Between 1970 and 1990, he was working as a musician, mainly a session keyboard player and pianist, but also a composer, programmer, lounge lizard, record producer, teacher and recording engineer. His role began to be shown with his collaboration with John Cooper Clarke, playing keyboards and co-producing his discs alongside producer Martin Hannett. Both formed The Invisible Girls in Salford to be the Cooper Clarke's backing band in the rest of the years. However, the band also helped to relaunch the careers of former Penetration singer Pauline Murray, with whom they released one album and two singles between 1980 and 1981, and of Nico, of Velvet Underground fame.
His father was the late Billy Hopkins, author of 7 bestsellers, including Our Kid and Kate's Story. His sister is internationally acclaimed author Cathy Hopkins, best known for her teenage books Mates, Dates series.