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Playing live shows

I always had the need to perform live as well as work in the studio.  I love both and one feeds the other.  I get inspired playing live and take that into the studio.

I lived in Florida for almost five years as a kid.  My good friend had a big brother that played drums.  He had this room in his parent’s house that was a rehearsal room and it had a stage with lights. He used to practice with his band and I would watch what the piano player was doing.  I would then run home and cop the parts the piano player was playing on my piano.  I liked classical music and that is what I started on but I also liked rock, R&B, Latin and pop music too.

After moving to Los Angeles with my parents, I started playing local gigs with bands at the age of fifteen.   I didn’t have a keyboard (could not afford it) so I played a sax that I got from school.  It wasn’t a very good sax and my dad bought me a sax that was somewhat better.  I finally got my first keyboard after saving up from gigs.  It was a used Wurlitzer electric piano with cigarette burns on it.  It looked terrible but sounded cool.  It had a mean growl that I loved.  My uncle, who was a retired engineer for NBC, gave me a Magnatone tube amp.  I had a custom speaker cabinet built with a fifteen inch Jensen speaker.  That was a great sounding combination especially for rock and soul music.  I also sang and played tenor sax, harmonica and melodica.  At one point, I was in about six different bands.  I was a very busy kid.  A personal manager got a hold of some of my songs and wanted to manage me.  He got me on some TV shows and other live gigs.  I had long hair and had problems with not complying with the dress code in my high school.  I was a decent student but didn’t sleep too much.  I had school by day and gigs by night.  After graduating high school, I decided to go on the road and see what that was all about.  I got a gig that summer playing on tour with an R&B band that backed The Platters.  I was gone for nearly three months.  While on tour, I got to see Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Ray Charles Revue, James Brown and Little Richard in concert.  That was a life changing experience.  I was a different person when I got back from that tour.

Over the years, I got to perform concerts with many great bands and artists.  I was with Rick Springfield on two tours.  There were two reincarnations of his band then. (I also recorded on four of Rick’s albums).  I performed concerts (recorded and wrote for) with Rare Earth as well as Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco), Redbone and Jefferson Starship.

I still go out and play live with bands with many different styles of music including my own band.