James Gaden

Fireworks & Rocktopia Art Editor
James  Gaden
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James Gaden has been into classic rock music even before he was born, thanks to his heavily pregnant mother attending shows by Status Quo and Thin Lizzy. His love for the music was kick started by seeing Queen perform at Wembley - on the telly sadly, but it was still inspiring. Not only did the young James find the songs to be extremely good, he also thought Queen drummer Roger Taylor was one of the coolest things ever, and he still has a slightly obsessive fascination with him to this day. A life changing moment came when James was in his father's car, and Bon Jovi came on the radio with their hit single 'Living On A Prayer'. James thought it was amazing, and his dad said 'If you like that, you'll probably like Whitesnake'. Upon returning home, James was bequeathed with a vinyl copy of 'Slip Of the Tongue' and everything changed. Investigation into who these rocks gods were, and where they came from, led James down a riff heavy powerhouse path paved by Rainbow, Dio, Gillan, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Years have passed, and James' knowledge of each act expanded as rapidly as his record collection.

One day, taking a break from his job as a graphic designer in a print studio, James went onto Glenn Hughes' fan forum and made a wild random boast about how skilled a designer he was. Sue Ashcroft from Fireworks Magazine happened to be reading, and the magazine happened to need a new person to design the magazine. Freaky or what? James ended up joining the Fireworks team and took over design duties from issue fifteen onwards. Because of James' love for rock music and the fact he is willing to force his opinions on anybody who will listen, Fireworks editor Bruce Mee finally relented and let James contribute reviews and ultimately interviews to the magazine. He has to date conducted lots of interviews with lots of his heroes, including Joe Lynn Turner, Chris Jericho, Glenn Hughes, Jimi Jamison, Mick Jones, Brian Howe, Ian Gillan and many more. And, to bring things full circle, he has done three interviews to date with Status Quo - the band he heard in the womb thirty years previously.

James helped Fireworks Magazine make the transition from a mostly black and white publication to one that had 16 colour pages by bringing the magazine to his then employers, before the magazine grew in stature and finally went full colour. He also proudly states since he came on board, the magazine has attracted much bigger names to it's pages, - although most would argue that's probably a coincidence. James eventually became a self employed designer and happily toils diligently on Fireworks every issue, as it was his first official customer upon going solo. James also loves to create the artwork and packaging for the series of Firefest DVDs that have been issued in conjunction with the amazing Transistor Pictures, among many other endeavors.

He has a website showcasing his artwork and skills at www.solitaryvision.co.uk and a personal website that serves as a home for all his interviews, his large sense of humour and his even larger ego over at www.jamesgaden.co.uk. James' favourite bands are Mr. Big, Whitesnake, anything by Roger Taylor, Queen, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Status Quo and many, many other classic rock acts, as well as having a love for powerhouse male vocalists like Tom Jones, Tony Christie, John Farnham and Michael Ball. James takes some flak from his colleagues for this, especially about Michael Ball, but he doesn't care, because Michael Ball calls him "mate" when he sees him. James is one of the youngest members of the Fireworks team, but makes up for being a late comer to the scene by having much more hair than many of his fellow writers.

James' TOP 5 BANDS:

1. Mr Big
2. Roger Taylor/The Cross
3. Queen
4. Whitesnake
5. Deep Purple

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