THE STORY TO DATE...
Born in Ceylon when the island could have become anything and something much much more than what it is today as Sri Lanka. Power corrupts. Cripples creative thinking.
Moved to Hong Kong with my family when 9 for reasons not made clear other than us Dutch Burghers- descendants of the Dutch and Portuguese traders who travelled to the island during the Spice Island Wars and intermarried with the local inhabitants- were no longer welcome where we were born.
Grew up the hard way in Hong Kong when the barren rock was starting to take shape and become something much more.
Went to primary and secondary school here. Good times, bad times and weird times.
Got a summer job as a reporter. Big break was interviewing and hanging out and partying with the great Sammy Davis Jr and 4-5 of his female dancers.
Failed dismally as a Rock Star so had to make good as a copywriter in advertising. Became head of Creative and worked on the hugely successful launch of McDonald’s in Hong Kong. Home run!
There was then seeing how smoke and mirrors worked with the launch of satellite television station STARTV Asia, that wok in the sky neatly packaged and sold to Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp organisation with a cherry on top.
Great “universities” of learning about life and everything else.
Won just about every international advertising award. Most proud of the London Advertising Award won for the work that helped get the Right Of Abode in Britain for over eight thousand people of minority races who would otherwise be stateless, myself included. Home run!
Kept my interest in writing alive by also being an entertainment columnist. Interviewed everyone from Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese and Billy Joel to Quincy Jones, Norah Jones and Peter Sellars. More home runs.
Everything somehow led to joining the music industry. Might have had something to do with being the Hong Kong correspondent for Billboard, the world’s leading trade publication.
Coined the term Canto Pop. Wish it could have become more than it is. Can only lead a horse to water...
Got married, became a father, and much later got divorced. Regrets, I have a few.
Joined PolyGram which morphed into Universal Music before running their Regional Office in Asia with Norman Cheng.
We became a good double act, had our hits, knew what made this region tick and were next running EMI Music in the region.
Had a Danish act with the unlikely name of Michael Learns To Rock record a popular Mandarin hit in English, which became “Take Me To Your Heart”, a massive best seller in China and especially the karaoke world across the region. Home run!
Worked with many of the biggest names in Chinese music including Sam Hui- wrote “April Lady”, his first hit in English- Faye Wong- had her launch Virgin Atlantic in Hong Kong- and Jackie Cheung.
Seeing the writing on the wall of the music industry, received a career lifeline when asked by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to make horse racing attractive to a younger audience. Anyone less than sixty was “younger”.
Created the game changer that was the successful Happy Wednesday brand. Home run!
Learned much about the ins, outs and side ways of horse racing and how and where and why the pieces fit.
Wrote and published my first original story in 2021. Early days.
Finishing up my autobiography. Should give whiplash and windburn to those in the firing line.
Lessons learned: Trust No One Except The One Who Wants Nothing From You.
Share Sparingly. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Reach Heart And Head. Break The Pattern. The Technology Is Not The Idea.
Believe in romance.
Know when to leave.
Know when to ask, Is it safe?
Money is overrated- usually when you have it.
Money doesn’t buy happiness. Only the illusion of it.
Jealousy Must Be Earned.