I made seven cds in 15 years, give or take. That’s not too bad. I was hoping to be like Motorhead or Black Flag, and crank out an album a year but that wasn’t happening. As long as I stay creative, then that’s all I care about.
I would have had 15 cds by now though!
Anyway, as I prepare for the eighth (and possibly final) studio album, I figured we’d hop in my Kia Soul (since I don’t have a DeLorean) and go back to my past seven Magnum P.I. opuses.
The 80s are back. I have to accept that.
TWISTED METAL (2003) was obviously the first cd I made and it was done under very interesting circumstances. I was granted an endorsement deal with Ibanez guitars (that’s a whole ‘nother story!) and the rep Angelo asked me “Would you do clinics? Do you have music for sale?” I said yes to the clinics but had to put something together quickly. I had two months to get a cd going and thankfully it happened. My thought was “Just do this for clinics, and be happy.” Somehow it grew a pair of legs and people started taking notice of my strange brand of, well, twisted metal. I played all the guitars and bass, and Darren Patrick was on drums.
ALL WIRED UP (2004) was the first cd recorded with a proper trio as I originally wanted with the first album: Darren on drums, me on guitar, and Courtenay Penick on bass. The vibes were flowing nicely with this one, everyone brought their A-game and we made a terrific cd and it was a lot of fun in the studio. Then something bizarre happened: I was asked by a club owner “Will you fill in for a band that cancelled last minute?” We said “Yes” and this line-up took to the stage on October 4, 2004. After this, there was a line-up change, the first of many…
JUPITER RETURN (2005) is possibly the dark horse cd, and the one with the most painful memories for me. It has good songs but there was a lot of bad vibes floating around. I should have had the insight to stop the sessions but my ego got in the way and things fell apart. Evan Prettyman replaced Darren on drums, and truthfully, he was a fine drummer but not the right one for the job. We played some good shows and then it was over for a while.
ABOUT TO EXPLODE! (2008) was a return to form for me. Two guys from the band Brokensoul played on this one: CJ (drums) and Ko (bass). The sessions were a lot of fun, and I remember seeing CJ sweat profusely after each song! We didn’t do many shows to promote it so it fell into the abyss. One song, the title track, made its way onto a compilation cd called SHREDDING AROUND THE WORLD.
GO BERZERK! (2011) Another three years in between…I should have called my band Def Boston! Anyway, this album seemed to be the biggest one I created, as it got the most press, and a great review in M Music Magazine (see the PRESS page for that one). Joe DeMott on bass and Ed Faust on drums for this one. Ed left soon after the album was done, and TC Tolliver of the Plasmatics stepped in to help with some live shows. This cd got a ton of attention on Facebook and to date, it’s still my best-seller. Also it’s the only cd where I didn’t write every song; Joe wrote a song called “Chomp” to showcase his slap/pop skills, and audiences would sit there dumb-founded.
LAYERS OF TIME (2015) is the only album where there was no band. HUH? Well, I had a band but they left because, umm, that’s what most musicians do, right? So I played all the guitars and bass, programmed all the drums (!!) and the only thing I didn’t do was one keyboard part on the title track. This was a CHALLENGE to make but it paid off. It’s my second-best seller, and with this cd came a lot of great shows, opened for many nationals. The live band I had featured Jimmy Donegan (bass) and Tommy Irwin (drums). I have to admit it was the most solid line-up I ever had, and I blew it. Because most musicians do that, right?
MARBLEHEAD (2018) was supposed to have Tommy and Jimmy on it but as I said earlier, I loused things up. We have all since made up but life moves on. This album features two guys from the band Inversion Circus: Chris Davison (bass) and Ronnie Mormino (drums). They swooped in and helped me, and what a job they did! I still say this is my personal best cd, with my personal best song “Turn To Rust”. Don Jamieson even told a crowd at Dingbatz, “You have to get this f-n cd!” (And yes, I sold a lot of copies that night!) Three songs from this album made its way onto WRAT 95.9 FM in Belmar, NJ, thanks to the DJ Tom Hanley. Yes, my instrumental music received mainstream airplay for the first time! This line-up played a few shows and then Steven Fortgang (drums) and Adrian Calonico (bass) stepped in. One show had Peter Dentico filling in on drums. After the gig I did back in May 2019, I walked away from performing and all the stress that comes with it.
I’m not done being creative, as I have been doing pre-production for my 8th album. As I said, it may be the last one as far as full-lengths. I may do a single here and there but outside of that, I think this ship sailed. That’s cool with me. I am proud of what I accomplished in what seems like a short span of time. I did more than I expected, didn’t reach other goals but so be it. I walked away with my dignity and integrity intact.
All while having a revolving door 😉