This section is written from eariest history to latest experience. 

To read from the beginning scroll down to “A Childs Fantasy”

The Stand 

By God’s blessed Grace I fell into recovery after an important, failed business trip to Washington.  I came home and told my wife I was an alcoholic. At that moment she decided to leave. What I did not know at the time, was the remarkable transformation that was to occur in my life. Funny she mentioned that I was going to change but, she had had enough. I ended up giving our home to her. All the music I had composed up to this point had been written under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Mistakenly believing, as many did in those days, that it bolstered creativity.

I rented a small apartment and set up a makeshift studio to continue producing. As I learned more about my disease, I began to really love recovery. I decided to do a musical project about it. I started writing pieces that I felt reflected my early concepts of recovery and the insanity of the disease. I was intrigued at the time with a new tune from Tomas Dolby entitled “Science”. I bought the CD. The music was just really out there for the time and I loved the production, so I thought I would try something along those lines. This was the second project I had done for a cause. I got some press from it. Assiction was so real in the area where I lived. Some thought the Appalachia as the world center of addiction and I believe it was and unfortunately still is. So many there have died.

I took the new tracks I had produced to a small studio in Kentucky not far from county music highway.A lot of famous country type musical folks over the years, came from that area. Then a guy named Billy Ray Cyrus was playing around town making a name for himself. The girls loved him! I remember some gal going to see Billy Ray one night playing at the Red Fox Lounge down the road. She was very excited to go and wanted to drag me along… but I digress.

The project turned out to be a lot of fun! I started using newer digital effects on that project to try and capture the Dolby “science feel” on a poor man budget. Still new at all this I did my best. Included two tracks from that CD here on sight entitled “The Pregnant Man“ under “Dark World Concerts” under “Ludicrous” and “The Stand”. a musical work about the personification of alcohol. located under the “Lifelong Concerts” link. Those works were completed forty-four years ago.

Vinyl 

I moved from the smaller apartment into a house with space. Set up a home studio as I always did in those days. I was using a Tascam  8 Multitrack with mixer. I had met a new friend who loved music and production as much as I did and we join forces. We pressed a 45 but then decided to produce an L.P. 

We started meeting very early in the mornings for weeks to work together to complete the project. It was finished and turned out well. Sent if off out west for pressing and loved the finished product. We sold a few in the local market. It really wasn’t until much later that people called wanting to buy all I had. I guess retro vinyl had become a thing and they liked the seventy’s music and level of our production. I had won a few music contests and on that LP we included one of our our singles that made it onto a major FM homespun project in Lexington Kentucky. 

I was playing guitar, piano and synths at that time using an OBX a Mini and of course the APR string machine, that was so popular at that time. I had become very adapt at routing patch bays. Later we opened a small commercial recording studio in town and had some success but the drinking and drugging was become a bigger problem for me.

I placed a cut from that vinyl L.P.  “Inflation Devastation” on sight here under the “Concerts” link go to “Dark World” and on to the “Money” concert. I remember one summer day out at a party when someone told us that the producer for Little River Band was in town and wanted to talk to us about that song. We never made the connection. That song, released in 1980, unfortunately, is as true now in 2024 as it was forty-four years ago. God help our country!

I had become a married man by that time. My wife was very successful in television news production. Eventually she hosted the eleven as an anchor on a major network affiliate station. We were like ships passing in the night. Because of the drinking, sadly, things did not work out and we divorced. I continue to pray for her and wish her the very best!

Human Island 

At home after business school I had written and produced many musical themes. then, they called that style of music “New Age.” I decided to create a finished work to include these themes. Always a bug on fidelity, at that time, I was writing direct from midi to Betamax and later to Compact disc keeping everything in the digiital format. 

I took the files to a 24 track 2 inch AMPEX analogue studio. We ran them off in a sequence I liked and striped the multitrack tape with time code. Time code at that time was being used mainly in video production of which I had also become familiar with. Each side of the project ran about 13 minutes. The engineer and I then set up all the effects in the studio to trigger to the time code and ran live mixes of each side until we had what we liked. It was crazy we had like four guys on the board throwing faded and pushing buttons. You can hear this product under our instrumental concert link entitled “ Human Island “ That was the first time I had produced music for a cause. The monies from human island went to help the homeless in our community.

