Music

The Music in the Mower…

When I was about 5 years old, my dad was out mowing the lawn between the orange trees in front of our house in Woodland Hills, CA, and in the sound of the engine I was certain I could hear rhythms, melodies, and horn solos… I thought to myself, I could be a jazz musician… Well, I never did venture deeply into studying and playing jazz per se, but I have had an extremely wonderfully, joy filled time making music.

It started after many years of listening to the 70’s and 80’s hits on long morning and afternoon school bus rides. It was in my fifth grade classroom that the Fort Washington Elementary School music teacher came to our classroom and asked if we wanted to play a musical instrument. My hand shot up, because I was really interested in learning to play the electric bass and specifically learning how to play the epic bass line which lifts The Barney Miller Theme Song up from the dead of silence. She heard my request and said the closest she could get was a bass or cello. Either seemed to me to be a VERY large, eminently traditional hollow wooden beast of an instrument that seemed to me to be stuck in the age of stuffy men sporting fluffy white wigs with curls. Not anything like Stevie Wonder, Van Halen, Yes, Boston, Steely Dan or any of the others I like to listen to at the time. I spent a few weeks lugging it around and learning finger exercises at her odd request. I also was given a weird hairy stick to drag along the strings which resulted strictly in the stuff of horror movie soundtracks. No fingers on the strings? WTF? I quit. No electric bass, no deal.

A few years went by and my brother Steve started playing the electric guitar which I got to mess with and a little later brother Tim was getting into drums. So soon we magically had a drum set in our garage! Doug Hyatt stepped into the garage one afternoon and commenced to destroy my understanding of time by splitting it into millions of tiny pieces with ease and grace. Holy fucking shit! That was enlightening, and religious at the same time. Music began to well up inside my body. I had to wait until I was sixteen to lay my fingers on the real steel of an electric bass… it was worth the wait! Fat Jerry brought his custom Kramer bass into my room and asked for $200 in exchange. Done! It was mine and I quickly found my fingers making sense of The Barney Miller Theme Song at last. :)

- This musical history will be continued another night…

 

I will later add the details of how I ended up in Loch Ness and The Monsters, Big Butter with Tim Biskup, Etc…

 

For now, lots of music can be heard at the right...

Love, Mike

Mike Biskup

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