Fireworks

Paul Sabin

Fireworks & Rocktopia Contributing Writer
Paul Sabin
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I was born in Eastbourne, Sussex just as the 60's were drawing to a close. Music always featured heavily around the house although in my formative years it was my fathers tastes which flowed into this young lads ears in the shape of big bands, Wurlitzer organs and ABBA! The radio, and in particular Radio Caroline was to be my medium to induct me into the world of guitar filled music that I now love as I went into my early school years. The first LP purchase I made was Deep Purple's '24 Carat Purple', closely followed with 'Rocking All Over The World' by my favourite boogie-rockers - Status Quo. The overdriven, gutsy guitar riffs had captured another convert and as such my thirst for more of this wonderful sound needing quenching. As with many of us, salvation came once more from the radio, but this time in the form of the late Tommy Vance's 'Friday Rock Show'. A ritual of climbing into bed, setting a tape going, putting on headphones and turning the volume up would ensue every Friday night. What I heard in those two hours each week was a voyage of discovery which also honed and expanded my musical taste into what it is today. My love of live music was also started here with Tommy's concert broadcasts from the likes of Kiss, Magnum and AC/DC. "TV on the Radio" really did change my life!

Music got me through my teenage years replete with my patch emblazoned denim jacket and at 15 I won tickets to see Kiss in Brighton with this unheard of support band called Bon Jovi. This was my first live concert! From the first chords of "Runaway" through to Paul Stanley's banter, I felt like I was in heaven (although I couldn't hear for 2 days afterwards!) This also sowed a seed which has influenced me to the present day and that was the decision to learn to play guitar. Things were tight at home so no chance of lessons, but having purchased a battered Hondo Les Paul, I set to work trying to get the sound of my heroes. Now some 32 years later, I have a vast collection of instruments, amps & pedals and I think I'm getting the hang of it!

Having past through school, my music collection was rapidly expanding with finds in the local second-hand stores and the vinyl sounds of Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Marillion and Queen were going through my needle. More musical knowledge and enlightenment was also to be found at this point from Kerrang! Magazine and Raw Power on TV with "Krusher" Joule & Phil Alexander imparting their pearls of wisdom.

A move to Exeter in Devon and an end to my formal education came in 1988 as I found myself going into to scary world of full time employment. I started work as a draughtsman and progressed to being a printed circuit board designer for the same firm where I stayed (until recently) for 25 years. During this time my musical passion has never deserted me and travelling to work was always accompanied by a rock soundtrack which now centres around AOR/Hard rock but also has heavier and softer edges too with Judas Priest and Saxon at one end and Kate Bush and Enya at the other. Earning a wage brought with it the ability to travel and to see more live performances including Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Genesis, Meatloaf, Status Quo, FM and Romeos Daughter to name a few. Female vocalists have also figured highly in my listening preferences with Fiona, Robin Beck, Lorraine Lewis, Lita Ford and Stevie Nicks being of particular note.

In the last few years, things have started to change once more for me, with music starting to become more important than ever. The ongoing march of social media has opened up many new worlds and led me to see the business end of the music world. I became involved in creating graphics and doing concert photography for Space Elevator – something which I continue to do today and now see them as my extended musical family. I also had the opportunity to assist session guitarist Michael Casswell in releasing his latest album where a large American label had failed, which has proved successful (and is a wonderful album!)

Outside of music I can often be found tinkering with cars and as a Sci-fi fan I'm a Star Wars and Dr Who devotee. I also work with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary Dog Section, helping to train and socialise German Shepherd Puppies for operational duty. Most importantly though I am married with two lovely children of whom I'm very proud. Even here my musical influences creep in as my children's names are Marshall & Lita!

And so to where I am today, the music world is full of many lovely and genuine people all of whom have one goal and that is to get there music heard and enjoyed. To that end I decided to start writing about my passion, with the aim of getting others to have the same enjoyment that I get from hearing a guitar singing or a vocalist pouring out emotion in a song. I am living a dream, and to each and every one of you that I've come into contact with I thank you.

To conclude, my favourite albums of all time (in no particular order) are:

Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
FM - Bad Luck
Whitesnake - Slide It In
Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Kiss - Kiss
Peter Gabriel - Four
Giant - Last Of The Runaways
Magnum - Vigilante

PAUL SABIN

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