Western Telegraph Wed 5th November 2008
'Jacks new album, The Line features guitar trickery that will drive rock
fans wild, as well as acoustic love songs....'

The Line: An Album by Jack Castle                                                           May 27th 2008

This album was made for, and is dedicated to, my two sons Rowan and Tom Castle, and my wife Jane. 

The Line - Jack Castle - Red Admiral Recoreds REDAD CDA557Concept
The idea here is ‘The Line’ as an interface or point of change. When crossing the line we arrive at some turning point or crisis in our lives. Here ‘The Line’ is also a metaphor for the constraints we meet in our lives, money, time, those we love etc. In short ‘The Line’ is about the lives we lead.

In writing these songs I have reflected on crisis and change in my own life. Many of the songs are based on real events, or have some philosophical point to make. Each song is described in detail later.
The musical style is guitar orientated. I have tried to give each song some interesting guitar solos. This is analysed under the technical section of this introduction. I have tried to incorporate vocal harmonies throughout, and generally follow the Mirkwood tradition of melodic strength coupled with technical excellence. It’s for you to judge whether I succeeded. I hope you enjoy the music.

The Tracks

No Time    Title
1:   4.01     The Line                           
2:   4.06     Just a girl in love
3:   3.45     Triads
4:   2.50      How could she love me?
5:   3.55      Can you hear this?
6:   3.54      On my mind
7:   3.13      The cynical song
8:   3.58      Remember the leaves
9:   4.52      December blues
10: 5.59      That white Rosetti
11: 3.01      Axe waves comin’
12: 6.32      Philosophy
13: 5.03      The Strand Palais
14: 8.13     Weber was right!

 Tracks, words, and technical notes

1: The Line                                                                             Words and music by Jack Castle

And so I came down to the line,
And I thought that I would be fine,
But I could not see some who were called my friends.

And though you were there with me,
I knew that you could not see,
The line and the question of why we were here.

And those who say there is no line will surely know the day,
They cross the turning in their lives, before them lays the line.

And even though we try to leave the past behind,
It’s not the way we give, it’s just the way we live.

It’s drawn across the sunset,
It’s drawn across the sea,
The line is drawn so we cannot be free

The line is drawn by lovers,
The line is drawn by friends.
The lines upon their dark blue suits,
The line gang’s here again.

And those who say there is no line will surely know the day,
They cross the turning in their lives, before them lies the line.

I guess we all have crisis in our lives, and I’ve had some bad moments! Luckily I’ve had a great family and friends to help me through. It’s also worth thinking how many constraints on our lives are imposed by friends, family, illness, money  and work..

Technical stuff for guitarists and musos!
The solo includes a some fast legato playing together with a very fast two handed tapping passage which incorporates bends between taps. The exit solo is rather ‘Yes’ inspired with the use of pedal tones.

 2: Just a Girl in Love                                                            Words and music by Jack Castle

She  was just a girl in love, a girl in love with me,
And I was just a boy in love, a boy who dreamed that
She came to love me, she came to see that I,
Would always try, throughout my life, to keep her safe with me.

And I know I’m no movie star, but she looked in my eyes,
And saw deep down, my love was true, and so it was that,
She came to love me, she came to see that I,
Would always try, to keep her safe with me

My life has been so many things, and you might say that I..
Did not reach my highest dreams, but I can say that
She came to love me, she came to see that I,
Would always try, throughout my life, my love my wife, to keep her safe with me.

A beautiful simple love song dedicated to my wife Jane.

Technical stuff
The opening phrases and middle solo are guitar harmonics that are also violined using a volume pedal. The effect is enhanced by the stereo echo on the deck. The song included some nice guitar harmonies over the seventh chords in the bridge.

3: Triads                                                                                     Words and music by Jack Castle

The first girl came to cheat me, left me standing in the rain.
The second was much sweeter, but I knew she could not change.
The third girl said she’d meet me, it was April by the sea.
Since then it’s been forever, this girl was meant for me

The first boss was so brilliant, the second was my friend.
The third man played the system, made sure we could not win.
He was a politician, he played the cheating game.
Made sure he took the credit, made sure we took the blame.

Three strands to my life, through it all kept alive, my love for the girl by the sea.

