About RJ

I define my career not so much in the traditional sense of an ‘occupation/profession with opportunities for progress’ but more in line with the alternative definition of ‘falling headlong out of control.’ After graduation, I became the best qualified toilet cleaner in Manchester Polytechnic, before talking up a post lecturing in Communications in the same institution, a move that threw the Personnel Department into a satisfying state of confusion. After a few years of teaching ‘the Butchers’ ‘The Panel Beaters’ and other groups of disenchanted students, I blagged a job in the new industry of video production in which I worked for the next 25 years as a director, writer, producer, presenter — or as I prefer to describe my self as an ‘all-round media prostitute’. My musical ventures were similarly – er, unpredictable – from touring with US hit pop bands Limmie and the Family Cookin’ and The Exciters, to getting involved with Prince – (the talking dog of ‘Sausages’ fame – not his Royal Purpleness!) and producing ‘Edward Fox’ by Smack which reached the Top 50 Alternative Charts. In 2007, I moved to Italy with my new wife, Lesley and spent seven years gigging the length and breadth of Italy performing my contaminated blues, at bars, gigs and many major festivals including Etna Blues, Torrita Blues, Blues Made in Italy, Trasimeno Blues, and I was the only non-Italian to be invited to perform at South Italy Blues Connection – for three consecutive years. I also hosted my own show called ‘The Blues and Beyond’ on Radio Imago based in Rome. I began doing illustration work, contributing regularly to Zuiderlucht, an arts paper based in Maastricht, providing a column based on my journals. I also was asked to illustrated a book of Dutch Poetry and was commissioned to design an edition for Matchboox, a publisher of hand-made miniature books based in Amsterdam. In 2014, I returned to the North West, where I continue to sing, play, write and generally enjoy myself. Since then I have ‘put out’ (or dropped as the modern parlance would have it) five CDs, and played lots of gigs.