There comes a time when a man puts away the things of his youth and accepts the fact that life is steering him toward a different road than the path he started on. But just because he takes a different turn on the road, it doesn’t mean that he’s lost his way, or that he can’t find that original path again when the time is right. For Robin Mayhew, whose musical roots are in 1960s rock, that first re-direct came when his own long-term recording career failed to materialize. But he stayed in music, putting his live act know-how to good use mixing concert sound for David Bowie for the duration of the legendary Ziggy Stardust project, then honing his skills in another area of the music field. Now that he’s retired and his kids are grown, that lyrical compass is taking him back to the path he started on years ago, writing songs that resonate with a huge section of society. He calls his record Shallow and Deeper because there are some catchy, fun songs and some meaningful songs that reflect his life experiences.
Going into the studio for short periods at a time isn’t a good way to create the record so that it reflects the sound and style Mayhew envisions. He’s looking for crowdfunding support for a Kickstarter campaign to raise $18,980 by July 12. Crowdfunding donations will be used to fund the recording and studio time needed for mixing and mastering; session musician fees; initial production and sleeve note design; video production; iTunes registration and upload costs; Kickstarter fees; shipping costs for rewards; and marketing, promotion, and event expenses.
Mayhew, like many musicians of his generation, came to rock and roll by way of the records of his parents, who listened to jazz, classical, and pop music. In school, he played trumpet with the late Dick Morrissey, who made his name in the professional world as a jazz musician. Then came the 1960s, when rock-and-roll exploded out of Great Britain and the young world started dancing to a new beat. Mayhew, too, was active in the local music scene, singing covers with his band, The Presidents. Decca signed them to a contract, but Mayhew and his band never got the chance to sing their own songs, only covers. Had Decca let them record Candy Man instead of giving it to the Tremeloes, who knows what might have happened? But Mayhew didn’t let Decca stand in the way of his destiny. After working with Bowie, Mayhew started his own sound equipment rental company, Ground Control, and worked for other top 70s acts like Mott the Hoople, David Essex, and the late Lou Reed to oversee their concert sound while traveling around the world as they performed.
The music that he worked with in his youth is now classic rock, which just means songs that are so good and so enduring, even young audiences can’t let them go. “I know how important music is to people of all ages,” Mayhew says, and he knows his songs have a multigenerational appeal. He’s teamed up with a young artist named James Court, who, although he’s part of today’s youth culture, is excited about the demos from Shallow and Deeper.
Together, they plan to bring what Court appreciates as “vintage rock and roll” to today’s audiences, who want to hear music that lasts. Major Tom would be proud.