I was first thrilled by music at a deep and sensual level when I was ten years old and my Dad took me to London from our suburban outpost of Teddington in Middlesex to see “Antonio and his Spanish dancers” at the huge Palladium Theatre in the West End. A few weeks prior, I had been given a very basic acoustic guitar by one of my Scottish uncles. I was excited by it without having the slightest clue how to play, or even hold it, so my dear Dad decided in his typically loving way to get a couple of the cheapest tickets to a performance of what he saw as the ultimate in guitar music.

Now, I’d heard Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock,and that was that kind of music I was desperate to hear, but I couldn’t, and wouldn’t ever bring myself to tell my Dad that Antonio would probably be so ‘square’ as to be unmentionable to any of my friends. I emerged from the Palladium that night walking (or rather ‘flamenco-ing’) on a cloud of euphoria, having been transported by the polyrhythmic clapping, heel stamping, wailing and strumming of what I realised, even at that...

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