I started playing guitar at the age of eleven, when I picked up
my cousin Pete (Butchy) Sommer's guitar. Shortly thereafter,
the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and that was it.
Like every red blooded American boy, I discovered the guitar
was the ticket to ride. My parents Bill and Marion, bought me a
thirty dollar Champ acoustic guitar, with the strings a half
inch off the fretboard, making my fingers almost bleed. But I
stuck with it.
In a few months I purchased a 1964 Gibson Firebird 3 and Gibson
Discovery amp. Within a few days, I found out the guitar was too
big for a twelve year old. I took it back and traded it for a
Fender Jazzmaster, because they were out of Stratocasters (OUCH!)
I have since repurchased a 63 Jazzmaster and a 64 Firebird.
Nostalgia got the best of me!
Eventually, I learned to play well enough to form my own band
with friends from Normandy Street in Roseville, Michigan. We
called ourselves the Logicals for the combinations of our last
names, Long, Gervasi, Kolar and Kouri. We played local school
dances and frat parties.
When I was in the ninth grade at Burton Junior High, I joined
the Tidal Waves. We recorded the song "Farmer John" which soon
became a local hit on S.V.R. records. The year was 1966. We
appeared on the MTV of it's day, Swinging Time, a local daily
dance show from Windsor. Soon after, H.B.R. Records bought our
contract and the song became a nation wide hit. H.B.R. is Hanna
Barbara, yes the same as Yogi,Fred, and Wilma. Neil Young has
covered it on one of his albums. We played concerts at Ford
Auditorium with The Dave Clark Five and Olympia Stadium with the
Animals and Herman's Hermits. It was quite a thrill to play for
thousands of screaming fans, and to sing through the same Altec
Lansing microphones the Beatles sang through a few weeks earlier.
I know,I was there!
After the Tidal Waves, I rejoined my original bandmates. We
called ourselves Ellie Pop, then Featherstone, and finally The
Macomb Delfonics. We wrote all our own material and played such
venues as the Grande Ballroom with the Three Dog Night.
In late 1969, I started a custom P.A. manufacturing company
called Killer Sound Gear. But I missed playing music so much I
sold out to my partner. The company went on to rent P.A.s to
such artists as John Lennon when he played the Free John Sinclair
concert in Ann Arbor. But at least I got free backstage passes!
In 1970 I was called by Holland, Dozier, Holland, the three main
songwriters for Motown Records, who had recently formed their own
record company. I joined "100 Proof Aged In Soul" and with them
another nation wide hit gold record was born, "Sombody's Been
Sleeping In My Bed". I toured with them for a year and learned
more about the recording industry.
In 1974 I started my own recording studio, "Lifeline Recording".
With two four-channel Teacs and a lot of elbow grease, we helped
a lot of local bands get their start.
When the disco scene hit big, I became a single act and played at
Carmen's Pizza from 12 A.M. until 4 A.M. I honed my act which
still continues today.
Currently my show has expanded to bringing seven guitars, each
with a different sound and purpose. I record all my own back-up
music including bass, keyboards, backup vocals and drums. I am a
virtual "One Man Band". I am working on a C.D. which I will have
available soon. I hope to see you at my shows.