As a Musician – Guy has appeared on stage and in the studio with many world renowned artists as keyboard player, arranger and Musical Director. Cockney Rebel, Tina Turner, Randy Newman, Dire Straits, Mick Jagger, Roxy Music, Jimmy Nail, Vicente Amigo and of course Mark Knopfler.
As an Engineer – Cutting his teeth in the mid to late ’70’s… from his teenage bedroom studio to the current home recording studio and Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studios, Guy has always been ‘au fait’ with the finest recording equipment be it analog or digital.
As a Producer – From the last Dire Straits studio album, Mark Knopfler’s solo works, various bands and solo artists such as Bill Wyman and Vicente Amigo to a recent upcoming EP from the hugely talented, London based Americana/folk outfit, ‘Megan and the Common Threads’.
In the mid-1960’s in England’s home counties, music was a way of life in the Fletcher household. Mum, Dad and Uncle had their own group ‘The Cameos’. As soon as he could walk ,Guy was taking an interest and by the age of 4, he was singing songs and being recorded in the Fletcher garage studio. The early introduction to the sight of a reel to reel tape machine whirring away turned out to be an inspirational image.
The advent of the Beatles confirmed it was going to ‘be’ music and In 1967, two particular records made up his mind for certain – ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’. Fascinated by the sounds George Martin and the Beatles were making, it heralded the start of a life-long passion for recording, arranging, production and performing. Other influences followed from Deep Purple, Steely Dan, Keith Emerson, Phil Spector, Stevie Wonder and more…in fact pretty much anything that popular music was dishing out at the time.
When he left school (at the precocious age of 15) he set out to find a job in London within the music industry. Many pleading letters to publishing companies, recording studios and record companies were scribed. Just two replies came back and a job was offered as a humble tea boy/runner with ATV music publishing in Mayfair, London.
A year later he secured a tape-op(erator) job at DJM studios in New Oxford Street and abandoned ATV and its publishing empire the very next day much to the displeasure of the Managing Director, Peter Phillips…even though Northern Songs, ironically, the then owners of the Beatles copyright were based in a small room right next to the post room at ATV.
Guy was at DJM for two years and whilst mastering the fine art of British teamaking (we’re talking over 100 cups a day – session musicians are a thirsty bunch), was able to satisfy an obsession with the manipulation of tape. In the copy room, the many pieces of audio tape were spliced and unspliced – often an inch deep on the floor. He eventually graduated to engineer but all the time being in local bands was proving difficult. On more than one occasion, Guy Snuck the band in to the studio in the dead of night to record and he engineered his first band first recordings.
Guy’s band were getting more and more gigs in and around London, it became obvious he couldn’t hold the studio job down as well as gig, so the big decision was made to pursue the keyboards route.
One evening, at a small pub gig he met his manager-to-be, Anne-Marie Mackay. As a consequence, Guy was soon introduced to world touring when at the age of 21, in 1981 he joined Bryan Ferry’s Roxy Music for their last great outing.
Guy first met Mark Knopfler in 1983, arriving at his house with a Yamaha DX7 synthesiser under his arm. Being one of the first programmers in London with the ability to program the early FM synthesisers was particularly useful as Mark had just bought into a state-of-the-art New England Digital ‘Synclavier’ system which utilised space-age technology of the time and had an FM synthesiser which required operation. The pair immediately started work on two film soundtracks, ‘Cal’ and ‘Comfort and Joy’. It soon became obvious that Guy would join the band ‘Dire Straits’ as they set about rehearsing for the recording sessions for ‘Brothers in Arms’ album.
It was during the making of the Notting Hillbillies album that he really started to realize the many musical connections from childhood. Since 1983 he’s been closely involved in all Mark’s work both in Dire Straits, the solo albums ‘Golden Heart’, ‘Sailing to Philadelphia’, ‘Ragpicker’s dream’, ‘Shangri-La’, ‘Kill to get Crimson’, ‘Get Lucky’, ‘Tracker’, all the film projects and some exciting projects upcoming!
There have been many collaborations in the studio with artists such as Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Aztec Camera, Difford and Tillbrook. Guy was fortunate enough to work with and get to know the wonderful Chet Atkins. The late Willie De Ville and Randy Newman were also notable landmarks. When not working in his home studio, Guy will be engineering and co-producing projects with Mark Knopfler at Mark’s home base, the extraordinary British Grove Studios in London.