 


 

Onward 

Through the late seventies and early eighties wonderful new music technologies were being developing for the individual user. I found it all fascinating. Moved out to an upstairs apartment with my best buddy. His father, a great medical man, allowed us to live there rent free! The place was a mess so we worked hard and sort of redid the place. I worked in a corporate environment and kept attending small four to six day schools to teach me more about different aspects of the business. Musically at that time I moved all the recording gear. I had into a small room in the apartment Mulitrack recording, producing and MIDI became my focus.  When the MAC came out in eighty-four It all started coming together. Real results were slow and a stubborn at first. You had to have a lot of patience in those days. Most of the time after working on something for a long time the machines would glitch and you would lose it all. The lure of the technology was exactly what it is today, amazing new potential. I remember working with my Mac and a crazy program called MIDI paint by Bill Southworth. Wires going everywhere plugged into MIDI devices and it actually worked, with some level of reliability! I was writing and conducting musical “ symphonies “ in a bedroom! I fell in love.  It went on from there to newer work stations and software for the Mac like Didgi Design’s Opcode but the tech was so new it just wasn’t yet really reliable. Recording technology like pro tools became real, if you knew what you were doing. At this writing in 2024 truly integrated musical technologies are just really coming into their own, super reliable and flat amazing. Its been a long, hard, slow, expensive road to travel on yet, what joy I receive from it.  By God’s Grace, my hope is that I may stay alive and keep writing and producing in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Business School 

My quote for the day…

“There is a “Crazy Crowd” at every stop and village along the way, if we choose to find them”.

I went north to business school for an two year degree in marketing. As soon as I arrived I knew I did’nt want to stay but, the snow was very deep and so.. no go. My had two roommates that first year because I had to be on campus. One was a Canadian that kept an oriental girl in his bed most of the semester and the other, an rough looking stoner that started every day in his underwear with his air guitar version of “Smoke On the Water” cranked to the max. I learned some things.

The 2nd year I got a small apartment and met a great guitarist and became fast fretting friends.

Today’s Reality Note: That guitarist and close friend has died. We did a lot of music together. I think of him often and miss him very much! I believe he was a savant. He was utterly amazing at guitar and could quickly learn songs that were impossibly difficult even for legendary guitarists. He also had a real way with technology. 

I remember him telling me, right before he died, that no one was going to come to his funeral. I could just barely squeeze into the memorial because there were so many there who loved him.

My guitar friend belong to the heavy drinking and drug using fraternity at the school. So weekends started to be party time P.D.Q. Seemed everyone listened to a lot of Steely Dan up there. We would get together all the time to play and write. We actually performed a time or two, but my education somehow, came first.

My guitarist lived in a house with others guys that were real characters. A short chinaman affectionately nicknamed “Chong” a long haired biker from New York that kept working on his huge motorcycle in his bedroom! Sometimes venting the exhaust out the window and firing it up for motor adjustments. In the basement there lived a guy called “Stoneman“ for obvious reasons. It was “CRAZY” and somewhat hysterical at times. Graduated, thank God, and arrived home to start work.

Higher Education? 

In the summer of 70, after graduation, I returned home. I had become a serious beer drinker by then and during the summers, my drinking started leading me into drug use. I remember gazing at that that Hendrick album, “Are You Experienced?” 

That fall, I made the mistake of going to a large state university instead of a smaller college. I went from being a “somebody” at high school to a “nobody” at a huge university. I became isolated and fell in with a crazy group of kids who loved listening to music and getting high.

Today's Reality Note:  Some of  the kids from the “Crazy Group” became very successful, yet many have died an alcohol or drug related death.

Coffee house was the thing then, so I started playing my original songs on guitar and piano at the school’s coffee venue and others around town. During that time I signed on with this hispanic, high energy, new york booking agent who wore these crazy disco outfits and kept me busy with small gigs. I enjoyed my first formal recording session at that time. I loved it all yet, I was not receiving any real education except about things that I shouldn’t have. I remember producing this live audio / light show program called “The Seven Chosen Children” Like the Door’s tune “People Are Strange” I was certainly getting that way! I had to leave the university for after two years my education was going nowhere.