The first band was my school friends, the second band was fun.
The third band played the triads of my original songs.
We played with all the big names, our music was sublime.
Those summer nights of music were the greatest time.

 Yes, it’s all about my life! Three girls, three bosses, and three bands …triads! The girl by the sea is of course Jane. The first band was The Vikings, the second Carl and the Invaders, the third Mirkwood.
The wonderful summer nights at the Louis Armstrong with Bod and Jackie Bowles, playing for  Mirkwood, were the best of times. The rest I’ll keep to myself!

Technical stuff.
The solo incorporates some Mark Knophler phrases, there is also a fast Van Halen type tapped passage and  arpeggio sweeps.

 4: How could she love me?                                                     Words and music by Jack Castle

How could she love me? How could she care? Maybe it’s a dream but she’s still here.
Why did I say that? It wasn’t fair. Maybe she’s a saint, but she’s still there.

Maybe I don’t listen, to everything she says, to hear her voice, to know she’s here, is everything
I need.

Atlantic coastlines, mountain skies, wind and rain, but she’s still here.

Maybe I don’t listen to everything she says, to hear her voice, to know she’s here, is everything
I need.

How could she love me? How could she care? Maybe it’s a dream but she’s still here.

This lovely little love song was written as a tribute to Jane, my wife. She’s an angel!
 I don’t know how she’s put up with me all these years!

Technical stuff
This song was played finger style on my acoustic guitar directly into the deck, the only other instrument is a base guitar. I love the three note slash chords such as D/F#, which create lovely  moving low string patterns.

5: Can you hear this?                                                                Words and music by Jack Castle

Can you hear this? I am with you.
Can you see it, just a tiny light?
Though you may be down, things will turn around.
You’ll survive this, realise this….

Can you hear this, can you hear this, can you hear these words?

Keep on searching. We will never stop.
‘Till you find it, just a tiny light.
You know it just takes time, but deep inside you’re mind
You can hear this. You can hear this.

Can you hear this, can you hear this, can you hear these words?
Can you hear this, can you hear this, can you hear these words?

You can hear this, you can hear this, you can hear this truth?
Can you hear this, can you hear this, can you hear these words?

This song was written for Rowan and Tom. I felt that if ever I was not around, somehow I
could still help them if they were down.
If you too are perhaps feeling down, listen to the song . There is always light at the end of the tunnel. I hope it helps. This is possibly my favourite song on the album.

Technical stuff
This is the only song that uses a clean guitar sound. Out of phase Knophler style in the verse, Marvin’esk in the solo. The solo incorporates some slow sweeps which are actually hard to keep clean and in time.

6: On my mind                                                                          Words and music by Jack Castle

I try to dream, I try to sleep. I see you’re face, you’re here with me.

On my mind, you’re ever on my mind.
Child in time, our love will never pass away.

On my mind you’re always on my mind.
Forgive me if I find, no way, to say, what’s on my mind.

What are words, but shadows of our truth?
Like the dew they shine, then vanish with the dawn.

On my mind you’re always on my mind.
Forgive me if I find, no way, to say, what’s on my mind.

And even if I could explain. What could I say to ease the pain?

What are words, but shadows of my truth?
Like the dew, they shine, then vanish with the dawn.

On my mind you’re always on my mind.
 Forgive me if I find, no way, to say, what’s on my mind.

My love you’re on my mind. So deep inside my mind,
Forever on my mind. My love you’re on mind.
So deep inside my mind.

This beautiful song has so much history. I wrote it for Mirkwood, and it became our most requested track at the LA. Derek did such a great vocal, but it never got recorded. I’ve re-written it here to incorporate a better starting line. There is also an exit solo with three part harmony to end. I still hope to get Derek to sing it.

 Technical stuff
The most difficult bit was the guitar harmonies on the bridge over the seventh chords. Exit solo is simple minor pentatonic stuff.

7: The cynical song                                                                    Words and music by Jack Castle

So glad you could join us! Hope you’re gonna stay!
Gonna make you richer. Pay you lots of pay. Work you night and day!
Human resource people make you so happy. ’Till we just don’t need you.
Throw you on the scrapheap. Oh dear no more pay!

