On Sunday the 17th December 1978, I went to the Marquee Club to watch The Fall and Manicured Noise with bass player/vocalist Pete Conway. We met a guy called Dave Edwards and his girlfriend Mandy Spokes. We agreed to meet up on Weds 20th December at the Railway in Mill Hill, 36 years ago today, to discuss forming a band - The False Dots. None of us could play, we had no equipment and we had nowhere to rehearse. We decided that this was no impediment.
I bought a Hofner Galaxy guitar and a FAL amp. Pete bought a bass and Dave bought a drum Kit. I agreed with my Dad that we could rent the derelict caretakers cottage at Bunns Lane Works as a practice studio, We then got in touch with another local band, called Kabuki, run by the Malone Brothers, who agreed to lend us a bass amp, in return for a rehearsal space. Seven weeks after the meeting, on the 14th Feb 1979, we officially opened our new studio in the derelict kitchen of the cottage and had our first rehearsal. Although we didn't know it at the time, this was the beginning of Mill Hill Music Complex Studios, as some of the friends who came down immediately asked us if they could rent the space, so they could rehearse there as well. Like many great businesses, it started by accident!
From the very beginning, all I heard was "You can't play", "Your songs are crap" and ""The cottage is a S**Thole" from siren voices, but we persevered, We persevered through line up changes. By 1981 the band were touring Scandinavia and the studio had a loyal hard core of bands who supported us. Amongst these early customers were Rockabilly Superstars The Polecats and Alan Warner from the Foundations,.As time went on the studios developed, to the point where we have 17 studios and over 1,000 musicians a week using us, in a purpose built air conditioned complex.
So today is the day is the anniversary of the day the whole idea kicked off. To celebrate, I'm doing a few numbers at the Open Mic night at the Midland Hotel in Hendon,with Allen Ashley who was our vocalist in 1985, Drums with Gray Ramsey who has been our drummer on and off since 1984 and Fil Ross, who many of you know from the studios who has played with the band since 1998.
It hasn;'t ever been easy but it's always been a blast. Thanks so much for all your support and don't you let nobody turn you round, if you have a dream. I wish I could say that the achievements of the last 36 years had all been part of a brilliant plan, but like most things rock and roll, the truth is that God/Karma/The stars were aligned in our favour and we were in the right place at the right time.