I started playing guitar in Glenrothes, Fife in 1963. The family emigrated to South Africa in 65. The Johannesburg school band was called THE GROOVES and after leaving school I joined the most memorable version of JACOB HAY. JH played quasi Prog Rock during this period. The highlight of that was an appearance at the very first Ellis Park rock festival in Johannesburg, a couple of tours of Rhodesia and a wealth of gigging town halls and clubs around Johannesburg. Sadly Paul Craig, the guitarist and Trevor Rule, the bassist, have since passed away.
After JH started playing like a Salvador Dali clock, I began forming SCARLET O'HARA. SOH went the same way as JH, without the Dali clock, except we played almost only original material. I was writing like it was going out of fashion. We played all the big JHB shows and clubs of the early '80s and made 2 forgettable singles. Howard Evans, the drummer, and I fled back to the UK in 1978 and embarked on a very long tour into oblivion. We spent a lot of time gigging up and down the M1 and auditioning and rehearsing bass players.
I couldn't do SOH anymore so went back to SA on holiday and ended up forming a great outfit called HUMANIAX with Martin Simpson on Bass and George de Canha on drums. Sadly, again, HMAX was way too ahead of it's time for Joburg, but we did a few great gigs before economics folded the operation. Martin passed away a few years ago.
I floundered around SA in a hotel band called SNATCH through until 89 until I returned to the UK. I played with a few Irish bands for a time until Howard Evans, and I decided to try again playing a mix of originals and covers. It didn't take long to find that we didn't like being in a cover band, so we shifted the goalposts and became a band that played covers but done our way... there's a big difference. One way sucks the life out you while the other keeps you being creative. That was the beginning of RED HERRING although we were called CHANNEL 28 for a while.
Since then RH has been an off and on operation as I started to develop a little studio and began releasing cd albums in my own name with the occasional help from pals. Howard contributes as does George in Joburg.
I started writing short stories in the early '80s. I developed that while stuck in hotels across SA playing mainly rubbish every night. The ideas just don't stop, and it's kinda therapeutic. I tested the water by releasing two short stories through Amazon in 2018. I'm planning a compilation as I have far too many complete and incomplete works thus far. As they say,' watch this space.' Happy trails.
Click on an image below to discover more about the many outfits that have supported Hearfield through the years.