═══════════════════════ About Me ═══════════════════════
I was born Monday 22nd July 1957 at Kogarah Hospital, New South Wales, Australia, my guess is I was not planned though. My brother Geoff is 10 years older than me and I think my parents thought he'd be an only child. Apparently they had a House Warming Party after Dad had finished building the family home and nine months later I appeared, it must have been a great night!!
That house was at Jannali, New South Wales, Australia and I grew up there and attended Oyster Bay Infants and Primary schools and Jannali Boys High School. My first memories of music were around 1962 when I was about 5 or 6. My father worked for Astor Records from the mid 50's to around 1963 so music was always playing in the house.
The sounds of Bill Haley & His Comets, Johnny O'Keefe, The Platters, The Diamonds and many many more would fill the house. I didn't know who they were at the time but that era is one of my first memories of music. Then of course as is the case with many people The Beatles hit BIG with Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967 and for me that was it, I was hooked.
Music was stirring in me and I knew I wanted to be part of it in some way. There was guy, Garry Pearsall who lived in our street who was a little older than me and like most kids that live in the same street we became friends. Over the years we would go to each others birthday parties and Cracker Nights and hang out together after school and weekends. By the time I was 13 or 14 he had moved away from the area but I knew he was a Bass player in a band called Titanic. This also piqued my interest, the thought of someone I knew being in a band sounded pretty cool and he was also an inspiration for me to do something with music. I started High School around this time too and I met a few people who I connected with and we talked about music all the time.
I didn’t really know what Dad did at Astor Records till years later, typical, he probably could have help me in the industry but he was long gone from it. But, the records were still there, I dug them out and started to listen to them and it brought back heaps of great memories.
I particularly like 60's and 70's Pop/Rock music the most but don't limit myself to just that, I like all music. I think you do yourself an injustice not to listen to all styles of music. You can get so much from other styles of music you just have to let yourself let it in. One of my favourite shows is Later ..... with Jools Holland I like the way he has a diverse range of styles on the show. Some of my most favourite music has been found on that show.
When I was 14 I met my first girlfriend Kaye, who I'm pleased to say I married at
19 and we are still happy together, we have two daughters, Richelle & Allison.
We started to go to concerts and school dances and saw heaps of bands and that
just fuelled my desire to do something musical.
The most important concert was the very first one I ever went to which was Billy
Thorpe & The Aztecs at The Capitol Theatre - Haymarket, what a sensational night.
That first concert blew me away and that was the night I knew I was going to be
a drummer in a band, thanks Billy, R.I.P.
Early 1973 Dad could see I was interested in playing the drums and he offered to
buy me a kit but only as long as I took lessons to learn how to play them properly.
I jumped at the opportunity and took lessons for about 9 months till my teacher
I was soon jamming with friends after school. It was now time to upgrade my drums
and the first kit I bought (with Dad’s help again) was a Rogers kit late 1973 so I was
close to going out into the world of real bands.
By the time I got my driver’s license, I was 17 and I was close to being in my first band.
I was on my way!
My drum kits over the years:
Autocrat (England) - in White Marine Pearl
Bought for me by my Dad for $50.00. Sadly I don't have them any more. They were sold to help pay for my next kit. But now, I sure wish I hadn't sold them.
Rogers (USA) - Ultra Power VII in Blue Onyx
I bought these with Dad's help, again for $735.00 which included Paiste Cymbals!! I wish I could buy them for that much these days. Unfortunately they have been through a lot and have seen better days. But one day I would like to get them restored and use them live again.
Arai (Japan) - originally in Black Strata now Cow Print!!
I bought this as a practice kit for rehearsals for $185.00 around 1981. Over time I started using them live, now they are back to just a rehearsal kit. A great little Japanese kit that I would also like to get restored one day.
Pearl (China) - Vision in Strata Red
Although a great kit they had done their job for a number of years so I retired them in 2014.
