Over the years, I've had the good fortune to play in a number
of bands with a number of different musicians. And although
none that I know have achieved great commercial success,
I still feel that I have been priviledged to have connected
with some great musicians and human beings.
Like many other people, I started playing electric music
(rock) in my late teens. Before that, I had played music in all kinds
of school bands, from elementary school thru high school,
I started forming my own musical groups of one sort
or another in the late 70's. As time has progressed
I've come to see that being in or part of a Band
is a necessary social, emotional, and even spiritual
part of my life.
So on this page, I just sort of keep track of the bands
I've been in. They are shown starting with the most current band(s)
and continuing back, in rough reverse chronological order,
to the first real "band" I had a part in, Lively Live.
I met Andy Crawford
when I sailed into Bocas Del Toro for the
first time in December of 2008. As was my habit at that point, upon pulling
into a new port, I got on the VHF and asked if there were any musicians around
that might want to jam. Some folks told me that I had to hook up with this guy
named Andy ... that he would be "around" and I should run into him. The first night
in town I went to the "cantina", the restaurant at the marina, for dinner, and
I saw this long haired, sailor chatting at a table, and for some reason I just
knew it was him, so I went over to introduce myself.
We chatted about 10 minutes, and I suggested we get together and jam. Andy said
to me "Do you want to do a gig tomorrow night?". LOL, I had only been in town
about 8 hours, but what the heck, I said "sure". The next night we did our first
gig at the restaurant then known as the Plank, the following night. And we
played well over 50 gigs in the first year we were together. And have kept playing
now for (as of this writing) the five years I've been in Bocas Del Toro.
It's hard to describe. Andy and I just "click". He plays the bongos and hand
drums like no-one I've ever heard before. We were both influenced by the
Grateful Dead, but it's more than that, we are also sailing buddies and
very good friends. Somehow my guitar and singing and his bongos combine to create a
magic that is more than the two of us put together, and so many people
have commented on it, taken part in it, and enjoyed it along with us that it's
... well ... it's fun. About the most fun and regular playing I've
ever gotten to do.
Over the years we have had the opportunity to play with so many wonderful people,
each of them has been an "honarary" Drifter, as we have grown and morphed with the
people that we meet. I couldn't even mention them all, the times we've played,
the gigs we've done with Barry, Paul, Aldo, Vincent, Nico, Ken, Beto, Dennis,
Shannon Scully, Kara on violin, John Doriat, Dave, Larry Byers, and one of
everybody's favorites on the sax, Peter Northcott. The list goes on, but each
one of these players has left an indelible mark on us, and our music, over the
Also, the place we get to play! Bocas Del Toro is already a vacation destination
and we get to play at the nicest places here, you name it, the Calypso
Cantina, Refugios, Cosmic Crab, Lemon Grass, Bluff, Secretos, Rana Azul,
Bocas Paradis, and, seriously, on and on and on.
Here's some photo albums of the Island Time Drifters
I started working with C.J. Hutchins after I heard him
play when he sat in with us at a Forgotten Space gig that
Sandy Troy had set up. We talked
about getting together, and over the next year we started working
out on some of his originals and a number of cover tunes.
We played a number of gigs as a two piece at LeStats,
and the Del Dios Coffee House before we hooked up with
Dave Martin, who, as luck would have it, was also introduced
to us by Sandy.
We played as a duet, and as a power trio, behind CJ's great vocals
and incredible guitar work. We played at the Casa De Oro
Mining Company out in Lemon Grove and at various venues in the
North Park area. Working with a three piece with CJ was great, there's
lots of room to maneuver and there was never any problem coming
up with a full sound.
I had recorded
Ya Keep A Knockin for Theo in 2004, and I got a chance to play
guitar on one of the songs, but I really got to work with the band
a lot more during 2005, when I did stints on lead and
rythmn guitar during a series of summer gigs, including
a long distance one in Fallon, Nevada, the Long Beach Zydeco
Festival, the P.B. Block Party, and San Diego's famous
Gator on the Bay.
