top of page

RAY WEAVER RAISING MONEY FOR NLPD

Our very own music maestro Ray Weaver has written, performed & produced this brilliant song, which echoes the journey he has been on since been diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2021, and how Parkinson's UK & Northern Lights PD Support have helped him rebuild his confidence, and his ability to manage his creativity & discover his love for golf with the creation of the NLPD Golf Society.

Ray is raising money for two charities that are important to him, Parkinson's UK & Northern Lights PD Support, both of whom will each receive half of any money raised. 

Please like, share & donate if possible

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ray-weaver?utm_term=9rGgkB4Wm

You can follow Ray's musical journey & buy a digital copy of the song here

 

Music | Ray Ellis (bandcamp.com) 

Interview with Ray Weaver

Through the medium of WhatsApp I chatted with Ray to get to know the man behind the music. 

Hi Ray, when did you first realise you might have Parkinson's?

Ray: I'd had problems with my left arm feeling sore & rigid and then started developing a rather strange walk, again with my left leg. At first the difficulties were attributed to existing complaints but eventually it became clear that they were related as I got more & more left sided problems.

How old were you when you were diagnosed?

How rude! :-) About 56.

How did your diagnosis effect you? Did you ever accept it or was their a lot of difficulties?

Well, it was pretty clear from the start that I wasn't going to get rid of it. Obviously, I've had my moments but I've received a huge amount of support from my wife; she can be relied on to make me get on with things.

When did you start playing musical instruments? What were your influences?

I've played the guitar most of my life & I've always been a huge fan of the Beatles, but the music I've written seems to be more influenced by Liverpool bands of the 80s, especially 'The Teardrop Explodes'. I'd also like to tell myself that you can hear the influence of the brilliant 'Talk Talk'.

Do you play any other instruments?

Only the one's that look like guitars. The rest of it I do by pressing the keyboard with one finger whist my tongue is sticking out.

It's very impressive what you have created. Did it take a long time to make the song and video?

Writing & recording it was quite quick but learning to mix it & master it took ages as I'm a bit too fussy. Most of it was done while I was isolating with the Covid in January, which is something I don't recommend having alongside Parkinson's. The video was a lot quicker as I have a background in video production.

What was that involved with?

I used to run a training centre for students & teachers where i built recording & TV studios.

That sounds like a rewarding job?

It was. There were 50 of them dotted around the country, all dedicated to finding ways of using ne technology in the community. They were all closed when the government changed.

How did you discover NLPD?

John Roche was a childhood friend of a close friend of mine.

Tell me about the NLPD Golf Society & how you've helped to evolve the group? What benefits does golf have for people with PD?

Golf is regarded as a gold standard exercise for people with Parkinson's, because it relies on balance & co-ordination & encourages social activity. I've been able to use some of my media experience to bid for funding (which was successfully received from the National Lottery), and that has helped to develop a really accessible golfing programme.

 

What other jobs have you done?

Most of my working life was in education, firstly as a secondary school teacher for 20 years & then as an advisory teacher training other teachers. After the city learning centres closed down I worked freelance mainly as a trainer for Apple.

What would your advice be for someone who has just been diagnosed with Parkinson's?

Don't go on the internet.

Why?

You only see the worst case scenarios & completely fail to see the positivity within the Parkinson's community. You need to find someone who will tell you what you can do, not what you can't do. That's what happened to me with Northern Lights. 

I just transferred £577 to Northern Lights & the same amount to Parkinson's UK all raised by donations for my single, so a big thank you for everyone who has donated or shared the link.

That's fantastic! Is the link still active?

People are still donating & the link is still active, just search for Ray Weaver on JustGiving, or Ray Ellis on BandCamp.

Well, hopefully you'll get a few more donations, it's for a great cause!

I hope so too.

Now just a few general questions...If you could invite 3 people (dead or alive) who would they be?

Julian Cope (even though he'd hate it!), Prince & my wife (she wouldn't forgive me for missing Prince)

Who's your favourite actor?

That's an impossible question to answer, Robert De Niro in the 1970s.

 

Top 3 films?

 

Vertigo, Vertigo & Vertigo. And Pulp Fiction.

 

What's a quote that you like?

 

Take it easy but take it.

 

Who said that?

 

An old colleague. I have no iodea where it's from.

 

But it meant something to you, which is what's important.

 

Yes, exactly.

What thigs annoy you?

Everything: I have Parkinson's! :-D

What is your favourite meal?

Steak & Eggs.

Favourite pudding?

Sticky toffee, obviously!

STP! The best.

What's your favourite season of the year?

Summer.

What's been your most enjoyable holiday?

Visiting all the Vertigo locations in San Francisco.

Awesome. what places were they?

There's a scene where he chases her through the Palace of great Arts; And a great dialogue scene at the entrance to the Muir Forest; and the Presidio, where Kim Novak jumps into the water under the bridge.

I'll have to check this movie out!

It's beautiful. It will never be surpassed.

Back to Northern Lights, how have they helped yo with your Parkinson's?

Firstly, just lots of friendship & support, and a more balanced view of what's possible. Then some roles & responsibilities that helped me recapture a sense of usefulness.

 

Are you panning to produce any more songs?

 

There's a new one on BandCamp called 'She Dreams' which is my favourite. I've nearly finished mixing a cover and I have a couple in progress. I'm aiming to make an album, if thats possible. I'm also producing an album by two friends. 

That's great, I'm looking forward to hearing more of your music, and i'll add a link to your bandcamp profile too.

Cheers, nice one. That was a fun way to pass some time. I'm setting up the BBQ at the caravan.

Thanks for the chat & taking the time to answer the questions. Enjoy your barbecue.

bottom of page