| My family was
never much for actually playing musical instruments. I remember playing a flute and
banged sticks together in kindergarten and that my older sister had a small feeble
existence in both the violin and piano during her adolescent days. My older brother
used to tap his feet to the beat and my mother was known to tear up the dance floor on
occasion. My father was probably considered somewhat of an audiophile and dragged me
to the occasion classical music concert in NYC (Leonard Bernstein conducts Copeland's
Fanfare for the Common Man in the NYC Philharmonic - just awesome) and was very educated
on the art of music and used to build and design his own high end stereo systems.
My stepfather, on the other hand,
played in the professional drum corp league (DCI) during his later teens and early 20's
and is by any standard a very skilled percussionist. He has since left that
lifestyle but manages to play at home on occasion for a packed house of two (my mom and
the psycho dog...)
Since kindergarten though,
my musical ability was never really pursued besides one attempt at joining the junior H.S.
band which was pointless as I couldn't keep the beat banging the damn sticks together.
Anyway, near the end of my H.S. career I started to become a bit more interested in
guitar as my cousin had since taken it up and with the advent of MTV, the image of playing
for crowds of thousand of screaming fans (especially those of the female variety) did very
It was in H.S.
that I bought a very inexpensive guitar which actually had the amp and
speaker built into it; it sounded like crap, but hey I was on my way to
the sold out venues and endless babes... So I started playing and
even took a class in H.S. which I quickly grew bored of (This due to the
fact that my own personal achievements with Metallica riffs and playing at
home resulted in my being able to master such classics as "On Top Of
Old Smoky" and "Fur Elise" in class with ease. Thus,
the class quickly became unchallenging so, I got my A and moved on...
along soon enough and I met a few friends and kept practicing with no real
direction, learned new stuff here and there and kept playing what I could
and practicing what people showed me. The results being I was able
to play some chords now and hold a decent rhythm. My dreams of
being the next Eddie Van Halen or Joe Satriani were fading fast however
(which was ok, because I was in college doing what I wanted to do since I
was 5 anyway - flying planes!) So the first year or two of college
were over and and home for the summers I went...
I met up
with my buddy Lou-Man during those summers who since completion of my
first year of college had also picked up playing the guitar. (Here I
was the 4 year veteran guitar player and I'm home and Lou-Man who'd been
playing for all of 5 1/2 months was just awesome (to me anyway.) I
still believe Lou slept with his guitar every day and he made it sing.
I mean, here I was with my $95.00 "built in amp Toys 'R' Us
special" that I couldn't even keep in tune let alone compare to
So I asked
him what every self-respecting guy at that point would, "Hey Lou,
want to start a band? - you be lead guitar, I'll be Rhythm!"
and thus it was born. We picked up two other characters for
America's next our next great rock band - John D on drums (at the time the
worlds worst stick-ball player - little footnote!?) and Steve aka. "Grenny"
for bass (who also wanted to be a guitar player, but was shifted to bass
because, at the time, I was "Marginally" capital "M"
better at the time..) So anyway... we had our four guys, a dream, and like
most garage (or apartment - NYC) bands absolutely no talent (at the time -
except for Lou who could actually play.)
But we still
needed a name - as all great bands do. So, looking through a medical
dictionary, among other places for inspiration, I got the name AMUSIA
which by definition meant, "the lack of ability to produce or
recognize musical sounds." - PERFECT!
was our name for all of a few weeks when we decided during a routine, and
harrowing, soda run to 7-Eleven that we needed a name with more "rock
star" quality and after 3 days of brainstorming, ATOMIC PUPPY was
born (shortened from Lou-Man's first choice of ATOMIC PUPPY BRAINS!?...).
The summer moved on, we had 2 official practices total (although Lou,
Steve and I jammed quite a bit more), about 40 games of stick-ball and
multiple nights of driving around talking about the band, but not actually
playing a tune. (Practice space in Bronx, NY was a bit of a
So, one day
we had a jam session at another guys house, John D was working so we had
the home-owner play drums - well, it was his place and he did had a
set - and was actually pretty good. So after 4 hours we managed to record
(very poorly) a terrible rendition of Nirvana's - "Smells Like Teen
Spirit" complete with missed notes, high pitched vocals, off-key and
a guitar tuned way down to facilitate the bass we didn't have. But,
for one day. For one sweaty afternoon in this dude's basement, we
were on our way to rock stardom and we actually made music that was
identifiable to the original song!... but alas, as all good things
do, the summer ended and off I went back to college and ATOMIC PUPPY was
again put on sabbatical...
year in college I get a hold of some equipment with the ability to record
music (a low quality analog 4 track) and I (as a solo performer now) make
some very poor quality guitar instrumentals with backing synthesized drums
and maybe some keyboards thrown in here and there. It's not
bad, but far from studio quality although, I was having fun killing time
and slowly improving my guitar playing. This would be the story for
the remainder of my musical career until about 1999, when due to the
booming technological advances in computer I was able to get some pretty
cool music composition software and a decent computer... (Keep in mind
that when Atomic Puppy formed in 1990, the best computers out there were
Pentiums 75's and they were big bucks.)
So here we
are - I have never really improved upon my guitar playing except to play a
few things well and everything else mediocre. However, the
multimedia capabilities of my computer and my varied taste in music
(meaning I was into club and techno and all kinds of other stuff now)
would allow me to take samples, create, manipulate and compose them to
create studio quality instrumentals. I was back in business and dreams of
filling clubs all over the US began to ensue...
since early 2000, managed to compose and create 44 original instrumental
compositions on 4 CDs. Some of the songs are here on this site with
sample tracks to listen too and some are posted to www.download.com
for anyone to purchase. I had re-instated the name AMUSIA for my
band in 2000, but after an e-mail from MP3.com's legal dept and some
research have since discovered the name was registered/trademarked
to a Boston based band in 1997 (Damn I had them by 7 years too!) So
anyway, I went back to the name we had in 1990 - and ATOMIC PUPPY lives on
in a solo artist format...
Please take a listen and let
me know what you think. I have the guitar out and I'm actually planning on playing a
bit more to incorporate some of the original music I once did with the new editing
software. The plan is to create some decent quality recordings of music
"un-finished" in prior incarnations of Atomic Puppy.
Well, until there's more to
this story, thanks for reading this far, stay tuned and remember, " All the world's a
stage"... at least my office is anyway...