Growing up in the late 60's and 70’s on the South Coast, Gary was exposed to many Country and Southern Rock bands of the day, including The Byrds, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Flying Burrito Brothers and later The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Poco, The Outlaws.  Although these bands were to play a large part in Gary’s later career it was the clarinet and tenor saxophone that first led Gary into music. Initially classical (Grade 8 clarinet) but then Jazz - trad, bebop and avant garde. Composing for stage musicals and playing in house bands. A later claim to fame was a 1 night stand with the Ray McVay Dance Band and playing in the Southampton All Stars Big Band.


Gary’s musical training began at the tender age of ten with the clarinet, encouraged by his Dad who was a great dance band fan (he played double bass in Mountbatten's Officers Mess Band in Burma).  A single guitar lesson (classical) was enough to put a stop to formal training so that didn’t last too long as the “otherworldly” tones of both Country Rock and Progressive Rock ushered in his adolescence and led Gary to his first guitar… £10 a much beloved beginners steel strung acoustic from Minns Music in Southampton. (Although prior to that a Woolworth's Beatles Guitar had been a much treasured Christmas present). Despite guitar strings the size of telephone wires, and an extremely “uncomfortable action”, that would make a grown man cry; Gary pursued his newly found instrument with enthusiasm and diligence. Writing and playing with Gerry Pigney and initially Dave Natt (as Orpheus) but then as Grassroots with Gerry and Ivor Bundell. (Bundell Brothers).  Grassroots claim to fame was playing support to Medicine Head at Fareham Technical College. At university he played in a "non existent" 3 piece doing Be Bop Deluxe and Squeeze songs also playing at folk clubs on the South Coast (Southampton and Fareham). Having moved to North London Gary played clarinet and alto sax in a Jump Jive Band the Ring Pulls. Grassroots have reformed after 43 years and are rehearsing and playing sporadically. But a yearning to form and perform in a band to play out of the ordinary covers has led to fruition with the forming of Marrakesh. It is a pleasure to have 4 friends who have a similar musical passion!


Musical influences: The Byrds, The Eagles, Gram Parsons, Clarence White, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jackson Browne, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon.


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