The pen is mightier than the sword... apparently
I’ve always enjoyed writing and used to spend a lot of my free time writing stories and stuff when I was younger. I still enjoy it and have branched out into trying my hand at screenplays, music and lyrics as well.
When I became a real fan of rock music, I used to read Classic Rock magazine (before I went right off it). In one issue they featured a big article on one of my favourites, singer Joe Lynn Turner. The issue after that, some idiot had written in slagging Joe off and demanding to know what Turner had ever done to deserve his own article in Classic Rock. So I took it upon myself to reply. As a big fan of Joe’s, I pointed out all the reasons why he was deserving and corrected the guy on his inaccuracies in his letter. Classic Rock printed my reply and that was my first taste of seeing something I had written in print.
Years later, I’m on Glenn Hughes’ fan forum, and made some typically James Gaden-esque comment about how I was “the best graphic artist in the country, nay, the world…” in some thread or other. A lady named Sue happened to be reading it, and emailed me. She wrote for Fireworks Magazine, they had just parted ways with their designer and needed a new one. As I clearly liked the music they wrote about, would I be interested?
So, after being sent some back issues to check out, I thought ‘Yup, bring it on!’ and joined the team. Because I liked the music that the magazine covered, I was offered the perk of being able to get albums in advance and review them, which offset the fact that a little independent magazine couldn’t pay me that much for the artwork required. I was happy to accept, and before long I was asked if I wanted to conduct an interview.
I was dying to – and you’ll never guess who I got first? Yes indeed, Joe Lynn Turner! I’d met him once in Bradford after he played a show with… Glenn Hughes. There was an amusing incident there where he threw a bit of a rock star strop at the hotel where he was staying – and I was staying too. I reminded him of it, and he remembered me. He was a great interviewee and we got on great. I’ve since done several interviews with him and we’ve become friends who swap emails and send music to each other. That’s just awesome and I can’t help but marvel at the way everything came full circle from me first sticking up for him all those years ago!
Even more eeriely, Geoff Barton, editor of Classic Rock, emailed the Fireworks editor to say thanks for the copy of the magazine and said that he liked in particular the Joe Lynn Turner piece! Absolutely true, I still have the email somewhere. Interestingly (or not, depending on your perspective).
The magazine has grown over the years and is now stocked nationwide in WHSmiths. I’ve done an awful lot of other interviews since that first one many years ago, and you can read each and every one of them right here under the Interviews section.