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 Actually, I wanted the other one...

 

 

 

 

         
 

 
               
 

THE SECRET ORIGINS OF MUSIC & ELSEWHERE...

Once upon a time, there was… well, that’s the thing really, it’s kinda hard trying to work out where it really did all start. Throughout my youth in Frimley in the 70’s, I’d been in and/or formed a string of bands, from those that barely got off the ground to those that did a few gigs and left the odd recording behind. There are a few names that still play games with my memory; Crystal Leazant (from my schooldays at Weydon), Imperius Rex (think I’d been expelled by then), Mystic Love, Ankh, Wispy Cross, The Sound Machine and Tron, re-workings of songs I originally wrote for the latter two of which even found their way into the MMATT catalogue. But all of that came to much ado about nothing. Meanwhile, I kept writing ballads, the odd comedy song (ahem), and made a few quid on the side doing cabaret, all whilst working as a team manager in the offices of a company that made uPVC windows. And then came that moment of realisation; a) I woke up one morning and shouted “What the fuck am I doing with my life?” b) A small three eyed green alien snuck into my house one night and completely rewired all my amps and effects (*delete as applicable). And thus I started the MMATT project, taking the name from the records that were No.1 here and in the U.S.A. on the day I was born. Although my heart was very much in it, without the coming together of The Grain, I can’t help but suspect that this would ultimately have gone the same way as all the others. So, where exactly to start? I think the first link in the chain was probably the moment I walked into...


 
 

1. THE ROCK BOX...

Come March 11th 1987, I was ready to unleash the first MMATT demo album, “State Of The Art”, on an unsuspecting world. Eight days later, still looking forward to celebrating my second sale, I wandered into a newly opened independent record shop on the London Road in Camberley, The Rock Box. I showed the man behind the counter my masterpiece, duplicated on a TDK D-46, complete with photocopied inlay, the front of which had then been hand-coloured with pink and blue highlighters. “I wonder if you’d be willing to stock a demo by a local band?” I asked. To my amazement, he agreed, further stunning me by refusing to take any cut of the cost for himself. And whilst we may have been the first, he continued to do the same for every other local band that walked in there with a tape to sell. That man was Ken Dudley, deservedly a total legend in the Camberley area, and very much responsible for assisting that local scene to flourish as a result of his providing such a great focal point for it. I asked him what the philosophy was behind his very alternative way of running an independent business? "Simply the love of music." He replies, "And I just wanted people to buy as cheap as possible. I didn't think I would

Ken Dudley behind the counter of the legendary Rock Box, circa 1991/92...


still be doing it now! There was a big gap in the market for something like the Rock Box and I just wanted to fill it!" That you did, Ken! Next up...

 
 

2. MEETING THE CHARLES...

THE CHARLES: Count Five / Charles Remix (Chris Carter) on vocals, Benedik Charles (Ben Williams) on guitar, Jacob (Ian Merrick) on bass and questionable trousers, and Tarquin Experiment? (Shawn Parlour) on drums. I didn't have one decent picture of Shawn at the time I did this collage, but Julie White Hawk kindly sent me some later, thus he won't be wantonly neglected all the way through this feature, only on this bit. Sorry, Shawn...