Karl's Biography

“Old musicians never die, they just go from bar to bar.” - Anonymous Coffee Mug

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. 

Dave’s visit 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 wonderful.

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 bass!