Seizing the moment and living in it is one of Buddhas’ finest suggestions on how to live life. To take full advantage of life’s opportunities whenever and wherever they
present themselves and to live a music biz life to your full potential.
When I look back over my highly enjoyable career in the music business, the one element that holds true in every success is the fact that I grabbed an opportunity to do something when it would have been much easier to say ‘no’.
Being a ‘yes’ man has led me down paths to hit records and fun filled projects which were totally unforseeable at the time. One door leads to another …and so on.
When I was asked to become a frontline member of the already chart topping Brotherhood of Man, initially my heart sank because they were not exactly my preferred style of band at that time. ‘Why does it have to be them’ I asked myself. However, my mother was a big fan so I gave it a go. In no time at all, not only did my status as a musician rise abruptly to ‘top of the bill’, but I was creating new ‘masterpieces’ in some of the best studios in London whilst rubbing shoulders with some of my pop idols such as Kate Bush, The Who, The Hollies, Paul McCartney, etc.. I grew to love being with a top class act and enjoyed every moment.
Working with top engineers and learning my production skills as I went, turned out to be a godsend for my future life and songwriting with people who had already had a host of hits, taught me so much.
Opportunities kept coming my way and included producing acts that I had previously bought records from. Many requests for my productions were from former pop stars or bands that had probably passed their sell by dates and probably wouldn’t resurface as serious chart contenders. However, there were instances when I said ‘yes’ which opened doors to success with others. For instance, Brian Poole, who introduced me to his daughters whom I subsequently recorded and they became a regular chart act ‘Alishas Attic’. Producing a new version in 1989 of ‘Im In The Mood For Dancing’ with ‘The Nolans’ might have seemed futile to some, but that became a hit internationally in Japan and other opportunities came in to me as a result including meeting ‘Simon Cowell’ who bought me my first studio with a label deal.
Million selling chart popsters ‘STEPS’, were born out of a stream of unconnected occurrences, including musically directing a new version of ‘Bucks Fizz’, that finally led me to try to write a pop line dancing anthem for a boy/girl band which was very unhip at that time. With every stage of forming this outfit, there were many times when saying ‘no, this isn’t going to work’ would have been a money and time saver but 20 years on, they’re still going strong with a big arena tour just completed to celebrate the anniversary of their first song release ‘5678’…. what I wrote.
Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a way of seizing an opportunity and at least, having a try. This is a crucial element to progressing and getting led down paths that were seemingly impossible or invisible. That happened recently when I played 2nd guitar to Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, formerly of ‘Guns & Roses’ and one of the best rock guitar players in the world, at the biggest bikers festival in S. E. Asia. When asked to do it I initially thought that, as a well known ‘cheesemeister’ and ‘middle of the road’ pop artist, it would be too much of a massive leap to big stage rock, especially when there are so many much better rock guitarists around than me. However, I nervously said yes and successfully did the job as professionally as I could, subsequently being asked to do it a second time the following year. I remember standing on that stage, both years, in complete amazement that I could ‘pull off’ such a task that was so far out of my usual remit and completely thankful that I had grabbed such a big opportunity with both hands.
In recent years, many opportunities have come my way in TV presenting and production plus hosting a morning FM radio program for many years here in Pattaya. I started presenting radio with the ‘AND Magazine Show’ in Southampton U.K., on Radio Hampshire a few years back when I was invited to co-host with someone who was not technically minded and didn’t know how to work the knobs. I did it for free but the experience I gained led to my presenting at 96FM when I moved to Thailand.
So, be a ‘yes’ man and grab every opportunity as you never know where it’s gonna lead.
Finally, here are some brilliant quotes that can help you to seize the moment.
– If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.
– In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.
– As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.
– It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path.
– Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
– Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people are enchanting.
– Decide what you want, and then act as if it were impossible to fail.
– Every moment wasted looking back, keeps us from moving forward.
– To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.
– A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
– A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
– If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
– Most people miss opportunity because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
– Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
– Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.