I’m from the East Liverpool area and have lived here, practically, my whole life. My musical life began in the 5th grade when my cousin talked me into playing the drums. I really feel sorry for my grade school music teacher! I did take an interest in it though, in fact, so much so that I joined the Vi-Lar Kadettes because of their fantastic drum line. I learned so very much from that experience. Things like proper practice techniques, a strong work effort to try and improve, and teamwork to achieve lofty, but attainable goals.

In 1972, I competed for, and won, the National Drum Solo Championship held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Needless to say, that was the high point in my life up to that point.  At that point, I wanted to expand my range instrumentally. I had already started to experiment with stringed instruments like guitar, bass, and banjo. Eventually, I tried the mandolin and even the ukulele.

In high school I took up the trumpet so I could sit next to my high school sweetheart. Mostly, though, I stuck with the guitar. The guys that I went through the “garage band” phase with knew a lot of drummers. We didn’t have a bass player however. I just took off the lightest two strings off my Sears Silvertone and taadaa!!! Instant bass guitar. It wasn’t long until we met a guy with a real bass guitar and a real bass amp. It was then decided that I should play rythm guitar. That lasted a while, until the lead guitarist left for greener pastures. What

else could I do but start learning the lead riffs and playing lead. I learned a lot, real fast at that point! Any musician can tell you, once you start playing music, especially with other people, it’s a bug that’s tough to shake off. Eventually, other guitarists came and went and the 80’s came crashing through with the latest new invention in the music world. The Synthesizer! What an awesome discovery. Of course, the band needed one as well as piano, organ, etc. Who played them? Good guess! Me! Around the mid-80’s I became good friends with a spectacular saxophone player. It was then I delved into the wonderful world of woodwinds. Saxophones, clarinets, and flute were the order of the day back then.

Now, looking back, I can’t begin to express how terribly fortunate I was to have been associated with so many top-shelf musicians and how generous they were to share their abilities and techniques with me. I’ve always considered the true test of talent and ability is the test of time. Many of the musicians I played with as far back as junior high school are still playing today. The fact that I still get paid to play and sing boggles my mind. Now, I’m in a position to help the next wave of musicians. I so much enjoy working with the younger students. When a student is eager and anxious to learn every bit of knowledge and experience I can give them, it’s a feeling that money can’t buy.