My Singing Career!

The new series of the X-Factor is a reminder that there is a dearth of original talent out there. By ‘original’, of course, I mean anything that Simon Cowell and Co would reject. For they are after unoriginal clones of existing superstars. I doubt that, if Tom Waits had never existed, they would put someone like him through.

Mind you, I stand guilty of squeezing sour grapes as it is an unfulfilled ambition of mine to be a singer/songwriter. Well, it’s been fulfilled privately, but publicly is another matter. A keen fan of the poet/songwriter types like Leonard Cohen, Al Stewart, Suzanne Vega, Neil Young, Nick Cave and, to a certain extent, Bob Dylan, I must have written up to 200 songs during my adolescence (which I am still going through). Fragments of these remain, on bits of paper and old cassette tapes.

More recently, though, I plucked up courage (and guitar strings) to perform for the first time in front of a live audience at a Poetry Evening.

During the interval I received the comments: ‘You were very brave’ and ‘The words were good.’

Thus my singing career began and ended within the same hour.

Has anyone else out there tried to fulfill an ambition that lies outside their natural talents?

• Award-Winning Cartoonist at Louviers Cartoon Festival 2006
• Sunday Times • Sunday Telegraph • News of the World • The Week • ITV
• Political Cartoonist for BBC News 24’s Election Coverage
• Caricaturist for BBC TV’s ‘Fully Booked’ – 100th show
• Caricaturist for Comic Relief • On-stage Cartoonist with BBC Poet, Ian McMillan • Caricatures and Cartoons by Simon Ellinas

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