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Eric Bell

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I was born in East Belfast on the 3rd of September 1947. The first time I fell in love with music was around 8 years old, listening to classical music on a big wireless - it was great to daydream to. One Christmas, when I was 14 or so, one of my presents was a plastic guitar - it was totally unexpected. It was small, half size, had six different coloured strings, and pretty good frets.

There was a TV programme on in those days, and one of the regulars on it was Bert Weedon, a very well known guitarist. Every week, he would draw a guitar chord on a blackboard, and explain how to play it. I would watch and learn a new chord each week.

The next major thing to form my interest in music was hearing, and then seeing Lonnie Donegan. A friend of mine at school, Davie Lyttle, had lots of Lonnie’s records, and I would go back to his house after school to listen to them-they were magic and I never tired listening to them, even to this day. The other major influence was The Shadows, who also cast their spell on me.
Eric, Brian, Phil, Great days!!!

I was still going to Orangefield Boy’s Secondary School, and one lunch break found out one of the guys in my class played drums in a Shadows-type group. Eventually I was invited up to the house where they rehearsed. Their guitarist let me play his guitar - the very first time I had ever played an electric. A week later, the group asked me to be their lead guitarist!

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  • EricDodson

    A mate gave me a stack of CDs today and I was very happy to see Eric Bell right on top.

    5 May 2010 Reply