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I have lived in numerous places, but my main home – where I pretty much grew up, and learned what’s what – is Houston, Texas.
I started playing guitar when I was 11 years old. My parents had already gotten me a piano and a saxophone, which I played in my high school band for 7 years. My piano teacher was not, shall we say, very sensitive to the musical curiosity of a young child, and the high school band simply had a very boring repertoire. So I was not keen to do a lot of practicing. When I asked my parents for a guitar, they pointed out that I had a very fine saxophone, and that I completely ignored the piano, and if I want to play guitar, they would happily pay for my lessons, but I would have to buy this instrument myself. As an 11 year old, this was obviously a daunting task.
I managed to find a friend of my sisters who said he would sell me a guitar for 10 dollars. And I had 10 dollars!! Since I had never played a fretted instrument before, I did not know what was good and what was bad. But I guess you could say I paid too much for this guitar. Not being aware of this fact, I was over the moon, and promptly showed my parents, who kept their promise, and enrolled me for lessons in the local music store. My first teacher started me out with Song Sung Blue from Neil Diamond. As a second song, I asked for The Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young. My parents hinted that they might consider getting me a good guitar, but I would have to pay my dues and play the one I had for a “while”, so that they could see I was serious about this instrument.
Well, I played and practiced on a regular basis, and after a couple of years (in which I actually thought my guitar was really pretty good, so I had a blast playing it), they saw that my passion for the guitar was not going away, and I got an Ovation Balladeer!
I played it all the time, and it was no wonder that after seeing films like Woodstock, and experiencing the musical revolution going on at the time, I decided to take the guitar more seriously than my prior instruments. I learned through private teachers and listening and playing, and later attended a Private Music School in Germany. My early influences include Jimi Hendrix, James Taylor, Pink Floyd, Z.Z..Top, Jackson Browne, and the list goes on a bit longer…..
I never played professionally in Texas, and only those close to me even really knew that I played guitar. I went to Europe in 1979 for a short vacation, and, after getting a job offer to tour through Germany by someone I met in a hotel I was staying in, ended up staying almost two years. Almost overnight I went from being a hard-hat worker for a commercial construction company to traveling around Europe in almost every imaginable situation possible. I went from doing a commercial advertising tour for 5 months, to being a street musician from Helsinki to Cairo. After going back to Texas for about a half a year, I decided to return to Europe to once again enjoy the glamorous life as a Musician! (and once again do things like set up in the corner of a sweaty smoky bar, where you can hardly move without knocking someone’s drink over, the manager is telling you all night “you´re too loud” and “cant you do any Barry Manilow?” and back at the hotel the key doesn’t open the front door, and there is no one on night duty, and no one answers the phone, and you didn’t get paid cash and there is nowhere in the area that takes a credit card, the year is just beginning, and you realize this is your best gig till April……..)
I started playing in the Bluegrass Band “Kentucky Bluefield”, and played with them for about 3 years. A record got recorded but never released, but the band did many tours and television shows in that time, including a 3 week tour through the then still communist East Germany. After leaving Kentucky Bluefield, I moved to the Mountains of Berchtesgaden for a year, playing bluegrass, country, blues and rock in an American GI club. After that, I returned to Munich, and began to establish myself as one of the players in town to listen to.
I teamed up with my friends Mark n´Simon, and a few others, and we stalked the German Art and Music scene for a while, delivering a combination of rock n roll, comedy, and cabaret. We recorded numerous LP´s and CD´s over the years. I got the chance to realy spread my musical wings when I joined the classical quartet”Quartetto”, which specialized in doing mainly classical music on electric guitars.
Although very clever, and wonderfully arranged, the world was not quite ready for these kind of sounds, and after a hard nosed stint of nearly 5 years, I decided to plunge back into the raging seas of rock n roll. I played with numerous bar-bands, honing my chops in the rock clubs across the country, and eventually put together a power trio doing my own original songs and covers a la Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Moore etc. called “Hattrick”.
Hattrick did one record, and played unknown numbers of clubs across Europe, before I then landed the gig as the guitarist for the “Late night with Thomas Gottschalk” show, Germanys first daily late night talk show. With the guitar being the main spotlighted instrument in the band, I began then to get much wider recognition than ever before.
Now I began to be more active in the local studio scene, and decided to open my own recording studio. Between tours with many high profile German bands and artists, various studio projects, and the one-off gigs with whoever was stuck for a guitar player and needed someone to jump in quick and still get the job done, I started to work more as a composer and arranger, doing film music and studio projects, and was no longer really present on the live music scene.
Eventually, computer generated music began to be one of my main “competitors” in the film music business, and I returned to playing and touring live, which I continue to do today.
I have settled in the Schwabing area of Munich, with my wife Mani and our two wonderful children, Martin – born in 1991 – and Aimee – born in 2002.
Have a listen, have a look, send an email, if you like. And keep coming by for a visit, this site will surely be changing every now and then………..