|Welcome to Robin's biog page
Born in 1940 into a house filled with his mother's singing, music inevitably became an important part of Robin's life. In the mid 1950's he learned to play guitar and, like many boys of that time, was inspired by people like Lonnie Donegan to form a skiffle group. This led to an invitation to join a rock band and by 1960," The Presidents " were gathering an active following wherever they played, in the pubs and clubs of South London.
In 1964, Decca Records released the band's first and only single, "Let the Sun Shine In", with "Candy Man" on the "B" side. "Candy Man" was to have been the record's "A" side but Decca had handed the song to their most established group, "Brian Poole and the Tremeloes", and relegated The Presidents' version to their single's "B" side. This unethical act on Decca's part left the band's members disillusioned with the music industry and a year later, in 1965, the band folded and Robin emigrated to South Africa.
Just under a year later Robin returned to marry his fiancée Margaret (Mardy) Hibberd, on her 19th birthday. After honeymooning for a week in Cornwall they flew out to Cape Town where Robin was working for a company owned by his father. Mardy found a job in the city but within a year their disillusionment with apartheid and Robin's almost fatal experience with a burst appendix, decided them to return to the UK, in late 1967.
For the next two years Robin worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep until his passion for music found him becoming a roadie and sound engineer for a band named "Tucky Buzzard", produced by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. The Stones knew The Presidents well, the bands having once shared gigs at the Red Lion pub, in Sutton, Surrey.
Tucky Buzzard had recently signed with the same management company that had signed David Bowie. Robin quickly became adept with the band's unique Turner PA system, a sound set-up that Bowie fell in love with. When David created his "Ziggy Stardust" persona he brought in Robin - along with the sound system - to handle his front-of-house sound. Robin engineered every Ziggy Stardust performance until Bowie broke-up the Spiders from Mars in 1973.
Post Ziggy, Robin formed the highly respected sound equipment rental company "Ground Control" and continued working as a sound engineer with many 70s artists including Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, David Essex, Blondie, and The Stranglers. Then, during the Punk explosion, produced the highly-rated Pure Mania album, for The Vibrators.
In 1980 and at 40 years of age with touring taking its toll, Robin again turned his back on music, working for the next 29 years in a variety occupations from retailer to hotelier, but never losing his passion for music.
In 2009 Robin founded an event equipment hire business, WSEE tied in with his son Ben's marquee and catering company, Ground Control Marquees . At this time he reunited with bass player Tony Busson from The Presidents days. One evening while attending a gig with Tony's new band The Ace Tones met a young country singer named Charlotte Howard who had sung a short set to backing tracks. She told Robin that she had no material of her own an asked if he would write some songs for her - and the "English Country Girl" package was born.
Robin's next project capitalised on an opportunity presented by the 2012 London Summer Olympics. He wanted to do something to mitigate lack of ambition and feelings of despair among so many young people in Britain. He named the project, " Refuse to Lose " and targeted schools with the objective of inspiring school kids of all ages to focus their efforts and work toward the realisation of their goals. This challenging project was favourably received and enthusiastically embraced by many schools and attracted positive reviews from the media. The week before the Games opened in July, which happened to coincided with English schools breaking up for the Summer holidays, around 20,000 children from different parts of the country performed the song and dance routine. Millions more heard the song on BBC Radio 1 as DJ Greg James championed it during the opening week of the Games on his afternoon radio show where he said that it should have been the Team GB Anthem.
In a recent interview he was asked "what's next?" the answer - "who knows - but I know something is bound to come along - I do feel the need for a new Christmas carol so I've started working on it . For all my adult life I had been sceptical and doubted the stories and magical happenings written about Jesus. I appreciate that it must be very hard for all the young people in our now, highly technical world to believe and accept the Christian faith and perhaps a new carol may just help some of them understand.”
Due to these feelings and the total lack of credit given to Jesus by the commercialization of Christmas the “The Age Old Reason for Joy” Christmas carol has been born. Everything needed for learning and performance is free everyone". Visit the page .
Well Christmas 2013 was an amazing experience for him with many choral societies and choirs singing The Age Old Reason for Joy in fact he even had to sign autographs - how about that.
2014 arrived and with it came the stark realisation that something was missing on the music scene - simple, understandable music. 'Everything seems so mechanically over produced and because of that sadly often forgotten very quickly'. So the task of trying to revive rock 'n' roll and songs with a real message has started. It's very tough to get anything played on the airwaves unless one has famous parents or one is very rich and successful in some other field but the battle will go on and his new album titled Shallow and Deeper is now available - 'Shallow' as there are some fun Rock 'n' Roll songs and 'Deeper' as some have a more thoughtful meaning. You can sample all the tracks on the Shallow and Deeper page.
|Website and all content contained herein ©2015 Robin Mayhew