George Anderson of Shakatak

Well, where shall we start ? … I was born at an early age in 1958 and got into music from playing the bass trombone in the school orchestra. After auditioning, I was good enough to be chosen for the  London Youth Orchestra.  This gave me the buzz for music.  It was a terrific hot house environment playing different types of music, ranging from classical, folk and marching band styles.  It was only when we attempted to play jazz (finger in ears etc!!) that it opened up a yearning to hear more !!  So I followed the yellow brick road…. ! Wait a minute WRONG STORY!  I started listening to proper Jazz i.e. Kenny Ball… NOT ! You know Miles Davies, John Coltrane etc.  My interest in the trombone began to lessen, and my ears were drawn to the bass guitar.  I got my first bass at 16 and set about learning how to play it.  At that times I was interested in Soul and Funk music – well after all it was the mid 70’s and disco was King !  A lot of music at that time was bass driven and I became hooked.  I spent many a day /evening practising my craft.

It was while I was at college doing ‘A’ level art that I was invited to play in lunch time jam sessions with other students.  We played tunes like ‘Running Away’ by Roy Ayers and stuff by Lonnie Liston Smith amongst others !!  Wow – those were the days!  I joined a number of bands playing Jazz/Funk & soul stuff.  I then joined a band that had Junior Giscome (‘Mama Used to Say’ fame) and Paul Gendler (Modern Romance and top session player!) called …hey don’t laugh ……. Atlantis.  We were a cross between Parliament and the Isley Brothers.  As fate would have it, Junior was signed up by London Records which meant the band split up.  It was time to find another band.  The Musicians bible at the time was the Melody Maker.  If any band wanted musicians they would advertise there.  I answered such an ad…. And yes, the band was Shakatak – THE REST IS HISTORY !!!