Blackberry rings, you’d better reply. Twenty four hours it’s our little spy!
A thousand e-mails every day. We send them just to keep you awake!

Leave you’re brains behind you. Don’t want creativity!
We want little robots, yeh the rules are there to read.
Just try and be just like me.

Argyris and Schon were right you see. It’s O-I behaviour for you and me.
If you want promotion you’d better conform. Promote yes-men, it’s our little norm!

The words would be funny, but unfortunately they are often too near the truth for many organisations. Having spent a lifetime in management lecturing, I still wonder at the poverty of thought in most organisations, and the terrible waste of talent that arises from their bureaucratic structures. As a creative person, I hated organisations, though not all the people! By the way, most (not all) of the management theory is also crap, and has no theoretical basis. Argyris and Schon wrote a seminal paper in 1978 which showed that most organisations only promoted ‘yes men’ so they could never learn what they were doing wrong! And so we come down to the line…

Technical stuff
The start is hybrid picking based on the E7#9, or Hendrix chord. The solo was improvised in one take it uses fast double speed picking runs. I use a hybrid natural minor/dorian scale. There is also a double handed tap phrase using both left and right hand fingers. I use the second, third and fourth fingers of my right hand to tap, whilst still holding the plectrum between thumb and first finger. The end of the solo is a musical raspberry to all crap organisations!

8: Remember the Leaves                                                       Words and music by Jack Castle

Autumn leaves falling down
Softly gently to the ground
Listen carefully what is that sound?
Could they be whispering remember?

When we were young, with apple green light
We saw you walking safe in our sight.
Softly we kissed you, gently we waved
Oh let our memory be saved.

Remember our laughter, remember our song
In breezes and showers we danced and we shone
Though many others will soon take our place,
We hope that you will remember.

What  it is, we long for,
Why it is we pray.
Autumn brings those memories
Golden like the days.

Once more I see their faces.
Their voices rise again.
On every leaf is written
Another hallowed name.

Close my eyes, I see you,
Walking down that lane,
Hold my hand for ever,
Feel the love, the pain.
Autumn is such a poignant, sad season, somehow it brings back so many memories.
Friends who have passed on, and are sadly missed. This is a poem set to music. The falling leaves are a metaphor for lost friends. ‘..On every leaf is written another hallowed name’. Like many of you reading this, I have lost many treasured people including my parents. Recently we lost another wonderful friend, Dave’s wife, Christine English. We will never forget them.
This was another Mirkwood track that never got recorded, its re-written here and extended.

Technical stuff
I used a condenser mike to pick up my acoustic guitar. The part that sounds like a slide guitar is actually a pitch shifter. The keyboard parts were all played on my Korg Triton.

9: December blues                                                                    Words and music by Jack Castle

December rain is falling
Dark clouds all around.
My nose against the window,
And I think I’m going down.

The south west wind is blowin’
Its tearin’ at my door.
It only stops raining,
So the wind can blow in more!

Give me a time machine.
Spin those days.
Set the date, make it May.

Get me out of here, I got water in my shoes
Get me out of here, December blues.

Christmas cards are falling,
Adverts on TV. I’m losing my religion
It’s just a spending spree.

Don’t tell me to be cheerful, season of goodwill.
Co’s you know I’m feelin’ tearful,
And I think I caught a chill!

Give me a time machine, spin those days.
Set the date, make it May.
No more wind, no more rain.
Sun comes out, live again.

Get me out of here. I got water in my shoes.
Get me out of here, December blues.

I wanted to include a minor blues track on the CD, so I tried to think of something that really made me feel blue. It was easy, it’s December! Dark, wet, long nights, no flowers… I hate it!
The song makes me feel depressed at the thought of it!

Technical stuff
The guitar solo has some difficult stuff in it. After the first phrase there are some arpeggio sweeps that incorporate a note tapped several tones above the last note of the chord, before sweeping back down. This creates an arp. that’s impossible to play with normal fingering. You have to be quick to get it right. Lots of bends and whammy bar energy to get these sounds. The organ sound is from the Triton.

That white Rosetti                                                        Words and music by Jack Castle

Born in the suburbs of an East Kent town,
I spent my teenage years,
Saving money from a paper round, washing dishes at sea.

