Updated: May 12
I vividly remember my first trip to India. I had been living in Phoenix, Arizona and working a day job as a youth counselor. The work was rewarding, but I didn’t really see social work as my career path, and felt my motivation slipping away. My mother had been a singer and actress, and I knew my real calling was in the arts. I didn’t yet know how to make that happen, but I knew I had to get out of Phoenix!
I eventually devised an exit plan with my best friend, Bill who was also a social worker. We both felt burned out and wanted to quit our jobs and embark on some kind of Great Escape. After all, we were both still in our 20’s, and if we didn’t do this now, we probably never would. We planned to tour Europe and beyond, seeking adventure, romance and good times. We flew to Amsterdam, bought a VW van and drove down thru Spain to Morocco. There we lived in the van, parked on a beach outside Casablanca. But then one day Bill met Sarah, fell in love and everything changed. Now he wanted to return to Amsterdam and open a “head shop” with her. So I sold him my half of the van and proceeded alone on foot.
My new goal was India. Several members of my family had visited India over the years and it held a fascination for me. I met a friendly Canadian named Mark while I was in Greece, and we proceeded overland together to India. A few months later I was actually renting a bungalo on the beach in Goa, a small state on the southwest coast of Indiai. Goa is known for it’s tourist friendly beaches and rich history as a Portuguese colony. And it was here that I found my calling as an artist, deciding to make music my life.
It was a typical sunny afternoon on Anjuna Beach in Goa. My Ukranian friend Luby had brought me over to the “Spider House” on Anjuna. This was a communal living situation run by an Italian film director named Adriano. He was a tall, imposing figure , with long brown hair, a black cape and held a staff. I had brought my guitar and Luby suggested that I entertain the Spider House residents. After smoking some hashish, I performed a long version of Steppenwolf’s song “The Pusher”. For the next several moments I seemed to forget where and who I was, interpreting the melody and lyrics with passion and self confidence, in a way that I had never done before. Some people joined in with percussion instruments, others sang along and some just stared, seemingly transfixed by my performance. When I finished the song, I opened my eyes and again became fully aware of my surroundings, amazed by the reaction I had received. I turned to Luby and asked “What happened?”. He simply answered, “You got off!”
It was in this moment that I fully grasped the power of live music, and my ability to deliver it. That I too had been blessed with the talent to channel this passion into my performance. And that I had the ability to hypnotize an audience with just my guitar and voice. It was a clarion call to my subconscious that I was destined to be a performing musician, and would now follow that path wherever it led.
Fast forward several years and I was back in my home state of Connecticut working as a retail computer salesman. With the help of a producer, Ron Lee, I had recorded a 3 song demo tape at a local recording studio. One day my childhood friend Peter walked into the computer store. I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years and he was now a successful attorney. Peter seemed genuinely happy to see me. We met up after work and he agreed to help me find a financial backer for my music project. Thru Peter I eventually met Stuart, a wealthy businessman and rock music fan. Stuart loved watching videos on MTV from bands like Midnight Oil or the Rolling Stones. It was my good fortune that Stuart fell in love with “Angels Wear Faces”, the lead song on my demo tape. Thus began the long, winding that would eventually result in my first album “Fool For Love”. Along the way, I was to record in some of New York’s top studios and play alongside world class musicians like Rick Derringer and band members from Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, Grace Slick and Meatloaf. The album turned out well, but unfortunately was not released at that time, due to Stuart’s inexperience in the music business.
A few years later I made the bold decision to move to Berlin, Germany and pursue the life of a professional musician. Berlin at that time had a strong U.S. military presence, and as a result, American musicians were popular and in demand. For several years I rode a gravy train of continuous concert bookings, with doors swinging open left and right. All this ended with the great financial crash of 2008. Yet through reinvention, I survived.
Since coming to Germany, I have recorded two more albums done several TV shows, shot numerous videos and played over 1200 concerts throughout Europe. I don’t regret the life I’ve chosen and I still love the magical hours when I get to stand on stage and entertain people. I’m talking about the great gigs. The shows where I’m really “in the zone”, playing my best and connecting with my audience. And giving the gift of live music. Performing is one of the high points of my life, when I get to touch people with my voice and guitar and stir their emotions. Make them want to tap their feet, to dance or to sing along. Some of those shows have even been as good or better than sex, and in my mind, it doesn’t get better than that!
I am about to record a new album and I look forward to making some more magic along my musical journey. Here’s hoping that you will be part of that journey. Because it’s you, the listener and the fan, that make it all worthwhile!