The early years, in Creve Coeur, Illinois.
Inspired by the back of a Pink Floyd album cover
showing their equipment all laid out on the tarmac
of an airport, I decided to lay mine out and get a
Polaroid. I was so proud. The patch on my jacket
was an Arabian horse – I worked at a stable. I fed and watered the horses, shoveled the manure, and then went to band practice. People were always burning incense and stuff when I was around. Now I get it. So, there’s a Peavey PA-400 head with 6 channels, two columns of 4 10′ (?) speakers, a 50-watt Marshall head, a Roland SH-1000 synthesizer, my Kustom Bass head, my Silvertone speaker cabinet with 2 12’s and 2 15’s; in the center are handmade PA cabinets with 15’s, and a couple of monitors with 12’s; I made that stuff because I couldn’t afford to buy it. The PA cabinets were modeled on the Acoustic brand; I liked that look. I had a lot of fun getting that plywood to take that nice curve. All of my speakers had backside porting so you could get the benefit of the air pressure from the back of the speaker cones, doubling your efficiency, which translates into loudness, especially on the bass end. Ports are supposed to be tuned; my ports were rough approximations. All of my gear was light on high end – no horns, no piezos. The guitar is a 1973 Les Paul deLuxe in an original and unusual color scheme. The bass is my 1969 Fender precision, most recently used in the music for “Hallelujah Christmas”. That’s a 1969 Chevy van, a truly magical vehicle, with an inline-6 and 3 on the wheel. It was my personal Millennium Falcon, and it hauled my gear, and a few girlfriends, until I let it overheat once and it went to the junkyard. I paid $800 for it, and I was the King of the Road.
That, and the rest of the gear, is long gone. So are a lot of the people that I played with; mortality rates are higher, I think, among musicians and other persons of questionable character, like myself. A lot of the people I played for are gone, too… but I can still see them dancing, sometimes, when I pick up a guitar today and play one of those old songs on those same guitars. There’s a slender, cocky young man in that picture, too, trying hard to look relaxed but he’s proud, too. It took a little bit of work to lay that stuff out. Those big cabinets were a real pain; I eventually did long-lasting harm to my lower back. My advice to that guy: don’t let that van overheat; it should’ve been a keeper; and don’t mess up your back with those cabinets. The rest of it was pretty good.
… and I was happy in my work..