When I played in bands in my twenties we would always discuss if we ever had kids if they would love music as much as we did, I mean how could you not, playing in and or working with a band was the coolest thing you could do.
As my musician friends started having kids and as they got older most of them wanted to play golf, “GOLF” uugh. The majority of these kids did not have the love we had for music where you had to get an instrument and play, or at least be part of the experience somehow.
I loved music and wanted to be in a band since I first saw the Partridge Family on TV. (Back off I was ten okay) Traveling and gigging just looked so cool I just wanted to be part of it.
One of my favorite memories of music influencing me is when I was twelve, I was a latch key kid and Alone as My Mom had to go to work to support us after my Dad died. Every day my Mom gave me a list of chores that I had to do when I came home from school.
I would come home and listen to 99X the big station of the day, and I would listen to all the top 40 tunes of the day while I did my chores, even now when one of those songs from back then come on It brings me back when I was washing the dishes, and cleaning. But the most important thing is that these songs took me away from being a lonely kid that suddenly had to be an adult.
A few years later my Mom bought me my first radio for my room, from where I am literally sitting and writing this, I would listen to all the major bands that would come on, and would tell myself I need to be part of this.
I get teased about this but my favorite song in the whole wide world is Waterloo by ABBA. It was the best pop song ever written and perfectly constructed in every way and I always wanted to write a song that good.
Musically the next big thing in my life was Elton John, I loved his music so much and I would again dream about being in a band going on tour like he did, flying to gigs on the Concord. Besides comedy it was also the most major thing I wanted to do in my life.
I will never forget when his album “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” came out, it was just so larger than life I dreamed that I would someday be part of something so amazing.
I wanted to see Elton John so bad when he came to Madison Square Garden, and I remember a girl had a ticket and was going to sell it to me but at the last minute and the changed her mind, I was devastated as she denied me to an event I dreamed of being part of.
My Mom had a grand piano and I used to sit and make up my own songs, I had five or six back then ‘and one actually is still around and is being demo’d for the new Race Odyssey project.
I still have my Mom’s piano it has been a member of the family for seventy years and when I move this year one of the deciding factors of where I am going is finding a place that will accommodate the piano.
Even with the piano and listening to the radio I needed to be part of the band experience, and then one day it happened.
My buddy two doors up from me had a band and they used to rehearse in his basement, one day he let me hang out and watch, and from that moment on I was hooked. I had to be a part of this in any way I could, every time I would walk up the street and hear the music and see the basement light on I had to be down there. The lead guitar player of the band was Joe Cumia who I still play with until this day.
I started as a roadie hauling the gear, moving drums, freezing in the back of the pickup truck with the amplifiers on the way to a gig in February. I was sixteen and loving every minute of it.
In nineteen eighty two Joe Cumia needed a keyboard player and showed me the basics and his Brother Anthony was brought on as the light man and backup singer. At gigs Ant and I would set up the Light rig and the keyboard rig next to each other on the side of the stage. This setup we called the Snake pit and some other best times of our lives were spent doing gigs from there.
The years went on and as for Joe, Anthony, and I our lives revolved around bands leading up to Rotgut where our OJ parody to “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” got Anthony hooked up with Opie and the rest was history.
We have all been involved in our bands from 2U, Race Odyssey, Aziz, Rotgut, Mr. Potato head.
We have also made a lot of friends along the way some of them are very close personal friends.
I have also watched and have participated in some amazing things, partying with Lemmy, jamming with Randy Jackson of Zebra, Opening for Y & T, a band my life revolved around in the eighties and much more.
Back in the day there was a song “Buck’s Boogie” from Blue Oyster Cult that Joe Cumia would play note for note and we would all go, wouldn’t it be cool if Joe would get the chance to play it alongside BOC’s lead guitar player Buck Dharma who wrote it, It happened, after thirty five years and it happened last fall, amazing and surreal to say the least.
But still would the next generation want to follow in our footsteps?? Not many, but some did and it is so cool.
My friend’s son is playing keyboards and it makes me smile as he comes from a family of bass and guitar players.
My friend’s daughter is following in his footsteps as well.
I am now involved in a project called Sexy Suzn. My guitar player is a shredder and totally kicks ass and is “Fourteen” yes that’s right, fourteen years old and is so good I don’t even notice I have amplifiers older than him. My drummer in the project is our former drummer’s son and he is phenomenal, in the pocket and sixteen. The last time I played with him He was drinking from a sippy cup.
But the great thing about all of this is that the years between the generations don’t matter because the love of the music does. It is amazing to watch these kids start to blaze their on trial, start to write their own story and be part of what moved us years before they were born.
My one wish for them is hopefully they stand our shoes and watch a new generation take root with the same passion as we all had.
Thanks to all these kids and the ones that will follow them rock and roll will never die.