Greetings from cyberland!
I thought I would start by explaining how I hooked up with Wise Monkey because that has been the most commonly asked question and it is a story of strange circumstances.
It all started with the decision that my wife and I made to move to California which is where I was originally from. We were living in Santa Fe New Mexico and I really wanted to move back to California because of the lack of musical opportunities. We moved a year ago and settled into San Clemente. I than spent the next nine months building a base of guitar students and trying to find musicians to jam with. I must say that there was a lot of frustrating moments in those nine months.
I played with lots of different people and bands but none of them clicked and I began wondering if it was such a good idea after all that we moved to California. After nine months of trying to find a band that needed a guitar player I decided to put an add in Music Connection magazine to try and start my own band. Bruce Stodola, an amazing drummer that had just left his local scene in Arizona for the pastures of L.A. saw my add in the magazine. The add caught his attention because my name was Marty and that was his nickname growing up. Bruce contacted me and we began jamming together.
We immediately clicked as players and also found that we got along quite well as friends. We formed a jazz rock fusion group and started rehearsing and writing tunes. About a month into the group Bruce was contacted by his old friends in Wise Monkey and they asked him he wanted to step in as the new drummer. Bruce took the opportunity leaving me further frustrated with my situation but very happy for Bruce's new gig. I asked Bruce to play Wise Monkey 's album for me and I was immediately blown away at how good it was. I was also blown away by how perfect it was for my style of playing. I asked Bruce if they needed a guitar player and he said that they didn't.
I then spent the next two weeks thinking about Wise Monkey. I knew that they didn't need a guitar player but I couldn't stop thinking how much I would love playing in that band. Lo and behold I received a call from Bruce and it turned out that they were going to need a guitar player after all. I auditioned a few days after thanksgiving and got the gig.
From the time I joined Wise Monkey everything has been a total blur. We rehearsed pretty much every day up until the tour. My wife knew what a big deal this whole thing was and has supported me from the very beginning even though we knew we weren't going to be able to see each other that much. I must say though, that this has been the most incredible experience. Everyone in the band has been so nice to me and in this short period time we have all become very close friends and the music has been truly inspiring
That's my story for the books, I would just like to add how lucky I feel to be with my wife Amy. She knows how passionate I am for my music and has never complained about the time that I've had to be away from her. I love her for not only allowing me to pursue this dream, but for pushing me to pursue this dream.
Highlights so far: We have now played at the House of Blues in L.A. and Chicago and I must say that it has absolutely been a dream come true. Just being on that stage pushes you to be a better player and I feel that both shows went incredibly well. Wise Monkey had never played in St. Louis before and we absolutely had an incredible show there. Jeff Harlen who promoted the show and James Mullins with KDHX really rose above the call of duty and helped get over four hundred people at the show. Our shows in New York have been going really well. We just played at the famous Wetlands in NYC and there is just a vibe about that place.
One of my lifetime goals was to play a gig in New York some day and I was very familiar with the Wetlands history. It was a great show for the band and I'm still kind of in denial that we just rocked at Wetlands. We played with two incredible bands, Fat Mama and Percy Hill. I rapped backstage with Joe from Percy Hill and he was one of the most humble and kind musician's that I've met on the tour and after seeing them I was thoroughly impressed with how good they were.
Things that have sucked so far: We have all had our share of health issues on the tour. We all got the flu at various times and A.G. even got a nice eye infection that we all were scared of. None of these things compared to the nasty case of food poisoning I got in Chicago. I spent the whole day before our House of Blues gig conversing with the devil, or at least that's what it sounded like as I threw up about half of my body weight. I would say avoid getting food poisoning it's not that much fun.
We've got a TV, VCR and Sony Playstation on the road which helps with the boredom. Also we've come up with some terms that we use while being on tour. "Talk to the Lammy" "You don't want to do that" "You sound pretty good" "Cleveland steamer." You can ask us what some of these mean at the next show.
I would also like to thank Jason at Hideaway Mastering for letting me play one of the most beautiful guitars ever made by W. Paul Jarowski. I would also like to thank all my friends and family who have supported me every step of the way as I tried this whole music career thing. More later. Marty.