A solo artist: a guy, a computer, a keyboard, and a mic. Born and raised in a tiny New Hampshire town within eye-sight of Boston (from a hill near my home). Classically trained in piano and trumpet! Over the years, I've done rock bands, jazz bands, solo gigs, blues bands and “Big Bands”. I have also been an actor in many theater productions, and musical director for several musical plays.
I worked with the legendary producer Andrew Loog Oldham (Rolling Stones manager and producer) along with Jon Manners, in a great little studio in Connecticut owned by Doc Cavelier, way back when! Those recordings originally financed by Rare Earth Records out of Detroit, were later purchased by Electric Lady Land. I also worked for Teacho Wiltshire, another prolific producer who worked with Al Hirt, the Isley Brothers, and the Drifters, among many others. Teacho is the one who was able to set up our band rehearsals in the Ed Sullivan theater in NYC, on the second floor, just above the main entrance: quite the experience for a young country boy. Doing studio work in New England and New York was most rewarding. That is probably why I enjoy creating and making music in my home studio more than performing.
One of my buddies from the 60s, Trip Khalaf, went on to much bigger and better things. He hooked up with the Clair Brothers out of PA. Before long, he was the live sound engineer for all the QUEEN tours. He also did the sound and was road manager for PINK FLOYD. Other well known artists who have used Trip as a sound engineer include FLEETWOOD MAC, PINK FLOYD, STEELY DAN, MICHAEL JACKSON, ELTON JOHN, MADONNA, and MARIAH CAREY. Last I heard, he is still touring with his buddy, Roger Waters of PINK FLOYD. Hello out there Trip! And, as I mention Trip, I must also mention his good buddy from Jersey, and now Florida, Joe LaRocca....great drummer I gigged with in the 60s, and the smoothest guy I ever met. Hi Joe!
Playing in bands all started with playing in a band made up of high school friends, the Subterraneans. Our favorite gigs were at the Leominster and Gardner teen dances held in the city halls in those Massachusetts burgs. In college I was lucky to get into a band out of Boston/Maine, called the Stolen Peaches. We were a touring band. My favorite Stolen Peaches music experiences in the 60s were playing in those huge dance palaces along the East Coast that were hugely popular: Hampton Beach Ballroom, Old Orchard Beach, Nantasket Beach Surf, Salisbury Beach Frolic, the Four Seasons, and many other inland venues throughout New England and New York, as either a headliner band or opening act for some bigger names. The Stolen Peaches already had a recording contract with Liberty Records when I joined them: which is how I got connected with Teacho Wiltshire. Once I joined them it was a wild ride for three years. We also spent two of those summers as the house band at the Forefather's Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine: a great gig to nightly packed houses. In the late 60s I played in a band stationed out of New York. We played huge dance venues, concert halls, and gigged at Universities, such as Syracuse, Cornell, Rochester, Middlebury, Maine, etc. I also continued to play piano as a studio musician on occasion.
I was so lucky to have played the places I've played in, lucky to have played along with so many incredible musicians, and lucky to have met so many wonderful people along the way, including many well known and, at times, legendary entertainers and celebrities.
Amidst all those experiences, including a year and a half off from college to play and travel with bands full-time, I somehow was able to earn my BA degree. I then went on to graduate school in Michigan, where I earned my MA and Specialists Degrees, in preparing for my career as a school psychologist and special education administrator.
After graduate school and settling down in a small city along Lake Michigan, I had the honor of working with Bob Simms (Rotary Connection from Chicago, featuring Bob and Minnie Ripperton, the first bi racial group to be signed and recorded by Chess Records) , as a duo, back in 1980. In the 80s, I played piano and sang for the "big band" General Assembly for years. I also played piano/vocals in a quartet, New Harmony for several years: playing gigs throughout Michigan with 3 excellent musicians, who otherwise made up the rhythm section of the General Assembly.
But, in the early 90s I took a few years off to spend all my time with my family. After my son graduated from high school in the late 90s, I put together a trio (bass, piano, and congas). We played some concerts as well as played at some of the newest local establishments. We were together for a couple of years. However, by that time my interest in "gigging" had waned, and no longer had the desire to perform as I once had.
Moving and settling in a small city along the shores of Lake Michigan back in the 70s, gave me the chance to participate in theater productions that I might not have had an opportunity for in larger cities. I took on my first gig as a pianist for a theater production of Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing" at the local college in 1976. This led to further theater productions, starting with being the musical director/pianist, for Peter Pan. Over the next few years I was a musical director for several other theater productions.
In 1983 I took on my first acting/singing role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the local college. This led to roles in Camelot, Side by Side by Sondheim, Working, Snoopy, and several other plays . I enjoyed doing plays at the legendary Ramsdell Theater in Manistee and at the Howmet in Whitehall. In 1989 I played the role of LM in Pump Boys and Dinettes for the second time , with an excellent cast, including Misty Rowe of movie and TV fame. (Hee Haw) However, with my decision in the early 90s to make spending time with my family my number one priority, I ceased doing any more huge productions that took me away from home so much.
After a 10 year break from playing music publicly (2001 to 2011), I decided to take a limited number of bookings per year, mainly for special occasions and fund raisers in Michigan, New York and Florida, something I enjoy, and continue to do.
The past 25 years I have enjoyed setting up my home recording studio. I love creating new music of all types. I love to perform that music, using Logic Pro. This lets me play just about any type of instrument using my keyboard. Then I love putting all the parts together into scores and songs. I also record and produce a limited number of invited artists on occasion. A couple of years ago I took my studio with me in my car and traveled to North Carolina to record and produce some original songs by one of Charlotte's local celebrities, Shannon Lee. I just recently completed producing, recording and doing back up tracks for a fabulous singer from Chicago, Mark Johnson. Some other artists I have recorded in my studio over the years include Margretha Ohse Heidel from NYC; Chad Rushing from Lousiana; Marty Zimba from Michigan; and Gary Halbedel from upstate NY; as well as many local Michigan artists.
I enjoyed creating a music score for a web site in Sweden: www.artofexperience.com . I find creating music for websites a fun and challenging task, and love doing that, but on a very limited basis only. Please visit the Art of Experience and enjoy the many, and varied, unique creations by Elisabeth Lindberg from Uppsala.
I also love creating original music sound tracks for video productions on a limited basis. My latest music sound track is the background music for Todd and Brad Reed's TUESDAYS. Visit their website at www.toddandbradreed.com for details.
Before I retired in 2008, I created a video especially geared towards parents who have children with special needs. This video is entitled "The Special Education Process: a video guide for parents and educators". I created the entire project, including the music score, and voice over, while listening and taking into account input from a parent advisory committee. I was able to make an edited version of the original video that I now post on You Tube. http://youtu.be/_rJqozvLjQI. Many universities, agencies, special education and parent groups across the country use this video to teach about the special education process. The original video, created in 2006, won the State of Michigan Education Excellence award. I am very proud of this video. However, now since I retired, and am no longer engaged in that profession, I certainly won't try to make any more videos about a topic that continues to evolve over the years.
On Christmas Day, 2013, I picked up a brush for the very first time in my life, and started to paint. I was convinced, up until that point, that I was terrible at drawing even a simple stick figure. But, over the first couple of weeks of trying, I realized that I do have a talent I never knew I had. Since that time, I have painted over 500 paintings. I am grateful for finding this gift within me.