My Music

The musician bug bit me when I was able to join school band in the 5th grade while living in Texas. Not having the money for any other instrument, I was able to scrape together the 2 bucks for a set of drumsticks by saving my milk money every day (milk was 3 cents a carton!) 2 years later, when the Beatles and the British Invasion hit, I tried to convince my Dad that a drum kit was in order, but it wasn't going to happen... the cost was too much. I shifted over to wanting a guitar when I heard Roger McGuinn's intro on the Byrd's  "Tambourine Man". It took a while , but I finally got a no-name Japanese electric guitar for Christmas, 1966... when asked, I tell people I started playing guitar in 1967. Within weeks, we had relocated from Texas to a small Kansas town, making the move during the  Christmas break of my sophomore year, and at the little high school I was now attending, I was one of the 3 guitar players at school. The other 2 were into the Ventures and the Beachboys, and I had quickly gotten hip to sounds like Hendrix and Cream... you could say we didn't have a lot in common.

It was the radio that connected me to the world outside the isolation of the Kansas farm town. Nearby Kansas City had an FM station that broadcast at night and played what came to be known as "album rock", songs that you wouldn't hear on the AM stations. It was a good time... every week, it seemed, there was some new music from a new group. It was during this time I struggled with the mechanics of the electric guitar, i.e. how to get the sounds I was hearing on the records I was listening to. I discovered that the neighboring town would hold C.Y.O. (Catholic Youth Organization) dances to raise money, and they would bring in great bands from nearby Kansas City. The young players in these bands were light years ahead of me and I discovered that by sitting on the floor in front of the guitar player I could learn more in one night than in a month of lessons at the local music store... looking back, I probably bothered the hell out of those guitar players! I was also able to put together the pieces of the puzzle as to which guitar and amp combinations were used to create the tones I was hearing on the albums I was listening to. These were the discovery years.

After high school I traveled and always had my guitar and amp with me, finding musicians in whatever town I found myself in. I learned how to maintain my equipment on my own because there was no one else who knew how to do it. This would develop years later into my second occupation, guitar and amplifier technician, a fancy name for repairman. During my travels, I was fortunate enough to make friends with musicians who exposed me to American Blues, which I came to love. I played as a sideman for years, living and performing in Kansas City, Colorado, Southern Californina, Alabama and Texas, finally relocating permanently to Florida in 1989. It was at this time I decided to begin song writing, concentrating on performing as a vocalist/ guitarist/ band leader, which led to, in 1991, the formation of Bird Dog Bobby and the Honey Hounds.