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For The Love Of Music

Welcome...

Thanks for Stopping by. Music has always been a passion for me, a constant thread in the fabric of my life. In the weave, that "thread" has at times been very pronounced in the pattern, and at other times very subdued. The cycles of the journey seem to dictate when and where that "thread" appears. But the thread is a constant part of my soul, something I was born with, and I am thankful for, as I could not imagine life without music.

My Musical Journey

I was born a drummer on December 26, 1961 in Corpus Christi Texas. My earliest memories of music, were a combination of my parents album collection, and my Grandmother's collection of music. My Dad played Trumpet in High School, so naturally his side of their collection was Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Al Hirt, Floyd Kramer. I think by about age 4 I learned how to operate the stereo myself and I remember wearing out "Cotton Candy" by Al Hirt, among others.

When we would go out to my Grandparents, my Grandmother had what I thought was an awesome record collection! Two songs that particularly stand out was "Alley Cat", I am not sure who did the performance of the song but it was in the style of the swing bands, with the melody being played by a clarinet. The second song was "Chug-a-Lug" by Rodger Miller. I just could not get enough! My family alway knew if they could not find me outside, they could find me in my Grandmother's bedroom listening to records.

Although I was born and raised in South Texas, neither of my parents had any "love" for country music! Around this time about 67, my Dad became sick with Multiple Sclerosis and had his own problems to deal with so my Mom became my avenue to music. When we were in the car it was always a top 40 AM radio station that was tuned in.

Of course in those days radio was totally different than it is today. You could hear Grand Funk, Aretha Franklin, Chicago all back to back. Oh the days when radio was fun!

My Mom had a particular thing for CCR. In 1970 my Mom bought me Cosmo's Factory. That was the coolest thing as I thought I was so hip! I loved all the songs and wore that album out as well.

Through my Mom's sister, I found out about Willie And The Poor Boys by CCR along with Bread, Blood, Sweat, and Tears along with a whole bunch of other artists. I think it is funny as they had an aversion to country music as well. I say that all except for Bob Will's and The Texas Playboys, AHHHH HAAA!

By 1970 I was in the 3rd grade and in Music class we were learning what we called the "Flute-a-phone", I believe today it's called a recorder. Any way the teacher said that she would be giving guitar lessons after school if anyone were interested. I begged, pleaded, and and just about anything else for a guitar and lessons. Well it was getting close to Christmas! So on Christas day I woke up to find a brand new "Gibson" guitar, no not that kind of Gibson, it was a guitar that was bought at Gibson's Discount Center. For those of you too young to understand that just say "Wal-Mart"!

The great thing about this deal was I had a crush on my music teacher, so guitar lessons had a two fold meaning, I was learning how to tune the guitar and the fundamental chords as well as get to be close to Mrs. Locktee! Whoo Hoo a home run! I am not really sure what ever happen to that guitar but the lesson stuck with me believe it or not, as in the next year I was old enough to go to Church Camp.

Every year it was the same thing, in any spare time I would bug the councilors who owned guitars to let me play them. For one week each year that was my only connection to the guitar.

But not to music, somewhere around '75 I began to discover my own music, Bachman Turner Overdrive was big in that time as well as Grand Funk "We're An American Band" and that is when my musical tastes began to change.

Of course I am starting to get into my rebellious teens and began getting introduced to music by my friends more and more, so along came Aerosmith, Thin Lizzie, ZZ Top, Rush, Pink Floyd, then Judas Priest, AC/DC, Frank Marino, REO Speedwagon.

Anybody from this era will remeber the profound effect that Eddie Van Halen had on us as he "turned the rock guitar world inside out with a wiggle stick and pull off's!

In 1977, I finally saved up and got my first drum set. I put all my time into that, well that and girls and partying...hey it was the 70's!

In 1980 right after I graduated from High School, the local rock station was playing a commercial that had the coolest bass line in it. I called the radio station and ask where the music came from, and was told that was Spyro Gyra from the album Freetime. I had to have it so so I went to Corpus and bought it, and that brought jazz back into my life.

Now I had Al Dimeola Elegant Gypsy on album but I considered him more of a rock jazz fusion which I thought was cool, but this Spyro Gyra was to me Jazz, and I was loving it! That led to David Sandborn, Earl Klugh, Larry Carlton, George Benson and the list goes on and on.

In '85 I found myself in Boot Camp in the US ARMY, upon completion of Boot Camp I went to AIT (school) in Fort Gordon, GA. I had a very long school in Army terms 6 months and the first month was restricted to barracks. I met a guy who had a guitar but never played it, so I was always bothering him to let me borrow it, which he did. Heck it stayed in my locker more than his. Well one evening he was getting ready to go out and needed some money, and ask if I wanted to buy the guitar. Needless to say I bought the guitar which was the first real guitar I had ever owned. It was an entry level Fender Acoustic. I finally could play a guitar without having to ask anybody, what a feeling!

I finally got out of AIT and had orders for Germany, so off to Germany me and my guitar go. With out a drum set available I was constantly playing my guitar, learning songs and writing a few as well. I was in Germany for 3 years moving around to differnt signal sites and spent the last year on a micowave site on the top of a mountain in Northern Germany with on 6 other guys. There were some empty rooms and I ask the site chief if I could take over a room and turn it in to a "recording studio".

Mind you by this time I had 2 cassette decks, Kenwood amp, Pioneer 21 band per channel EQ. I had also purchased a Fender Strat from the PX, and a Yamaha SE 211 electric guitar from a German Music store. I found a Laney 30 amp, a digital delay, distortion box, and a chours effect as well bought on the German ecomony. So, I went back to the PX and bought two $20 microphones. And as I was moving everything down to my "studio" I ran across a little personal Yamaha mixer whoa and it even had reverb! I was ready, and for the next 6 months I spent darned near all my spare time in the studio. As nobody had any musical talent on the site, by myself I produced a 7 song demo tape of orignal music, that had overdubs and all.

In 1989 I got out of the Army, and moved to Houston, got a good job in the telcomm industry and began putting all my money into a new drum kit. Once, I had that put together, I began to build a small demo studio, while at the same time a PA rig. My guitar playing took a back seat to drumming and engineering.

I eventually had my studio and PA rig, and was gigging the Houston bar scene doing covers. That all came to a screeching halt as I got robbed, to the tune of about $8,000. And with in a month of the robbery the Leader of the band I was playing in ( who was a mentor from my high school years) died of cancer.

I was devestated, for almost a year I could not even listen to music. That was '96.

In '99 I moved back to my hometown and started a telcommunication cabling business and have been dealing with that. Recently I got the bug to pull out the old acoustic. My acoustic and my drums were the only things not stolen, and my drums are in storage, as I have no place to play them. I took the Fender in to have her worked on and was told she was dead, as she was cratering in the bridge area.

So, I now own a Seagull S6 cedar top, and have fallen in love with playing again.

I am here to learn, make friends, and generally become a better human being!

Until Then Straight Ahead.
Todd