Autobiography Big Bones
I first picked up a harp back in 1973, I think it was July of that year.
I'm out in the back getting busy, when a homeboy stopped by to see what
I had, that he could share. He brought this guy with him, nothing
unusual about that, except the guy didn't quite fit in -- looked like a
Black Panther. I just showed my hospitality by passing the doobie. After
about an hour, the guy pulled out a harmonica. It looked like it had
been in a fight and lost. It was missing teeth and had some stuck reeds,
but he was still trying to play it with some success. He must have been
very bad, cause he decided he would throw it into my garbage can. I
said, "Hey wait a minute let me see that thing, I want it".
That began my love affair with the harmonica and the hypnotic effect
that this little tiny instrument still has on every aspect of my being.
In 1975 I was in a band called Fresh. It was an Earth, Wind, and Fire
clone. I played tambourine and also did some backup singing. So I was
really in the Band for the girls… One tune by War: that is what I played
on my harmonica. I had only been playing for a couple of years at this
I really wanted to make my harmonica work for me, so I started playing
by myself; making different kinds of sounds and annoying everyone around
me until 1981.
I started playing with the house band at the restaurant where I worked.
One night I was entertaining this young lady after dinner with my
interpretation of Larry Adler playing "Summertime" with the Chromonica
in my right hand and playing piano chords with my other hand. She said,
"I know a band at the Hacienda Club in Reno that you could sit in with."
That began my association with some people who were playing the Blues. I
began sitting-in all over town.
I had other major interests: body-building and acting. I taught
weight-training at the YMCA-Reno for eight years. In my spare time I was
bodybuilding for competitions. I got some bit parts in TV commercials --
mostly parodies of Mr. T.
In August of 1985, I left my job, friends, everything. I put my
belongings in storage and hit the road for Venice Beach