Came the day I had the cash.
Down to the store with the jar.
That white Rosetti made my fingers bleed.
I bought my first guitar.

I struggled hard with those barre chords.
Learned how to bend those strings.
Until I knew I had it beat,
I joined a rock’n roll band.

Chris and Rodney, they asked me to play
Lead in their rock’n roll band.
My name on the posters for the  town hall gig,
On every street in the town.

A lifetime spent, a thousand gigs,
And still she stayed with me.
And still she stayed with me.

My music made, so many friends.
Friends still so dear to me.
Friends still so near to me.

Yeh! I got money, got a new guitar.
I guess its too late now.
But I still play for the love of it.
I still play for the skill.

Yeh I can play Eruption.
Aliens surf at my will.
Satriani I’ll catch you yet.
I can still feel the thrill.

This is the story of my first guitar. I worked as stewards boy on the ferries to save up the money. Unfortunately the guitar was virtually unplayable it was so poor. It was Chris Stirling and Rodney Saker who asked me to play lead for Carl and the Invaders. Eruption is classic guitar piece by Van Halen. Surfing with the Aliens, is by Joe Satriani.

Technical stuff
Some extended sweeps at the beginning lead to a fast pedal tone part over an open E string. The guitar is violined under the bridge part to sound like a cello. The exit solo has a lovely original fast riff that somehow appeared from nowhere on the first take of this improvised solo. The high note is at the 24th fret, the highest a guitar can go! Keep your windows shut if you play this, the bats will soon arrive!

11: Axe Waves                                                         Words and music by Jack Castle

Red Strat playin’ gonna make you feel fine
Axe waves comin’ gonna take you higher…
Make me happy, make it guitar time,
Axe waves comin’ gonna take me higher!

Red electric guitar man, gonna set you on fire man… fire!!

Power chords comin’ gonna blow your mind..
Axe waves comin’ gonna make you feel fine,
Electric light, electric sound,
Electric waves gonna blow you down… fire!!

Red electric guitar man, gonna set you on fire man,
Gotta hear that guitar man, Axe waves keep you alive man!

A heavy rock track celebrating my love of the guitar, and the feeling you get as the power from the amplified guitar leaps off your fingers and hits the audience. It’s a drug, and it keeps you young!

 Technical Stuff
There’s a lot going on here! Early on there’s a fast high pedal tone lick over an open E string. The bridge uses my favourite three note slash chords. The solo’s employ fast sweeps arp. fashion through the chords that are diatonic to the scale, ending in a high minor chord which incorporates a tapped note at the end of the sweep, then extreme whammy bar movement. There is also a fast ascending triplet run, reminiscent of Gary More’s solos. Sweeping took me two years to master, it’s the most difficult technique in my view. Finally there’s a Van Halen  type tapped passage at the end.

12: Philosophy                                                                   Words and music by Jack Castle

Questions on my mind, the answers I must find.

If only, I could see.
The reason, for you and me.
To think, to be, to love, to see the truth

And those who read the signs,
They claim they shine a light.
Still I cannot see, still find no release.

Questions on my mind, the answers I must find.

If only, stars could reveal.
The answers, they must conceal.
To think, to be, to love, to see the truth.

And when our time is done,
Can death destroy our love?
I know it can’t be true, for ever loving you.

If only there was more time.
I promise, that I would find,
The way to be, to love, to see the truth.

And so we come down to the line… what is life all about? What happens when we die?
These questions seem to get a bit more important as you get older! Surely there has to be more than just biological existence for a short while. I have decided that I will come to my own answer before the line appears, but I’m still working on it!

Technical stuff
This track is all about chords. Some of the most beautiful chords on the guitar are those that incorporate open strings within their structure. You can hear these all through the main verse. The first is a version of Bma7, the second is an A with an added ninth. The bridges are based on the triadic slash chords, you can here them clearly changing from m7, to 6th, to m7b5, to major with a descending base line. I floated violined notes and harmonics to give a feeling of space. The exit solo sounds simple but isn’t. It includes some slow sweeps through several diatonic shapes, followed by high taps.

13: The Strand Palais                                                       Words and music by Jack Castle

In  southern lands, by pebbled strands, there stood the Strand Palais.
The flaking paint, the local hate, rock at the Strand Palais.

