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.
Feel free to leave a message on Facebook!
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If you are anything such as the countless women (plus an equal level of
All I can say is keep up the good work and why worry what legacy you might be leaving. Is not more important to enjoy the time and love of those around you now and enjoy life .You may be pleased to know by putting your free downloads on Facebook I have played your music to my friends and so have potentially have increased your audience by five .Will be looking out for any gigs you may do in the future ,Good luck with the music and don’t sell out
Yes can see where you are coming from as to a certain point l am doing something l love that is writing and about my faith no am not minister but my faith has helped.o have a second book out to which I seek to help others gain an important step in life. Through greed of choice. Not force. Do yes. O can see where your coming from. Stick to it don’t Gail it will work as to do something like this shows you care it’s a very positive thought nurchur it teach within it how to grow . P.Bodek.
Hi Doris. After seeing you live and hearing you on your album , you are as good on both. As for your article it’s a great piece. Thanks.
How come I’ve not heard your music or that voice before did you work out of a cupboard (lol) or have I missed something amazing on the music scene, anyhow WOW is all that comes to mind keep the music coming you are awesome and as far as a legacy is concerned you have made yours love, and I’m 65 the last time I heard sounds that impressed me like yours have was Gloria Gayner
Legacy, it’s an interesting concept. I’ve designed and had constructed buildings from Oxford and London to Moscow and Saudi Arabia. I’ve won an award or two, I’ve beaten two of the greatest in my profession in my time. The Miles Davis and John Coltranes of my profession. My formerr business partner just did a so called legacy web site of things we did over the last few years. To be honest I’m not even mildly interested. It seems so self indulgent. It’s my job, it’s what I’m paid to do. It’s taken me around the world, taken me to places and people I never had a right to think I’d ever see or meet. I’m 68 and about to do a huge project in Europe. I’ve wined and dined with government officials and ambassadors, but they’re my experiences, nobody else’s. I played cricket in the town you live in with a South African Test match player in the team, and rugby with an All Black, both those things mean far more to me that any award or design I ever did!! Things will last as long as people value or need them. Time moves on. Miles Davis and Art Blakey are huge musical heroes of mine. Everyone knows Miles, few have ever heard of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, arguably the greatest band that ever existed. I play their music, it lives on with me, they are still a legend to those who understand. The rest of us? Live for the day. I had a huge brain haemorraghe a few years ago, I learnt life is finite, it can end, it changed my life totally. I realised not to take myself too seriously, I’m a moment in time, I learnt that the only person who really knows my value is me! As my kid said, “just cos something awful happened to you…..life goes on” a salutary lesson in legacies. There’s 7.7 billion others out there all thinking what their legacy will be, and for about 95% it’ll be a disappointment, for most just staying alive will do the trick. Enjoy the day, and look back fondly when the time comes. They’re your memories, they’re precious to you. Look after them, hold them tight, because somebody else will change them and judge them. What people will remember is you, the person they knew. I should have died five years ago, as it is I’ve spent a few years without a real memory of my own life, you’d think I’d be proud of my work, it cost well into the billions over the years, but the truth is that I’m a lot prouder of playing cricket with a Springbok and rugby with an All Black. Thank you for letting me say these things. Good luck to you.
Hi Doris I loved your voice from the first Time, that I listened to you sing, Keep on rocking Girl.
amazing voice,,,and list of songs,,,
First time heard i’ve your music surprised I’ve never heard your music before
First time I have heard your music And i really enjoyed
It so much so much that I cannot stop playing it now
Keep up the good work
Wow Doris, thank you for your latest downloads (beautiful) and for a fascinating read. I wish I could have had such a wonderful introduction to the music world. Although I do see myself as extremely lucky as I am the only one of seven siblings; who did find music a big part of my life albeit in my latter years. In my teens I pottered about with a harmonica, which I still play now at 73, but my real introduction to music was when I was left a Hammond Organ in an old friends will. So I managed to buy a set of
‘Complete Organ Player’ books 1 to 7 by Kenneth Baker. And the rest is history, I managed to get through the whole set, over a matter of years. Then I had to get rid of the organ when I moved house, I downsized and did not have room for it so I bought an arranger keyboard to replace it, and that opened up a whole new world for me, with all the amazing voices and auto ac compliments etc, which I may add I have still got; but now with a few additions as my latest love is for the Ukulele, also have a Mandolin, and Guitar. Having said all that I have never done a Gig, although I did play the organ in church for awhile.(Hmm without any complaints) I think music in any form is therapeutic as you mentioned. And I feel pretty sure that my legacy will be for my love of music especially by my grandchildren, of whom I try to encourage all I can to play an instrument. (Start young not like me in my forties) Having said that you are never to old to learn.
