Now & Then
?I bought my first guitar in the early 70's at a pawn shop for $15 and started writing songs inspired by Bob Dylan,The Band, The Eagles, Leon Russell, Cat Stevens, and The Beatles. I began playing at folk houses and restaurants and, while on sabbatical from my day job, played for meals and drinks in Paris Bistros (Fire and Rain was always good for a double shot). I put a band together in 1973 and quit playing covers--original music only. I played my tunes in clubs around the Bay Area, then in L.A. when I landed engagements in 1975 at two world-famous venues: The Troubadour in L.A. and The Palomino Club in N. Hollywood. I think lyrics and story are critical to music. In fact, words alone, if properly used, can evoke music and magic, too. When my hair turned as silver as my stage name, I began focusing on words and have had four bestselling novels published by Bantam, Simon and Schuster, and Dutton. My third novel, 'The Alternate,' was a New York Times Bestseller and my last, 'Billy Strobe,' was optioned by Hollywood. Song writing requires telling a story, a vignette, or an essay on life, in less than four minutes. It's a harsh discipline, but I love it.