains alive to this day (now the Hampshire Thrashers) and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2014. After my work with Fireworks, this is probably my other proudest achievement. It’s also why you will never see No9 worn for Hampshire as I had the immense honour of having my chosen number retired.
It was during my time with the Thrashers that I re-found my love of writing. I had always liked it a school and often found anything to do with journalism the most enjoyable. During my time for the Thrashers I wrote all the game day reports that appeared in the local press and in First Down (a European wide publication). I’d hoped to continue doing something similar when I stepped down and a chance email bought me and Rocktopia/Fireworks together and that’s where you find me now. I consider my work as part of the team to be my proudest achievement and every day consider it a privilege to be in the position I am to bring you all these wonderful...and sometimes sadly not so wonderful...albums. Words still don’t quite adequately describe my feelings on being asked to take over as Editor, but I just hope I can do half as good a job as my predecessor whom you will still find as part of this exceptional team.
1. Richie Sambora
Dave's TOP 5 SONGS: