The Long And Winding Road
I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1950. My earliest actual
recollection was that of seeing Elvis Presley in 1957 at Maple Leaf Gardens in
Toronto. I knew even then that i had to be on stage.
It was 1964. Me and my best friend were off to see The Beatles. It was there that I
decided..."I'm going to be a musician".
The mid-late 60's in Toronto had a vibrant music scene where the artists such
as Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young, Rick James and Steppenwolf were
laying the foundations for musics' future.
I ended up going to school in the Deep South in Central Flrorida in the 60's. Disneyworld
was not even a thought yet. It was a lonely time where i would spend my weekends
picking the moss off the orange trees in the groves and listening to the black workers
singing the blues and telling tales of freedom and slavery in days long past.
I began there to see a distinct difference between their lives and the lives of the
white Floridians. I began to read about The Civil War, The Missouri Compromise and
The Dred Scott Decision.
I next spent my senior year in Upper New York State. Here was a different kind
of attitude. The Blacks who i befriended were more aggresive in their philosophy
more willing to protest. I wondered if there were any connection to their attutudes
with them being descended from Freed Slaves.
The Vietnam War was raging when i entered University in Michigan in 1967.
I played protest songs...Mainly Woody Guthrie, Pete Seger and Bob Dylan
because I was too lazy to learn more chords. I learned about struggle through their music.
When I finished school i was off to Europe for a year romp with my girlfriend.
On my return i went to Ottawa, Canada, got into a Psychedelic Band and played
and was on the road always.
I came back to Toronto in 1972 to be in a band that played Southern Rock...
again i felt a tug towards the "Dixie" in music.
In 1973 i hooked up as a bass player with Eddy Schwartz, who resides in Nashville
but who was and is an amazing songwriter. He was my first "up close look" at songwriting.
We toured and parted, i continued to work as a bass player until the early 80's.
I then hooked up with my boyhood friend and we began a ZZTOP tribute. This
afforded me the opportunity to travel North America constantly and I began to read more
about The South, The Civil War, The Battlefields, the Death...the suffering. I also
began to write. Travelling many times from Texas across to Florida through the heart of
the South gave me much fodder for stories.
The internet happened, for me, in 2001...I began to submit my songs for review on
several music sites and received an e-mail from a poet in Leesburg, Virginia who
wanted me to put music and my gravelly voice to some of his words. I began a
co-writing relationship with Norman Ball. It was while visiting him in Virginia that I
drew my attention to the intense concentration of battles during the Civil War that took
place in a small trough stretching from Washington to Richmond, Va.
There was something drawing me here time and time again in my writing.
I have had several CD's.. I am still travelling and gigging with my
ZZTOP tribute. My focus this past year has been to create this special CD and to begin touring
so I could bring to light an objective overview of this most terrible tragic period for America, not as a
condemnation or to villify the vanquished but merely as a retrospective.