Increasing your Life Span by a few 100 Years…

I’ve often wondered what I’ll be remembered by. Most people would say ‘my children of course’.

But to me the biggest achievements are things that we create which survive us when we die. The pictures painted, the pottery thrown, the bricks laid, books written, furniture crafted. The music written.
And these creations, the truly great ones, are usually also born from passion.

What is it that makes a person pick up that paint brush or chisel, or in my case the guitar as a child and sit and write songs (very bad ones if I remember) for hours on end? Maybe it’s therapy or perhaps all artists are mildly autistic or something, giving us the obsessions of our craft.

Both my parents are/were like that. My father a pianist and my mother an artist, so perhaps it was inevitable that I would inherit that trait. I remember in my first week of school in England, having moved from Vienna, forming a band. It was literally the first thing I did. As a slightly misshapen 12 year old in glasses I was an unlikely rock star. And truth be told I never set out for a life in the music business or hoped to be signed – it was just something I had to do.

I played my first gig with a full band that year in front of 200 people. I was absolutely shitting myself. I played guitar and sang (only about 5 tracks) and was so nervous I forgot most of the words and kept repeating the same verse. But of course it’s kind of cute when 12 year olds form a band, so the audience was very generous and I had my first taste of applause! We even got an encore, though we didn’t know any more tracks and so had to repeat one of them. Well I was hooked and I suppose it set me on my current course. All through school and university I played acoustic solo gigs. In wine bars, in pubs, folk clubs and did lots of support slots in venues. I remember supporting Steve Marriott in Leeds, who was brilliant, and being rather shocked at his repartee with the crowd as he ripped the shit out of everyone including a collection of wheel-chair users at the front (dance you wa****s) which was funny and wrong in equal measure.

3 record deals, 8 (nearly 9) albums later, several tours, most notably with the great Marillion, Fish and Wishbone Ash; thousands of beer soaked, mildew smelling dressing rooms, an incalculable number of miles in cars, vans and tour buses; musicians – some life long friends and others best forgotten; a large number of sound engineers (all called Simon because I can never remember names – every now and again it’s right); perfect performances and bum notes; getting home at 3am and being too tired to sleep and catching the sunrise; nerves fought through and nerves conquered; despondent audiences and rapturous applause; good reviews, bad reviews; the occasional argument and so much laughter… And I wouldn’t change a thing.

But these memories won’t survive me. Only my music may. (And perhaps this blog!)

And this is where you come in! Dear reader or listener. We can all ‘live on’ in our creations as long as there is someone to read, to listen, to have that picture on the wall, and in that way we can all leave something behind.

These days, we can leave a digital legacy. To be discovered or rediscovered by generations to come. Or perhaps forgotten – I guess we won’t know either way. When my mother died in 2007, I built her a memorial website featuring her art, her photographs and snippets of her remarkable life and I will make sure that it is kept going after I’m gone. And so she lives on in a way. I think a website is a new grave stone – one that can be visited by people all over the world. And I will make provisions that mine will be kept going too, as I hope you will yours. Ok – you’re probably thinking I’m getting a little morbid, but I truly see this as a postive thing! I far rather visit a website celebrating someone’s life than a graveyard celebrating their death,

Lee and I (Lee Dunham who I’m currently working with) have often talked about our recordings and whether we should do something more commercial, or stick to one genre direction, and both of us agreed that it would be best to create something we can be proud of and to stand as our ‘Legacy’ rather than pandering to commercial flavours. And I hope you’ll agree (or perhaps you don’t) that by doing so we have created something far more unique and original.

I look forward to many more, sometimes good, sometimes ugly, but always memorable and worthwhile milestones in this musical journey, and here’s hoping that you will be part of that journey.

If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone of that journey, click here to listen to ‘Eclectica’.

Thank you for being a listener and making it all matter.
Doris

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17 Comments

  • Rudi Lehnert says:

    Doris, I sad thank you so much for listen you music ,it was be my first time to do that! And I think you make it right , so you doing it what you love and like . I am 64 years old men, but music makes me younger , my life fresh and I ‘ve been happy that it’s so. It give many younger people then me , there say “I will be so you when I was older then now” .It makes me happy and I sad ” I wish it you too, make you best “.
    For you Doris , I wish all the best, good health, peace and love and that you are happy with was you do . Love you !

  • Stephen Ruff says:

    Doris you are truly a breath of fresh air, stay unique, stay original and stay blessed,
    Love, peace, joy and blessings to you.

    Steve xx

  • Richard Emmingham says:

    First time heard i’ve your music, love your voice, surprised I’ve never heard your music before will be looking into your back catalogue now.

