A Brief Personal History  
Up ] [ bio personal ] bio music ] epilogue ]

Once upon a time - it was about 60 years ago, at about 1 am ...

I would have been born in the middle of the Coventry City Ring Road ...

... were it not for the fact that it wasn't until the sixties that the new Ring Road bulldozed its way through the outer city centre and demolished the temporary maternity home that was my birthplace. But it always amused me to drive over the spot every day on my way to work.

My mother reckoned I was nearly born in the back of the taxi that took us there and that I was an awkward little *** from day one. She also thought that my entry into the world at that time of day explained my later lifestyle in the music business, when I was never really comfortable until midnight and never happy getting up in the morning. She was a clever lady, my mum.

Following in my Dad's footsteps I was educated at Hearsall Infant and Junior Schools until age 11. I then passed the 11-plus to Henry VIII Grammar School. I did quite well at school up to the age of 16, amassing about 11 O-levels, thanks to Bob Woolley and his teaching of "exam technique", or how to pass exams with the minimum of work. This worked fine for O-levels but struggled at  A-levels, especially when I had developed  other, time- consuming, outside interests, namely bands and music.

Hence, I finished school with one grade E A-level in physics and, not wishing to sing Tony Hatch songs for Columbia Records, took the appropriate route for all grammar school failures and took accountancy articles with Luckmans, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1971, becoming a partner in the firm in 1975, and retiring in 1999. My job involved advising the proprietors of small businesses, my speciality was negotiating them out of jail when they fell foul of the Inland Robbery, Customs & Excise, the Banks and all the other sources of trouble for small entrepreneurs. This job was as interesting as the people you work for and my job was far too interesting at times.

After sowing a lot of wild oats, on the 29th May 1986 I married Nat, who came from Thailand. Shortly after I adopted her 2 sons, Koon & Kit and became a father, for my sins. 

In 1999  I retired from accountancy with the intention of buying a hotel in the Isle of Wight. Unfortunately  Murphy's Law struck and prices were in the stratosphere, thanks to rich Londoners buying up everything for investments.

So we went off to Thailand to help the kids start up an Internet Cafe. After a lot of expense and hard work James Internet opened up on Udom Suk Road, Bangkok. After 3 weeks, our takings had hit the break even point, the living accommodation was good, and the family's future looked secure. Then another caff opened 100 yards away cutting our (already rock-bottom) prices by half. The proprietor was our landlady's daughter who, unlike us, didn't have to pay her mother any rent. In business, fair competition is inevitable - but you ain't got much chance against subsidised competition. So we sold the computers for what we could and got out.

Having been unstable, insulin-dependant diabetic for the previous 28 years, I caught a virus in 2003 which made life a whole lot worse. With no real alternative I spent a year getting an insulin pump, an programmable electric syringe which needs connecting every 3 days instead of injecting every 3 hours. And the result is FANTASTIC - since 18th July 2005 I have come back to life again - but that is a very long story which there isn't room for here.

So I now play golf, go swimming, spend a couple of months a year in Thailand, watch my 4 grandchildren grow up and grow old gracefully

If you're still awake, go to music history or, if you've already been there, the epilogue


1mbb website by Tim James