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Phil Ashcroft

Fireworks & Rocktopia Staff Writer
Phil Ashcroft
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As a child of the front end of the sixties I was just the right age to get into glam rock, particularly The Sweet and Wizzard. From there I discovered Status Quo, Thin Lizzy and all the classic rock that I’d just missed, and through my teenage years I was a sponge that soaked up all the Progressive Rock, Hard Rock and Metal that was out there, particularly the US bands that seemed to have more originality and style. From there I diversified into AOR, Melodic Rock and Pomp and got heavily into the thriving Canadian music scene, as championed by the great Paul Suter in Sounds magazine and later Kerrang! Around 1980 I started writing just for fun in fanzines called Limelight and Rock Live and continued to discover all manner of weird and wonderful bands from throughout the world.

The next big movement was the US hard rock scene pioneered by the likes of Motley Crue, Ratt, Great White and Queensryche and I spent many holidays hanging out at the legendary clubs of the Sunset Strip. I got more into guitar styles and love Satriani, Vai and all the guitar instrumentalists that were coming through Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label, then towards the end of the 80’s I discovered bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater who were taking metal into new and exciting directions by mixing it with Progressive Rock.

I met Sue and we married at the beginning of the nineties, we have two children and have spent many family holidays in Toronto where we could combine spending time with Sue’s relatives and seeing bands in clubs like The Docks, RPM and the Molson Amphitheatre. I took up writing again for Raging Heart fanzine around 1998 and that kind of morphed into Fireworks. We’d been helping out at the Gods festivals for many years and do the same for the Firefest festival where I’m the Press Officer, and I’ve been the Reviews Editor for Fireworks for several years. Recently I’ve been getting more in Jazz and Fusion but can listen to anything as long as the musicianship is good.

Outside of music I’ve worked for the Heinz food company for over 25 years where I’m a stock controller, and have a keen interest in reading and travelling. Sue and I have two beautiful Grandchildren and live in Wigan with our 23 year old son, and for the best part of forty years I’ve supported my local football team, Wigan Athletic, through good times and bad.

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Latest Message: 1 week ago
  • Berny : You can pre - order FIREWORKS MAGAZINE #97 now!
  • Deeppurple#1 : Hi,I downloaded my free copy of issue #87 but I can't seem to open the file. Any advice?
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.

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Quote of the day

“We’re wimps really, aren’t we? We could write the hardest rock song possible, yet as soon as we start to sing we sound all girly.” (FM bassist Merv Goldsworthy) - Quotes collected by Dave Ling (www.daveling.co.uk)

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