Brief info

Patrick Noel Lowe also known by his artist name "The Old Man" is a singer from South Africa. He was born in East London, in December 1950 where he grew up. After school, he initially worked as a telecommunications Technician and later completed a master’s degree in research psychology at the University of Johannesburg. His career then progressed in that direction until his retirement and he spend most of my free time writing and recording songs.

Patrick played bass guitar in various rock, pop and country garage bands from age fourteen to his mid-fifties. He is a self-taught musician and has a mastery on playing rhythm guitar. However, while at boarding school, he gravitated towards playing the bass guitar because of the opportunities it offered in getting into a band.

He has always had a passion for music which persists to this day. Patrick recounts that from the first time he picked up a guitar, he was instinctively inspired to write his own songs. He has written several songs over the years but never attempted to market them. However, this all changed recently when a friend of his enjoyed the song 'Whose Girl Are You' and kept nagging him to submit the song to a music distribution company. Eventually he did submit the song which resulted in him having his first single released at the age of 71.

What the future holds might be unclear, however, Patrick Noel Lowe says he will continue writing, recording and releasing new music

Interview With The Old Man


Have you always been interested in music? What is your story and how did you start making music?

I have been interested in music ever since I can remember. It has been a life long passion and hobby. The first time I heard the sound of a box guitar close-up I was completely hooked on the guitar.

My first guitar was a homemade guitar consisting of a 5 liter Valvoline oil can with a length of wood protruding from it for the neck and nylon fishing line for the strings. My first real guitar was a box guitar which I had swapped my Jackie McGlew cricket set for when I was 14. It was on this guitar that I learned to play guitar.

The first band I played in was while I was at boarding school. I was 14 at the time. On holidays, we used to dive in the sea for lead sinkers to melt down and sell, and then use that money to buy pick-ups for our box guitars. We also used the money to buy old second hand valve radios to use as amplifiers. By the time we got to high school, we had decent musical and even had a manager (a pig farmer). He arranged gigs for us and carted the band and our instruments from venue to venue.

After school I continued to play in various rock, pop and country bands as a bass guitarist until my mid fifties. Through out this time composed a number of songs, but unfortunately never attempted to market them.

What are you working on now? Any future releases we can look forward to?

Currently, I am working on my next single which I hope to release in August this year. I have more than enough songs to put together an LP, but I thought I would first test the waters with one or two more singles before considering releasing an LP.

What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry?

Ideally, I would like to be a staff songwriter for a music label.

What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?

Having a family when I was younger prevented me from following a professional music career. If I was not a family man at that time, I have no doubt that I would have pursued a professional music career. However, today my age prevents me from pursuing the career of a performing artist, but it doesn’t prevent me from composing music, hence my wish of maybe becoming a staff songwriter – but as we know, one faces massive competition in this regard.

How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it or what’s Your typical songwriting process?

Typically, while messing around on the guitar, I stumble on a pleasing chord combination (or riff). I then build onto this while humming a pleasing tune that fits (or matches) the chord structure. What usually happens at this stage is that I get a feel for the direction the tune should go, and then I begin to fit together chords that match the tune I am humming. Its typical during this process that some catchy phrases or phrases emerge. I then build the lyrics around these catch phrases. This is my standard approach to writing songs.

However, on odd occasions, I get a tune in my head first; then add lyrics to the tune – then add the chords (and adjust lyrics and chords as needed).

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The internet has simplified to process of getting your music published. It also provides a mass market of potential listeners for your music. However, getting published is one thing. Getting your music heard is another thing. What I have learnt is that without effectively marketing your music, its unlikely that your music will be heard by sufficient people to have a significant impact. Basically, you need a huge marketing budget backing the release of you music. This poses an enormous challenge for Indie musicians. Thankfully there are some Radio stations like Glacer FM that assist Indie musicians in getting their music heard worldwide via internet streaming. So from this perspective, the internet does have the potential to have a positive impact on the music industry.

List some famous musicians currently on your playlist?

John Lennon; Paul McCartney; George Harrison; Gary Moore; Joe Cocker; Harry Nilsson; Engelbert Humperdinck; Shinia Twain; Blake Shelton

What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?

I have been making music from the age of 14. The first half of my career I was a telecommunications technician. The second half of my career I was a research psychologist.

Would you have any advice for young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

If you have the passion, then follow your dream. Love is where the heart is.

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

Easier access to get your music heard by labels.

How do you feel about originality?

Originality, in my opinion, is key in the music industry. It is what makes you unique and stand out in the crowd. It is what attracts attention and what gives you an edge in the music industry.

Is there anything else we should know about you? or Something that you would like to add?

Just that music has been a life long hobby of mine and has given me many hours of pleasure. My passion for music has never died after all these years. My deepest regret is that I was never able to make music my career. I think it’s appropriate to conclude that “old musicians never die, they simply fade away in tune’

Links to Where Your Music Can be Purchased