Author, Photographer, Musician, Publisher

Ode to Silbury Hill

Ode to Silbury Hill 2012

I'm a musician (and music student) of the '60s and '70s with a jazz and classical background, so if chords with flattened ninths don't interest you, my music probably won't. No harm in listening, though. There is so much drivel out there you might like to hear composition rather than 'production.'


Lead sheets and basic arrangements of the songs are available as pdf downloads and mp3 clips. The Composition link is temporarily disabled. Please contact me david@ or publisher@ if you would like to see and hear material. Credit me David Gordon Rose on your PRS setlist or programme if you get to play any of it in public.

The trumpet was my main instrument. At fifteen I was leading the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), and at sixteen playng professionaly. I led NYJO from 1965 to late 1968 when booked to play with Johnny Dankworth's Big Band. Cancelling this gig with Britain's top big band was odd for a young musician but I was more interested in a gig around Europe with an eight-piece soul band and Belgium's top singing duo, Jess and James before university in 1970. I should also mention a stint with Val Merril at the American Servicemen's Club in Bayswater and the classic Summer Season, John Hanson's The Desert Song in Morecambe and Blackpool Winter Gardens. My last playing gig was in 1973 on solo D trumpet in Handel's Messiah with chamber orchestra. Putting the instrument away after this to concentrate on my first music business venture was probably the hardest thing I have ever done.
Almost forty years on in 2011 after listening to a two-hour tape of trumpet classics on a cable channel in Alsace, I bought an Olds Mendez. I first blew this top-of-the-range Olds trumpet in Percy's music shop in Brussels in 1968 but couldn't afford it since it was the same price as a new car and I had just started the gig. The model is still known as "The Governor" even though the company went out of business in 1973. That first one played itself to altissimo C, the recent one doesn't, for some reason.
The test came when NYJO asked me if I could lead a band of 'originals' at the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. I didn't make the gig at the 100 Club in Oxford Street in October 2015 mostly because of three teeth breaking. Pressure, I put that down to ... what does it take to remind you you are not eighteen years old any more!

In 1967 one of my first sessions was laying a trumpet line over Keith Emerson's organ in The Nice, Diamond Blue Apples of the Moon. "Where are you going, you've got school tomorrow ..." my mother asked late that Sunday night on leaving the house for the studio in St. John's Wood. Compare this with a 1968 live version without trumpet. Keith Emerson was in the control box and came down to ask if I would like to hear the A-side, America. Yes, I heard it pre-release!
A memorable experience was working with PJ Proby between 1966 and 1968 beginning with a ten-day tour of Ireland. Jim, "the Boy" recorded many demos in the Sun studio that Elvis would learn the songs from. You read it here, sixteen-year old Proby recorded the demos and Elvis would listen to the suitable ones and copy his rich vibrato style. Here is Proby in 1966 with Somewhere. Here are Jess and James and the J J Band in our studio version of the single Change we played all over Europe from late '68 into 1969.