I started life as a guitar-playing, folk-singing teenage beatnik. I hung out in Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s and played in coffee houses. Even before all the folkies plugged in, I discovered The Beatles and promptly went electric. I spent twenty years (1964-1984) slaving over a hot amplifier in a series of rock bands, some of which attained local fame in Boston and almost made the big time. After five years of trying to break through in New York and Boston, my acoustic guitar and I moved to the West Coast. It was the age of the singer-songwriter.
I had a knack for writing catchy songs and one of them, “Going in Circles,” was recorded by Three Dog Night in 1972. It also became the main titles theme for a movie with Elizabeth Taylor called X, Y & Zee. That made me more money than anything else in my music career. In between recording and publishing deals, I supported myself selling drugs. By the time I got to be around forty, it began to dawn on me that perhaps I would never actually be a rock star.
And so, I transitioned. I tried breaking into the film business by becoming a production assistant. I met a music editor and became his apprentice on Rob Reiner’s film When Harry Met Sally (1989). When I was unable to parlay that into a career, I transitioned again.
That same year, I was lucky enough to get hired by Rhino Records (now Rhino Entertainment), eventually landing in the A&R (Artist & Repertoire) department, where I spent ten happy years as a compilation producer. I produced a series on the American folk revival of the ‘60s called Troubadours of the Folk Era, Vols 1-3. This inspired a two-day folk festival in Los Angeles called the Troubadours of Folk Festival (1993). In 2000, I produced a 3-CD box set called Washington Square Memoirs: The Great Urban Folk Boom (1950-1970). This garnered me a Grammy®nomination and a free trip to the 2001 Grammy Awards (I didn’t win). By that time, Rhino and I had parted ways. I worked for a couple more record companies, but after the Great Music Biz Implosion of 2010, I needed to transition again.
I had always loved words and writing. I had worked as a liner notes editor at two of the record companies. I took classes in proofreading and editing at UCLA Extension. Eventually, I landed a job as a proofreader and then a copywriter at an LA advertising agency. This cemented my determination to make my mark as an author (transition number four).
I decided to take the advice of Mark Twain and write what I knew. I wrote a memoir, which chronicled my long and checkered career in music. It was titled Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rockand it contained a liberal dose of all three. After that, I turned to fiction. I wrote many short stories, a few of which were published in literary magazines.
Eventually, my memoir was published in 2017. By this time, I was most of the way through my first novel and, although my publisher wanted me to keep writing nonfiction about the music biz, but that no longer interested me. I had said everything I wanted to say on that subject.
I queried about three dozen agents with my novel, and got soundly rejected by all. I started approaching indie publishers and had a much better response. My novel, a YA sci-fi fable called Fluffy’s Revolution, was accepted by no fewer than four indie publishers. I decided to go with Black Rose Writing, and Fluffyhits the virtual shelves March 28, 2019.