Pearl (China) - Vision in Ruby Fade
My latest live kit, another Pearl Vision kit, I'm very pleased with them I must say.
Roland (Japan) - SPD-S Sampler
This is an edition to my live kit which allows me to add sound bites, hand claps, chimes and different snare drum sounds etc.
Roland (Japan) - HD-1 & TD-11KV V-Drums
I first got the HD-1 (left image) to practice and learn new songs at home, a very nice way to do it too and the wife loves them!! I got the TD-11KV (right image) as an upgrade and mostly use them for recording with Two's Plenty.
Paiste 2002 Series (Switzerland)
I've always used them. For me, they are the best cymbals I have ever heard.
I’ve always used 5B wood tip sticks and used to buy from an independent manufacturer from Engadine NSW called OZBEAT. His name was Roland Jehan, a really nice guy and very helpful. He even offered as part of the service personalised sticks with your name and band name printed on the sticks for no extra cost!! They were the best sticks I have ever used, unfortunately he passed away and his sticks are now lost to the world.
Vic Firth (America)
I now use American Classic and I’m really happy with them, a sponsorship deal would be nice Vic?
I was going to list my Top 10 favourite bands, albums and songs but that is just way too hard to do. Too many to just pick a Top 10! So instead I thought I would share with you some albums that have a special place in my heart and have helped shape who I am as a person and as a musician.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles: (Released June 1967)
My brother Geoff bought this album, I was only 10 when it was released and even then it simply blew me away and I have loved The Beatles ever since, they are without doubt my most favourite band.
More Of The Monkees - The Monkees: (Released January 1967)
This was the first album I bought with my "hard earned" pocket money. I was even a member of their fan club!
Tea For The Tillerman - Cat Stevens: (Released November 1970)
This album was playing the day I met Kaye. We had arranged for her and a friend of hers to come to my place, it was a Monday afternoon during the Christmas school holidays. My friend Mark Laidler and I spent hours deliberating over what music we should have playing as they arrived and we chose this album. No wonder it means so much to me.
Ceremony An Electronic Mass - Spooky Tooth with Pierre Henry:
(Released December 1969)
I was in a Science class at high school, probably around 1971 – 1972 and the teacher we had that year was from Canada doing a 12 month stint at our school. This day he had brought in an Oscilloscope to show wave forms of different sounds which I found very interesting. School was never my favourite place to be but something to do with sound was going to be cool. I noticed he had also brought in a turntable that he hooked up to it so he was able to use different records to demonstrate different sounds.
He put on this record and the sounds that came out were far more interesting than watching the Oscilloscope and I was mesmerized by them. After the class had finished I asked the teacher if he had a minute to discuss something, he said “Yeah sure what would you like to know”. I’m sure he was thinking I was going to question him about the Oscilloscope and how it worked because the look on his face was priceless when I asked “What was the name of the album you played with all the weird sounds and who is it by?”.
He told me it was one of his favourite albums and he gave me a run down on the band and the album for about 10 minutes. We talked about how music was something special in my life and how I was interested in drums etc. He was a nice guy and I’d like to think for that short exchange he got something out of it too. On the way home from school that afternoon I went and ordered the album from my local record store. I’ve read a number of reviews about the album since and it’s pretty much hated by most people and fans of the band but I love it.
Master Of Reality - Black Sabbath: (Released July 1971)
Another album my brother Geoff had, he always drove me everywhere and he had it on in the car all the time when it was released.
Children Of The Grave reminded us of the theme to Doctor Who which we loved watching on TV so we played it all the time. Black Sabbath in my opinion are the only true Heavy Metal band in the world ... ever.
Led Zeppelin IV / ZOSO / Four Symbols / The Fourth Album / Untitled / The Hermit / / or whatever you want to call it - Led Zeppelin:
(Released November 1971)
My Father bought this album for me when I had my tonsils removed. He and Mum along with Kaye came to visit me after the operation and he had the album for me. I was rapt but I couldn't play it. It was waiting for me when I got home and what a way to recover. It's the album that has Stairway To Heaven on it, need I say anymore?
