I arrived in November 1949, the third of three children born to Frank, a truck driver, and Hilda, a stay-at-home mom. While my parents enjoyed listening to music, there was no musical history in our family. I was raised in Penticton, in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.
My introduction to music came in grade school where I sang in school choirs. However, it was when I saw The Beatles on television that music really became important to me and by the time the British invasion was in full swing I knew I wanted to be part of the music scene. My parents were supportive as long as my school grades didn't suffer.
Not long after that I heard that some school friends, Jeff Boyne and Rick Gannon, were starting a band so I approached them to see if they needed a singer. They weren't looking for a singer but they were looking for a bass player. Although I was completely unfamiliar with the instrument I quickly bought a bass guitar and began to practice every spare minute. I taught myself to play by listening to all the rock music of the day. Soon the band, which we named The Mark IV, began to play live gigs, but this created a problem as we were all too young to drive. We hired my brother as our manager since he had his drivers license and a van to haul around our gear.
The Mark IV was an extremely successful act throughout British Columbia, Alberta and parts of Washington State, but after graduating high school the band split up. Jeff and I went to Notre Dame University in Nelson, British Columbia. Nelson was known as a "musical/artsy" community and we soon hooked up with some locals who had a band called Crosstown Bus. The band caught the eye of super-manager Bruce Allen and in 1969 we relocated to Vancouver to pursue music professionally. By 1971 Crosstown Bus was one of the premiere bands of the Canadian music scene and had signed a record deal with M.C.A. Records. An album and single were released and met with modest success but the constant touring took its toll and in 1974 the band announced it was breaking up.
In 1972 I married my wife Debbi and when Crosstown Bus broke up in 1974 I decided to look for something that would keep me nearer to home and our growing family. I went to U.B.C. in the Business Administration Program and took a job at the Liquor Distribution Branch, where I developed a love of fine wines. Music also remained a big part of my life. After a successful thirty year career I retired from the Branch as a member of their senior executive group.
Retirement allowed me to spend more time with my musical passions, which include writing music and singing in choirs, as well as working with an acoustic band called Uncorked and with a Christian trio called A New Day. But it was a timely meeting with Jeff and Rick in late 2004 that has really put music back in the forefront. The old spark was still there and, joined by keyboardist/singer Sean Sheppard, it seemed very natural to resurrect Crosstown Bus, and "The Bus" has been a priority ever since. Much to my great joy, the band seems to be as popular now as it was all those years ago. We may be the oldest "new" group around but I feel blessed to have the opportunity to once again be doing something I truly love making music with my friends.
At this point in time my equipment includes:
- Peavey Cirrus five string Bass
This equipment has a great sound on its own in small rooms and is boosted by a direct-line feed into the main PA system for big venues, which allows me to get that big, deep rock and roll bottom-end growl.