My First Piano, 1962

My family moved into a new home in Suisun City, California and the previous owners had no place to put their little spinet piano. It remained in the house, and I quickly laid claim to it. I'd banged around on the school piano a little bit and liked it, but now I had one in my own house! I took formal lessons for a few years, but more importantly I discovered I could pick out melodies and chords off the radio and in my head. From Mancini's "Moon River" to Brian Wilson's "In My Room" (what's that chord in the bridge under "Laugh At Yesterday"?) the fuse was lit and I couldn't get enough music in my life.

high School Band, 1966

J.C. before there was rock? Not really. I already had a 'group' going (as we said back when) and it was a lot more fun than high school band! Here we see the Armijo High School Marching Band upon our return from the All Western Band Review in Long Beach, California; the state's biggest marching band competition. It was the first time the band had won anything; the first trophy ever in the band room. That's Yours Truly on a pals' shoulders, foreground, in my H.I.S. sweater, stretch Levis and Bates Floaters. The following year I wasn't allowed to march because I wouldn't cut my hair . . .

The Furlanders, 1966-67

My first ‘Rock Band’! I played bass guitar (probably because McCartney did!) and I don't think we played more than two or three gigs . . . but I was on my way! Somewhere deep in my analog tape archives there's a recording of Yours Truly taking the lead vocals on the Rufus Thomas hit ‘Walkin’ The Dog' . . . the first recording I ever made!

The Yewess Army, 1968