The Great Raymondo

I learned to read music at age 7 and my music teacher was called Mrs Scales (believe it or not!). At age 11 My Father had gone out and bought a home Organ and had paid for lessons to learn how to play the thing. I remember always listening from the other side of the door and couldn’t wait to see what he had learned. When his one hour lessons were over and he wasn’t practising, you couldn’t get me off it! After a while he let me have the remaining lessons that were meant for him, such was my enthusiasm!

I carried on having lessons and my final teacher was trombone player and bandleader John Spruce, he saw how keen I was and devoted a lot of time. We often went into ‘overtime’ on the lessons. We would put 2 Yamaha organs back to back and blast them out (much to the concern of those customers and staff on the shop floor below us!). He taught me jazz, style, feel and how to busk, and I think I owe a lot of these qualities to him. One day he said that he couldn’t teach me anymore and invited me to see his band. I simply loved watching and hearing this happen in front of me, I was just 15 and wow, live music was awesome!

While still at school I also learned to play drums and did this for about 2 years while I went through those teenage years. While still at school I was playing the Hammond organ with a drummer and ‘backing’ Artists performing at the weekends. I would have to read their music, this quickly gave me valuable experience.
At age 17 I entered a national keyboard competition and came 1st and was in the magazine ‘Keyboard Player.”
As fashion moved forwards the next stage was portable keyboards and many bands of the 80’s were keyboard orientated, my favourite band being The Specials.
When I joined 2 Rude my dreams of playing ska music of the late 70’s and early 80’s came true and I feel all the experience I have acquired over the years will be well placed in our sound.
All the guys in 2Rude are enthusiastic and they have made me so very welcome in the band. I love to revive the energies of Ska music while playing alongside them!

Find him on Twitter – @redray303