So it began ...
Excerpt from Stage Coup Records/Artist Bio.
"My earliest musical roots were formed listening to Motown, singing and playing Beatle-tunes, and soaking up everything I could along with my comrades in our group of Michigan wanna-be's. I did time as lead vocalist and guitarist in a band called "AUGGIE'S 69th STREET FUNK." We garnered regional success in the Detroit area - late Sixties, early Seventies ... a great group of guys. Lead Guitarist, a Caucasian guy named David Gibbons (recently deceased) was one of the best players I'd met at the time, stirring up images of Clapton, Hendrix and Stevie Ray. Our drummer, Alan Ryles was cousin to the original drummer of the Parliament / Funkadelics. He had done cuts on a few of their early albums. Bassist Robert (the quiet) Jeeter, was quickly and accurately christened "Bobbin' Robert." He to was phenomenally funky. 69th Street's racial and ethnic mix created a pretty cool rhythmic experience ... a funky psychedelic, jam-band groove.
I also did a three year stint in another Michigan band, "A Third Race." These guys - Randy Chandler, Jim Hulseman and Steve Moore (each great songwriters in their own right) were the best. The final line-up was completed with the addition of percussionist John Karpslis. In my opinion, the band was ahead of its time, at least potentially though never actualized. We each enjoyed our experience in that line-up and remain friends to this day.
In the early Nineties I spent five years as Founder / Director of a Third World non-profit organization Global Mission Alliance (GMA). I had the privilege of traveling and teaching in many dire and needy locations throughout Guatemala, Jamaica and Haiti ... it left its impact. We also did relief work in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, Africa. These were very informative years as they relate to my current performing and writing - a social and spiritually conscious message is important to me ..."
But, it all began with a mesmerizing tune sang by "The Token's." This song's ethnic suggestion (I say suggest because they were after all, five white guys), its stylized African rhythm, and the mystique of far-off distant lands haunted, intrigued and shaped me. It forged one half of this "tale of the two me's."
But, I left something out (ok, ok ... I did it on purpose, in the interest of writing this down ... call it artistic discretion.) You see, way back when I had that formative epiphany .. It wasn't just one song that grabbed me .. There were two. There was another song that impressed itself on my young mind and heart. It too had lasting impact. And, interestingly enough, that second song was ...
More to Come ... Part Two "THE LION AWAKENS."