Chris didn't learn to play the guitar until he was 50. Now he's in the studio recording and has never been happier.
When Chris was given a guitar for his 50th birthday, he had no idea what effect it would have on his life – and probably nor did the person who gave it to him. But Chris says the timing was perfect. "It was at a time when I started not to really care about if I was too old – it was more about me just enjoying the process of what I was doing."
Learning something new isn't always easy, but right from the start, Chris found playing the guitar really relaxing. And once it got him singing along too, he says it was physically energising – and even at times, exhilarating. In fact, unexpectedly, he's found playing the guitar almost addictive.
Chris is now 55 and his 'addiction' has led him to pen a few songs of his own. His favourite spot to let his ideas flow freely is overlooking the spectacular Avon Gorge, near his home in Bristol. It's here that he'll happily spend a few hours, playing around with ideas, strumming chords and getting it all down in his notebook.
In fact, just two years after he first picked up a guitar, this rather special spot also inspired him to write a song for his daughter’s birthday. Slightly embarrassed, Chris says that the song, '24 Roses', was a terrible recording but it went down well all the same. We're not surprised – who wouldn't want a song written for them?
We met up with Chris in the recording studio and he had some good advice for everyone of a certain age. He said: "If you feel like you're too old to start learning an instrument, just pick it up and enjoy it. It's just about engaging with the instrument and having some fun".
Chris's new-found attitude to life has also made him think about his kids and he wants them to grasp any opportunities that come their way. He tells them: "Really enjoy the moment and enjoy what's going on around you. The future is open and the present is open". That's probably good advice no matter how old you are.
But Chris hasn't always embraced the future. When younger, he found the idea of getting older scary, the idea that he'd be thinking about death. But today he's much more relaxed about everything, even when it comes to his funeral plans. When the time comes, he'd like a Viking funeral – just put on a boat and pushed out to sea, while somebody shoots it with a flaming arrow! Not your typical funeral but as Chris has proved, when you get older, you can forget the rules. When asked what it feels like to be 55, Chris says: "This is me time and life's exciting".
Many thanks to Puzzlemakerstudios for letting us use their recording studios to hear Chris play his music.
Posted on 12 June 2017