Hey, all! My name is Bill and I’m born and raised a Baltimoron from Maryland. Being born in the early 60s and having three older sisters, I was introduced at a very young age (three, maybe?) to the music of The Beatles, James Brown, and all things Top 40 (listening to Johnny Dark at WCAO in Baltimore). I was always drawn to music and my sister’s 45s; I remember running through the playground in kindergarten singing “Eight Days a Week.” At the age of 6, my absolute favorite band was Led Zeppelin. My Uncle John was a casual guitar player from way back and I got the inkling to play guitar as I entered high school. At that point, besides my infatuation with AOR rock on the local airwaves (e.g., Heart and Rush), I started taking guitar lessons and found my interests sort of “blowing up.” Besides the usual rock stuff like Judas Priest and Bad Company, I was becoming a big fanatic of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Al DiMeola, and ELP. In sophomore year, I saw U.K. live and was blown away by Allan Holdsworth.
As I graduated high school and went into college, I was exposed to a boatload of different music: jazz, punk, new wave…. The next obsession in guitar was Adrian Belew and his work with King Crimson in their early 80s incarnation. The influence on my six-string playing was notable. I remember practicing in my room with my whammy bar and having my dad comment later that it sounded like a washing machine. What could I say but “thank you.”
I had a stint playing in the house band for a weekly blues jam and made my way into writing original tunes in the mock band Throbbing Wolfpak, which was filling the need for a Spinal Tap-like outfit in Baltimore. (You can STILL follow the band on Facebook at T-Wolfpak). This led to a slew of local concerts and playing at the Winterfest in Anchorage in the late 80s (;D) along with recording an album of original tuneage released under the title “Discernably Turgid.” Of note was a gig on a random Tuesday night at CBGB’s; I think there were like two people plus the bar staff there when we went on at 1am.
After the Pak, I married and moved to Chicago and then on to Sacramento. After many years away from playing music, I got into Skip’s Weekend Warriors program. I started as a guitarist, but they called me up to ask if I could play bass since they were short a few bass players. “Sure,” I thought, “No problem.”
What started as a foray into geezer rock stardom led me into a discovery of my love for the rhythm. Until I started focusing on bass, I’d never realized how much of the music I’ve enjoyed through my life was because of the funk, the rhythm, and the bass. My enjoyment right now is to lock in with the drummer to lay a foundation that the other musicians can build upon; it’s such a cool thing!
I’m new to Rugged Soul but look forward to contributing my own soul and maybe a few new twists and turns to the tuneage.
I’ve added some links related to the influences mentioned above. Please enjoy.
James Brown: https://youtu.be/t5CAQU6KsMI
Al DiMeola: https://youtu.be/b0aMCpRZPZE
Mahavishnu Orchestra: https://youtu.be/boOu0L45M44
King Crimson: https://youtu.be/GTQrlDzqUCA
Adrian Belew: https://youtu.be/7tWyIug2qP0
Thobbing Wolfpak: https://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/29924757