How did you get started playing music?
I was born a poor ‘unhyphenated-American’ child. When I heard Rush’s seminal record ‘2112’, that pretty much did it as far as deciding to be a guitar player. Actually started earlier with drum lessons in Ohio when I was eleven. Things really started rolling when a couple of kids from my school and I formed a three piece band when I was 13. We grew up together and became much better players than we initially thought possible. The three of us played for eight years including many gigs in and around Nashville, TN. We ended up recording in the top studios in town with a local singer-song writer who was a big deal at the time in 1982 and 1983. Learned a ton about producing and engineering from some of the best as well as playing guitar, syth, piano, violin and singing in the studio. Left Nashville in 1983 and moved to San Diego and landed a gig as guitarist, keyboard player and vocalist with one of the top local bands. Moved to Paso Robles in 1985 and joined a local band who’s drummer is now my brother-in-law. Recorded and released my first solo album, ‘Signs of Design’ and finishing up my second solo release as we speak …
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
Grew up in Detroit hearing that great Motown stuff on the radio. After I started playing guitar, early on I tried to copy mostly Rush and Led Zeppelin. On keyboards and electric violin, my biggest influence was Eddie Jobson of UK and of course Kansas. Really liked the Eagles and Dan Fogelberg acoustic guitar sounds and vocal harmonies a lot too.
Lately you have been playing live shows by yourself. Why?
It’s fun! I get along well with everyone in this band … I love the recording aspect and have a small but incredibly powerful recording studio at my house. I sometimes don’t leave the confines of my room for days at a time! When using backing tracks live, all harmony vocals and instruments that you hear are me playing every note.