Found your music by accident browsing for something
else..I was instantly hooked, love it it is new and exiting, my friends hear it and ask who is that it’s brilliant, so expect more fans, your blog about a memorial website is a great idea.. I paint and write poetry so I will seriously think about starting my own website, thanks for the idea.
Doris, this is the first time I have heard your music. Why?
I like your idea of a website as a memorial. Stay with what you are doing, please don’t beer towards the commercial aspect of music.
As I said, I have only just discovered your music thanks to a friend, so keep going with what you are doing so well. xx
ja so ist es. Kreativität und die Möglichkeit, dass in künstlerische Arbeit umzuwandeln sind ein großes Glück.
Noch mehr, wenn man auch davon leben kann.
In der heutigen Zeit geht es hauptsächlich um schneller, effektiver und ertragreicher. Alles was man nicht mit diesen Maßstäben messen kann wird weg rationalisiert,
Und doch macht es immer wieder glücklich, dass es Menschen gibt, die zeigen: Es geht auch anders.
Doris I think in everything we do a legacy of a sort is made.
I think your point about a website being a permanent legacy is spot on. Your music as with any I like makes me feel uplifted and makes me feel so much happier in myself. Music is a great leveller too I have found which is another reason to pick up an instrument or listen to as much diversity as you can.
Hi Doris, as an older fan, I am in favour of musical integrity; I was recently asked to do a focus group for Radio 2 and the Beeb in general and my comment was that in my day, we looked to the Beeb for leadership, whereas now, the Beeb would appear to be pandering to trends and it is very difficult to keep all happy. The same applies to music in my opinion, so play the music you feel fits you and is right for you and you will get the right audience; if you went commercial, then you would get people that would not appreciate the real you.
As for leaving a legacy, I love it, although in this digitised age, it is very difficult not to leave a forensic trail; you are on my hard drive, both literally and figuratively and I carry my entire music collection around with me every day.
We live in a connected world these days, we also have a digital life via social media, website and other more traditional channels that will outlast our mortal span. We each leave behind some form of footprint and there will always be inquisitive minds who seek out information about the past, art, music are no exception. Never have there been more resources to learn about our own ancestry and through the various mediums we each have the opportunity to leave behind some form of legacy.
Music irrespective of its genre is a living legacy, performed live, recorded, stored in many accessible forms; then left behind by the artist, in much the same way a painting or tapestry survives. My Grandmother often spoke about what she referred to as social history, she never used an app or the internet, but her legacy lives on through the spoken word, the songs she sang to me as a child still resonate with me, important that we keep on talking too!
One of the other things she taught me was to never compromise your own standards or what you believe in. For Doris and Lee I fully support the determination to create music that reflects what you believe in and not to compromise by aligning to the latest trend. As a new listener I have been surprised and delighted by the music and compliment you both on what you have achieved, this is your living legacy and ultimately what you will leave behind. Play on!
What a fantastic resume of your life Doris, I would have loved to have gone down that road. Music has always been my number 1 passion in life. I love your unique style of music & having met u after the Newcastle gig what a really lovely down to earth person u are. Hope to see u soon
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 !
Doris you are truly a breath of fresh air, stay unique, stay original and stay blessed,
Love, peace, joy and blessings to you.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
many thanks for latest CD good listening well pleased
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
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.
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.
Great performance this year at ROKEFEST at HSH in Oxfordshire. What attracts so much Talent
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.
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.
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.
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?