I'm fortunate to have come from a musical family. My Uncle Shel Rott promoted The Fab Four when he worked at Capitol in 1964. He AR'd for Motown too and wrote a tune that was the basis for the Four Tops hit "Standing In The Shadows of Love". He lost copyright in his lawsuit with Barry Gordy. Shel led his own orchestra in Detroit with wife and Decca artist Vickie Carroll. His partner, Richard Drapkin (Ricky Dee) penned "Devil in her Heart" sung by George Harrison on the Beatles 2nd LP "With The Beatles". My mother played classical piano, father played sax and my brother Steven (a fine musician) plays piano & guitar. Steve taught me the blues, my 1-4-5. In the 40's, my Uncle Max Rott owned a joint in Detroit called The Royal Blue bar. He was a patron of local jazz and R&B musicians. My son is a music critic and runs the popular site Hip Hop Is Read.
I began playing by listening to a ton of vinyl at an early age. The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Bernstein, Bacharach, Bach & Brubeck, Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Miles, Mingus, The Moody Blues, Monk & Bird. Charlie Parker dug Country Western & Duke Ellington said "there are two kinds of music....good music, and the other kind". I was exposed to all this great music at an early age and I thank my family for their good taste! Also, growing up in the Motor City was tremendous. All this music floating in the air shaped my development, style and palette as did 2 bassists in particular, James Jamerson and Sir Paul McCartney.
My first instrument was cello. I moved to upright then electric bass. My first semi-pro gigs were in musical theater (the orchestra pit) playing on productions such as Sondheim's "Company" & "Follies" at SoCal theaters The Westchester Playhouse and Loyola Marymount University. In the 80's I played in LA’s popular and eclectic pop band, “Doll Congress” co-founded by Michael Penn & Gabriele Morgan w/band mates Patrick Warren (Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Hugh Laurie and too many others to count) and Raphael Gayol (Leonard Cohen, The Bodeans and many others).
Some people I've recorded with or shared the stage:
Tony Berg (Producer - Wallflowers, Michael Penn, Edie Brickell)
David Brighton (Quiet Riot, BeatleMania)
Ryan Brown (Dweezil Zappa, Black Belt Karate, and more)
Clem Burke (Blondie)
Tom Davis (Producer, Engineer)
Ty Dennis (Ray Manzarek (RIP) & Robbie Krieger)
Dean Ford (The Marmalade)
Tom Fowler (Frank Zappa, Ray Charles)
Rafael Gayol (Leonard Cohen)
Wally Ingram (David Lindley, Sheryl Crow, Steve Kimock)
Jack LeCompte (Anita O'Day, Jack Sheldon)
Craig Leon (Blondie, Ramones)
John Molo (Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh)
Tetsuya "Tex" Nakamura (WAR, Eric Burdon)
Kaz Takeda (Felix Pappalardi)
Joe Tansin (Badfinger, Nicky Hopkins, Dean Ford)
Benmont Tench (Tom Petty)
Patrick Warren (Fiona Apple, Liz Phair, Ani DiFranco)