A Baldock-based musician who lost his memory five years ago is releasing a new song. 

David Naylor, 52, woke up one day in 2017 to find himself in hospital and with no memory of how he had got there, or what his life had been like until that moment. He had fallen ill with Crohn’s disease, bacterial meningitis and sepsis and had been in a coma for 3 weeks. 

Piecing together his former life with help from friends and family, David learned that he had been a drummer and singer-songwriter, making his living running music groups at the Priory Hospital in Surrey. 

While in hospital, his mother mentioned that he had been in Santa Monica, in California the year before. 

David couldn't remember this, but soon found himself humming a song with Santa Monica in the chorus and, as he wrote down the words, realised it was a song he had written. 

Shortly after leaving hospital he moved to Stevenage and was supported by Herts-based charity Building Better Opportunities, who introduced him to The Practise Roomz where he started playing and teaching drums again. 

He launched a crowdfunding campaign to record two songs, including Santa Monica. David says: “I found it hard at first to ask for contributions, but I had lots of support some of which came from the Comet.

"After reading a message that one of their reporters had posted on social media, people I’d never met were so touched by the story that they contributed to the campaign.” 

The Comet: The cover art for 'Santa Monica'The cover art for 'Santa Monica' (Image: David Naylor)

Santa Monica was recorded in 2020, but after the release was delayed by the pandemic, David became anxious about putting it out there.

“I started to feel a bit vulnerable and worried about being exposed if I’m honest. I’ve been reassured that it’s a perfectly normal reaction but as I’m not sure what normal is anymore, it’s hard to work it all out.” 

However, after support from the brain injury charity Headway Hertfordshire, and mentoring from people including Helen Thomson on the Herts Camera Action programme - run by Hertfordshire Growth Hub and the University of Hertfordshire - he now feels ready to share the song. 

Santa Monica will be released on Friday, October 28.