version of my life....
Grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. Hitch-hiked
to California two weeks after high school graduation.
Two months later the prodigal son returned to get a haircut
in order to get a job in steel mill so that he could buy a guitar
and attempt to become a rock and roll star. Laid off four months
later. Attended college a year in Terre Haute Indiana in order
to avoid living with parental units.
Escape again to California (this time for good) in January
'76. Got a job as a busboy in a restaurant to kill time until
I was a legal resident and could pay in-state tuition to attend film
school at SF State. '78 - dropped out of theory oriented program
at State in order to take production oriented courses at City College
(better equipment and easier access).
Dropped out entirely in 1979 (figuring screenwriting
was what I really wanted to do and I didn't need a diploma for that).
Still working in the restaurant - head cook by then. Started
listening to KPFA and getting my consciousness raised, also getting
into alternative philosphies (buddism and native american etc).
Shared my job with a friend so that I could have more time
to do things I wanted to do.
One day, while exploring WWII bunkers at Fort Funston, I starting
singing in its echoing chambers. I did more of that.... and
more, developing what has been referred to as "extended vocal
techniques" and spent more and more time improvising. Eventually
hooked up with others doing the same sort of thing.
1980 - I found KUSF (alternative/new wave) on the dial... and
began listening thirty hours a week, winning free tickets to an average
of two shows a week. Saw so many bands, and not many of them
very good, that I got the idea that I could do that. Attemped
to find a decent band to be a front for and began writing my own stuff
using a Mattel toy drum machine to keep time. Eventually, I
bought my first computer (Apple IIe) to use as a sequencer for bass
and syth parts (by then I had a better drum machine).
Recorded my first album on my own label in 1985. It was
well received at a few college stations but only sold about 300 copies
through independent distributors. I continued writing more songs.
The restaurant closed down in '88 and I got a job working for
the engineer/studio owner who worked on my first album - doing some
engineering, computer support and sound effect work for films being
produced at the studio, getting paid in studio time as I was soon
to record material for a second album. By the time I did go
in to record I knew more about most of the studio's equipment than
the owner/engineers and produced and engineered the project myself
(except for laying down vocals - I needed to have a friend punch me
in and out while I was in the vocal booth).
But alas, the demo tape of the best cuts attracted no major
or minor label interest and the new wave sound and stations were on
the decline so I didn't elect to put it out on my own label.
I got a part time job as a teacher's aid in a severely handicapped
class while I returned to State to get a BA in Clinical Psychology.
I completed a teacher's credential while waiting around to hear from
psychology graduate schools - eventually not getting into any of the
ones I applied to. I continued on at State to get a Masters
in Instructional Technology with an emphasis in multimedia development
and interface design.
I'm currently working as a high school computer teacher at
one of the best high schools in the country. I'm still into
music and film - currently working on two screenplays I started two