“My First Girl Crush Became My First Song at Age 10”

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Here we are! For those of you not be familiar with Alien Skin (hello, that’s me, George, pleased to meet you) you’d be forgiven if you expect to read a bunch of hyped up soundbites of how good I think I am.

Don’t worry. Now that you’re actually here I’m not going to be writing anything of the sort. I can talk about my professional history in the Australian band Real Life, pre Real Life in the 80s or Alien Skin at some other time if you’re ever interested. But for now I prefer an introduction at a more personal level.

I thought to myself what can I briefly write to give you a snapshot of what and who I am without going into tedious self-promotion mode. And how my story snowballed over the years to a point where YOU are here right now, by choice, reading this.

And so I recalled how it began for me as a boy of 10 with his first girl crush developing into a passion for music making.

So, this is what I wrote……

“Joanna was the first girl I had a crush on at school, I was of pre-pubescent age, lots of face blushing and shoe gazing.

My best friend, when alone, was a pocket sized transistor radio my dad had bought me. Tinny and with an unflattering sound but it began my life’s obsession with music and songwriting. It was 1970 and at the age of 10 I had no musical ability but I could write childish 6th grade words.

Using the melody of the Beatles’ song, ‘I Should Have Known Better’, I wrote my first song ‘Joanna’. As in many stereotypical girl-boy songs the girl went away and I never saw her again after the school year ended. But she did leave me with my first ever song.

(BTW my half size accordion in the pic did metamorph into banks of synthesizers when my height doubled. It’s OK, I’m not too precious getting caught out with a squeeze box in hand:)

Anyhow, back to the plot…in the 1960s many records had vocals on one side and music on the other side of the stereo image. Using my parent’s 1964 furniture size gramophone I switched off the vocals. This enabled me to sing my own lyrics over the instrumental backing. Many a bad song including ‘Joanna’’ was written like this and recorded onto my junior reel to reel tape recorder.

I craved records! It was my quest for years to buy more and more LPs. Known to us in Australia and Britain as LPs (long players not albums) they were my treasures with huge artwork. I horded my school lunch money choosing not to eat, unbeknown to my parents, to buy LPs. They cost $5.95 and I was able to purchase an LP every 17 days.

I remember my first delicious smelling vinyl big disc being a Simon and Garfunkel ‘best of’ album. Nothing else at that time meant more to me than getting lost within the music and wanting to create my own. Some rudimentary guitar chords later, aged 13, and my songwriting began developing.

We’ve all had times and events in our youth that, in retrospect, became pivotal points in the way our lives took shape. I’m sure you’re no different to me. As we share a love of 80s retro-electropop, Depeche Mode and others of the era, I’d love to think you can momentarily enter that same world with me, even if only for the duration of this post:)

For me it’s the above series of memories as a child that resonate the truest. Persistence and hard slog lead me to recording studios and international tours. Playing to thousands of fans, meeting them face to face was always the reward. I touch upon this more in Part 2.

For now, I wish to thank You for getting involved by being here and reading my first blog. It demonstrates a connection, a common past perhaps and love of similar music. Please keep an eye on your inbox over the next couple of days for its conclusion. And if you’d like to hear one of my Alien Skin milestones, click here to preview the recent album, 1980 REDUX.”

Speak to you very soon,
George

[Part 2 to be uploaded next]

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