MARK COCKER -
He began learning guitar at the age of 10, playing folk songs by artists such as John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor. At the age of 13 Mark began to learn Classical Guitar. He rapidly progressed through the various graded examinations for the instrument, completing the ARCM Diploma for Classical Guitar at 18.
Throughout his years in high school in Lymm, Cheshire, Mark's study focus was mostly science based. His original goal was to study medicine and become a doctor. It was his love of music, however, and his talent for the Guitar that tempted him away from that path, and at just 17 he accepted the early offer of a coveted place at music college in Manchester, and the course of his life changed forever.
In college Mark studied not only guitar but piano, composition and orchestral arrangement, along with music history and theory. During his last year in college and for a further year or so after graduation Mark taught Classical Guitar privately to around 20 pupils. It was a successful and very satisfying venture with most pupils progressing very rapidly. Being a young man, however, Mark decided that teaching was something for later in life.
He swapped his classical guitar for the electric variety and joined pop covers band 'Martini', led by keyboard player and music college associate, Jerry Goodwin, who were heading for a tour of Scandinavia. Mark subsequently made Norway his principal home but toured extensively throughout Scandinavia and parts of Europe throughout the 1980s playing top hotels, dance restaurants and passenger ships (Fred Olsen, Silja Line, Colour Line and DFDS) to great acclaim with his own covers band 'Rio'.
In the 1990s Mark, having returned to the UK, left the entertainment industry as a full time occupation and held down a number of 'regular' jobs in sales and later in IT, keeping music as a part-time venture, spending his spare time writing his own songs and playing pubs and clubs in the UK as a solo artist, with a mix of covers and original songs.