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16 October 2014

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Twenty Seven

By Rhodri ap Hywel
September 2002, Caerphilly
A digital story from Capture Wales

The final curtain?

Rhodri ap Hywel has always wanted to be a rock and roll star. Find out more about this in his digital story.

"I had 27 years to play with.

Already armed with a deep love of music, my dream began from an early age. The crackle of my father's records playing on Sunday afternoons excited me so that I knew bright lights awaited me. It wasn't until school that I developed obsessions with idols... Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious and later Kurt Cobain...

Also lists Buddy Holly, Jim Morrisson, Nick Drake

...all cruely taken so young... 27 had been the curtain call for so many... it was a warning; my time limit had been set.

At 15 I bought my very own second hand drum kit, and from behind this I began plans of world domination...

...playing was more than just providing rhythm, it was an opportunity to fend anger, frustration and for pure enjoyment. This was it. It was everything I'd ever wanted and every group I joined was the one.

From the practice sessions to concerts, studios, radio interviews and writing songs, this really was everything I ever wanted... but fame remained out of reach.

I'm not quite sure where the lights began to fade. Maybe it was because I could never be happy living in the background. Or maybe, at 28, I had already lived longer than many of my heroes. Or maybe the dream was over. I'd woken up.

Woken up and found my son growing up with his own dreams stretching out before him. Woken up and found friendship and love.

Somehow overlooked, they had been with me all along. These are my bright lights.

I still listen to the sounds that built my childhood ambitions and, when I play, I play for the moment.

I had 27 years to play with, now it's time to live."

Rhodri ap Hywel

What are you currently doing Rhodri?
I am 28 years old and live in Caerphilly, South Wales. I have a keen interest in music and play drums in a local group called Eskimo Joe. I write short stories about life's mishaps and realities living in the valleys. I am employed as a Mental Health Support Worker, helping people live independently in the community.

What's your story about?
'27' is about growing up. My story details how my Rock Star dreams end when I realise I have outlived many of my hero's lives, leaving me to deal with reality and the things that really are important in my life!

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
I wanted to tell this story as I felt that most people have a dream or ambition to be famous or successful, and would be able to personally relate to the story. Also, it was an opportunity to officially announce the end of my dream, a bit of self-therapy if you like!!!

How did you find the workshop experience?
Every aspect of the workshop was thoroughly enjoyable and memorable. From the initial preparation of photographs and scripts, to learning the new computer package, to the final screening of all of our personal tales - great! I could describe it as an emotional, exhilarating and rewarding experience - and I think I will!!!

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