I was one of those children who could spend hours playing a toy guitar, singing into a pretend microphone, staring at an imaginary audience. Being one of seven siblings presented me with several advantages, including having the daily option to be part of a band or seek out some private space to explore a solo career. One of the most crucial decisions I ever had to face was made at age five, when an older cousin asked me if I preferred the Beatles or the Monkees. I chose the former, although I can admit now that at the time I loved both. Remaining loyal to that fateful decision has served me well over the years and I still have almost all those records today. I’m not sure what became of the toy guitar.
Eventually, my parents gave me a real guitar, and then introduced me to the saxophone, which I would practice in a music room they had created in the cellar. Occasionally, frustration would lead me to bang a little on the nearby piano, which would soon become the instrument of choice. (My musician friends would likely agree that “bang” remains an extremely accurate word to describe my self-taught piano-playing style.)
At the same time, I had a fondness for writing, and by the 4th grade I was composing long pieces of fiction, a pursuit sympathetic teachers did not attempt to discourage. I wish I still was in possession of those stories today, because I can’t imagine what my point of view could have captured back then. Hopefully the quality of the writing has improved over the years, although the penmanship certainly hasn’t.
Many teachers predicted I’d become a writer someday. Others thought I would be a musician. My parents, however, thought I’d be a lawyer, and it was with this intention I enrolled in the University of Vermont. I double-majored in Political Science and Economics but at the same time couldn’t resist joining bands on-campus and seeking out multiple courses in American Literature. I was also lucky enough, in my senior year, to take a creative writing course that reenforced the desire I always had to compose fiction of my own. It wasn’t until the end of college that I thought - wait a second… I don’t wan’t to be a lawyer! I don’t even like lawyers!! And then I had to face the fact that without the goal of someday attending law school, the bachelor degree I was about to receive probably wasn’t going to be helpful at all.
So I moved to Boston, both to start up a band with friends and to work at some restaurant, which would hopefully subsidize my efforts to continue writing. But the guitarist got married, the drummer moved away, and most surprisingly of all, I became a better waiter and bartender than anyone could have predicted. And I developed an extreme affection for all the crazy dreamers who inhabit the restaurant industry. The influence of this unintended career choice is obvious throughout so many of the stories and songs presented here.
I had a few stories published in Boston. I wrote a novel and eventually moved to New York City. And what I thought would be a one-summer working adventure in Martha’s Vineyard has now gone on for over 20 years. The material on this website emerged from the unexpected twists and turns I’ve encountered since my early days in Burlington, Vermont. I’ve tried to keep things humorous and light, though - as my mother used to say - sometimes there’s a need for me to “cool it with the humor”. There are tales/tunes with darker themes lurking about, if you care to search.
My sincere thanks to everyone who played a role in getting this website up and running. And a thank-you in advance to those of you who intend to read the stories or listen to the songs. Or check out the screenplays. Or watch the short film…
Yes, we’ve presented a lot of material here. Please - don’t be shy about letting us know what you think!