Today's Reality Note:  My “Agent”  today has become a professional photographer 

In 73 I got better with time at home. No longer in the crazy crowd. I explained to my folks at that time that I wanted to try and play music on the road. My father wanted me to attend business school but offered to send me off for a music education. That may have been the thing to do as I look back on it, however, as a budding alcoholic, I knew better. 

I found an acoustic guitarist in town who wanted to do what I did and we formed a duo that summer and began writing songs together. I was playing a Rhodes and getting into synthesizers. I picked up an early Moog model called a Sonic Six. I moved into the garage apartment behind our home and we set up there for writing and rehearsal. Later we went to his family vacation home in Hilton Head Island alone to complete writing and developing two full sets of original music. It was a wonderful time, free of responsibility, simply able to focus on songwriting with an interested, talented co-writer. My folks were wonderful to help me to do that!

We returned home and purchased a Dokoder multitrack, reel to reel. We recorded a few songs and sent them off to the National Entertainment Conference to see if we could get accepted to their Southeast audition. We got in and were very well received!  The audition was held in the Savannah Civic Center, a guy named Jimmy Buffet was also auditioning. We were all successful and received weeks of block bookings at larger schools in the south. The money was good, but with the drinking, long distance driving, setting up and tearing down for one night stands it was difficult. I found out there was nothing easy about music on the road. We concluded our lackluster tour, returned home and broke up.

I decided at that time, to take my father up on business school. I thought I could work in the family business to make a living to finance and follow my passion of writing and producing. So in the fall of 74 I packed up my guitar and my addiction and went off to business school…

The Realms Of Reason 

I left home about that time to attend a small boys school. I was placed in a dorm room with a drummer from my home town. It was only a short while before a band was born. We found a bass man from Virginia, a guitarist from California and a singer from Alabama. At that time we were well equipped, I was playing my Farfisa through a Leslie cabinet. Our bass man had a sunburst Fender Jazz Bass. The drummer was sporting a set of red sparkle Ludwigs with Zildjians. Our lead guitarist, get this, had a Vox Super Beatle and played a cherry red ES335. Our lead singer had a ton o soul so we were good to go. The school was a bit run down, so we located a remote abandoned room and turned it into a practice hall. Rehearsals were easy and became frequent, for we never had to tear down until showtime. We got pretty good, pretty quick and became the house band for the school. One of the teachers there took an interest in us, so by year three he would drive us around regionally to perform at other schools.

Musically I had grown from the “Delinquents” coming from little rondos like Money and Louie Louie to now the old dance numbers like “I’ve been Hurt”, “Tighten Up”, “ Cold Sweat”  and other soul hits. However, we wanted to go with the new psychedelic sounds like Hendricks, Cream, Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge to name a few. By year two we became more that way. playing the music, wearing Nehru jackets and changing sometimes between sets, At one regional performance we even had a light show. It was run by a guy with long white hair that wore a black cape swishing around in the shadows as he did his thing with the overheads and the Kaleidoscopic projector. In all the Realms were great, but no big shakes, just a bunch of high school kids having fun.

The big thing for me during the seventies, was hearing the new LP’s as they came out. CSNY, Led Zeppelin, Big Brother, Yes, Floyd, Joe Cocker. The list went on and on. It all seemed like crazy cool music and I wanted to be a part of it.

Today's Reality Note:  The lead guitarist and lead singer for the Realms have died. The bass player is today fighting cancer as I am. Please say a prayer for us.  

 


 

Moving On 

Not to dismiss the folk movement… 

My father had an old bass fiddle in our living room and I started playing that too. Soon I fell in with a small folk trio and did a few gigs at church socials. We were doing the classics like “Ride up” and “If I had a hammer”, stuff like that. I enjoyed it but, for me it didn’t last.

The next music experience for me would have been Kenny’s our local music store. 

