Thanks half a million…
It started over 13 years ago in what was only supposed to be a one off, a favour, after extensive spinal surgery, to go out and attend a gig, it just happened to be my teenage hero Fish and it was in an old favourite venue, nothing more, nothing less, say what I saw, take a note of the set list and tell the Music Editor of the Birmingham Mail.
It started like that, simple and clean. Except that I couldn’t do clean, I attended the gig, I got back to the computer and I typed a 180 word review. Just the once, no more but at least I thought it was enough just to say my words had been in a paper and I had fulfilled a dream, a passion of writing that had so far evaded me.
The next day was one that was steeped in happiness, not only was the review in the paper but I was told, anything else I wanted to write in terms of gigs, just ask and they would try to accommodate me in getting in. In the time I spent doing it for the Birmingham Mail I was privileged to write about Marillion, The Stranglers, Damien Rice, Magnum, Go West and Tori Amos to name a few. It would end soon enough though, I moved to Liverpool, the paper went digital and I was not a journalist.
Fortune and my wife Judith’s persistence in getting me to return to my studies and attend the University of Liverpool meant that I was able to join their media group and it was with absolute fondness that I was able to start writing about music in Liverpool, a city in which my mother, albeit a proud Cornish woman, had installed into me at an early age to look upon as arguably the finest in the country for its music output and its sense of incredible passion. In the four years I was at the University it was an honour to write about some of the great young bands coming through but also write 1,000 articles whilst doing my degree.
Now four and half years on again after leaving University, I owe a debt of thanks to Liverpool and beyond as something I have worked upon, with my wife taking over editing duties 18 months ago as my health faltered slightly and with the prospect of finally being able to write my first book of poetry a real opportunity, has reached a target I honestly never thought imaginable. To reach out and be read half a million times is beyond hope, beyond anything I could dream of and now Liverpool Sound and Vision has reached that fabled mark.
I can only thank with all my heart anyone who has spent time even reading one article, one review, who might be a regular reader, to those, especially Janie Phillips who have stepped in at the last minute if I have been too ill to attend, to Peter Grant, Catherine Jones, Jon Collins, Mary Clinton, Liz Taylor, Alun Parry, Ian Prowse, Chris High, Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon who pushed, urged me to write and to many others, too numerous to mention individually who urged me to keep going when times got very tough, when the world crumbled on a couple of occasions.
To all the bands, again to many too mention individually, to the actors, the musicians, the venues, the authors, the wonderfully people I have met along the way, thank you, a half a million times over, thank you.
I know in the grand scheme of things such a number is perhaps a trifle affair, but to me it really means the world; the rest is prologue so they say, however even to achieve the impossible in such a way and hope, dare to hope that in at least some way I have given back to the city that took me in when I had nowhere else to go…
Thank you from the bottom of my heart…a half a million times over.
Ian D. Hall