  • simon bendall says:

    I have just heard some of your music for the first(i must have been living under a rock), and so far i love it. Having now read your your musing here i find it thought provoking. As a person who like to work with silver i know i shall leave behind something for people to remember me with, others will not be so lucky as those who create but with thought we can all be remembered for something i hope. thank you for your music.

  • Peter Hargreaves says:

    Fully agree with your words here, to leave some kind of mark in history, as you’ve done, is something that won’t disappear.
    Decades in the future, people can look back, listen to your music, and learn from it, if they grow because of it, you’ve made a difference.
    Love your attitude, and your music!

  • Bill Taylor says:

    Thanks for sharing. My own journey has ended up not being what I had imagined. All I wanted to do was earn my living playing Bass. I was totally focused on this and was doing well until I went for a routine flexor op for trigger finger and ended up with MRSA nearly losing the finger and hand. Through tons of physio I can play reasonably well but not to professional standard any more. So after a year of feeling sorry for myself I started working with children and people with learning disabilities and Autism. These special folks have never experienced the special connection with music that some of us have. Imagine working with a young man in his early twenties. This man has Autism and is stuck in his own world. Our world rarely disturbs him. Then imagine music getting through and giving him a reason to communicate and interact with us for the first time.
    I have moments like this every day and feel incredibly honoured to be allowed into these folks world and let them see that it is sometimes worthwhile to spend some time in ours.
    My path is different to yours Doris but musically we are both trying to connect with people in special ways.
    Don’t ever stop what you are doing, your work is amazing and inspiring and you are where you should be.
    Thanks
    Bill

  • Brian Barker says:

    I would say just keep doing what you are doing because it all makes sense to me & your music is pretty awesome to be honest I like it anyway

  • Peter says:

    A nice insight. What I can tell you is that your music has been a part of my life for 27 years. I am looking forward to the next 27. Thanks

  • dave smith says:

    many thanks for latest CD good listening well pleased

  • charles Quinn says:

    It was good to know a little of your background and your old school done gigs the hard way ,being yourself and not commercial I like that and thanks for your download samples doris cheers

  • Chris Bunt says:

    You truly seem to have a great outlook and solid stance on what drives you to create and yes follow your muse and be the one the choses what to create. In my mind you are doing a great job! It sounds exciting and fresh with totall conviction, good luck with your career and you will be remembered.
    Chris.x

  • A P Denial says:

    You have to be true to yourself and your own convictions. As a writer, I strive to use my own voice. If you were to change to suit a particular market, then by definition you are excluding others and being false. Your marketing appears spot on and therefore you will be heard, liked and appreciated. Success cannot be measured purely in monetary terms, although we all have to earn a living!
    I know you are regularly compared to the likes of Janis, but she was and ever will be, unique. She above all others was true to herself. Many have tried to copy or emulate her and failed miserably.

    Be yourself

  • Paul Dupee says:

    Great performance this year at ROKEFEST at HSH in Oxfordshire. What attracts so much Talent

  • Nick Kelly says:

    You have to stay with the thing that is real and comes from you easy as the listener will feel it more. Thanks for the music.

  • Herby says:

    As long as you love what you create it is right. no two people are the same so it is difficult to find a picture ,sound or give a performance that will strike a chord with anyone let alone millions. whether it is commercial of not can be determined by the era and by luck . If you are lucky enough to stand out from what is current you can still succeed.
    Keeping to the dream is your decision so follow your heart that is your psychic self guiding you.

  • Nigel Bayley says:

    To me originality is key, my favourite all time group is AC/DC, they have in general stuck to their own construct! You have a great wailing voice, you should wail more perhaps, but either way a lovely voice. All real rockers like myself will always love what you and all genuine performers do, keep on keeping on Doris.

    Nige. X

  • Alan C-B says:

    I’d say that any person – be they an artist or road-sweeper – leaves a legacy by their actions and interactions with others. There’s too much struggle to meet other people’s expectations; people forget to be themselves rather than what they think is expected.
    If you’re proud of what you’ve achieved with your own style so far, why change it? Sure you *might* gain wider renown and sales but at what cost to yourself?

    I run a business with my wife. Too small to employ anyone, we’ve built it up over seven years of disappointment and hard work but we started to flounder; tough decisions had to be made but at the core was what did we want – a brand that got bigger, more commercial, where we were no longer in control but was more financially lucrative or a business which allowed us to support ourselves and a comfortable lifestyle. Yup – we chose the latter. And because of this choice, we’re actually increasing our success. I think it’s because we’re not trying to match other peoples expectations.

    In the end, the legacy you leave will be the memories that others have of you. So ask yourself – what do you want people to remember you for? Your own music or music that was for others?

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