Adrian Charles Waller, the son of a British customs officer, held down a series of menial jobs in his youth (barman, factory worker, printing company packer, and back-office clerk) to earn money for music and drama studies in London, England. At 17, shortly after his mother died suddenly from a hernia, he began studying at England's Blackheath Conservatoire of Music.
By his early 20s, after having served a mandatory two years of military service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Waller appeared in the chorus of the musical Fanny at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. During several summers he appeared in English seaside shows. To further finance his music studies, however, he became a reporter on a small newspaper in Sheerness, Kent, and contributed news to such London newspapers as The Daily Express and The Daily Mail. In 1961 he earned a Mus. Bach from the University of London's Goldsmith College (majoring in operatic performance). He later received a Master's degree in music history in 1974, and, in 1994, a PhD in English from the University of Sussex, UK.
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