I was born into a musical family. My father was a pianist and cellist and my mother sang in a barbershop quartet. One of my earliest memories is falling asleep to the complex and beautiful harmonies of the Sweet Adelines. My older brother sang in jazz ensembles and my younger sister is an accomplished soprano. When she was about six she opened her head and commenced to sing. The clarity and volume was astounding. We kinda looked around at each other and said, "What the hell is that, aren't we just white trash?" Dad promptly hired an exorcist.
When I was six I had an epiphany when my first grade teacher wheeled a piano into the classroom and began to play and sing Christmas Carols. Hearing the same songs that I heard on the radio played and sang live, by a single person, thrilled me. I raced home after school and announced to my parents that I wanted to take piano lessons. My folks, God bless 'em, obliged and I began "taking piano", which continued until I was twelve, when I had my second epiphany. I saw a live band playing rock and roll. A favorite party topic is "What was your first concert?" as if it is a milestone but I honestly don't remember. What I do remember is going to a local community center and seeing a three piece band, drums, guitar, and bass, playing live rock n roll. I was dumbfounded by the pure sonic energy, by the knowledge that here was a music for me! I knew I had to do that and I knew I had to "play them drums." Again, my folks obliged and found a way to get me a set of "Champagne Sparkle" Ludwig drums with Paiste Cymbals. The very same drums that Ringo played! I was in heaven and was soon playing local dances with one or another of the multitude of bands that formed and reformed during that wonderful era of freaks and lightshows. Dad made me quit one band because I lost his tin-snips but that was really the only setback to an extremely successful run at the local YMCA. I learned later that YMCA stood for Young Men's Christian Association, but at the time I thought it meant lots of hot junior high school girls and plenty of dope. It was an excellent rite of passage but soon I began to miss the melody and harmony that goes with the piano and became increasingly dissatisfied with being a drummer, "the deaf guy that hangs around with musicians."
So I sold my drums and bought myself a nice "2-door hardtop '61 Impala" and returned to the piano. I was inspired by one of the keyboard players I had played with. "Crazy Dave Cardell" could play his keyboard without music. All he needed was the chords, like a guitarist. The guitar players would shout out chords in real time and Dave would just take off. For a piano student this was mystical. Piano lessons taught you to decode a pattern of symbols, and execute them according to prescribed rules, but it gave you no sense of structure. So, without the "benefit" of regular lessons, I began to study chord theory, harmony and voice leading and married that with my impulses, which was boogie and blues, and began to write original songs. I moved to Los Angeles and played drums and keyboards in several bands which performed many of my original tunes. During this time I began to take voice lessons (from my possessed sister) and attended songwriting classes and seminars conducted by successful writers and publishers. I was encouraged because I wasn't trashed as bad as some of the other students.
I moved to Phoenix and started a record company with two friends. Writing and playing on various projects helped tighten up my songwriting and playing skills. It was at this time that I was first published and heard my songs professionally recorded. Although the record company was a boon to my skills it proved fatal to my pocketbook, so I moved to Seattle where I continued to write. At one point I sat down at the piano and performed some originals at my birthday party because, "It's my party and I'll play if I want to." The reaction from the crowd convinced me that I needed to gather up some of my tunes and do an album.
In November of 2002 I was crashing at his sister's place in Manhattan Beach, California and found myself with enough money and time to produce an album of originals. This album is the result of that extended imposition on my sister's family...
Check out the artist's website:
1. Brand New Girlfriend
2. Clearinghouse For Misfits
4. Damaged Goods
5. Better Be Ready
6. Still Small Voice
7. What's Left
8. Bound To Join The Nazarene
9. Permanent Heartbreak