I became a Bass Player on Feb. 9, 1964, when I first saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. When I heard Paul McCartney's bass line on "All My Loving" played on that beautiful left-handed Hofner, I thought, "I don't know what that is - but I've GOT to learn how to do that!" I've been working on it ever since.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
The Byrds at Westchester County Center, probably 1964 or '65. My older cousin Ben took me. It was memorable because he was friends with the band, so we got to watch the show from the wings. Girls were screaming, I was about 3 feet away from Chris Hillman's bass amp, I could hear the vocals coming off the stage monitors - it was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen!
What gear do you use?
I have too many basses. Mainly Fender J's, plus a Sadowsky, Carvin fretless, Epiphone copy of a Beatle bass, an upright, etc. My main axe, though, is a custom made U.S. Masters Magnus bass. Absolutely gorgeous, and plays and sounds like a dream!
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
The Beatles - no question about it.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Right now, my main gig is with Blues master Bobby Messano. We have over 80 shows booked through June, and the rest of the year is starting to fill up. The album, "That's Why I Don't Sing the Blues" which was recorded a little over a year ago, picked up 6 First Round Grammy Nominations, including 'Song of the Year' and 'Album of the Year'. I've also toured with Davy Jones, and worked with several national acts, including Ray Manzarek, Pete Best, Mick Taylor, Tiffany(!), and Taylor Dane.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
I don't know if I'd have the balls to actually jam with them, but I'd love to have been a fly-on-the-wall when The Funk Brothers were laying down those legendary Motown tracks!
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
The biggest was Summer of 2011 when I played Summerfest in Wisconsin with Bobby Messano to what I've been told was 10,000 people. The most memorable was when I played the State Fair in Omaha, Nebraska with Davy Jones. So many things went wrong it became known as "The Disasta in Nebraska"! I learned how true professionals can rise above adversity and turn in a stellar performance, despite having obstacles placed in their path.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Wow. Tough question. Maybe "Meet The Beatles" because it always puts me in a good place. Maybe "The Best of Otis Redding" because, well, it's the best of Otis Redding!