The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - PEOPLE EYE - AS TOLD TO DENISE RAWARD

Igrew up in a work­ing-class neigh­bour­hood of western Syd­ney in the 1960s, the mid­dle of three kids. It was a pretty nor­mal up­bring­ing, ex­cept my dad prob­a­bly wasn’t your typ­i­cal Aussie dad of the time. He was a very de­voted fa­ther who spent a lot of time with us and en­cour­aged us in what­ever we did — ten­nis and cul­tural pur­suits, which was a bit un­usual.

I was a nerd at school. I did well in the early years but dis­cov­ered be­ing the class clown was more fun. I went to East Hills Boys’ High and was into mu­sic.

I played a few in­stru­ments at school and was on key­boards and was the singer for the school rock band, which meant peo­ple thought I must be gay. My school was a pretty hard place. There was no en­cour­age­ment there. You just tried to keep your head down.

I wrote my first song when I was about 14 or 15. It was about my par­ents break­ing up. I’ve still got that song — it’s not bad ac­tu­ally. That had a big ef­fect on us kids. At the time it was pretty rare. I didn’t know an­other kid it had hap­pened to.

I was school cap­tain in my last year of school and I went a bit wild af­ter that. I prob­a­bly should have gone to univer­sity but I took the easy path of do­ing elec­tron­ics at TAFE and work­ing for Tele­com.

It was the 80s and I played in orig­i­nal bands in and around Syd­ney. We wrote our own mu­sic and did gigs. It was the New Ro­man­tic era so we looked like Pseudo Echo with pink shirts and make-up and hair all over the place. No one sat next to me on the train so I must have looked like a freak.

We were of­fered a con­tract with MRA/ Uni­ver­sal but we de­cided to turn it down.

Af­ter nine years with Tele­com, I couldn’t do it any more so I sold my house and came to the Gold Coast in 1988 for a new start. It was like mov­ing to heaven.

I bought a lit­tle hire boat busi­ness on Cur­rumbin Creek. It was Expo year and that year had a ter­ri­ble sum­mer. It rained pretty much ev­ery week­end ex­cept for two or three so there wasn’t a lot of money com­ing in. I lived by my­self on muesli and toast.

In 1989, peo­ple I knew were open­ing a gym and asked me if I wanted to be a part­ner in it. I didn’t know any­thing about gyms. In those days there were only four on the whole Gold Coast. I wasn’t your typ­i­cal gym type but I found I loved the peo­ple side of it. As part­ners left, I even­tu­ally took over the busi­ness and have had Mi­ami Fit­ness for the past 25 years or so on my own.

I got mar­ried. When my two daugh­ters came along, my key goal in life was to just be the best dad I could. I got in­volved with my girls’ ac­tiv­i­ties and school and was just there for them. I sup­pose I had an­other redefin­ing mo­ment when they grew up and didn’t need me as much.

That’s when I threw my­self back into mu­sic — writ­ing, com­pos­ing and pro­duc­ing.

I get up ev­ery day at 4am to write. I do a bit of mu­sic for films and pro­duce my own songs. I also help other peo­ple, record­ing and pro­duc­ing for them.

Both my par­ents died last year and that’s been an­other redefin­ing mo­ment. I’m in the mid­dle of re­assess­ing what’s next.

How’s this for hare­brained but I’ve been look­ing into set­ting up a po­lit­i­cal party, one that’s more in touch with peo­ple. I think ev­ery de­ci­sion that’s made should be based on one thing: what’s best for peo­ple?

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