|Gulliver is Alan Gillis
|Some experts tell you that you should concentrate on one style of music to create an 'identity'.
When you've been around as long as me, you've been subjected to so many influences that you are bound to have diverse tastes.
I've been writing songs for over 50 years now and signed my first publishing deal in 1965 (Golden Dawn - contracted to The Shadows but never released). I start off simple and sometimes, after a while, I feel things getting too complex and take some time off to get back to basics. Simple is generally best.
My father worked for The Ferrograph Company (manufacturers of high quality tape recorders) and we always had a machine in the house, which I learned to use when I was about 7 years old. My early influences were the songs I heard on the children's radio shows - Burl Ives, Jimmy Rodgers and Roy Rogers are the ones I remember. My elder brother and my mother listened to the likes of Johnnie Ray, Frankie Laine and Mario Lanza. The first live show I went to was to see Johnnie Ray at Newcastle City Hall. My father was more in tune with me and loved The Sons of the Pioneers. He always told me that 'cowboy' music was the way to go!
When I was about 14, my brother was working away, and I picked up his home made guitar and taught myself some chords from a tutor book. A school friend loaned me some records by Duane Eddy and Chet Atkins and that was it - well and truly hooked.
By 16 I had my first band, The Denims (after a couple of name changes) and by 21, fully professional, we had a recording contract with Columbia Records (part of the EMI group). In live performances we supported many of the top stars of the era including Tom Jones, Del Shannon, Adam Faith, The Hollies and too many others to mention here. I've lost count of the number of times we supported The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and their keyboardist Neil Innes has been known to join us on stage. We had a couple of sessions at Abbey Road, but for several reasons, we had nothing released and shortly afterwards, disillusioned, we disbanded to get 'proper' jobs while we were still young enough. I became a banker.
Soon I was invited to join another local band - The Impact - and I was off again on a part-time basis. I didn't stay with them very long, but I somehow kept going, playing in show bands, resident bands, duos and working as a solo performer.
GULLIVER was originally the professional name I used when working solo.
I haven't performed in public for some time, but I've never stopped writing, and these days spend a lot of my time in my home studio working on new material, or constantly revisiting the older recordings, looking for ways to improve them.
Mostly, my music lies somewhere between 'country' and 'rock'. I had English people telling me I wrote country music and Americans saying that I didn't! For that reason, I've had some of my songs recorded in Nashville and now they ARE country.
I now have publishing deals for 10 of my songs, including 4 from the 60's that have been gathering dust for over 50 years. They can't be on this site as the company has paid me for exclusivity.
I don't suppose I'll ever give up, but it gets harder to come up with new ideas.