Robbie started playing at the age of fourteen. After leaving school
with several ‘A’ levels he studied for a degree in music theory at
Middlesex Uni. With a good degree and subsequent studies he
embarked on a professional career. Early on he played with such as
George McRae and also met the late Michael Jackson. Robbie played
with the great jazz guitarists Diz Disley and John Etheridge and in
the eighties backed numerous big names including George Michael,
Bette Midler, andTavares. Along the way he was also fortunate to
have had some tuition from the legendary Stanley Clarke.
Robbie trod the boards with jazz groups all over Europe and the
Middle East. In doing this he remained firmly in the family
tradition; his Father was a music hall entertainer Alfred the Great,
his Mother played the tenor ukulele, and Grandmother played piano
for silent films – including the premier of a Buster Keaton film.
Robbie’s Uncle Harry Shaberman wrote the million selling ‘I’m a
Pink Toothbrush’ a hit for Max Bygraves and Danny Kaye. “Yes, rock
‘n roll certainlly runs in the family” says Robbie.
In touring the world Robbie met Harry Nillson, Ronnie Wood and
many others and, strangely enough, along the way he developed a
stand-up comedy routine that the band describe as ‘Side splittingly
funny’. Robbie has considered other careers, “I thought about
becoming a missionary,” he says, “but I don’t really believe in
God”. Robbie also dabbled with the idea of a Kosher sausage
factory. When asked about why he fits in with Elephant Shelf so
well he muses thoughtfully, “Well I can play well enough, but
perhaps it’s because we all love a bit of humour and vaudeville. it’s
definitely in my blood and maybe that added to rock ‘n’ roll was
gives us a unique flavour”.