Charles Hayward
Table of Contents

Growing up

"I grew up in Camberwell, Peckham Road opposite Camberwell Art College. I wanted to be a musician I suppose then, now I think of it as a more complete thing, but then, I wanted to be a musician.

Well, my Dad's always been into music, so he used to have a fantastic, well he still has, a fantastic record collection, he's transferred it all to tape and got lots of CDs and stuff. He had at the time an absolutely fantastic 78 record collection, you know the old 78's and he'd had that from the war onwards.

He had this fantastic collection of records, and he used to take me to see these fantastic gigs. I saw Ella Fitzgerald, I saw Nat King Cole. Lewis Armstrong, I saw Lena Horne, in classic London venues, like London Palladium, and the Lewisham Odeon. I saw Nat King Cole, and later on I think I might have seen Manfred Man and the Rolling Stones there. Just a natural thing really.

And then I heard The Who one night on Radio Luxembourg, and all those things sort of connected for me. When I heard The Who, I thought I could do something that was my own, as oppose to having to play this black American music, which I loved, but didn't feel right or something. So suddenly there was this really wild rebellious music. I mean looking at them now you can hardly believe it, but it was extremely rebellious, violent, aggressive music, you know, and as a young sort of adolescent it seemed to connect. So by the time I was a teenager, it was really clear to me what I wanted to do."

Daily Life

"I sort of think that poverty, if you choose it as strategy for getting through life, and making it your own, poverty becomes a sort of luxurious thing, because you are buying time, and time is all there really is.

So I quite like the fact that we live simply because I can strike a balance between the necessities of life with three kids, and not having to chase the big dollar, and it means I have lots of time to work on ideas. I have this body of work, and I'm sort of pleased with it. But I seem to have chosen this strategy which means I can be my own man really.

Because I think a lot of people do things because they are told to, not because they think it's the right thing to do. Even other musicians do that; just do what pays the next bit of money, without even thinking about why you are worrying about the money."

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