Hi my name’s Geoff (Penn) and I retired to live in Cyprus after living and working in the UK as a Consulting Engineer. My first memories of being totally absorbed in music were at the age of about six playing shellac records on my grand- mother’s posh radiogram. As a young teenager and togeth- er with a best friend we used to sneak up to London to watch Georgie Fame and the Blue-flames at the Flamingo Club, both of us making out that we were staying over at each other’s houses. I suppose these forays firmly embedded in me my love for the Hammond organ for which Georgie was truly an exponent.
After I had served my apprenticeship, job changes led me to work in London and it was there during my twenties that I discovered the very early beginnings in fact the birth of progressive rock within the pubs and clubs such as the Marque. Here bands such as the likes of early “Yes “with that wonderful Hammond organ sound. Also too the college circuits to see “Genesis” and stable mates “Rare Bird. And from there it grew watching named bands together with various, at the time, unknown support bands, and buying their albums at gigs. But of course a time comes when these helicon days subside into the background following marriage and raising of children. The BBC Friday Night Rock Show, Saturday Club and John Peel take over as your personal link to progressive rock music. As my children grew,even though progres- sive rock has been kicked into touch by the advent of Punk, little chinks of light appeared. Bands such as the Bevis Frond came to my attention with their own particular brand of psychedelic rock and with them an interesting underground magazine entitled the Ptolemaic Terascope for which I did a couple of interviews. Firstly with the keyboard player of Cressida’s Peter Jennings and then Peter Howell the brains behind Agincourt and who worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. (I still have the interview tapes and various photos plus a name credit on “Alice through the Looking Glass” album).
Even after my second marriage and a move to Buckinghamshire music still played a large part of my life and in my social calendar, Tony McPhee (Groundhogs), Dick Hekstall –Smith (Many bands including Colosseum), Mike Abrahams (Blondwyn Pig). All these guys could be found treading the boards in and around Milton Keynes and ever willing to chat to you about anything related to music. And then the Friars Club in Aylesbury to watch Marillion and the Pitz to see tons of other fledgling bands.
And now present day in Cyprus. I run a little group trying to share my love of progressive rock music to others. I do get a few hardened soles coming along but I rather guess it’s more of a case of getting away from their wives for a couple of hours a week but my campaign to spread the word is slowly taking root.
The pleasure of keeping in touch with new progressive bands and their albums is made so much easier these days with social media and great web-sites like this together with accompanying Face Book sites where you can sample the sounds.