A Little Bit About Me (or "Why I Am The Way I Am")...

I'm just a guy. I'm a guy who never thought he'd end up where he is.

I grew up on Long Island, in Hauppauge in Suffolk County. I was a regular kid. I didn't do real well in school, at any level, as my interests were largely related to things which had little to do with school.

In the 4th grade, I decided I wanted to be a sax player like my Uncle Bill. In the 4th grade, though, they don't let you play sax. They let you play clarinet. So, I lived the horror of that nightmare until I could finally strap on my alto sax in the fifth grade. I stuck with that until I graduated high school, eventually playing the baritone sax (think Gerry Mulligan).

Somewhere along the way, I decided I needed to be a drummer. I bought a cheap set of drums from a friend of my brother Greg, and I set them up in the living room. Mom had the patience of a saint.

After playing drums for a while, I decided that I needed to play guitar. Guitar players got the girls and, dammit, I liked girls. My first guitar was a used Kent 12-string that I bought off a guy who used to play for the New York Jets. It really was a crappy guitar, but it got me started.

Having never been a good student, and not wanting to spend my adult life working in a liquor store in Hauppauge, New York, I enlisted in the Navy in 1981. People thought I was crazy. People said I was nuts. People said I wasn't "military material".

It was the best decision I've ever made.

I spent 20 years in the Navy, and retired in 2001. The problem with retiring into the civilian world is that my skill-set was somewhat limited. I was a mine warfare specialist and an acoustic analyst. I won't get into the specifics, but the potential job opportunities in the civilian community, when those are your skills, are somewhat limited.

I knew I didn't want to work for the government anymore, so I took a job working in a local guitar store. I spent two and a half years there before getting a call from Taylor Guitars in El Cajon, CA. I went in and interviewed in May of 2004, and was officially hired on June 14, 2004.

I left Taylor in 2012 and, on the heels of a ruined marriage, left California. I went to Portland, Oregon for six months, thinking that would be the best move for me. I may have been mistaken. Only six months later I found myself leaving Oregon and heading east; first to a job in Pennsylvania and then on to Florida.

Away from the music industry, I now make my living with my camera.

When I look back, I wonder how the Hell I got here. Just how did all of this happen?

Well, I guess I kinda' subscribe to "Chaos Theory" as described by Dr. Ian Malcolm in the movie "Jurrasic Park": "A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine." Now, I realize that might seem a bit odd, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything we do, no matter how trivial or small, will effect us greatly at some point in the future.

To put it another way: Someone once mentioned to me that I should've gone straight into the music business instead of joining the military. What they fail to realize is that it's the military that put me in the position to work in the music industry. I believe that decision, made over 35 years ago, impacts everything I do and think today.

And I wouldn't have wanted it any other way...

On the steps of Hauppauge High School on Long Island, circa 1979. Photo courtesy of Lisa Baldwin Moore

Wrapping Up Another Year...

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