A teenage Midge Ure sat – guitar in hand – in his bedroom at his family home in Cambuslang and decided the time had come to write his first pop song.
As he nervously strummed the chords of new composition The Bowie Trilogy, a tribute to his music idol David, he thought, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life’. His ambition far outweighed his early ability.
More than 40 years on Midge, 57, laughed: "The song was rubbish. Trouble was, I only had one part. I never got round to writing the other two sections of the track so it didn’t turn out to be much of a trilogy.
"I was so passionate about music. I firmly believed I’d be walking home from school and The Beatles would be waiting at my door saying. ‘We’ve sacked John, you’re the guy we really want’. I lived in total fantasy land. That was my reality but it was exciting to me."
Midge has been looking back at the origins of his incredible 35-year pop career to coincide with the launch of Tunited, a new online social music network he’s developed to help aspiring artists get their first step on the ladder to rock stardom and introduce fans to new music.
Midge spent four years building Tunited from scratch. Its aim is to encourage people to make music and get paid for it – an alien concept in an age of online piracy and free downloading.
Midge said: "Tunited is a DIY onestop shop for aspiring musicians. I’ve compresssed all the elements you need to make a living as an artist into this site.
"I’ve opened the door to everybody who wants to have a crack at making music or listen to new music. The cost implications of going into a studio and making a record just aren’t there any more. We give you software good enough to make an album in your bedroom and a business pack showing you how to sell it.
"You can press up 1000 singles or just 25 copies to give to your mates. We also arrange gig swaps where a band in Newcastle can invite a band in Glasgow to support them and vice versa.
"You also get 100 per cent profits from songs which are downloaded. The artists all get paid – it might not be an awful lot but on other sites you don’t see a penny for your music. The quality of the work by new acts on Tunited has blown me away."
He said: "Today, if The Beatles were a new band and knocked on the door of a major record company or radio station with the Sergeant Pepper album the response would be, ‘Thanks but no thanks’. They wouldn’t fit the bill of what the industry deems hip and trendy.
"It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if 100,000 people turn up for an X Factor audition and only two are chosen that’s an awful lot of other people who’d like to have a crack at making music.
"It all comes down to whether you fit the demographic. If you don’t look right – if you’re too old, too thin or too fat, whatever – you’re going to be excluded, not given the opportunity to show what you can do.
"Tunited is saying, if you’ve got a skill – whether it’s singing, songwriting or as a musician – barter that skill. There is talent out there and we’ll give it a platform.
"Tunited is saying it’s time we did the job ourselves. If you’ve got the desire to do it have a crack at it, the tools are there."