Having grown-up next to music (and sports) fanatic Mike Murray (D-J of "Whole Lotta Shakin'" WITR-FM) had a profound effect on me as I imitated (like keeping up with the Joneses) his every move. We both got into The Beatles (and the entire British Invasion), Monty Python and Saturday Night Live, following all of Billboard's Rock Singles charts, and listened intently to Rock radio specials (including Dr. Demento). When New Wave hit, we bought Elvis Costello, Blondie, and Ramones singles. We both bought a lot of books, magazines, posters, and saw many concerts at the War Memorial. I knew music was changing from groups I first saw (Styx and Yes), to our first Ramones concert (with New Math)...I feel very fortunate to have seen Muddy Waters open up for Eric Clapton. which opened my mind to Blues music.
My poetry and songwriting began as an offshoot of my interests in Science-Fiction (even earlier with Faerie Tales & Limericks), the fortune of borrowing my sister's boyfriend's Ludwig drumset (thanks Blaine Rybke!), and my urges to write about those 70's-style Blonde girls from High School and College. Mike played a little guitar, and I tried to sing and/or play drums, percussion, harmonica...Three other friends influenced my interests (Peter Bruno - America records; Chuck Ciriello - Rolling Stones, and Rick Waldorfer - Beach Boys). The first song I tried to sing was Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Beatles version), and the first song idea I wrote was entitled"Burning in The Middle of The Universe" My interests in comedy began in school as well, when video was in its infancy (we made fake commercials), and I used to think of funny stuff with brainiac Mike Fox (Mike #2). We did a "Dracula" play together and other school things. He was a computer genius and a Star Trekkie who was rumored to have become the head of some gay organization. I'm not into that lifestyle, but I miss him like a brother today. (Our class is still trying to locate him).
Short musical memories include listening to Bowie's Suffragette City full-blast on oversized headphones, Led Zeppelin on a mini AM-radio, dressing up as Alice Cooper for Halloween, and inheriting several Guess Who 45's.,.I was also chosen as a school D-J, but none of the equipment ever functioned properly.
Choice of instrument? - I took Sousaphone and piano lessons...my lips wouldn't cooperate, and I was severely chastised for missing band concerts & being tone-deaf!!!