Basic Information

My Community Name

rockinghorsekid

Bio

I am a happy -go- lucky person who always takes on a challenge but as my Wife
Susan used to say, I am either the luckiest person to survive my mishaps or the unluckiest person, in that they always happen to me.
I was born in Aintree, Liverpool, and moved to Eastchurch on the Island Of Sheppey, Kent, when I was 6. The Village Primary School put me in a class 2 YEARS above my age, where I held my own on intelligence level. That class moved up and I was then in a class 1 year above my age which I stayed with until they left after their 11 plus.The first teacher I had at that school contrived to get me to lose my Scouse Accent (Liverpool) and I had to say ”Graarrrs” and ”Baarrrth” not Grass and Bath.

I was Knocked down by a bus on May 25th 1963 (FA Cup Final Day), and so in a coma for 44 days. When I eventually wokeup, my Scouse Accent was back for a while. My handwriting and other co-ordination suffered as did my school reports and I did not pass my 11 plus even having been in the top class for 2 years, so from 1966 and for the next three years, I was in the A Classes at Sheerness Secondary School for Boys. Music lessons really were just singing folk songs, sea shanties, hymns, patriotic songs and similar from an English Song Book, we never had any musical instruments to try and had no tuition on Reading Music. We did like to sing though ha ha ha.

In 1969, Dad transferred his job to Risley Remand Centre, and so we moved to Culcheth near Warrington (Lancashire) but I found that I was 2 years behind in Maths, English and other subjects at the Comprehensive school. This was for the 4th and 5th years, and when I had arrived at the school I wanted music as one of my subjects BUT because I could not read music or play an instrument, I was declined the option. After extra lessons to catch up I still failed my”O” Levels at
School. I was also labelled a Cockney because of my Southern Accent.

On August 31st 1971 aged 16, I became an Indentured Apprentice Plant Fitter for a very large Building and Construction Company, where I eventaully passed Technical Exams gaining in 1976, a City And Guilds Of London Full Technological Certificate in Mechanical And Production Engineering (A challenge in itself as my job was in Mechanical Plant Repair of construction machinary {cranes, diggers, compressors’ tractors and similar} not Production Engineering) whilst also getting registration with the Engineers Registration Board as a Technician.Tech.CEI. and then a Technician
Engineer T.Eng.CEI.
At this time I joined and became Programme Chairman for the
Institution Of Mechanical And General Technician Engineers North West Section
where I created in the next two years, an interesting program of lectures and visits, including, Fibre Optics, Ford Race And Rally Division presentation. Major Bridge Construction using the Slide method and a visit to Heysham Nuclear Power Station, all most welcomed by the group. I also worked for nearly three years as a Plant Inspector from age 21.

Incidents such as being trapped in a Cement Mixer on a wagon, and then breaking my
left knee in a car accident in December 1976, led to my Dad who never danced,
suggesting I should start Ballroom and Latin American Dance Classes at a place he saw advertised in Eccles, Salford, Manchester,in August 1977. I did, and in October I met Susan on the stairs of the Dance School, insulted her car, and it really was Love at first sight. About 8 weeks later, I proposed to her 3 seconds into Christmas Day 1977 at a social dance there. The wedding date was set for 1st July 1978, but in May, a loading ramp was dropped onto me as I went to get a delivery note from a low loader driver bringing in new tractors. Luckily I saw it, and dived out of the way, but it crushed my left leg breaking it just above the ankle.

Our Wedding went ahead however with me being plasterered, (it being the FIRST day I was allowed to have a walking Plaster Cast for use with a stick and not full
crutches.) After finding my foot was set at the wrong angle the night before the wedding, I cut a wooden wedge and applied it to the bottom of the cast with masking tape so that I could have my feet together for the wedding pictures. Yes it shows on one of the wedding photos.

After the wedding, Sue and I moved into our first house in Lowton about 8 miles from Culcheth. In the October, the night before I was due to re-start work from
my accident, my Dad passed away unexpectedly. and so life was tough for my Mum who did not drive and my younger brothers who were just 17 and 18, so Sue and I had to give her a lot of help. To round it off I locked my right knee in early 1978, so limped with both legs for a long time afterwards.

Starting in late 1979, I moved employers to become a Draughtsman in the nuclear industry, then into insurance, during which time we had two children, John and Jennifer. In January 1985, I managed to set-fire to the kitchen at our house, and after getting Sue and the kids out, I was burned on both hands and arms and spent months with them covered in plastic bags while we lived with my Mum as our damaged house was being fixed.

