This is "Inner Light," the band with which I played a total of 362 jobs from late 1973 through April 1977. I'm the one seated in the middle with the leather top hat, which was my trademark.
We were (from left to right behind me) Steve Boyle (bass), Carol Kozelzky (drums), Susan Frazier (vocals) and Jerry Kozelsky (guitar).
We cut our teeth playing Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30 to midnight at the historic Olney Inn in Olney, Maryland during 1974. [The Inn burned down a few years later as the result of a suspicious fire that was later discovered to have been set to collect insurance.]
Here's my then 3 year-old daughter Sheri standing beside me with a melodica.
After Olney Inn, we signed on with Washington Talent Agency in early 1975 and quickly became one of their top bands. The highlight for me was playing Jimmy Carter's Election Night celebration for the Democratic National Convention in November 1976 at the Statler-Hilton in DC. The picture was taken during 1976, when we were at our peak.
Here I am at a video shoot in October 1976.
We played many weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat- mitzvahs and country club dates in suburban Maryland. Each job was a one-time show, requiring us to set up and tear down our equipment. I hauled my Wurlitzer Electric Piano (weighing over 100 lbs. in its case), Peavey Musician amp (also weighing close to 100 lbs.) and other gear in my 1972 Plymouth Custom Suburban station wagon, which must be one of the biggest station wagons ever made.
Here I am mugging at the camera while playing a wedding reception in suburban Maryland.
I look back with fond memories and also with the perspective of 30 years since these pictures were taken.
I resigned from Inner Light in April 1977 to spend more time at home with my children (7 and 5 at the time). My marriage was on the verge of breaking up due to my extended absences on weekends. I thought I would never play professionally again after that, but through a series of "fortunate events" I got back into music in 1988. My marriage did eventually break up, but not until 1994 when the kids were on their own. A second marriage to and the lure of Music City brought me to Nashville in 1998. My second wife died in 2003 of leukemia, and later that year I married for the third time.
Music and love remain central to my life.
What a long, strange trip it's been!