The rhythm guitarist from our band D.O. and the Delinquents was a great friend of mine and loved hanging out. One of our favorite places was Kenny’s. We would start there always by going to the record department. They had these little sound proof booths where you could listen to new LP’s on a victrola before you decided to purchase. We would always search out the latest stuff we liked, usually “The Ventures”. When we dropped the needle, we would pull out our guitar picks and start strumming along on our air guitars to the new grooves. After we had our fill of that, we would beg the salesman there to please retrieve some type of new electric guitar or bass model, we could hardly afford, to look at. He was a great guy, and would always pull out something. For instance he would pull down a new case, pop open the latches, flip in around on the counter in front of us. Then, as he slowly pulled back the lid and we moved closer, there, nestled and surrounded by golden fur would be a shinny brand new Gibson Thunderbird bass in natural finish that was just flipping awesome. So we would oogle over that for fifteen minutes. Wonderful memories of the late sixtys, so fun and innocent.

Saturday, when we would return home from Kennys, we would watch Hullabaloo or Dave Clark. Hullabaloo had their house band the “Shindogs” while Dave Clark would feature a new hit band like “Paul Revere and the Raiders”. Watching, I started getting interested in playing the organ. It just seemed like the next step for me. 

One day when I was at Kenny’s, I wandered up the rear stairs. To my delight, I found a huge showroom filled with big new Hammond organs. No one was ever up there to speak of, so they would let me play them to my hearts content. I loved all the buttons, lights and sounds so as soon as Christmas rolled around I asked my folks if they would get one and traded in my bass for a new grey Farfisa mini compact organ. 

At that point I felt I was good on bass, ok with guitar, but now, I had to start all over again with keys. Alas, music lessons never ever came onto my radar screen…. Too danged stubborn!

Today's Reality Note: D.O. of the Delinquent's died and the other guitarist, who has always been a wonderful lifelong friend is today fighting for his life in a battle with cancer. Please pray for him.  

Europe 

In the summer of 1968 my wonderful, incredible parents gave me the opportunity to go backpacking through Europe for a few months with some other kids my age. It was wonderful, staying at hostels, meeting so many others, traveling by rail pass and canoes. Camping here and there as we could. 

I missed music while I was there so I bought a small classical guitar to carry with me. I started writing simple songs as soon as I picked it up. Guitar came to be a main instrument for me. Ideal to learn there, with so much leisure time and new experience to inspire.

Late one night of the trip, a few of us slipped out from the pack. We ended up in what appeared to be an abandoned, partially destroyed church in Amsterdam for a impromptu rock show. I remember there was not much roof left, for the moonlight was streaming in. The only lighting was on the stage. The english band “Procal Harem” was performing their 67 hit “Whiter Sade of Pale”. It was a really cool experience and also the first time anyone had ever passed me a joint. 

As the trip progressed a few things happened. 

1. I wrote many songs. 

2. Developed a real love for playing guitar. 

3. Met a lot of Hippys

4. Had a wonderful time.

5. Drank a lot of Austrian beer and German wine. 

Those were the days.

Strange…The song “Whiter Shade of Pale” was written about a drunken, sexual escapade gone awry. Like some sort of eerie, future premonition, brought to me that night in that decrepit, moonlit church.

A Child's Fantasy 

February 6th 1964 sitting in front of my family’s 23 inch black and white zenith TV. As the rabbit ears were trying their best to pull in the signal. CBS, which was one of only three signals we could receive at that time, was featuring the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Needless to say, I was sitting in front of the set with my sisters excited to see this new musical sensation from England. I watched the performance and was sold… I wanted to be a Beatle!

Yeah right… Get in line. 

Well, it did make a big impression on my little thirteen and a half year old mind. So by Christmas of next year I was playing the bass guitar my father bought me. It was a Kent electric bass must have weight 100 pounds, but I strapped it on and got good with it. I think my biggest gig as a bass man was either playing with my first garage band “ The Shotguns“ while kids fell down all around the whirling w heel roller rink or it could have been the junior high mixer with my second band, the 60’s hit cover band “D.O. and the Delinquents” 

Humble beginnings to be sure but, of course we all believe we had already hit the big time.