The process goes something like this: I stay
up till all hours of the night (and morning),
going through a litany of ideas, pieces, and
wait for new ideas to show up. Sometimes it
comes to me in unusual places. The song
“The Waiting Room” arrived while I was with
my wife in, of all places, a waiting room,
awaiting her chemotherapy treatment, wishing
we were anywhere but there.
I then refine melody and lyrics with my guitar
or ukulele, with the remaining arrangement in
my head. I pretty much know what I want to
hear. The colors and textures are in my mind.
Now it’s about communication. At this point I
bring it to my longtime collaborator, Denis
Smith. Denis is great at hearing and playing in
several different styles: punk, gypsy,
musette, Beatles, Byrds, 1930s ragtime. Tubas
and 12-strings. We enjoy experimenting and
have been doing so for 35 years. We have our
own language and enjoy writing in several
different styles. This makes for an
interesting, eclectic mess. For this reason, we
gravitate toward marketing and pitching songs
for films, television, commercials and related
media. “Let’s Go Tubin’” could be for a
Woody Allen style romantic comedy; “Tip A
Few” a pitch for Budweiser; “Hold You Close”
Cancer Center of America.
We look to the success of Jon Brion: “I Heart
Huckabees”; Mark Mothersbaugh: “The Royal
Tenenbaums”, the great Randy Newman, Danny
Elfman, the music in Scrubs, O.C., Grey’s
Anatomy”…. I find some of the best music
today can only be heard in commercials,
television, and films. Not on “Pop Radio”.
Hey, Iggy is doing a Cadillac commercial and,
of course, Carnival Cruise Lines.
In closing, life is sweet. I have a beautiful
wife, Wanda Cline, who is a gifted artist, and
a wonderful family. I love to paint. Play the
ukulele, sip martinis on my porch. I have a 24-
track studio in my backyard, a beautiful
garden paradise where I create music and art
and hang out with my friends. (I may not have
found success, but it has found me.)
I spent my formative years (1968 – 1975) playing
in Rock & Roll/Blues bands, part of the Ann
Arbor, Michigan counter-culture music scene
that included such ground-breaking bands as
the MC5 and Iggy Pop & the Stooges, along with
Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder, and Ted Nugent.
My professional career has taken me to Europe
on several occasions, doing club tours in
Scandinavia, residing in Oslo, Norway for a
time, and residing, writing, and recording at a
studio retreat in Southern Italy. On returning to
the U.S., I moved to LA on two occasions to
shop my music and moonlighted as a lighting
tech. I worked for Theater Vision, Inc. (TVI) in
North Hollywood doing location film, movie
premiers, and trade shows.
In 1981 I made the move to Philadelphia,
working under the direction of violinist Jamii
Szmadzinski, doing gigs and session work at
the acclaimed Half-Track Sudios.
Throughout the 1980’s I continued to write,
record, and work behind the scene. I was a
guitar tech working for John Mellencamp, a.k.a.
Johnny Cougar and the Zone. I also worked as
a crew member for Fantasee Lighting Inc. doing
support for national touring acts, under the
direction of world-class lighting designer and
director, Stefan Graf.
Note: I include my work history as an invitation
to anyone whom may have been involved with
any of the aforementioned to drop me a line. I’d
love to hear from you. Also, kudos to author
David A. Carson for "Grit, Noise and
Revolution": the Birth of Detroit Rock.
Throughout the 90's I was working in a very
popular local band, “The Bashers”, a.k.a." the
Beach Bashers". We primarily played summer
festivals, opening for national touring acts,
performing for crowds in excess of 20,00,
including the Muskegon Summer Celebration and
the Traverse City Cherry Festival.
I continue to be involved in the technical field
(gotta make a living). I work for CAE Inc.,
located in Hamburg, Michigan. CAE is a leading
innovator in illumination art. CAE designs and
manufactures lighting control boards and
related lighting control products for the
performing arts. CAE evolved from Grand Funk
Railroad's touring crew under the leadership of
eccentric genius, world class innovator,
designer, and good buddy Jim Fackert. I am
also involved in writing and recording
multimedia demos with Ivan Kral (Patti Smith and
Iggy Pop) for the Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV.