In 1970, I found myself in New Hampshire, playing in a full time cover and original band called ”Gunnison Brook”. The only other band in town was a new forming quasar called “Aerosmith”. I became friends with all of them. We had much in common, mainly, the fact that we were diehard rockers living in the sticks and stemming from the same roots.
We happened to move from New Hampshire to Boston around the same time. I lived only blocks from their apartment on Commonwealth Ave. I was invited to observe some of their rehearsals at Boston University. I was also invited to gigs like Paul’s Mall and The Orpheum Theatre, where I got to watch from backstage, Aerosmith’s blistering performance topped off by a great “Mott the Hoople” show. I have been blessed with the privilege of learning from giants.
“Gunnison Brook” disbanded in 1973. Al MacIntosh, the primary songwriter for GB, and I continued working together in a band called MacIntosh. We were invited to NYC by Bernard Fox of “Good Vibrations” recording studio. Good Vibrations was the home of The Fania All Stars. It was the Motown of the Salsa world. Here, I had the opportunity to meet the giants of this musical world, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Tito Puente and so many others, while witnessing their recording sessions. I was invited to the Copa by Larry Harlow to behold a musical experience that had a profound effect on me.
The Latin Big Band experience was mind blowing.
Meanwhile, “MacIntosh” played the Village music scene, playing clubs such Café Wah and Kenny’s Castaways. Our music was extremely eclectic and the labels were clueless as to how to market our sound. After a year or so we broke up.
I joined “Kristian Rex and Bully” in 1977. This is where I first met and began playing with Eric “EG” Greene and Steve “Night Train” Murphy. This was an Asbury Park based, mostly original band. The band caught the attention of industry giants, like Clive Davis, Jimmy Iovine, Danny Federici, Mike Appel, G.E. Smith and so many others. The band eventually signed to a short lived single deal with Polygram Records, but due to internal turmoil the band folded. During this period, we spent a good deal of time working with jingle producer, Richard Drews, recording T.V. and radio spots. Session work became a big part of our income, as we developed our skills in the NYC scene .
Eric and I moved on and joined up with drummer, Francis Parker. We began working with Texas born singer/songwriter, Mark Schimmel in his band “Troublemaker” who was managed by Niles Siegal, former co-manager of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. We were introduced to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio producers, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Barnett who took a keen interest in myself and Eric as well as Mark. However, this production deal was superseded by a production deal with Mick Ronson of David Bowie and Ian Hunter fame. Mick ended up producing an EP for the band. Working with Mick proved to be an invaluable experience for all of us.
I had penned over one hundred songs and was ready to go for it. Jon BonJovi, who had been a fan of K. Rex and Bully since his “Atlantic City Expressway” days, now took an interest in my music, though at this time he was only on the first rung of the ladder to his own gigantic success. He attempted to help me by introducing me to his cousin, Tony Bon Giovi who owned “The Power Station” in NYC.
Eric Greene, now an established producer himself, offered to produce my music. From those sessions, a North Jersey radio station, WDHA, picked an intended single of mine called; “Every Time I See your Face”. I agreed to enter their home grown band contest and ended up one of the winners. WDHA also gave me the opening cut spot for their album that year, but by 1990, I had burnt out totally. I decided to spend my time raising my three sons with my wife Mary....but my musician friends evently convinced me to get back into the mix, so eventually opportunity knocked again....we reformed a local Motown style band with friends Byron Smith and Tony Romano from North Jersey, and I knew I was back in it.
In 2008, I was offered the job of playing bass for “Bocci and the Badboys”, playing venues such as the Stone Pony and festivals and events such as “Light of Day“. Though my time with this band was short lived, it was a valuable experience.
After a short stint with Asbury classic band, “The Blackberry Blues Band”, fate itself had led me to the doorstep of “Slim Chance &The Gamblers”. One amazing coincidence after another has led me back to old friends, guitarist, Eric Greene, drummer, Steve Murphy, percussionist, Johnny G. Reo, and new friends, bass player/vocals, Jim Grant, harmonica/vocals, Sandy Mack and keyboards/vocals, Rockin’ Randy Ledet.
Our music is strongly based in Blues and R&B. Our objective is to play for the body, mind and soul in that danceability and lyrical substance are key factors. Johnny G. Reo brings Latin percussion to the table which helps to display Latin influences like Carlos Santana and Ray Baretto. Eric Greene helps to bring an ethereal element, shades of David Gilmore, into our sound. Jim, Steve, Randy and I bring the music down to Earth with a diverse sound that all audiences can enjoy, memorable, with a groove, and fans seem to love to dance to our sounds…
I like to call our sound “Bluesrockafunkadelica, which is Blues, Rock, Funk and Psychedelic music combined, Together we take the gamble at laying our time and our love for music on the table. Serendipity has brought me a wonderful band, wonderful friends and now I am blessed with the gift of song.