Fireworks

Sue Ashcroft

Fireworks & Rocktopia Staff Writer
Sue Ashcroft
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I was born in the small seaside town of Gourock on the west coast of Scotland. Having been brought up in a household filled with music, it was soon apparent that I would develop the family passion for singing, playing instruments and listening to whatever music was available. In my formative years, I played trombone, piano, bassoon and was a member of various choirs and operatic societies.

I spent the first few summers of my teens staying with my sister in Inverkip - a tiny village with not many kids of my age, other than a group of boys who listened to something called rock music! So, I was introduced to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple - and my obsession began.

Having little or no money, the only way to get my fix was to borrow LP's from the local library. By listening to one, I then looked for either others by the same artist or others which similar musicians played on. A case in point being Santana. This was how I discovered Journey! From the very first album I thought they were interesting, innovative and I loved everything about them.
I had also started watching the Old Grey Whistle Test which is where I discovered some of the bands I still class as favourites to this day - The Tubes, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Pat Travers for instance.

In 1979, my art teacher had an idea to keep kids out of pubs (who were only really going to watch the bands), that he would open a cafe and put on all the acts who were at that time on the west coast club circuit. Gourock's own Henry Gorman Band were a regular fixture along with Red Ellis and many others. This was my first real involvement in the music scene as I had, with a group of friends, helped to get the cafe up and running. This was also the year in which I saw my first proper gig - March 22nd 1979, Glasgow Apollo, Journey supported by Pat Travers - the perfect gig. As you can imagine, having had the first 2 drum solo's I ever saw being by Tommy Aldridge and Steve Smith, this inspired me to be the drum freak I am today.

It was at this time also that I met my first husband whose parents subsequently moved to Wigan, which we also did in 1985. Music had been such a huge part of my life and I was unsure of how I would continue to get my musical fix so far from home, but it's funny how things work out sometimes.
A friend of mine who was a sound engineer called from Gourock one day and asked if he and a couple of guys could stay overnight at our house on the long drive to London. I of course said yes. One of the boys was Doogie White! We had met several years before when Doogie was in La Paz, but this was a nice surprise. We lost touch for a while after that and life went on, my 2 children, divorce, meeting and marrying the wonderful Phil - I had gone to plenty of gigs, but not really had any involvement as such until friends of ours decided to start a record label - the ill-fated Now and Then Records. Along with that came The Gods Festival which I offered to help with by making the sandwiches! From that, realising that I had the gift of the gab, Bruce asked me if I would like to contribute to Fireworks. So, ten years on, here I am, having done interviews with most of my heroes, becoming a qualified photographer, artist liaison for Firefest, travelling all over the place for the love of the music.

I actually got my current day job as a brochure production administrator for Shearings Holidays through my Fireworks experience and I'm lucky enough to take some of the photos you can see in the brochures.
It's so good to hear when someone has enjoyed an interview or review I have written and it's so good to have Phil to share it with. I have been drumming for about 8 years now and am hoping for a reunion of my covers band First Friday in the near future.

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Latest Message: 1 week, 5 days ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
  • Gazza2005 : I have bought issue 80 and I still ha e not had confirmation of my download. Please could this be sorted out
  • Gazza2005 : Hello. Can someone direct me to my download please
  • Gazza2005 : Can someone help please

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