Thank you! I am happier now for sure, I don’t really feel any different though to be honest! You would imagine it to become more physically challenging the older you get! But now there’s air conditioning in the venues, and that helps loads, and we use cooler fans on stage, we didn't have these in the early days! I do have to train each day though, otherwise a show would be knackering! I also think the set is more well structured now, with breaks etc, so actually, overall it feels slightly easier physically! But not easy at all!
Well, I don't know what happened to everyone, I can’t say I hate anyone either! Though I may not have said that at the time!! I do miss some of them of course, especially Marty, Teddy, to mention just a couple. Most members still live up in the north east of England, about 300 miles from me here in London, so I don’t see anyone as much as I would like to, I haven’t seen Flip for decades, the guy I started the band with!, I would love to meet up, I believe he runs some kinda distribution business now. Some members have remained in the music business I am happy to say, Dicky (drummer) is playing with Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple now, I met up with him a few months back, had a lovely night down the pub! Bonny Baz is with the Stranglers, great guitar player and singer, and a really nice lad, he does bits of backing vocals on our albums from time to time. Gary plays with the Daintees and Dicky Hammond with Leatherface. One day I will get everyone together for a booze up!
DTN lives up in Lancaster, so there’s little chance of me seeing him, though if I am ever in that area I would give him a call for sure, better that sittin’ in the pub by meself! No, really, it would be nice to see him, I know he still has his drum making business, I wish him the best of luck.
Usually after about 4 or 5 years, I have found that musicians begin to lose interest, not the case with Tommy, he has just as much enthusiasm as he had when he started playing with the The Toy Dolls in 2004, a great Toy Dolls bass player, and Tommy has the synchronized choreography off brilliantly. Duncan, well , I have never heard a punk drummer play with such finesse, Duncan takes real pride in his performance, a sensitive person with high principles. Not a bad singer either!
On occasions I have come close to it, the closest was around 1985, after our UK chart success, we were finding it difficult to get shows, especially in UK, I was becoming a little despondent, then we met our manager/agent Dave Chumbley…
Ohhh Yes, in a huge way, The Toy Dolls wouldn't be around if it wasn't for Dave, he is the management and also our live agent, been with him for 25 years now!
Quite a few bands including Oasis, Offspring, Kylie Minogue etc, I think The Toy Dolls and New Model Army have been with him the longest.
Good question, and the answer is yes, we owe a lot to a number of people!
Fat Bob, for his dedication and support.
Mensi & Decca from The Angelic Upstarts have both been a massive help and support.
My older brother Ernie, for running the fan club and doing 1000s of other Toy Dolls related things.
My Mother for putting up with me!
And a whole load of other people!
I think maybe around 1990 ish, there was next to nothing for the first 11 years!
I don’t have a daytime job, no, but I am self employed and I am involved in buying/selling/renting property, I have been doing this for around 15 years or so. I love it to be honest, and its completely different from The Toy Dolls world! I was a private guitar teacher for a number of years. And…I did have a wedding company for a few years too, supplying wedding cars and drivers, I also use to be one of the chauffeurs meself!
Ha, yeah, but the other way around… The only time I got recognized was when The Toy Dolls played a festival in Holland, someone was there who was at one of my weddings in the UK a few months before hand! He said, “Hey, arn't you the guy from Durham Wedding Cars!?” Fame eh!?
1. Children, no way! I wouldn't have kids if I were paid to have them! For some folk its fine though, having children may be great for them, I have many friends who have children, they are happy and good parents, but I couldn't do it!
2. Ha, I seem like an only child eh? No, I have an older brother and older sister who live in the north of the UK.
3. Sadly my Father died when I was 11, and mother passed away also in 1983.
Yeah, I live in central London, St,Johns Wood.
I am very happy thank you! Of course I miss friends and family who are in the north east, I like to get back from time to time to visit people, its been a few years to be honest, long overdue a visit.
I wouldn't move back to live now, I am happy where I am, and if I did move I think I would move somewhere where I have never lived before, maybe the Oxfordshire countryside.
Aye, Sir Paul lives in the next street, his house is somewhat larger than mine mind ya!
Yes, I write at home, I have a spare room with the computer/guitars and everything in.
It can be difficult to get motivated some times, I guess that's just part of having a job where you create things. I have set times when I write, I start at a particular time and don't stop until the time I have set to finish, then I don't go back into the room until the same time next day, unless I have some sudden inspiration!
No! not with me, I have to be alone in the room, and prize the ideas outta meself. I couldn't have anyone else around.
I heard Nick Cave say a similar thing recently.
To be honest, when I have been working on music all day, listening to more is the last thing I wanna do, I like silence!
Occasionally I listen to Ella Fitzgerald.
I do like watching the telly though, and going down the pub, or visiting the Cotswolds for fresh air.
Nah, cant be bothered watching sport, or the music channels!
I love Coronation Street, Desperate Housewives, Neighbours n’ stuff.
I also like University Challenge, Nature programmes, and so on.
Oh, and I like Keeping Up Appearances! Me mate “Clive” an actor who lives across the road from me, is Richard Bucket in that show, brill stuff.
Very funny! One just enjoys watching television of an evening.
Sliding Doors, The Green Mile, Fatal Attraction, The Exorcist, The Elephant Man, I saw Anvil the other night, great stuff.
Yes, fairly healthy, I wake around 6am, do my exercises, drink one pint of water, then go training. After training I have a pint of smoothie, usually grapes/oranges/strawberries and blue berries. 2 slices of toasted wholemeal bread, and a yoghurt, followed by a number of vitamin pills. Throughout the day while I am writing I will have a few coffees (DE-CAF always) or mint tea. Lunch is usually soup/bread. Dinner varies, usually Japanese food, I try to eat seafood as much as possible. As for alcohol, maybe 2 glasses of wine once through the week or 2 small beers, then a moderate amount down the pub on a weekend, I would love to drink more but performances would suffer.
Me! No, neither, never really been interested, think I would rather spend the money down the pub!
More than happy with The Toy Dolls achievements, I can’t believe that the crowds are still there after 3 decades! What more could I ask for? I can play the guitar moderately well with a kinda unique style, that's it, I am hardly Brad Pitt in appearance, and I can’t sing for toffee! 30 years, ha! Very happy!
Yes, The Toy Dolls WILL end, I don't wanna go on and on, no disrespect to Charlie Harper and Knoxy, but, I would like to put The Toy Dolls era to bed at some point, something to remember with pride. It will be an incredibly sad day for sure.
I would like to move on to other musical things.
Oh dear, put me on the spot why don’t ya!, less than 5 years I would reckon!