His interest in jazz began in his early teens, listening to musicians as diverse as Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, Sidney Bechet and Charlie Parker on record. By the age of 16, he had taught himself drums and began working in semi-professional Dixieland bands in Glasgow, but still listening to much more modern sounds. Lived in Brazil 1970-71, where he played in a night club in Sao Paulo and began a life-long love affair with all kinds of Brazilian music.
Following return to Scotland, worked as a freelance drummer playing all kinds of jazz, theatrical, cabaret, radio and television work. For fifteen years was resident drummer at the famous Black Bull Jazz Club in Milngavie, near Glasgow (which was on the circuit for top-flight touring American and British jazz musicians), and worked with a veritable Who’s Who of world-famous players such as Bud Freeman, Wild Bill Davison, Benny Carter, Sonny Stitt, Art Farmer, Bobby Hackett, Al Cohn, Johnny Griffin, Sweets Edison, Ruby Braff, Shorty Rogers, Teddy Wilson, Kai Winding, Tony Coe, Tal Farlow, Martin Taylor, Carol Kidd, Jimmy Witherspoon etc.
Following closure of the Black Bull Jazz Club, he ran the first Glasgow International Jazz Festival in 1987, featuring Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, MJQ, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Stan Tracey, Peter King and numerous others, but decided all the fun in the music business is in playing