Also, whoever said you can eat as much ice cream as you like after you have your tonsils out is seriously deranged. It was the only thing that would get me to agreed to having them out in the first place and I couldn't eat any to save my life ... bloody hell it hurt!!
On The Threshold Of A Dream - The Moody Blues: (Released April 1969)
My brother Geoff (again) had bought The Moody Blues' album A Question Of Balance which was released in August 1970 so I knew I liked them anyway. Kaye was away on holidays in Tasmania and I was feeling pretty down as I was missing her. I was watching some late night music show on TV and a song came on by The Moody Blues called Never Comes The Day and it floored me, so I had to have it. Everytime I hear this song I think of Kaye.
Kaye will tell you, if I hear a song I like by an artist I will get the album it's off. If I then like that album I will go and buy their back catalogue. So I hunted down what album it's from with the help of my local record store guy and asked him to get it in for me. Well the album blew me away so I went back and asked him how many more albums do they have? Four! OK, get them in for me please. I'm sure he used to love me walking in to his store every week, I think he retired on my purchases alone.
Fireball - Deep Purple: (Released July 1971)
My first introduction to Deep Purple. This led me back to In Rock (1970) and then Machine Head (1972) was released and that has the classic Smoke On The Water on it, once again, need I say anymore? What a trio of albums!!
Mental Notes - Split Enz: (Released July 1975)
The first time I saw Split Enz was as the support band to Roxy Music at the Hordern Pavilion - Moore Park on Tuesday 15th April 1975. Their debut album was more than 4 months away but the songs they were playing just got to me. I'm sure I wasn't the only one there that felt that way. Although it seemed that way to me as all I could hear after each song was boos which I thought was unbelievably disrespectful! A great band that deserved a better response than that.
Four month's later I bought the album and it is definitely in my Top 10, that's for sure. It's nothing like what the band would later be known for, it's very different and it is my favourite of all their albums. If you haven't heard it track it down it's brilliant.
Thick As A Brick - Jethro Tull: (Released March 1972)
One of many Concept album's that I love, others are:
Remember The Future - Nektar (1973), Journey To The Centre Of The Earth - Rick Wakeman (1974), The War Of The Worlds - Jeff Wayne (1978).
Also Rock Opera's like Tommy - The Who (1969) & Jesus Christ Superstar (1972) are all big influences.
My Mum & Dad took Kaye and I to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Capitol Theatre - Haymarket and we ended up going 3 times we enjoyed it so much. The first album that was released of Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) was the English version with Ian Gillan from Deep Purple on it, sensational stuff. More include: The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd (1972), The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - David Bowie (1972) and the list goes on and on and I'm afraid I've probably done just that myself?
The songs below are my favourite song from each of the albums above. Thick As A Brick is the Radio Edit Version that was used at the time. Because the album is just one long song running the full length of both sides of the album an edited version was used for radio. Back in the 1972 radio wouldn't play songs that were deemed "too long" so it would never have been heard if an edited version had not been used.
Well, maybe you can get an idea of what I like from this. I can tell you though, it's just the tip of a very big iceberg!
I also collect records and CD's, 45's are my favourite and I have quite a large collection. Nowhere near as many as Glenn A. Baker I would say but not too bad. Being a big Beatles fan I also collect Beatles memorabilia and that can be a lot fun.
So that's a bit (or a lot) about me, some might say "Not a bad bloke" and some might say "Nah, don't like him". But that's OK, the people that matter are the ones I concentrate on, life's too short to worry about things like that.
I hope you enjoy your time looking around my site. I've tried to keep it to the point and not go on too much, which I am prone to do sometimes
As I said, I hope you get something out of it .... maybe just one smile would be enough?
To begin my journey go to: My Bands.
Greg "The Bear" Morris
© Copyright 2019 Greg Morris All rights reserved.