"I'm a 'rock and roll' fan who was brought up in the 1950's and 60's when winkle pickers were found on a chap's feet and not on the beach and a D.A. described the rear end of a duck in hairstyle fashion and not a District Attorney.
Being one of the original Teddy Boys, I'd no time at all for the so-called Mods and the motorised mirrors they rode to Brighton and back. Place me astride a mighty 1000cc Vincent, show me the open road and I'd show you how to get from Bradford to Blackpool in less than an hour!
In glorious 1956, I remember dancing in the ailes of Cleckheaton cinema to the sound of Bill Hayley and his Comets at the film 'Rock around the Clock' and then dancing in the coffee bar to 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Elvis. The song and singer that got my feet stomping like no other however, was the Big Bopper singing Chantilly Lace one year earlier in 1955.
Then in February, 1959, following a plane crash in Iowa, along with singers Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper was tragically killed. In large part, that was the day the music died and it was never quite the same again for me.
After being baptised in the songs and music of such greats, I ended my teens as the Punks came on the British scene with their spiked hair, wearing fashion-torn trousers with dangling chains, S&M garments festooned in badges with anti-authority slogans. This was the most anti-establishment group I'd ever seen whose prime purpose was to offend everything decent and polite. They sung fast-paced songs and their greatest propensity was to spit and shout. Rebel though I was, I could never tolerate the loud music and vulgar mannerisms of the Punk Rockers and when their turn came to occupy the scene, I emigrated to Canada for two years to escape all that was 'Rotten and Vicious' about them.
My time in Canada took me back to the land of the cowboys and for the next two years I was introduced to the sound of Country and Western. I quickly grew attached to these songs, mostly because of my love of the spoken word and the fact that the country ballads always told a story; often the same story of love, hardship, betrayal, loss and death. For a time, I even suspected that it was the same song writer behind this vast market.
When I returned from Canada in 1964, a new animal breed was heading the pop charts with The Beatles and The Animals etc. I was now in my early twenties and getting ready to settle down with a steady girl friend and a regular job that offered prospects which would enable me to get married and own my own house.
Around my fifties, I developed a taste for Classical Music and often used to read and write with Mozart quietly playing in the background. Then when I was aged 68 years, I met my wife Sheila. She had a family of nephews and nieces, all musicians, and had been reared in classical style. I also renewed my past interest in Rock and Roll, and over the next three years, me and Sheila went out weekly Rock and Rolling in Batley. When the car radio wasn't tuned into Classic FM, it was rocking with the beat of my past heroes and the songs I'd danced to in the house as a sixteen year old boy, with a tie attached to the door knob as a partner when my sister Mary wasn't around to take the floor with me.
I have since developed the taste for all manner of music and song, but however old I get, I will never be able to stop my ears pricking up and my feet starting to tap when I hear the Big Bopper take the floor." William Forde: August 17th, 2015.