• What is your role with DIME & DIME ONLINE?
My title is President of the DIME Group but it’s actually just a fun title because it makes me President Nixon. Myself and my partner and DIME MD Sarah Clayman own and run DIME, DIME ONLINE and ORIGINAL 1265 RECORDINGS together and have been working together for 20 years. Day-to-day my role is expanding the business, strategy, actively overseeing all music, in all of the companies, and maintaining the ethos behind what we are doing.
• Who were some of your influences as you progressed as a musician?
In chronological order, here are some of the lead players in the soundtrack of my life…..My grandad, Bob Goodall & my uncle Les Goodall (both top jazz guitarists); my mum, Django Reinhardt, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat Cole, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, THE BEATLES (by far the biggest influence), The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Henry Mancini, Dusty Springfield, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Beach Boys, Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, 10cc, David Bowie (first 4 albums only), Etta James, U2, The Police, The Clash, Prince, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Arrested Development, Grace Jones, Damien Rice, Norah Jones, Frank Ocean.
• How did you establish yourself in music education?
In 1988 I became a manager for the first time with Little Angels whom I took from my own label onto Polydor and went on to have 11 hits and a No 1 album. The first thing we did after signing to Polydor was a thing called The Rock & Roll Education Tour where we played high schools at lunch time and rock clubs at night. That tour put the LA’s first single in the Top 20 without even going to radio. This is what first awakened me to the power of switching on young people to the real music biz. 13 years of constant hits stopped me doing anything about it until 2001 when we started BIMM. 15 years later and DIME is the culmination of all of that.
• What was the first record you ever bought?
Hard Headed Woman by Elvis Presley. It cost 5 shillings and 9 pence.
• Best experience in music?
Recording is probably when Crispian Mills and I spent the afternoon in Chipping Norton Studios recording a song called “Sleeping Jiva” with a Sitar player called Wajahat Kahn – spellbinding! I also once recorded Robert Plant doing a blues harmonica solo on my own at Mayfair studios. That was a trip because although I’m a producer I’m a rubbish engineer. RP wanted to do it immediately so I just followed the mic lead, hit record and we got it. Live? No question…playing percussion with Kula Shaker when we opened at Knebworth Park with Oasis. 250,000 people and we were having a monster hit at the time. Magical.
• What gear and equipment are you using?
I love great microphones. I worked with Bryan Adams once and he collects valve mics. In his home studio in Vancouver he has the most amazing collection. I also love my Maccaferri acoustic guitar.
• What projects / bands are you involved with at the moment?
I just made an album in 7 days with our newest singings APLUS. Virtually no overdubs, just like Nat King Cole used to do! It’s turned out really well because APLUS have developed their singing and songwriting ability to the highest level.
• What’s your top tip for being a professional musician in the modern age?
Same as it ever was. Talent? Yes, but it’s about dedication. Everything else in your life has to come 2nd to music. You also have to “see” music. It’s a visual as well as aural art.
• Any last words?
Of course….! I have had two number one albums in my career and I want a 3rd. I would also like to say that living in Detroit and building DIME in America is the most exciting thing I could be doing at this stage of my career, and I am in daily awe of the instructors we have at DIME and DIME ONLINE. It is a genuine privilege to work with every one of them.