Posted by: mads04 | March 4, 2013

A guitar playing ghost & Music is a great healer

My mum got me a guitar for my 16th birthday, me best mate Willy had one and was learning to play, I grew up with Willy,he lived right opposite me and is still me best mate today as kids we done everything together played footy,played golf,went fishing,went the match,lived in each others houses and basically we are brothers.My mum always called him Willy wombat,I don’t know why she just did and in my phone he’s down as Willy wombat today. Willy started learning the guitar when I was about 15,his brother Dave was learning him and when I seen them playing it I wanted to learn to.We were all into Bob Dylan and Willy was learning a few early Bob tunes and when I seen him playing them I wanted to learn them aswell.

Music never interested me at all in school,I went to Anfield Comp and sitting there learning flute or clarinet didn’t appeal to me one bit plus my music teacher was a dickhead so I suppose that never helped! Mr Carlson his name was and Id rather be playing footy than listen to that boring bastard,He had it in for me from my first day of school,Ok I was a bit of a scally who liked to have a laugh but he was proper sadistic when it came to me.I would walk in his class and he would give me lines just for walking in(serious).He would stand there and ask questions like “Whats a Semi Quaver” and I would answer “Half a crisp” which never helped my cause but he was a proper arrogant man so I suppose getting a laugh out of my class mates at his expense was a little win to me. I was off sick one day and a load of my school mates bunked off and were seen on the field next to our school, some teachers were on the roof of the school with binoculars( a common sight) writing names down of those who bunked off and the next day in assembly all their names got called out and were sent to Mr Twentyman who was our year head and was built like a brick shithouse,everyone was shit scared of Twent!! He was a brilliant teacher,he was hard on you but fair and you knew were you stood with him but you also knew if he caught you bunking off he’d give you a crack round the head.My name got called out to my surprise and there’s Carlson sitting there with a smug look on his face watching me get marched down to Twent’s office as I got into his office I quickly gave him my letter off me mum to say why I was off sick as Twent was known to hit first ask questions later! He read the letter and quickly let me go to my class.Carlson knew I wasnt there but just tried to get me nicked so I wouldn’t have to be in his lesson that day,so when I walked in his class I was wearing that same smug look as he had in assembly earlier in the day!! Here’s a warning to any teachers reading this don’t be horrible to your students because they might come back to haunt you and trust me im coming back to put the shits right up Carlson when I finally kak it!!!

Me and Will have been all over the country watching concerts from Bob Dylan,Pink Floyd,Eric Clapton,Paul Simon and Roy Harper who to me is the most underrated song writer this country has ever produced. We went to see Robert Plant once in Birmingham and he was brilliant but was on stage for hours and we went there by train and the last one home was leaving whilst he was still singing,We were convinced he was going to play Stairway to heaven (Led Zeppelins signature tune)and were trying to hang on untill the last-minute but with 5 minutes to spare Willy said “We need to move man” so we legged it to the train station as fast as we could,got into the station and down the stairs to the platform and our waiting train, Willy was ahead of me and I was nearly at the bottom when I went flying tripped over me own foot and sailing through the air! when I landed I done about 3 rollovers and landed like I was in the SAS. I got up and tried to act cool about it and walked onto the train which was chocka block and everyone was staring at me Willy was pissing himself laughing at me. I sat down praying for the train to move but to further my embarrassment the train had been delayed for an hour and wasnt going anywhere so I sat there while everyone had a good giggle at my expense!! We’ve also seen some not so well-known musicians to the general public. We went to see a feller called Yngwie Malmsteen once because Willy bought an album of his,He was going through his electric guitar learning phase and wanted to be Eddie Van Halen!! We went to Manchester to see him and quickly realised we made a mistake because when we got there it was full of smellys(people with long hair and Iron Maiden t-shirts on) Me and Willy were dressed like a pair of away day casual’s with Berghaus coats on and Adidas trainees and stuck out like a pair of tits,so when Yngwie walked on looking like a transvestite with his Silver studded jacket and a pair of leather keks on with half a cucumber down the front I said to Willy “Fuck this,were off mate” and left rather sharpish!

Just after I was diagnosed Willy said to me “Why don’t you come down to ours one night and we’ll have a jam like the old days”,He had always been on my case to go down but they always jammed on a Friday night and with me at footy every Saturday it wasnt really ideal match preparation for me plus with the Moroccan bifters they smoked knowing my luck I would’ve got nicked by the FA if I would have got drug tested! Imagine trying to explain passive smoking to them old farts..

Willy has converted one of his bedrooms into a studio and its nick name is the Tardis out of Dr Who series because sometimes you go in there and you can walk out 3 weeks later!! When I went down there he put the microphone in my face and said have a go at singing “Fuck off knobhead” I said to him laughing. “No seriously” he answered,”With this equipment I can make you sound like Errol Brown”. Fuckin Mrs Brown more like, I thought. So I had a go and I weren’t that bad to be honest and got right into it and so that is were Last of a dying breed was born along with Paul and Mark who we had been mates with for years. Peter and Gerard our other mates are also having a go on vocals and the way they must look at it is if you can do it knobhead so can I!!

Music has definitely helped me with MND it has given me a goal and something to focus my mind on.We released our first album last summer called Shoot the Moon(Willy’s been on me case since I started the blogs to promote the album) it’s on Itunes now so buy it you mingebag!! We are currently working on another album now and hopefully that will be out around late March if Willy gets his shit together! We have done a few gigs all for MND and they have gone surprisingly well and we have raised thousands of pounds and also fantastic awareness for MND,which is what it’s all about. I think most people are surprised about my musical ventures but like ive said ive always been into my music but my football came first and most people who have seen me play are probably thinking you should have sung instead mate!!

I’ll finish with a little conversation I had with a lad called Gary Warrington who is an Altrincham fan and also the administrator for the excellent Altrincham FC fans forum(My former club and a blog further down the line). When it came out I had MND,Gary text me to say how sorry he was to hear the news and that I had always been a hero of his, which was nice and meant an awful lot to me.I text him back saying thanks and how much I appreciated all the kind words and support I had off everyone from Altrincham and I also said that as much as I know im in the shit,I was still grateful that I had at least had half a chance at life and that there were kids in hospital all over the world who never or might never get the chance I or most of us in fact had in life.

I suppose what im trying to say is that no matter how bad we feel or how sad things get, there is always someone somewhere worse off than you (especially the lads who moan about man flu!!!)

Think positive and positive things will happen!!

Thanks for everyone’s kind words and fantastic support and remember stay smiling(and buy the album!!)

To be continued….






  1. Going to buy this album on I tunes now
    Mate it best be like Our kid Erroll ❌

  2. Ey Maddox. I’m training to be a teacher & I can imagine you’d be one of them kids that would piss me off too. I’m dead strict haha, SILENCE please!!

    Brilliant blog as usual Mark! X

  3. Mustard read Mark,
    Nice one x 🙂

  4. Your blogs brilliant mark

  5. Alright mark,just read you blog had a laugh,made a shite cold wet day better.

  6. I Iove your blog, I never imagined you as so funny for some reason!
    I really don’t know what I’d do without my music. It changes moods and soothes pain, if only temporarily. The album is on my list and spreading the word!

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