Do You Feel Like I Do…About Music?

Comments: 4

I was 8 yrs old sitting in the living room of my family’s home. An old upright piano, that I eventually learned to play was beside me and in front of the window sat a stereo console cabinet. Under the lid was the turntable, ours even had an 8 track tape player too! Those of you of a certain age will relate, to those younger I likely sound like a dinosaur.

My three older brothers helped shape my musical tastes. Big brother, Stephen also helped me acquire some hockey skills. On this night my brother, Andre and his friend put on a record. They held up the album cover in front of me and my jaw dropped. The guitar player looked to me as if he had pink hair. Of course, it was just the stage lighting hitting his blond flowing locks. When the music started they looked at me and said, ”now this, is a rock record!” It was “Frampton Comes Alive.” The album has since become one of the best selling live albums of all time.

Around that same time as my introduction to Peter Frampton I’d sit on the steps leading to our basement and watch my guitar playing brother, Dan rehearse with his band. I remember thinking, ”that’s what I want to do!” In the big picture you could say the music bug had bit me.

Eventually, my mom and dad saw that I took well to the piano and lessons ensued. I was learning all mostly classical piano during my youth.

Fast forward decades later, after tours across Canada, piano bar stints overseas, performances in 39 states, including Hawaii, and an appearance at a Super Bowl, I still get a rush out of chasing down this life in music.

Full Circle Moment

In 2007, I got a call from a country rock artist from the Detroit area, Hunter Brucks. He was looking to add a keyboard player mostly for some summer concerts where he’d be opening up for national acts. I gladly jumped at the opportunity, plus I enjoyed his music so it was a great fit all around.

One of my first gigs with the group was on a beautiful July day in Toledo, OH. We were the opening act for Peter Frampton. Now truth be told I realize this story would sound so much more impressive if I could say that I had played in Peter Frampton’s band. But on that day, it felt like a full circle moment. As I stood side stage listening to those classic songs, I recalled the first time I heard that “Frampton Comes Alive” record so many years earlier.

I’ve since had some fun opportunities to open for several more acts, including Sheryl Crow, Foreigner, Daughtry, Huey Lewis & The News, Lenny Kravitz, Starship, Deep Purple, Loverboy, Edgar Winter, Grand Funk Railroad, Lee Brice, and more.

Worthwhile Sacrifices

The musician lifestyle is not necessarily conducive to family life. There are sacrifices. I miss holidays and my immediate family (who live in a different country), dear friends’ weddings, funerals, high school reunions, you name it, because of commitments to gigs and to fellow musicians.

I’ve been on umpteen long drives across the country in vans and trucks loaded with equipment. I know by memory the rest stops along the I-80, including ‘The World’s Largest Truck Stop’ (yes, that’s its real name) in Iowa where I filled up the tank at midnight in -21F temperatures. There have been countless load-ins of gear through back alleys and up freight elevators. I’ve stayed at dingy hotels, and then later had the luxury of moving up the ladder to stay at gorgeous resorts when performing in such locations as The Bahamas.

Have I written a hit song? Nope. Am I famous? Nope. Piles of cash? Hell no, but I’ve been blessed to do what I love since 1995 and for some crazy reason I’ve kept at it. I’m grateful for the many worthwhile experiences and opportunities that I’ve had.

I love jumping on stage, bringing smiles to faces, and writing and recording songs. But in the end the most important part of it all is YOU, the listener. It’s you who makes it all matter.

As my musical journey continues, here’s to hoping you’ll be part of it. If you‘d like to hear my most recent milestone on that journey, click here to listen to my latest album, “Another Lucky Day.”

Thanks for being a listener, you really do make all of it matter.



  • Mark Buganski says:

    I like your musical story. Peter Frampton at the Toledo Sports “Aroma” (Arena) was my first concert as I had just turned 16 and listened to Frampton Comes Alive on my 8 track player in the Ford Pinto my parents provided me to drive. Luckily my mom never had a drivers license so I had a car to use as long as helped on family transportation. Good deal for me. I probably should have asked permission to go to the concert but asking forgiveness was easier and more fun. My father is a talented musician and played the accordion in a polka band growing up in Cleveland. I tried playing a bit but talent and effort was limited. I have always enjoyed being a listener to talented people like you and YGIC. During my college years in Cleveland I was a regular on Thursday Nights at The Agora listening to The Easy Street Band who still play a sold out yearly reunion gig in Akron once a year and whose sticker was on the refrigerator of Drew Carey on his TV show. In the Toledo area a couple of friends Dan O’Connor and Don Binkley have been playing together for the last 35 years as The Dan and Don Show and I enjoy their music. So you are correct in the end musicians like you don’t need to be famous to bring a smile to many faces. Keep it going you are appreciated by many!

    • Mark, that is a fantastic story. And what similarities there, Peter Frampton in Toledo, the 8 track…and wow, your first concert. I used to drive around in my mom’s little Chevy so there you go!

      Ohio sure does have a love for their music. I mean Huey Lewis claims it was after a gig in Cleveland that he got on the bus and said, “you know guys, the heart of rock n roll is in Cleveland…” the rest is history lol.

      Yes, I can always tell what an avid supporter you are of live music. The appreciation you’ve shown me certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks a million!

  • Nancy Roberts says:

    You are extremely talented and have been very fortunate to meet so many famous fellow musicians. You have definitely earned your current status! It has been a privilege and an honor to get to know you and see your music grow over the years. I only wish continued success for you. I am proud to call you friend! I hope you consider me one too. Keep on Rockin’ and remember me if and when you meet a certain someone. Wink wink!

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