I have two wonderful sons from my marriage to Sue, and am lucky to enjoy loving family ties.
Most of my life was spent working in finance. I took a break from that in the late 60′s and early 70′s to forge a career in music.
For about four years during the 1960′s I was a member of Reading based pop band “The Mackandas” who played extensively around the local area at the time. Then in 1968 I formed the folk group “Tudor Lodge”. By 1970 we had evolved into a three piece band and developed our own brand of writing and performing which led to a recording contract with Phonogram on their prestigious Vertigo label. The album is now highly collectible and sought after. We enjoyed some memorable gigs including an appearing at Cambridge festival in 1971. Tudor Lodge is still a very important part of my life. Since the mid 1980′s we have been a duo, and have released half a dozen albums.
In 2011, around the time I was completing the first draft of The GRiPPENHAM Tales, my song-writing really took off, but this time, in a new, more bluesy direction. This resulted in an album “The Doob Doo Album” being released in 2013. I pulled together a dozen or so top session musicians to help me with this project, and I was so pleased with the result that I decided to form my acoustic blues based trio “John Cee Stannard and Blues Horizon” as a vehicle for the new songs. We have since recorded three more albums as a trio, as well as a Christmas EP.
I wrote the first 35 pages of The Hidden Truth in January 2007. I then did nothing for a year and a half. By that time, three things had happened. Firstly, I had got enough encouragement to motivate me into thinking it was worth actually trying to finish the book. Secondly, I had a laptop, with all the flexibility and technical help that brings with it – I could never have coped with writing it long hand, then re-writing it long hand, time and time again. Copy – paste – save – bliss. The third and final thing to happen was that some friends offered me a bolt hole in Devon where I could go to concentrate on the task a week at a time. Without these three ingredients, the book may never have happened. I completed the novel in July 2012, and it then went on the back burner whilst I concentrated on a couple of music projects. By August 2014 I was ready to share it on Kindle.
In 2017 it was released by Austin Macauley, both as paperback, and as an e-book.
Whilst I enjoyed most of my working life in finance, I am now very very happily retired. My time is divided between the music of Tudor Lodge, Blues Horizon, song writing, travel, and generally enjoying life.
Thank you for visiting my site. If you choose to buy a copy of “The GRiPPENHAM Tales – The Hidden Truth”, then I thank you again.
Who knows, I may even be tempted to embark on the next GRiPPENHAM Tale.