Saturday, November 17, 2007

My interesting life

I have lived a very interesting and full life.
Actually several lives.

My first life began with a normal childhood.

Born February 1946 at the leading edge of the Baby Boom.
Raised in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.

Graduated from William & Mary in 1968 with a BA in Psychology.

Married my high school sweetheart the day before college graduation.

Short Navy career, then 29 years with the Telephone Company. (This is my mom telling me how to run the company)

Raised two wonderful children

Who are each raising two wonderful children of their own.

Took piano lessons from age six to 16.

Thus began a parallel life,
That of a musician.

Here I am with The Cavaliers, JEB Stuart High School's stage band.

Began playing in bands at age 15.

Played lots of private parties in high school.

Here's the first page from the song book of "The Redlighters, my first high school rock band.

Here I am (2nd from left) with The Shades, featured in The Washington Star Weekender in 1964, my senior year of high school.

Played through college at frat parties, earning spending money.

Here I am with The Strangers at our first paying gig during our Freshman year at William & Mary.

And here I am playing our last job.

Played in “Inner Light,” a highly successful agency band from 1973-77
Including one year of Fridays and Saturdays at the Olney Inn from 8:30 to midnight,
Then a contract with Washington Talent the following year
Lots of weddings, bar-mitzvahs, bat-mitzvahs and country club parties.

All tuxedo gigs.

Yes, ruffled shirts and all.
My trademark was a leather top hat.

Here I am in action with guitarist Jerry Kozelsky looking on in amusement.

We played Jimmy Carter’s Election Night celebration at the Statler-Hilton in Washington, DC before 3,000 people and two national TV networks . With less than a week’s notice, we managed to learn the Jimmy Carter theme song and perform it together perfectly the first time on stage.

Eleven fallow years from 1977-88.

Passion was rekindled in 1988 after sitting in with the house band while on vacation at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Auditioned for a classic rock band immediately after returning from the beach.

Became the leader.

The band became “Mirage.”

Mirage played clubs in Northern Virginia for 3 ½ years,
Putting my daughter through two years of

In 1992 I got to play the blues with future FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein at Blues Week in Elkins, WV.

First marriage fell apart in 1994 after 26 years.

New marriage to Nancy in 1995;

New life began in 1998.

Retired from my white collar job after 29 years,
Sold my parents’ estate,

Stuck a pin in a map and decided to move to Nashville

to invent a new life
Away from the shadow of my first life.

By the spring of 1999 I was on tour

With the best band I had ever played with, “Ashley & Alexia.”
The dream I had nourished for decades had been realized.

But art won’t pay the bills,
So after nine months of searching,

In June 2000 I landed a white collar job in state government.

Leukemia claimed Nancy.
It started on her birthday in 2002
And ended one year later.
And so also ended that life of mine.

Suzanne ushered in yet another new life.
We met via an Internet dating service,
She had also lost two spouses as had I.
The first to divorce,
The second to death.

We’ve made our new lives together since then.

And yes, I still play in bands.
Here I am in 2003 (2nd from right) with Ben Byler & The Rest, a classic rock band.

What lessons have I learned?

Exercise, eat right, make love and play music as often as possible,
Because life is short,
And it’s our job to enjoy it while it lasts.

And for my interesting life I am thankful this Thanksgiving.

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