I was born and raised in the small coastal town of Sorrento. The town is situated in South Eastern Australia towards the pointy end of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, roughly one and a half hours drive from the city of Melbourne. With its picturesque beaches both bay and ocean, it’s a bit like a small Australian version of the fabulous Hamptons, being it’s the go-to summer holiday destination for the people of Melbourne. It swells in population in the summer months.
As a young child the sound of the ocean soothed me to sleep and as soon as I was old enough to tackle the shore break, the ocean beaches became the greatest playground for me and my mates. It’s one I still love to play on to this day.
As a young lad, I spent all my spare time at school sketching waves, surfboards, and dreaming of all things surf related. I also played Australian rules football and cricket for my home team Sorrento. I left school to start an apprenticeship as a carpenter joiner from 1980 to 1981. The joinery was on Back Beach Road, Portsea, and my friends would often honk their car horns on the way to the surf to alert me the surf was pumping.
At the age of twenty, I lost a handful of friends and family over a short period of time, and this was very distressing for me. It was also at this time of anguish I discovered singing the blues and the power of the blues. I could get a lot of painful thoughts and feelings out of my head and off my chest. I found it very therapeutic indeed.
My brother-in-law at the time was playing guitar and asked if I was interested in getting a band together. I told him I’d write a few songs that week and we could rehearse them Friday and play them on Saturday night at a board riders party I was hosting.
I was instantly hooked and the whole process is still a wonderful, mystical experience for me. You sit with a guitarist, pianist, well any open-minded musician really and you share musical magic together and it can turn into anything.
I’m a lyricist and to be honest, I’m still not sure where many of my verses are coming from.
I was fortunate in the mid-nineties to do quite a bit of sailing across many parts of the planet and it was on a sailboat that I first spent time in the USA. What I had planned as a three week holiday in Antigua ended up becoming a three-year sailing walkabout. This is how the name of my current band came about.
Travel is a fantastic way to grow as a person, as an artist. Sailboats seem to be an excellent fit for writing because there are no distractions at sea.
My band, The Walkabout, is an acoustically driven coastal rock funk blues outfit.
I was very fortunate to meet guitar wizard Kevin Anderson around three years ago and strike up a very tight musical bond. He’s quite a unique player and has a very interesting style. We started putting some songs together and realized early on that it was a good fit. Through a nice coincidence, we came together with Drew Bertron and with him on board as our drummer and producer, we really felt from that point that we had something special.
Adding Mike Perotta on bass guitar, a tight little unit emerged. We first went into the studio in late 2016 with this lineup for our first album titled The Walkabout. We have also recently added the very talented Dave Christen to the fold and his electric guitar playing and vocals have been amazing both live and on our second album, Things are looking Up. Go to https://www.walkaboutband.com/ and experience it for yourself.
On a personal level, I hope to play, create and record music for as long as I’m able.
As for the band, The Walkabout, we are based on Long Island and play out east and mid-island quite a bit. We have some exciting events on the calendar and have received some very complimentary reviews for both our albums and live shows from music publications and online press. We have been receiving radio airplay from as far-flung destinations as Belgium to WUSB Stony Brook.
The Walkabout videos have also been warmly received. We hope to tour soon both nationally and internationally with some initial groundwork having already been laid in both Australia and New Zealand.
Being an artist can be very fulfilling, but it isn’t always easy. I follow my heart and in troubled times, I still think a long walk on the beach and a song can be a wonderful way to help ease a stressful situation.
The happiest moment of my career may be the gig I recently did in Australia with a great bunch of Aussie mates. The drummer’s son was drumming on the same bill for the first time and they both rocked. The saddest moments have come for me playing tunes that you once played with people that are no longer with us. We really are all here on borrowed time.
I live on Long Island, NY and have been visiting the states for over 20 years. I’m pretty concerned with America.
It feels a little like she’s getting torn in two directions both ideologically and certainly politically.
It feels like anger and frustration are a little more commonplace than I remember. I hope people can find common ground. We humans have a lot more in common than we tend to remember.
If I had to give advice to other artists I would say follow your passion, share your talent, take it to the limit, give your all and don’t grow old wondering. Good luck is created when persistence and preparation meet opportunity.