I BEGAN my life journey as a musician in 1966 when I saw a (inexpensive Japanese) bass hanging on the wall at a Woolworth's Department Store in Omaha, Nebraska. It was flanked with guitars but I was drawn to the bass because it was bigger and had only four strings! $40 new, I put a deposit of $20 (money made from my paper route) and my dad kicked in the other $20.
I struggled learning how to play a bass with strings high off the fretboard and no real understanding that it could be adjusted to play more easily and better. At the time, I couldn't afford an amp so I played it “acoustically” and began experimenting using any radio-like device I could find, blowing a couple small speakers in the process! I finally got a “real” amplifier - a Heathkit Solid State 2x15 ‘combo'amp that my dad and I built together.
A visual artist from birth - I loved making things while listening to the top-40 music on the radio. As a young teen I wanted to be "in” with that crowd as so many '60s kids did. Art degrees from the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA) kept me busy investigating and making art but all the while I continued playing bass in various bands in Omaha, KC and Chicago.
I moved to the Bay Area in 1990 where I have continued to create artistically and play music.
In 2013, I combined my love of art and music by starting Gildaxe. Initially focused on custom art finishes incorporating the ancient craft of gilding (gold leaf, silver leaf, copper leaf and variegated leaf), Gildaxe has grown into designing and creating unique custom bass guitars. Gilding is still a major focus along with high-end finishing by master guitar-finisher Pat Wilkins/Van nuys CA.