Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Welcome to STORIES TO INSPIRE #5 where I share inspiring stories of real people who've overcome struggle, made amazing positive changes or achieved great things against the odds.
Meet Dave Leese, guitar tutor and guitarist for the mighty RAGING SPEEDHORN, a band I've been a fan of since 2000 (I think) when I heard a killer song called THUMPER (check it out HERE). He also plays for awesome UK rock/metal cover band THUNDERHAMMER.
Check out Dave's inspiring story below! 🤘
Guitar Tutor at DAVE LEESE GUITAR LESSONS
FAV 3 ROCK/METAL BANDS:
2. Guns N Roses
"My story of positivity is what I'd describe as determination, perseverance and basically just not giving up on yourself or your dreams.
I'll start before I even picked up a guitar or even had to think about shedding any unwanted 'packaging' ...
When I was 11 years old (1995) my mum, Loreta sadly lost her ongoing battle with cancer. Mum was ill for a long time, I first remember her going in and out of hospital for treatment from when I was 4 years of age. Mum never moaned or let this fucking shit disease get in her way of living a full and normal life as she could. She carried on working until she absolutely just couldn't get out of bed.
Seeing such a strong and brave woman basically being the personification of "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" at this young age alongside the work ethic I'd seen her display the whole way through it is something that's stuck with me forever. You don't bitch, you don't moan, you treat people how you expect to be treated yourself and you crack on with as much positive action as you can physically and mentally muster up.
Add to this my Dad, Alan an absolute superhero who not only looked after my mum through her whole illness but after she passed he raised three young kids single-handedly with so much love kindness and support that I know most kids can only dream of. How could I ever let anything or anyone get me down or stand in the way of anything I wanted to achieve with role models like this??"
"I first picked up a guitar at the age 14. I looked up to the greats - Slash, Brian May, Angus Young, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, Hendrix to name a few. One thing that stood out and connected all these guys was I knew they'd come from working class backgrounds and/or tough upbringings in one form or another so they were inspiring to me as people as well as guitarists. I always felt that if they could do it then so could I, but I knew it meant practicing my absolute fingers to the bone!!
I began to teach myself mostly by ear and from watching VHS copies of anything I could blag from my older cousins - the stand out one being GnR in Tokyo '92. I studied that fucking thing to death!!
I'd only ever put the guitar down if I was in school classes, even then I'd be thinking of what I wanted to learn and practice as soon as I could pick the guitar up again. School was shit at encouraging people with anything that wasn't the norm or seen as academic. I wasn't allowed to take music as a subject at school, the reason they gave was that I didn't have any grades and couldn't read music as a result of being self taught. I asked if I could be shown how to understand it but was told there wasn't time.
I later found out that the real reason was because I played electric guitar and was passionate about 'loud' rock music. If I played the flute or violin it'd have been encouraged. This was when I first remember having a feeling of "I'll fucking show you!" It made me want to succeed and practice more and more so I could prove those teachers wrong."
"Fast forward to me now at the age of 37. I've dedicated my whole teenage and adult life to the guitar and now I make a living from it from being a guitar teacher. Another challenge in which I get to work with all sorts of different people and is purely all on my shoulders to run as a business and I fucking love it.
I've been in numerous bands over the years, toured the length and breadth of the UK more times than I can remember and also been around most of Europe. What a dream come fucking true!
Most recently (2018) i was asked to join RAGING SPEEDHORN a band I'd known about and been a fan of since my teens. I'd toured with the guys in one of my old bands as a support act (2014) and since found out that I made such an impression that stuck with them and when the time came that they needed a guitarist i was their choice. This has lead to me playing some of the biggest shows of my life and having an album released and hit the charts! None of this would have happened if weren't for the combination of having such amazing parents alongside a music teacher who told me 'no!"
"One downside of being in touring bands most of your life is the lifestyle can be damaging to your health. I've always been pretty strong mentally because of what I had to go through as a kid, but wave a few beers and a kebab in front of me at 3am after I've sweated my sack off on stage and packed the gear in to the van and I cant say no. If you do this most nights of the week for the best part of 15 years, basically you'll be a fat fuck!
I always used the excuse that I didn't have time to eat properly and exercise but really looking back I was being lazy.
In October 2017 I was getting married so decided I'd try to loose some weight so I didn't have to buy the biggest suit in the world. I lost a bit and was pleased with myself but after the wedding and over Xmas that year I piled it back on plus some more. 2018 came round and I remember looking in the mirror one morning and saying to myself "sort your fucking shit out" so I did.
I joined a gym, seeked advice from one of my best mates who's a PT and knuckled down. I've learned that there's nothing that'll work other than hard work determination and consistency - the same qualities I knew I had in me from learning guitar for all these years. I'm not perfect and my weight Yo-Yos a bit, but I'm coming up to the 6 stone mark being dropped in a four year window and im not stopping.
I cant believe that I even admit to myself that I enjoy working out and looking after myself. It gives you such a sense of satisfaction and achievement when you see results, it makes you work even harder because you can see that the graft pays off!"
I'm going to continue sharing inspirational stories from other BORN 2 BLEED
customers/followers. These will be true stories of overcoming struggles (big & small), the benefits of making positive changes in your life, having that PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and proof that you CAN be the person you want to be and that there is ALWAYS a way to IMPROVE and achieve great things!
I want to build a community/tribe of like-minded people through BORN 2 BLEED so if you'd like to share your story email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Facebook or Instagram and send your story and pic of you rockin' your BORN 2 BLEED gear and lets fuckin' lift each other up, motivate and push each other forward!
NEVER GIVE UP!
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