Wow, talk about bringing back memories!
At the time when I went to Billy Ocean’s flat in Aldgate East to do some songwriting Billy’s was Les Charles. In 1976 I was 23 years old with Les being three years older than me. I met Les through a friend and played him some of my songs. He liked them and we were at his flat to co-write and record demos of a couple of my songs. Les had an upright piano in his bedroom and I brought along my trusty acoustic guitar. We demoed two songs – ‘Soul Rock’ and ‘Chequer Queen’ on his four-track tape recorder.
On this day Les gave me my first songwriting lesson. I had fallen into the trap of believing my song ‘Soul Rock’ was a finished song. It wasn’t until Les added a middle-eight to my song, which key changed into a third verse that I realised how a polished finished song should sound.
This year, 2020, Billy Ocean is to receive an OBE for his services to music. As the two of us ran to catch a bus way back in 1975 neither of us could have imagined that Les would become a worldwide mega recording artist?