I grew up
in a musical household. Both of my parents played instruments, sang
in a church choir and taught music. I loved listening to records.
I started playing cello in fourth grade. In my teens I began to
play bass guitar in a string of rock bands. I grew to love performing
in the small groups; the electrical power of the instrument; the
excitement of the audience. I gave up the cello.
When I went
to college, I quit playing music to devote myself to studying photography.
But then a semester in Chicago, where I saw the Ramones perform,
convinced me to get back into a band to play a more vital type of
music. This new band, Tirez Tirez, played its first gig as an opening
act for the Talking Heads at a 1978 Kansas City concert
band's music progressed, Tirez Tirez self-released two albums and a single,
played some shows in Chicago, graduated from college and moved to New
York City. There, we recorded a third album that was released on a label
in Manchester, England. In time, I grew wary of the direction the band
was going and quit. For about a year after that, I joined a friend, John
Paul Jones, in a band called John Train. In 1982 I decided to return
to the Midwest for graduate study in photography. (During this time, I
continued to provide album art for the regenerative Tirez Tirez).
After gaining a graduate degree I moved to Chicago. The rock and roll
bug bit me again and I played in a number of respectable but virtually
unrecorded bands, including: Beat Generation, Will See and Happyland.
These bands got me more interested in the aspects of recording and live
sound. When these bands dissolved, I got involved with some friends in
building a recording studio, Soundworks, where I learned to engineer.
Eventually I produced early releases for a number of local bands and started
a label, No Cigar Records, in 1997. I found that running a record label
by oneself can be extremely taxing - especially if you don't have a lot
of cash to sink into it. I decided to shut the operation down in 2006.
In the last ten years or so, I've rarely performed in a band. Lately,
I've turned my energies back to photography. Yet I can't shake thoughts
of doing more home recording.