The relationship continued as I recorded and produced but also
performed most of the guitar parts on Theo's newest CD,
Got You On My Mind. Then Victor had to go a way for a month
or so, so I filled all the regular gigs on bass, including
a fun one out at the DeAnza Nudist Resort, and cookin' gigs
at the Coyote Bar and a number of private parties. We did
a great Benefit for Katrina at Tio Leo's in Bay Park,
raising $$$ and gathering a bunch of food and stuff that Theo took back to
Lafyette on one of his aid missions.
All in all it made for a very busy and fun summer. I was
definitely part of the family :-) and I still occasionally
get to sit in on my visits back to San Diego Be sure to
Check Theo's Calendar
to find where he's playing. I hope you drop by! Maybe you'll get
a chance to see me too, sitting in with them.
was formed around a core including myself
on vocals, bass and acoustic guitar, Don Musial on vocals,
lead and rythmn guitar, and Virginia West on vocals.
In addition to this strong vocal core, the band also
featured other players at various times, depending on the
circumstances, usually including Pat Kingsland and/or
Jim Sallis on drums, and sometimes featuring
Ted Stern on violin and guitar, Julius Kuczma on keyboards,
and/or Mark Johnston on mandolin.
played a variety of music from Originals to Rock
and Roll and Blues standards, in a variety of formats from a 3 piece acoustic
vocal group to a full 7 piece electric rock and roll band with 2 drummers!
We played at various places around town including Humphries on the Bay,
Java Joes Pub, Tio Leos, and the
Hot Monkey Love Cafe among others.
I recorded two CDs with Forgotten Space, the first,
One Dream Avenue
was recorded as a demo of 5 dead cover songs to get gigs and to build the
initial website for the
band. The second CD is an all original CD called
In February 2011, Don and Ginny flew down to visit me in
Bocas Del Toro, Panama, and we did a series of gigs around
town and on other islands including the Cantina, Refugio's,
and Stone Soup Festival out at De La Luna.
If you'd like to see some more pics, etc, we still have a
Dead Enuf formed after Mars Hotel
had kinda fallen apart.
The band featured myself on Bass, Peter Padua on guitar,
Ted Stern on guitar, pedal steel guitar, and violin,
and Tom Welch on drums.
DeadEnuf was, as you can guess, another
Grateful Dead cover band.
We played at Hennessey's and Victor's in P.B.
and the Road House up in Encinitas.
I recorded one
demo CD of Dead Enuf.
in order put together a promo package and get gigs.
p.s. I played some other gigs worth noting with Peter Padua.
We played up in the Bay Area with The Webs at the annual
Sonoma Crusher's Grateful Dead Day in 2000,
and with Peter and Tom at the y2k Marina Del Rey
Christmas Boat parade, both of which were fun gigs.
NOcean - 2000 and 2001
was already a working band when I joined them.
Featuring Sam Mclarty on rythmn guitar,
keys, and lead vocals, Becki Hammett
on vocals and incidental percussion,
Mike Head on lead guitar,
Tom Welch on drums, and myself on
bass. Tom got me the gig as Mars Hotel had
run into some inter-personal conflicts.
While I was with them, NOcean played pop-covers
from the 60's thru 90's and some pretty darned good
originals. Most of the gigs I played at were at
Hennessey's in P.B., but the band played
other venues before and after my membership.
Mostly formed around Sam and Mike's friendship,
I believe that NOcean is continuing to work
around town with different musicians.
Kevin Irlen on guitar and lead vocals founded
Rita's Simple World with Craig Johnson
on lead guitar, Brian Riggs on bass, Jim Stephens
on drums, and I played harmonica and sang backups.
Rita's Simple World was a "different" kind of band.
