Blues with Attitude
Steve’s first introduction to music was through a tiny plastic four string “Beatles” guitar, about the size of a ukulele, which was given to him when he was just eight years old. He proudly recalls using it to play the Danube Waltz. He is somewhat less proud when remembering that he later used it to destruction as a cricket bat, muttering something about being inspired by Pete Townshend.
His Bach side began to develop when at age 16 Santa gave him a full size acoustic, on which he undertook a course of Classical lessons. During this time, he once performed a Cantata in G for Elton John. He performed it in his sitting room, and Elton would have had no idea, but he performed it for him just the same.
His 17th birthday saw him receiving a Les Paul copy, and his first actual Gibson Les Paul followed shortly afterwards, so now fully tooled up and with an ever broadening repertoire, he was ready. For many years he gigged with a variety of local Rock Bands, performing a mix of original songs together with covers of Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard, Led Zepplin and AC/DC standards. Venues were many and varied around the region. His main influences at this time came from the likes of Brian Robertson, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Al Di Meola, Joe Bonamassa, BB King, Larry Carlton and Gary Moore.
And then suddenly sometime in the late 1990s, right at the height of things, Steve faded from the local music scene completely. He admits that he started to play guitar again when his son Joe expressed an interest in learning to play, but remains evasive about what he did from then until his recent dramatic and successful re-
Because he remains modest and evasive, no one will ever know for sure what happened in the intervening years. One suggestion is that Steve continued to practice and to take lessons together with Joey. Not everyone is in accord with this theory. The only thing we can be certain of is that his fluid and dynamic style, alongside his technical ability, has become much more sophisticated and polished since his days with his first real six-
We can also recognise that times back then were hard, and that guitars and guitar lessons have always been seen as an expensive luxury. One belief is that during this time, Steve may have supplemented his income by moonlighting at Birmingham Wholesale Fish Market. It is suggested that he drove a van, delivering fish and seafood to customers in some of the best hotels and restaurants throughout the Midlands.
If this is in fact true, then perhaps Steve’s transformation into one of the most outstanding and inspirational guitarists of Wolverhampton’s Bricklin Delta has come at the cost of him delivering someone else’s sole to the DeVille.