San Francisco singer-songwriter Mary Kelley writes intelligent, finely crafted songs, with a unique sense of melody and harmony. We met in New York in 1989, and a few weeks later we were touring together as an acoustic duo in the U.K. When I left New York we lost touch, but when I moved to the Bay Area, I made some inquiries, reconnected with Mary, and we decided to do some new work. Our first task was to salvage the tapes of that U.K. tour, and the CD Harrogate, released in 2007, is the result. We have since completed 8 new songs, all available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other digital outlets. We continue to work on new material, as time allows. For more information on Mary and her music, visit her web site.
Purgatory Home Companion is an album of music and sound collage, based on the second book of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, by blues artist Rob K. I worked as producer, co-writer and musician on this collaborative project. Rob and I requested contributions from our friends who were musicians and artists, and over 100 responded with bits of music, noise and spoken words. We organized the contributions and built audio collages from them. I wrote music around the collaged framework, and Rob wove in lyrics based on his interpretation of Dante’s work. Purgatory Home Companion is currently unreleased; I will update this page if that changes. For more information on Rob K’s recent projects, follow this link.
Factrix was a pioneering industrial rock group, formed in 1978 in San Francisco. After Factrix disbanded in the mid 1980s, their guitarist Bond Bergland moved to New York, which is where I met him. I was a huge fan of his New York band, Saqqara Dogs. In 2013, a local record company, Superior Viaduct, re-released Factrix’s 1981 record Scheintot. Bond and Cole re-formed Factrix to play some shows in support of the record, and they asked me to sit in on guitar. We played six gigs over the last half of 2013, and I had a blast being onstage again and playing their music. These videos were taken by audience members at some of the shows.
His Master’s Voice was formed in New York in 1982 by myself and Hawaiian painter and singer Keiko Bonk. The other two original members were Jeff Rubin on drums and Kai Eric on bass. Our music could be described as trance-like psychedelic rock with a middle eastern flavor. At least that was the idea, from my point of view. We released one EP on PVC/Jem, which faded after the record company folded. Band members came and went, and we played with a lot of great musicians, but were never able to stabilize around a core line up, and so faded away by the end of 1986.
In 1987 I started experimenting with music technology and samplers, trying to create music that used the technology in a live context, not driven by computer. Drummer Drew Vogelman and I worked on the idea, and the result was the Cosmic Oven. It was a two man band, where I played guitar, and Drew’s drums were wired to trigger sounds from samplers and synths. We added singer Keiko Bonk, guitarist Jim McCarthy, multi-instrumentalist Mike Burns and started gigging and recording, but ultimately disbanded in 1991.
The videos below show some activities I was involved in during my time in New York. Both video quality and content are reflective of that time and place. | The first video was taken at an event produced by artist Mike Bidlo. Mike was known for his recreations of other artist’s work, and at the time he was doing Andy Warhol. He recreated a facsimile of Warhol’s Factory workspace at his studio at PS1 in Long Island City, and invited many of his friends and acquaintances from the East Village scene to participate, in persona, as members of Warhol’s entourage. The party that resulted was epic. I played Sterling Morrison and was part of the band, “Not The Velvet Underground.” The song is “Venus in Furs.” | The second video is an excerpt from a New York daytime television show called “Best Talk In Town”. They interviewed me in my capacity as a recording engineer on the subject of new music technology. Their aim was not to inform, but to entertain, and the result was a program and interview that was not going to end up as a Ted Talk. | The final three videos show performances I did as part of singer Julee Cruise’s band. I was recruited to play keyboards, which was definitely a stretch as I was no better than an elementary keyboardist. But I knew how to handle MIDI gear, so I got the job. Thankfully we had a real keyboardist to play the hard parts. The first video is our live performance on Saturday Night Live, and the other two are from a show on VH1 called “New Visions.”