Music Keeps Me Off the Street and In The Bars...



I have been a musician (of sorts) for most of my life.  With my mother being a singer with the big bands of the 30's and 40's, and my father playing drums with some of the greatest bands way back when, growing up in a family of entertainers became my destiny play music... a fait accompli.

But alas... fate played a major role in determining how my life would actually play out.

Ever since I was a baby, my dad immersed me in music.  Since he was a professional drummer, the natural progression of things led me pick up the sticks at an early age, eventually leading me to become a rock 'n roll drummer as a teenager.  In all honestly, I was quite good until a motorcycle accident pulverized my wrists and caused me to focus my earning potential in other directions.  

Still wanting to play music, I switched from drums to guitar, which (for me) required much less wrist involvement.  I discovered that while I did not have the dexterity to play blistering Blackmore like riffs on my guitar, I was able to play well enough to play chords plus I was able to carry a tune fairly well.

As the years past, I never really pursued any professional desires to play music.  I just hacked around, amusing myself and others who were willing to endure by cacophony of reworked sixties rock and roll songs.  However, now living the Pura Vida in Costa Rica, I have the time and the energy exercise my musical pursuits.

Age 13- Dad's castoff drums.  Sounded like crap but they were fun to play.

Age 17 - Band practice with my Danelectro 12 string. 

Age 23 - Playing a gig with my dad (on drums) with my Framus 12 string

Age 30 - Local gig in Dayton Ohio

Age 62 - Open Mic Nite in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica.

When I arrived in Costa Rica I came with only one,  unamplified, Ibanez acoustic guitar.  While it sounded great (in a room with 3-4 people), I needed more (in the way of power) in order to play to the public. Let the spending begin...

My first acquisition was a new Oscar Schmidt hollow body electric guitar and Laney 50 watt amp.  With it, I was able to play a few small local gigs, mostly beach bars.  But as the gigs started getting bigger, so did my desire for more equipment.  Since then, I bought a new Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar followed by a new and more powerful Line 6 amp.  But when I determined that even that was not enough, I bought a new, 700w, Topp-Pro sound system that could drive multiple instruments and microphones.  I was ready to kick some musical ass!


I began playing Open Mic gigs at a local bar called La Vida Loca for about three months.  The cool thing was I was even developing a bit of a local fan base feeling very comfortable with my 60's style music.  And now that I have better guitars and amplification, the final product even sounds better.  From La Vida Loca, I began playing some local restaurants like Woody's Bistro, The Rock, Hermosa Heights Sports Bar, La Finisterra Bar and lately Rumbas Beach Bar.  With each gig I'm getting better and have even taken on an addition singing partner, Jasmine Murray.  Since Fran is completely tone deaf, Jasmine and I are now making awesome music together (don't read between the lines). 





Here is a short, 3 minute video of me and Jasmine at an Open Mic Nite I was hosting at Rumbas.  That's Jasmine doing lead vocals.  To see the rest of the video, CLICK HERE.

While I have no strong desire to play music full time, I do enjoy getting out a few nights a month and playing my stuff and even jamming with some of the locals.  It's a lot of fun.  I get to meet loads of new folks and (mentally) stay young.  Pay is not great but I do negotiate free drinks into all my gigs.

Pura Vida.  :-)




The biggest thrill I have has was being able to play music with my son Sean (age 37) and his son Jayden (age 12).  Here is a video of three generations of Browne's playing Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends."



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