Still at it. Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself...Forty years and thousands of gigs...and I'm still doing it pretty much as I've always done.
Did my first paying gig at 12 (thanks, Dad), and that was all it took. Started in the 60's with The Coachmen (opened for the DEL-MARS), worked steady through high school with The Shadows (opened for acts like THE BARBARIANS and TEDDY & THE PANDAS), continued in the 70's with Moteur Leroy, Jemima/Circus, Sheen, and then MANITOBA...whose other alumni later went on to work with ORION, THE HUNTER, the PAT TRAVERS BAND, etc. MANITOBA appeared with ACE, JAMES MONTGOMERY, DUKE & THE DRIVERS, THE JON BUTCHER AXIS, and too many more to name.
Had the best road/stage manager in Rock history....a certain HANK MCHUGH, who I lost to TOM SCHOLZ and BOSTON in '75.
Moved to New York around 1978 and joined a band called JESSICA which featured ex-CELEBRATION singer FRAN COSMO, who now works with BOSTON. During that period, we opened a sold-out show at MY FATHER'S PLACE on Long Island with RICK DERRINGER and did a showcase in Manhattan that was visited by members of KISS and MEATLOAF.
Came back to Massachusetts in 1980, did some solo gigs, in 1981-82 hooked up with blues band BOYS IN TROUBLE (featuring GEORGE "NIGHTHAWK" JACKSON, RON GAGNON, DEAN ADRIEN and my good friend JOHNNY GIROUARD and did blues gigs from Ralph's Diner in Worcester to The Grog in Newburyport. Next I spent a couple years with Survivors LTD (5 nights a week in the same club is not heaven, but great band mates) and ten years with KEN DAULTON and Double Take, featuring DIANE LEVINE on vocals---not to mention many side gigs doing blues and rock (with folks like MATT FORTIER, J. GEILS BAND bassist DANNY KLEIN and the inimitable BABE PINO). There were plenty of solo gigs, too...not to mention the occasional supplemental day job...after all, I was raising my son, and there were bills to pay...
Recently settled in Maine, and have been fortunate enough to sit in with some great local players....most notably the incredible bluesman David Mello.....and putting together the occasional solo CD....still enjoying doing my small part in trying to make the world a little better place. Lately, talks have begun with my former MANITOBA bandmates. Definitely something there that is waiting to happen......which would definitely be a GREAT thing!
Living in Maine. Not doing much live work at present due to some pressing health issues. Conversely, I am not RETIRED either.....so there's a chance you may catch me live at some future time and place.
I have been so fortunate over the years to have played with some very talented people....special moments were many and quite varied. Special note to the folks of the Rumford/Mexico, Maine area....Appeared there in front of nearly 5000 of you at an outdoor show back in the Seventies....with a Massachusetts band called MANITOBA. Also on the bill was the Jon Butcher Axis (we did two shows that day because Jon was a bit under the weather). If you remember the concert, or have any photos, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me an email anytime!
Influences were many and varied....and not necessarily any indication of what I sound like. Most of what I know about playing I learned watching and listening to my Dad, and occasionally (Uncle) Pir. The rest came from Beethoven, Bach, Rossini, Tchaikovski, Berlin, Copland, Bernstein, Rodgers, Hermann, Williams, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Louie Prima, Liberace, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Fats Domino, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, Procol Harum, The Move, Clapton, Hendrix, Bob Seger, Frank Zappa, The Fugs, Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Al Kooper, Leslie West, Keith Emerson, Billy Joel, .......to name a few.
In recent years I've stripped down my live rig to just piano and my Hammond XK-2. Sometimes the basics are all you need.
First, Thanks to my Dad, for "the gift"...Special Thanks to my son Matt, who was understanding enough to give me the space and support that allowed me to rekindle my career when I needed it most. Thanks to my wife Chris, my soulmate, my best friend and my ultimate inspiration. She's the one that keeps me grounded, and reminds me (when necessary) that I still love what I do. Lastly, Thanks to all who have listened over the last 40 years (!?!)....you're the other half of the equation....the other reason I keep doing it.