Organ playing was difficult as bringing down my hands to waist level was painful,
however I returned to Engineering design in the nuclear industry afterwards on our 6th Wedding Anniversary, July 1st 1985, and was taken on a 6 week Staff Contract, which became 6 months, then 6 years and so on until I left after 10 years to live in New Zealand with Sue and the kids.

In our time here in NZ, I rewrote the Christchurch Civil Defence Welfare Manual in easy to understand English, taught, and wrote Civil Defence courses to NZ Quality Assurance Standard and obtained NZQA registration as an Assessor and Moderator whilst also gaining an NZQA Adult Education Teaching Qualification.

In the early 1970’s my Dad bought a new Thomas Playmate with Color-Glo, (the keyboards lit up) and I tried to learn to play and to read the music. Realising I could play from memory (if I could whistle it, I could generally play it) I entertained my Mum, Dad and relatives. A New Lowrey Citation Organ came after a year and I bought that off my Mum a few years after Sue and I got married.
It lost its sound in 1987 just before Sue and I moved to our next house in Culcheth but I managed to part-exchange it for a second hand Lowrey Coronation which arrived at the new house the day after we moved in.
Unfortunately the front door had to be removed to get it into the house..

I made sure that my kids could read music and had they had organ and percussion lessons. Through their first organ teacher Arnold Briggs, We, played free for Charity and at a local Rest/Care home for the elderly,and even after Arnold passed to Spirit, I made sure that they could perform in front of others in public comfortably, and they still do, Jenny being a singer and singing teacher and John still playing percussion once aweek for Sequence dancing.

When we emigrated to NZ in August 1995, I shipped my then latest organ, the Lowrey MX1 along with the lighter Yamaha HC4 which I used for the charity work along with Johns 9- piece Ludwig Concert Drumkit. The MX1 did not travel the seas well and after just over a year it was sold, and onother Lowrey Coronation arrived.
Later on a Technics took my fancy as I had tried the then new, Technics GA3 in 1994 at an organ festival in Morecambe in the UK and loved it. This one though was the GX5 which I had for about 9 years but only played at home, however I joined Youtube in January 2009 and recorded my first organ videos which I posted on there, making acquaintances of a few other organists including the late great American Technics organ player,”Jim Harris.”

Disaster struck as first in May 2009 our Grandson Leo lived for only 3 days and organ recordings lost their appeal, and then major Earthquakes struck Christchurch in
September 2010 and February 2011 and things were very bleak, however I had
been advised about a UK Intenet online radio show run by an organist who had lived in Christchurch NZ called Chris Powell, and another organist, Brett Wales. Listening to the two of them on OrganFax Radio, was like having English friends in the house and Sue and I listened also to the back recordings. It helped us through those times.

Twenty minutes before the first Anniversary time of the killer 2011
earthquake, my ownTechnics GA3 organ arrived. Due to medication problems which
causes me short-term memory, concentration and comprehension issues, I took a long
while to get into its wealth of features (a fall which tore the tendons on three fingers
of my left hand soon afterwards not helping either).

By 2013 after recording my own style of playing and posting on my own Youtube
Channel, I thought about how many organists like myself were only home players
and also possibly isolated and in need of an audience to keep wanting to play, so on
1st November 2013 at 11pm, I created a brand new Facebook group
for all levels of players, at first to be called ”Home Organist Players” but after some
re-thinking I launched it as the ”Home Organist And Keyboard Players”
The rest is a growing history of a friendly helpful music group with an International
Membership and many musical posts from our friends there, every day.

Since then I recently obtained a Technics KN6000 which has the upgrade to KN6500 fitted. I have done this to help me to play in a Piano style from a course I have got, to allow my weak right hand organ playing to improve and fill out more, while also loosening up my left had as I learnt the organ with block chords and single finger melodies which took many years to break away from. I do miss the bass pedals though as my left foot tries to put in a walking bass often and I must watch I do not wear the carpet out there, ha ha ha.

Both my GA3 and KN6000 are now fitted with USB Floppy Disc Drive Emulators.

Needless to say, I enjoy my playing and it is a great stress reliever.

Enjoy your own playing.

Robin.
The Magic Of Mexico
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfSHw3t321w&t=81s

Technics Keyboards

Keyboards

KN6000 Owner, KN6500 Owner