Music was always a part
of my life. I heard music regularly as a child including
big band, gospel, pop, and rock and roll. My early influences
included Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed, Mahalia Jackson, a boogie
woogie player named Hadda Brooks, and of course Joan Baez,
whose songs I loved to sing and play, and by extension
Bob Dylan when I first saw him sing at the Hollywood Bowl
in about 1962 when he was 17 or 18 years old and just starting
out. Joan Baez introduced him to the audience as a new
up and coming musician and song writer. I grew up in a
little mountain town in Southern California called Idyllwild
and when I was seven my family moved to the desert and
we lived there until I left home at eighteen years old.
Guitar lessons were commenced at age twelve and I took
folk guitar with a woman named Naomi Heali in the desert.
Later when I was about twenty I met Jorma Kaukonen, before
the Jefferson Airplane even existed, and he gave me a couple
of lessons on playing old blues. At that time I was a psychology
major at San Jose State.
thing that directed my mind towards playing music professionaly
the talent show at my local high school and winning first
place in the contest. The entire student body gave a
standing ovation and that was a wonderful experience, especially
since my personality type had been shy as a child. I
considered myself a songwriter although I did write songs.
I considered myself a musician first and foremost and
that was important to me. The Ace of Cups band was a unique
and incredible experience that will forever be a major
influence on my life. I was able to meet people like
Hendrix who left a definite positive impression on my
life, Mike Bloomfield and the whole Electric Flag group,
Cipollina from Quicksilver Messenger Service and all
of the other bands that were playing in the San Francisco
Bay Area in the 1960s.
After I left the band in
1969, I moved to Northern California with my partner
we had two beautiful children (Padre Asa and Rose Amber).
We were living on the land and I grew a large garden.
We had chickens, goats, and took care of bees (I had a
suit and assorted bee keeping equipment). I made goat
cheese and prepared and canned a lot of fruit. We built
cellar on the property where we stored vegetables and
fruits. The south fork of the Trinity River ran through
We lived there for thirteen years. Later I moved to the
coast and worked up at Humboldt State University. During
that time I played in a number of different local bands.
First with Mimi LaPlant, who is also an artist, second
with an all-woman band named Raven who mainly played
jazz, then in a band called Night Letter that played blues
boogie woogie, then a country band called Round-up that
later became Still Kickin after some members left and
new ones arrived.
Later, after working at a detox in Eureka
and getting a college education, I became a substance
counselor. I did that for over 10 years and at this point
I work for Mental Health as a case manager. All through
my past I have had an interest in oil painting and took
lessons up at Humboldt State University and later with
an excellent painter named Michael Hayes. I continue
to take lessons with him and he shows us how to paint like
the masters did, and shows us what techniques they used
to get the effects that they did. I have been studying
gemology most recently and continue to be amazed at the
mystery of life and all of the incredible things to do
and learn about. I have done hatha yoga and lately have
been doing yin yoga that Denise began to show some members
of the band. Tibetan meditation and some fasts at various
times in my life have been beneficial. The joy of continuing
to learn is always a gift.