It is easy to get carried away isn’t it? Lots of trips to London to play for record companies, change this, change that…wear this, wear that and then we think you are right for a record deal…
In my early twenties I had to make what I felt was a daunting decision that could affect the whole of the rest of my life. I mean it could have been massive but I had to weigh everything up, and work out what to do to trust my head? My heart? Or my instinct?
I was a sax player in a boy band! They wrote their own songs and the lead singer was wiry, trendy and good looking. The drummer had a cute young, well he was young! Probably about 18 baby faced attractive look for young girls and I honestly don’t remember what the guitarist looked like! (Maybe that says something!) They had written their own songs and they were really good. They had a great local following and had decided that they wanted a sax player and I was quite amazed that they wanted me. Mainly because I was probably about 5 years older than them, which when it is the difference between 18 and 23 back then… it felt like quite a lot.
It was time they decided to move to London and try and get a proper record deal… I am talking about the late eighties. They felt that you had to be there on the scene and play in the pubs that had the ‘up and coming’ bands regularly….
The big question for me was … do I go or not? I had already been married to a musician who was 4 years older than me and that hadn’t worked out! I was playing with different local bands, jazz quartets, pop bands, teaching in the day and playing at night and earning a good living. Enough to rent my own flat, run a car, own my own PA system etc
I had just met someone who was great company, not demanding and we decided that we would enjoy each others company without any ties and just ‘have fun’…(his words!)
It was a big decision to give up my flat, teaching and place in the bands to go and live in a house with a group of musicians. Thoughts whirled through my head … It was similar to what I had done at music college, except these guys were younger than me … I quite liked my own bathroom now … then fear of missing out FOMO rose it’s head , what if I didn’t go and they went off and became famous?! I would kick myself…. maybe I could just go and try it! Then come back if I didn’t get on with them…
I was worried that living with such young boys would be messy. I didn’t want them to expect me to clear up after them…Sorry for the generalisation but I am speaking from my personal experience and over time I have lived with a lot of men!..at Music college there were only two girls in my year of 42 students!
I decided I was going to go… However as it got closer…I began to lose my nerve.
The guy I was seeing then decided that he would come and visit me in London, well he said that, because he didn’t want to be the reason I stayed behind…as I faltered my Mum generously offered to pay for my flat for 6 months. So that it would be there if I came back, just in case they made it and I regretted not going…
It was all set for me to go!
A week before…my gut shouted NO!!!
- Did I want to spend all day everyday with a group of young lads?
- Did I want to share a bathroom and kitchen with immature, fame hungry lads?
- Did I want to be told what to wear and wait to possibly get kicked out of the band if an A&R (Artists and Repertoire) man said so?
My intuition told me that their hunger for fame and being on the scene might make them do anything and lose sight of their loyalty to each other and to me if required…
I didn’t go….
Guess what happened?
6 months later all but the singer returned…he sold the tapes to a record company with just his name on them!
My Gut was right! I have now been married to that ‘Someone’ for 30 years!
Julie Kent MBE is new to Instagram, you can follow her here https://www.instagram.com/juliekentmbe/?hl=en and show your support. She would love to hear what you thought of her story about instincts. Remember if it’s not a hell yes it’s a no thanks.
Julie Kent MBE – My Story so far
A story of grief, grit and resilience, glamour and giving. Honoured with an MBE in October 2020 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Often referred to as the lady with the sax, Julie is an inspirational, musical and a high-energy keynote speaker who enters the stage playing the saxophone and takes the audience on an adventure through three challenging decades. Talking openly about the loss of her first daughter Emily, who died of a brain tumour at the age of 3 Julie enthuses about how giving and raising money helped her journey of grief. She became a crazy, fun and much loved House Mistress at Dean Close School in Cheltenham teaching, living with and caring for over 60 young girls. She showed them how to give to help others, with not just money but with time, energy and humility.
Her mantra of “Give to charity, Give your time, Give yourself” was one that she lived by everyday and encouraged others to do the same. She talks about how she became one of the most driven and prolific third sector leaders of our time, having a ward in Gloucestershire and Bristol Children’s Hospitals named after Emily her daughter, raising unheard of sums of money for charities, becoming Chairman of Cheltenham Open Door, Vice Chairman of The Pied Piper Appeal, Ambassador and Trustee for Goals beyond Grass. In 2018 she was named as one of the 50 Greatest Women in Gloucestershire followed by being named in the Top 100 Women in West and was then awarded the Most Outstanding Woman in the Charitable Sector in the West.
In 2020, during the COVID pandemic, Julie Kent was awarded an MBE for Charitable Services rendered on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II birthday honours list.
Julie’s new website can be found by clicking below. https://juliekentmbe.com