Simon Nelson

Questions for the Band

Each member of the Creative Team was asked to give 10 fun facts about themselves. Here is what Simon said:

  1. For a primary school, Year 1 concert (at St. Leonard's, Stafford) I said I could play the piano (I couldn't). I asked my dad if he could teach me by next week (not realising that it takes a little longer) and he couldn't. I taught myself to play We Three Kings of Orient Are, badly, with one finger. The girl that followed played a Chopin Prelude perfectly.
  2. The first time I handled a guitar was in Year 4: I went to the school fancy dress as John Lennon, of The Beatles, complete with Beatles wig, Beatles suit and a guitar borrowed from my cousin (I didn't win!). My cousin was annoyed because I lost all his plectrums. The following year I went as a belisha beacon and came in first.
  3. At secondary school I learned to play the trombone and played in the Staffordshire County Orchestra.
  4. In the school choir I sang so loud they called me Foghorn Nelson.
  5. My first guitar cost £5 from the now defunct Woolworths. It was unbranded, made of plywood, and was practically unplayable. I got my first decent guitar by earning money from cleaning the local cinema after Saturday morning kids club.
  6. I dropped out of art school like many musicians seem to (Lady Gaga, Freddie Mercury, Pete Townsend, Keith Richards...and me) where I was training to be a sculpter.
  7. I became an itinerant musician playing and living in Europe, USA, Australia, and Bermuda. In Bermuda, I played 4 hours a night, 7 nights a week, for 12 months.
  8. I was signed for 4 years (with my brother under the name Nelson Brothers as a songwriter to a Los Angeles publishing company. We spent time song writing in London, Sante Fe, Tucson, Nashville, and Bordeaux.
  9. I teach beginners to play the guitar in adult education classes. I've gotten over 2,000 people started on the guitar.
  10. I bluffed playing the Indian sitar on a famous TV commercial featuring Chris Evans. They said, "All we need are a few twangy noises - that must be offensive to you as a serious sitar player." (Phew! All I could manage on the sitar was to make twangy noises.)