Kevin's idea was to cover individual Artists, one at a kind,
kindof a serial tribute band. It it's first incarnation,
of which I was a part, the band concentrated on covering
the songs of Bob Dylan. Later incarnations that
I didn't play in included a Bruce Springsteen
phase, and most recently a Standard Blues stage.
RSW played at a number of parties including, perhaps
most significantly for me, Kevin and Anita's housewarming
party, where we recorded the
Down To The Roots CD.
after answering an
add in the Reader. Stu Kallen founded
this Grateful Dead
cover band featuring Stu on lead vocals and rythmn guitar,
Peter Padua on lead guitar, Ted Stern
on lead guitar, pedal steel, and violin,
and Tom Welch on drums.
Mars Hotel played quite a few gigs
here in San Diego. We played nearly every Sunday
night in 1998 at Pounders in Escondido,
and other bars in town, including Victor's.
We made an effort to get out to the local street
fairs, playing at the Adams Avenue Street Fair,
and the North Park Street Fair, and
a real fun gig at Grossmont College/
I recorded two CDs of Mars Hotel music.
The first was a particularly good live gig at
in Escondido. The second CD was off-the-board
from the Grossmont College
Ides of March
In the middle to late 90's, I continued working with
Paul Via Cava on Guitar, Andy Via Cava
on Pedal Steel, Pat Kingsland
and "Conga" Dave Townsend on percussion, adding
Mark Johnston on fiddle and sax, in a band
the Blue Louvre Consortium.
This group emphasized popular jazz, doing songs by
Cole Porter and other classic jazz composers, influenced
heavily by the power pop format that we had evolved
in the other bands, a really interesting mix, if I
do say so myself :-)
I recorded one CD with the Blue Louvre Consortium,
which I called
A Night At the Blue Louvre.
with Steve Schulman on Keyboards,
Tim McFarland on Guitar, Pat Kingsland on drums,
"Conga" Dave Townsend on percussion, and myself on
bass was a 60 thru 80's top-40 cover band. We played a series
of gigs in the early 90's, mostly at the Office on 31st
and University here in San Diego.
I put together a CD posthumously after Steve Schulman's
untimely death in 2000, which, in memory of Steve, I called
Thank You San Diego!
was a band I formed with Mike Varneyon Lead/Rythmn guitar,
Jennifer Ball on lead vocals and
French Horn!, Steve Schulman on Keyboards,
and a variety of different drummers, including Mike Perrone.
We were more or less a straight pop cover band with
a little bit of a punk/dead influence. We played around San Diego
couple of years in the late 80's at places like the Pelican Pub,
Winstons, and the old Bachannal.
Sweardha Buddha - 1982 to 1986
Sweardha Buddha started with me on Bass,
Paul Via Cava on Guitar, and Andy Via Cava on drums,
somewhere around 1982, as a Power-Pop trio,
playing the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and so on.
Later, around 1985, with the addition of Pat Kingsland
on guitar (or was drums?) and Keith Swenson on keyboards,
we achieved a bigger, more powerful sound. Sweardha Buddha played
some great parties, including Andy's wedding, and that rompin'
Halloween Party at La Jolla Village Square. I havent posted
any Sweardha Buddha recordings on the net, although I have
a few old archives.
Urth - 1979
Urth was only together for about 6 weeks. It was
a southern power-rock band, ala ZZ Top. It featured
Jim Oakley on guitar, and I can't remember the drummers
name. Urth was the only time I worked with a band that
practiced from 9-5 every day ... within a week we had
a kickass set going, and after two weeks played parties
to a hundred or more people at the Mad House,
in Huntington Beach. I met Jim when he was sleeping
in his car in HB. He said he was the cousin of
Berry Oakly, the bass player for the
Jim said he was gonna get us a gig at the L.A. Forum to
open for a super-band of the 80's called Asia,
and would have done it, had I not had a crisis of
concience and decided instead to take up an offer
to start my career in Software Engineering and
moved to San Diego. The best I could do was hope
that everything went well for Jim (whom I know had
some ups and downs after our time together).