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What’s it like to run onstage at the Tokyo Jazz Festival to play some of the finest soul music ever recorded to a crowd of screaming fans? What’s it like to wake up in your apartment in Queens, get a phone call along with your morning cereal, and then realize that you’d better hustle if you’re going to make it on time for a last-minute sub gig on Broadway, banging out the hair metal chords onstage at Rock of Ages? What’s it like to load up your amp, axe, and gig bag, pile it into the back of your Hyundai, put on your tux, and bust it down the Long Island Expressway to play in the reception band for a Russian plutocrat whose party looks exactly like the wedding in The Godfather? Now, what’s it like to do all that in one week?
With a foreword by jazz bass legend Stanley Clarke, Am I Famous Yet? – Memoir of a Working-Class Rock Star chronicles my life playing with everyone from renowned rock stars to blues belters in Bowery bars. I have practically become a rock star myself but without all the annoying trappings of fame or fortune. Follow my hilariously heartbreaking search for success, financial stability, and emotional peace of mind one gig at a time in this 90,000-word autobiography. It’s a hard-working musician’s tale full of highs and lows: trains, planes, automobiles, lost luggage, broken hearts, broken strings, and just enough magical moments onstage to make it all worthwhile.
More importantly, this book examines the motivation behind the quest for fame. Why would anyone in their right mind seek a career in music? What compels us to suffer the myriad indignities of being an aspiring artist? Where does that drive come from? and what is the perceived ultimate achievement?
I am a bass player and music director to the stars. I have performed with 50 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and appeared in 13 Broadway shows. I have been music director for Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), The Shirelles, and The Crystals, among many others. I have performed with everyone from Sting and Elvis Costello to Bo Diddley and Wynonna Judd. I am a graduate of the Berklee School of Music. I’ve worked as a publicist at Epic/Sony Records in New York and Los Angeles and as music director of WTUL radio in New Orleans. My writing has appeared in such magazines as Entertainment Weekly, Jazz-FM, London, Wavelength, New Orleans, and Bass Player. Having experienced all sides of the music world has given me a unique perspective on both the “music” and the “business.”