I was just seventeen, wastin’ the day.
I heard these words, ‘ ..man will you play?’
Bob was the bass man,  Mick burned the lead.
How could I turn down this chance to break free?

Play at the Strand Palais, play at the Strand Palais.

The biggest band in Dover town, was called the Rolling Stones.
And they would play the Strand Palais, and bus the fans back home.

The rock n’ roll music it filled them with rage,
They rolled on the floor, and they tore at the stage.
We ran from the stage door, we ran for the bus,
Blood in the gutter, chains in the dust.

Blood at the Strand Palais, blood at the Strand Palais,
Rock at the Strand Palais, rock at the Strand Palais,
I remember the Strand Palais, I remember the Strand Palais.
Blood at the Strand Palais, blood at the Strand Palais.

The Strand Palais is burned into my memory. I played it many times. This is a true story.
 The first Rolling Stones were Dover’s biggest band. Not to be confused with the later famous band, who adopted the name. Bob Hopkins was the bass guitarist. He lived near me with his brother Peter, and we are still good friends. My good friend Mick Morris played lead guitar for the Stones. Their rhythm guitarist was ill and they asked me to stand in. The Stones ran a bus from Dover, and every time there was open warfare between the Dover Teds and the Deal Marines and everyone else around! In those days rock was young and some people had never heard an electric guitar. This big hall was packed so full you could hardly move. I remember some people became so excited by the music they had fits and rolled on the floor. The evening’s sport was to try and grab our legs ands pull us off the stage!
After the gig the usual fights broke out, and some of the Teds were using chains and knuckle dusters. I ran for the bus, but got caught by some of the Teds, luckily one said, ‘..he’s one of the band let him go’… so I made it home! I believe the Strand Palais has been demolished.

Technical stuff
I played some of the early tracks on the album to Rowan, who complained there was not enough fast playing! Well Rowan, there is on this! It opens with a two handed five fingered tapping lick that’s a bit of a monster to play! After the verse an Yngwie Malmsteen type diminished 7th., sweep ascends the fret board ending in a severe bend… ouch! Whilst all the tapped licks on the track were carefully researched, the main solo was a one take improvised shot with some fast runs and double speed picking. It finishes with two upward arpeggio sweeps followed by higher taps. Back to another extended Dim7th. sweep, then into an extended Van Halen tapping part that works well over this chord sequence.
The vocal verses contrast sharply with all this mayhem, using slash chords and a chorus guitar to create a sense of space. The exit solo uses some very fast fingered double speed picking behind the chorus. There is also some harmonic notes bent up with the whammy bar.
Just as the track fades you can hear a fast tapped passage. This uses a ‘colliding fingers’ technique. A  D min scale is played note by note with the left hand, after each note the right hand taps the note just vacated by the left hand. This happens down the scale and back up. If you get this wrong the fingers collide which is painful!

14: Weber was right!                                                     Words and music by Jack Castle

You need it, you bleed it, you throw it all away.
Yeh!, Money, money, money, why don’t  we lose  some more today?

Invest it, detest it. Are your Euro Stoxx OK?
Yeh! Money, money, money, they say it’s up ten points today.

Don’t store it, just withdraw it,
Let’s buy something nice today!
Yeh ! Money, money, money, it never seems to stay!

Enables, disables, it rules your night and day.
Money, money, money, why don’t you listen to me when I say….

Give it all away, give it all away, give it all away….

The bank rate, the tax rates, take it all away,
Yeh! Money, money, money, leaves you no more time to play!

It binds you, defines you, you’re life is just a game.
Money, money, money, it’s how they know your name!

Inherit, no merit,  who cares it wasn’t mine?
Yeh! Money, money, money, you see the real constraint is time.

So demote it, revoke it, ‘gotta find another way.
Well, Money, money, money, why don’t we give it all away, yeh!

Give it all away, give it all away, give it all away.
Give it all away, give it all away, give it all away
 (Spoken words: I’d give you mine but I’ve spent it!

Give it all away, give it all away, give it all away
(I guess Weber was right, eh?)

Give it all away, give it all away, give it all away
(Well I’ve still got my guitar so I might as well play!)

