Neil Utley

November 25, 2020

I am absolutely delighted that we now have the Music for Dementia project off the ground. When my wife and I set up the Foundation in 2014, using music to help people with difficulties was a key corner stone for us. To see it come to fruition is hugely rewarding. There are so many people (not just people with dementia) for whom music can make a material difference to their lives. I am thrilled and proud that we are doing our part.

My interest in music started in my teens, when I played for various bands in Sheffield. Many of the groups we were with did fantastic things. Def Leppard, Human League, Heaven 17 to name a few. Unfortunately, at the time, needs must and a career in banking beckoned. My resolve was that when I retired, I would go back to music to plug the unfilled gap!

My playlist is below:

Jack Johnson, Better Together.
Recommended by my daughter as the perfect wedding song, and isn’t it just? We were very happy to walk down the aisle to this being sang and played by a couple of our artists on acoustic guitar and harmonica.  It’s also one of the few songs in my badly played personal repertoire.

Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven.
A ‘must have’ on any guitarist’s list. Always an aspiration for someone learning guitar to master it. I never did master the solo though.

Arctic Monkeys, Mardy Bum.
I’m not sure whether my wife uses these words at me or I use them at her. Anyway, we’ve always thought of it as our song.

Joint fourth place: Queen, Bohemian RhapsodyGreen Day, Jesus of Suburbia. I love the way these two songs incorporate entirely different changes in mood, tempo and bring it altogether into an epic musical piece.

So – this is my personal list and probably only meaningful to me – that’s the beauty of music – infinitely bespokable and it never stops changing.