We all grow up with dreams. When I was a kid I wanted to be in a famous rock band. I wanted people to know me as the drummer in "that band." I guess you can say it wasn't as important for them to know my name. Call it being reared on my favorite bands like KISS and Iron Maiden but that's what I wanted because I always admired such groups.
Years later, as I began to jam with friends as a kid and in my high school years I began to see how hard it was to put a band together and then, keep it together! And that was when we were playing cover songs and backyard parties. Little did I know that the world that awaited me was much more complicated.
I was 18 years old and I admit to being nervous as I waited to perform at my first professional gig. As the minutes ticked on I became more excited as I watched the other bands performing before us as I anxiously waited for my band's turn. Finally, our moment had arrived.
The screen in front of the stage rolled up, the lights went on and I counted off the first song...and I've been counting off songs now for thirty years!
At first, the journey was in Los Angeles music scene both in rock bands at nightclubs all over Southern California to occasional recording sessions and fill in gigs since my focus for many of those years was making it in the music business. I learned a lot. There were some great moments on stage and in the recording studio along with many heartbreaks and disappointments. I have been blessed to forge lifelong friendships while harboring regrets due to strained relationships that were never resolved.
Later on, when I bought a home and started a family my focus went from the dream to getting some work outside of my off stage profession. I began my hired gun phase, where I performed in various working musical situations while also doing recording sessions for various artists in need of drums and/or percussion. There were still plenty of rock gigs but I also worked in the jazz, world beat, progressive rock, church groups and various acoustic projects. It was a lot of fun as it gave me a little taste of all that I would have never known had I stuck with the dream. It was also nice to earn that extra money to give my family that much more.
When I had time I worked on my own music from reinventing parts of my drumming to writing my own songs, which included my own original tribal drumming compositions that ended up on my first solo album.
I am proud of many of the things I accomplished during my time in Southern California. The memories are precious to me. The experiences helped form who I am as a musician today while the struggles showed me that I had the strength to carry on. 15 years flew by faster than I could ever expect.
Then it was on to the Arizona desert. When I moved to the Tucson area in 2006 I did not anticipate the musical life that awaited me. I was settling into a new home in a quiet neighborhood with the intention of raising my family and settling into a slower life. I did some networking prior to packing the U-Haul because I knew I still needed to work at least for a few more years. Little did I know that 15 years later I would have put in the same number of years in the Tucson Music Scene that I had put in during my time of living in the Los Angeles area with me being busier than I could ever expect in what many see as a smaller and slower town.
It has been good. I have done my share of solo performance while writing and releasing a lot of my own music. I've done my share of Master Classes all over the state while also performing with a lot of musical groups in so many different venues: casinos, nightclubs, outdoor patios, resorts, backyard parties, town squares, baseball stadiums, live television, public parks, the airport (can you believe that?) and even a street corner or two.
In some cases I helped start the band. In most cases I focused on creating a working band in order to work as much as possible. To my surprise, one of those groups even signed an independent recording contract, which was something I did not expect since I thought I had left that dream in my California past.
I have done several recording sessions with so many great artists on the drum set, with my electronic drums and even on my hand drums for world beat and acoustic projects. Each recording has been a learning experience and I am grateful both for the work as well as the challenge to adapt my playing to the vision of each project.
I continued to stretch my musical abilities as I have played rock, country, jazz/fusion, funk, R & B, world beat and so much more. Many questioned if Tucson would have the same musical challenges and opportunities as Los Angeles and I am proud to say that some of the best musicians I have ever worked with were right here in the Arizona desert.
So with all of this being said, to commemorate my 30th year of working as a musician, I have updated my music memoir. It is titled A Speck in the Sand and available from Sun Mirror Productions. Aside from adding more details of many of the things that happened after the last release of my memoir I also revisited the entire book to add a few things while also updating some of the important stories from my past. I also changed out some pictures while adding several more in order to give what I believe to be a more personal presentation of my music career.
Why should a local unknown musician write a memoir? Why not? It started out as a journal that was inspired by my wanting to preserve my memories as so many young musicians continued to ask me stories of my past while they prepared for their musical futures. At first, I thought it was just so I could look back and remember all that was near and dear to me. Little did I know that it would become an actual book for release.
So here it is, 30 years of my musical life. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1530550459?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860
I have no plans of stopping anytime soon but yes, I have a lot to share for those who have expressed an interest in knowing my story. I am filled with gratitude both for those who mentored me as well as those who were a part of my journey. Then there are those music fans who supported me and my musical projects. Thank you, all of you for being a part of my life.
God bless you all.