Max Weber (1864-1920) is regarded as the founder of modern sociology. His examination of theories of idealism, and the materialism of Marx led him to a pessimistic conclusion. For him the processes of rationalism leads to capitalism as an iron cage. We all end up trapped, working harder, getting nowhere!  This song reflects this imperative. Money and material things are not enough. In the end time is the real constraint,  we have to find another way…‘and so we come down to the line..’

Technical stuff
This song was inspired by Ollie Halsall’s playing and Patto. This song unlike all the others uses dominant seventh chords throughout. As such it is a study in the use of the mixolydian scale (1,2,3,4,5,6,b7). This produces some difficult scale shapes with finger positions often a tone apart. In this song the solo moves between various CAGED positions (no pun). At the start there is strange tapped minor pentatonic riff produced by widely spacing the two hands and repeating the scale as you descend. Next a plectrum tapped riff with a plectrum slide enables high speeds to be achieved, Satriani uses this. There is also some complex sweeps in the second verse, and finally some harmonic notes boosted by vigorous use of the whammy bar. The guitar sound uses a deep flanger. For the exit solo I just turned up the echo on the deck, and the sound changed dramatically. This joyous solo burst out to end on a note of optimism. Its me shouting the messages of course.

 Me and my guitar playing: some biographic notes
I was bought up in the Tower Hamlets area of Dover, Kent. I started playing at the age of 16 after saving up money from part time work. I bought a white Rosetti guitar, which played like a barbed wire fence!  I then formed a band called the Vikings with Dave Pettet and Roger Langley, we had no base guitar!! We played the River Hall. Jane, my wife sold tickets and we filled it with our school mates. Sometimes I thought the floor would give way when we played, as  the hall was packed and everyone jumped up and down.
 In 1961 I also stood in with Dover’s original Rolling Stones band playing rhythm guitar at the Strand Palais theatre in Deal at the invitation of Bob Hopkins.
 Later in 1962, I was asked by Chris Stirling and Rodney Saker to play lead in a new band. This was an amazingly unselfish invite, as Rodney was a good guitarist, but elected to play bass. Chris was so much fun, what a wonderful group ! Chris even lent me his Burns guitar as my Hofner had little attack. The band was called Carl and the Invaders. My friend Dave Cook sung lead and Roger Langley once more joined me on drums. We played a lot of rock and Shadows tracks. I learned a lot about clarity and precision from Hank Marvin who remains one of my main influences. My playing has always made tremendous use of the whammy bar to add beauty and sustain. I thought the band was very good. We had enormous fun. We often played Dover Town hall and then the posters with our names on it were plastered all over the town! It all ended very sadly when Rodney died at age 21 of cancer. We were devastated…so young to die.

In 1967 my friend Mick Morris asked me to join him in a new band called Take Five. Mick had played lead for the Rolling Stones and we played double lead together in Take Five. We sang four part harmonies. Dave English on lead vocals,  Pete Inwood on bass, Mike Lord on drums. We even did Good Vibrations, Dave did a great job on the falsetto parts! The band was very successful and played all over Kent. We also backed a number of big names at Tofts Club in Folkestone. These included Georgie  Fame, Geno Washington, Eric Clapton and many more. At this time my guitar style was very much influenced by Eric Clapton and the Beano album.

After Take Five, in 1971  Mick and I together formed Mirkwood. We wanted to play progressive rock with double lead and complex vocal harmony. All material was to be original for the first time. We were joined by Derek Bowley on lead vocals, and Andy Broadbent on bass. Steve Smith played drums. The original line up was brilliant and we played all over Kent. We backed bands like Super Tramp, The Fortunes, Silver Head and The Moody Blues. Super Tramp told me we were one of best bands they’d seen!  Later D. Evans played bass and Nick Headon replaced Steve Smith. We made the Mirkwood album, which was recorded by Ron Nunn and marketed by Flams. Its still selling today. I must have written nearly forty songs for Mirkwood. Nick Headon ( who later joined the Clash) introduced me to the playing of Ollie Halsall and Patto, whose speed and creativity inspired me to change my style of playing for increased speed. I started playing all my runs using a barre fingering.
We played the Louis Armstrong in Dover every Friday night for Bod and Jackie Bowles who were wonderful supporters of the band. We should have gone professional at this point but we all had good jobs ….mistake… and so we come down to the line.
 Nick was in turn was replaced by  Terry Prior, and then Dave Blakey. We found it difficult to replace musicians who left Mirkwood, and eventually the band folded.
In 1980, D. Evans and I formed a commercial band with glamorous Paula Clitheroe who sang lead with Andy Shilling. We recruited Fred DeGrussa on drums, a wonderful drummer and a great guy. It was called Easy Action. Mick also later joined the band. We sang complex harmonies and I also wrote a number of original songs (Gone eight thirty, Love ain’t no fool) for Paula that we recorded at Diploma studios, but these were not released. Later Paula was replaced by the wonderfully talented Didi Basford. The band was very successful commercially.

