What does music mean to you?
Where do I begin? As a child, music introduced me to fundamental needs such as the alphabet and counting numbers (Sesame Street), the official ushering in a of new age every time I heard the Happy Birthday song being sung even as some of the voices would change from year-to-year, and the therapy of drumming out the hurt in the wake of my parents’ divorce… As a teenager, music drew lyrics from my soul and melodies borrowed from Heaven while I began to write my own songs and perform professionally in nightclubs. During this period, music and everything that came with it forced me to grow up quickly… and it grew with me… and has become the key to so many amazing doors throughout every age of my life.
Other than being a musician, what else in the entertainment business would you be good at and why?
Over the years, I’ve spent a good amount of time on Film & TV Studio Lots in Los Angeles, and watched what everyone would do on the set – from cameramen to actors – believing that I could act, too. I enjoy the craft of acting. I did take some acting classes in college, and was in the filming of a dozen or so scenes for the Stephen Spielberg movie ‘Amistad’, but mostly ended up on the cutting room floor upon editing (you can see me in the DVD packaging photo for the film). Currently, I appear in a short film called ‘Unleashed Love’, which has won awards at mostly every film festival it was entered into. In addition to enjoying being in front of the camera, I also like writing and have recently released a full-length movie screenplay, titled ‘A Journey Through a Dream’ that is available in book form on Amazon.com. I have also recorded a 19-song soundtrack CD to ‘A Journey Through a Dream’, which enhances the screenplay-book reading experience.
What was the first concert you attended?
KISS… the year was 1978. I was 12 years old, and had fully bought into the marketing genius of KISS and was a fan for a few years by the time I attended their concert. One of my older sisters took me, and our seats were in the very last row of the Providence Civic Center, as far away from the stage as one could get without being outside of the arena. The opening act was a band from Boston called ‘New England’ that had a hit on the radio at the time. All I remember about them was that their drummer had a huge drum set and really big hair. I was already playing drums, so was paying close attention to every drummer I got to see play from that concert on. Once the opening act left the stage and the arena lights came on before KISS would take the stage, I asked my sister if it would be OK if I tried to get closer to the stage. Twenty minutes later, I was standing on a 5th-row chair as the KISS Characters came up through the floor of the stage. I’ll never forget the excitement as I watched my musical heroes emerge. From there, it was an anthem-filled, sensory-overloaded musical experience. Every staged fire and smoke effect heated my body as another recipe item of my dreams baked into my being. Each chord and drum beat hit me like a music lesson, and I was cramming in all I could until that last snow-storm of confetti like a blizzard that I didn’t want to end. I returned to the last seat in the arena to meet my sister after the concert, wearing the confetti like a cloak of indoctrination… Fast forward several years and that drummer from the opening act became the Record Producer for my band, The Threats, in the 1980’s… and I recently recorded a version of David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ with KISS Guitarist, ACE FREHLEY! (Dreams DO come true!)…
What is your favorite city/venue to play?
As far as a “city” is concerned, I loved playing in York, England. It was a stop on a 20-city UK Tour in 2012, and I had a full free day to tour the city before the concert. I love history, and soaked up everything that the walled city, which began in the year 79A.D…. 79A.D.!! Fascinating place and people… My favorite venue as a singer/songwriter has to be The Bitter End in New York City. Every single time I perform on that stage I can’t help but think of all the great songwriters that got their start on that very stage… Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin, Peter Paul & Mary, Billy Joel, Patti Smith, James Taylor, Carly Simon…
What’s the one band or artist you haven’t seen live but would like to?
I’ve seen or played with most artists that I ever wanted to… I wish I could have seen George Harrison and Ray Charles… I still need to see Bob Seeger and French songwriter Francis Cabrel.