MUSiK / News / Thu 12 Mar 2020

Howard Parkin - Student Interview

Howard Parkin - Student Interview

Howard Parkin

By Damon Whittle, February 2020
Journalism Student, The University of Huddersfield

Howard Scott Parkin is a Huddersfield-based musician whose career spans over 40 years. After finding his way into the music industry in 1961 at the age of fifteen, he describes this as a very vibrant and busy period for music as there “were so many bands around and you could be out every night”. He became semi-professional by the age of seventeen.

After that, he began traveling the world through his music by playing on various cruise ships and living and working in Greece, the USA and Portugal and played a multitude of different instruments ranging from guitars and keyboards, to the more obscure Greek Bouzouki.

“Music took me everywhere; it was such a diverse set in the 70s as music was very big. Which isn’t really the case now, I don’t think” Howard said.

During his time in Portugal, he opened a music shop named ‘Strings and Things’, which was the only English music shop in Portugal – because of this, he found that stars such as Jeff Beck and Cliff Richard would often stop by for equipment for their tours. He has also worked with the late Cilla Black, whom he describes as “great”. He also lead the ‘Algarve Ukulele Band’

“Strings and Things had been going for twenty years” Howard said, “But you have these other companies like Amazon and Thomann that come, and they shut down other people’s livelihoods”. Since shutting down. Over 2 years ago, Howard still tours around Portugal for three weeks each year to raise money for The Salvation Army.

He has acquired a multitude of weird and wonderful instruments over the years including an obscure Fender Lap Steel Guitar and a rare Ovation Thunderbolt, which is one of only three.

In his spare time, Howard enjoys to further express his creative side by producing tapestries of album cover art – some of his creations have been shown in exhibitions.

At the grand age of 73, Howard’s career is still going strong and he aims to continue. He currently does a lot with the Electric Light Orchestra and would like the opportunity to pass on his knowledge of an art that he is so passionate about.

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