never die, they just go from bar to bar.”
It started with a
friendship. And with a string bass. In 8th grade I had
joined the middle school orchestra knowing that I wanted to play the
bass. I have one sister who played violin and another who played
cello so I guess it was a natural progression. Plus, the string
bass was the biggest and coolest.
About a year had
passed when I knew I needed a bass guitar. My friend Dave had a
‘Beatle bass’ at home (his brother’s actually) and I got to try it
out. My parents lent me $50 and I bought a Kingston bass with a red
sunburst finish. By then, Dave had a Memphis Les Paul copy – we had
a band! Well…neither of us could really play much, in fact, we
didn’t even know about chords! I didn’t have a case yet for my bass
so I would wrap it up in a blanket and walk it over to Dave’s house
to practice. Within a year, we met Jeff who had a Cortez Les Paul –
now we were really rockin!
Over the next
several years we played a lot and we got better. Rush and Iron
Maiden were two of my favorite bands and Geddy Lee and Steve Harris
are two of my primary influences. In 1986 I saw David Lee Roth with
Billy Sheehan and Steve Vai and was blown away by Billy’s playing.
He is still one of my all-time favorite players. Finally, my
list of influences cannot be complete without a reverent bow to the
fabulous Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap.
I played in
several different bands through the 80’s. Although rock music is my
passion, I also played in a jazz band, a country band, two wedding
and anniversary bands and “in the pit” for a community theater
orchestra. Jeff and I were in a rock band called Ground Zero and
after that, Jim and I were in a rock band called Bombay Honey with
Larry on drums.
After a 12-year
hiatus, my phone rang and it was my friend Dave. He didn’t see me
at our high school class reunion (I wasn’t there) and said that he
was driving up to see me and that he was bringing one of his
guitars. Coincidentally, I had just gotten my gear out of storage
(my parent’s basement) a couple of months prior to that.
lasted about 5 hours and we spent more than half of it playing!
Although I was very rusty, it still felt like no time had passed.
Here Dave and I were playing together again
– old friendships are
Now I had the
fever. Within a couple of months I had contacted Larry whom I found
via the internet and learned that he lives only 20 minutes from me!
Larry had still been in contact with Jim all these years and they
were playing in their band ‘Kiss This’ together. More friendships reconnected.
The following year
I got in touch with Jeff and now he, Dave and I get together to jam
periodically even though we are separated by 6 hours of driving.
Old musicians never die…
Jim had some
original material that he wanted to record and invited me to Winona
where he was already setup with Bill and Adam. Pastel Black was
born that day in January of 2005 and we’ve been crumbling ceiling
tiles together ever since!
I wouldn’t be in
this band if it weren’t for my friendships with Dave, Larry and Jim
- thank you all!
And finally, I’d
like to thank my beautiful wife Heather whose love and support
has made everything in my life wonderfully sweet. I wouldn't
be where I am today without her.
Now…turn up the