Bob Wilson – songwriter

Bob in Drumnadrochit
Photo by Laurel Wilson

Bob Wilson – Songwriter

Bob Wilson (seen above outside the highland home of the Loch Ness Brewery), has been writing songs since the 1970s. Bob decided to “come out” as a songwriter at his 50th birthday party, after a dozen years or so of building a journalism career and putting music on the back-burner. His friend Alan Buchan, who did the sound at Bob’s live gig, recorded the evening and then later persuaded Bob to release a CD. The limited edition CD “Little Deeds” (out of print) sold out in three weeks.

Those who have followed Bob’s songwriting career will be glad he picked up the guitar again in 1998, because gems like ‘Little Deeds’, ‘The Old Musician’, ‘Mending Fences’, ‘Courting the Net’ and ‘Underneath the Story Bridge’ emerged, just the tip of a very large catalogue. (Now, on ‘The Last Waterhole’, there are songs like ‘Rangitiki’, ‘Burning Father’s Letters’ and ‘Dead Man’s Shirt’ for his fans to over-analyse!)

And in 2022 Bob received an unexpected public accolade by winning the Alistair Hulett Songs for Social Justice award for When Whitlam took his turn at the wheel. The Goodwills subsequently release an eight-song EP with five songs written relatively recently.

“I’ve always been writing, but like Malvina Reynolds (Little Boxes, Morningtown Ride), I started late in the recording business, so there are still 50 or so songs I could happily choose which have not yet seen the light of day. There were a couple meant for ‘The Last Waterhole’ that for various reasons didn’t make the cut.”

“Knowing what I know now, I’d say my first 100 songs weren’t really finished songs at all. I got a lot better at re-writing as the years went by. Any serious writer will tell you it’s usually the 10th draft that works. Having said that, I have had complete songs tumble out of me inside half an hour. After that, it’s just fine-tuning.”

This prolific writer (he’s a semi-retired journalist) started writing a weekly column in mid-2014 – he doesn’t like calling Friday on My Mind a blog. “It’s a newspaper column without the newspaper.”

It’s still going and you can find a link on this website.