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CarnabyPic1 LIGHT


Kip Smith

There must have been something going around at the time as Me, Andy and Steve were all born in 1944. The only difference apart from the time of year was that I was born in the house where we lived in Streatham, South London. After being deported from Woking, Andy, who is my cousin, moved across the street from us so we virtually grew up together.


I left Wandsworth Technical School at sixteen years old and went to work for an architectural firm in Clapham Junction, very posh neighborhood. It was there that I met a guy called Phil Day who used to drive to work in a 1939 Rolls Royce and played in a   Skiffle group.

It was Phil who taught me my first few chords on the guitar which when played correctly, formed the song Dehlia.


While working in my job as a draughtsman, I went part-time to Brixton School of Building in the hope of furthering my architectural education. That’s where I met Steve and the idea of forming a group came to fruition.


Once we had inducted John and Ron we proceeded to terrorise the neighbours by practicing in the shed at the end of my garden or even worse in the attic of Andy’s house. Our first gig was in Kensington at some club. It was packed and we were raring to go. After 30 minutes or so of playing, the place was empty. What great times.


When the group eventually called it quits it was back to civilian life and a regular job. Back to architecture for various firms until 1976 when a private client of mine suggested I move to America and go into development. There was nothing to hold me at home so off I went. I have lived in southern California for 38 years the last 30 of which has been working with an architectural and structural engineering firm the last four years being its CEO. I still play the guitar when I get the chance, even in public on very drunken occasions.


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