Later in 1985, there was a brief resurgence of Mirkwood, with Mick and I on lead, Max Hoad on bass and his son Mathew on keyboards. Bob Brown played drums.  Once more the line up was superb. We played a lot of American rock tracks as well as original material. At this point (1987) I hit ‘The Line’ and made a life changing decision to leave Dover and Lecture at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Jane and I moved to Chepstow in 1987. As I didn’t know anyone, I made backing tracks and went out as a solo artist. I must have played every pub in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. I had a wonderful following at the Boat Pub at Redbrook, and the Ship at Raglan. Perhaps the best was the working mans club at Sudbrook. When I played Parisienne walkways the whole audience would bow and shout ‘..we are not worthy…’!! What a wonderful crowd they were. During this time, Rowan and Tom, my two sons, operated the electronics on stage,  so we shared many gigs together. Later Jane also did the  electronics job for me … I owe them my thanks.
I studied Van Halen, and Satriani during this period, incorporating tapping and sweeping into my playing. I also developed a hybrid picking technique.

After retiring I bought the equipment to make this album. It was recorded on a Korg D1600, 16 track digital recorder, over the last five years in spare moments.  My electric guitar is a Yamahah 321P, my acoustic guitar an Ibanez AW understrung with 09 strings. I use Korg REM effects mainly an AX1500 floor unit. The base was a  basicTanglewood model. The drum machine a Roland TR-626,…how I hate programming drums! The keyboard is a Korg Triton Le.

Jane and I have now moved to Pembrokeshire where we enjoy walking the coast path, and I still play live! I still keep in touch with many of my musical friends especially Mick, Derek,  Fred,  Max and Mathew Hoad, and Dave English.
I do hope you enjoy the album, and that the written notes add another dimension to it all. Long live rock music! Keep practising, I will!
Jack Castle   May 28th 2008 

A personal word of  thanks

We don’t often get the chance to tell people how much they mean to us, but I can here, without observing their embarrassment! Without these people I could not have played live. I’ve had the most wonderful experiences and memories.
A special thank you to Mick Morris.  His friendship and advice over the years have been very important. He is the most naturally gifted musician I have worked with. Together we formed Mirkwood.

I would also like to thank:
Derek Bowley, a fabulous singer and a good friend.
Max and Mathew Hoad, wonderful musicians and friends.
Dave English, a great singer, and a life long friend
Fred DeGrussa, a great drummer and good friend
Bob and Peter Hopkins, great friends from the age of three!
Nick Headon drummer with Mirkwood.
Steve Smith….. drummer on the Mirkwood album
D. Evans, friend and bass guitarist on the Mirkwood album.
Pete Inwood
Mike Tracy
Tony Lister
Paula Clithero
Didi Basford
Mike Lord
Dave Cook, great singer and life long friend
Roger Langley
Chris Stirling
Rodney Saker
Ray Doble, what a great guy!
Dave Blakey
Terry Prior
Bob Brown
Bod and Jackie Bowles, for their support at the Louis Armstrong, Dover.
Ron Nunn for his help on the Mirkwood album.
Chris Ashman, of Red Admiral Records, my publisher, for his hard work and enthusiasm.

Not to forget the girls
Especially Maggie Morris, and Chris English
Jackie Hoad
Joan Cook
Denise Bowley
June Tracy

Copyright note: All songs were written, composed, and performed by Jack Castle 2008. These songs are protected copyright of Red Admiral Records and Cringe Music (publishing)