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My earliest musical memories are in Ottawa, my parents garage. I would frequently set up a make shift drum set consisting of four inverted metal garbage cans, using their lids for cymbals. I used found wood dowels for drum sticks, banging away for hours at a time. I begged my parents for a pair of sticks like those I had seen the drummers use on television. I felt like a rock star the day my mother surprised me with the real mccoy sporting those gleaming white nylon ends.
By eight I had truly caught the musical bug, and began taking piano and guitar lessons. I was spending every bit of my pocket money on Rock and Funk records. The first record I ever purchased was a copy of Magical Mystery Tour. Every single week I would add another album to my collection with the allowance money I received from numerous chores around the house. I purchased my first pair of decks at a garage sale right around the time of disco. It was a $100 hand made DJ unit in a wood box with two dual turntables, home made mixer, and amplifier. My best friend and I would carry around this box like coffin, accompanied by three crates of records playing weddings, or special events we could talk people into hiring us for.
As the 70's faded, I followed the 80's musical trend from Rock and Disco to Electro-pop and New Wave, but it wasn't really until I moved to Toronto in 1979 that I discovered the thrill of playing my very first nightclub. The first week I started at the newly constructed Cornucopia Lounge, the music format was disco. About a month later, when disco was starting to suffer a horrible fate the owner Frank came to me and asked "what the hell was going on?". Why was his popular club now seeing attendance numbers drop off considerably. I explained to him that disco was dead and new wave and punk was all the rage. I will never forget the look on the old guy's face when he looked at me, and said, "Punk... what the hell is punk?" Frank was not very impressed when I introduced him to the Sex Pistols, but after much thought and deliberation on his part, Nuts and Bolts was born. In a few short month's we watched his club reach record breaking attendance, with line ups sometimes in excess of hundreds waiting to get in. Within a year he had to renovate in order to double the capacity of the club by converting a large back kitchen area to usable space for his patrons. The newly renovated club now had a twelve hundred person capacity and was packed solid every singleweekend for the next few years. Nuts and Bolts had become the most notorious club in Canada, and needless to say, Frank was a very happy man.
The mid 80's brought about the advent of the all-in-one synthesizer complete with on board sequencing and included many sampled instruments like basses, strings, brass, and drum sounds. I was in my glory by the fact I could have virtually a band in a box to express my musical ideas. I thought at the time this would be the only synth I would ever need, but over the course of several years, all the money I made from each gig was spent on the latest piece of high tech electronics I could afford. Eventually, I found myself in a small room surrounded by gear, this became my first studio. I began working diligently on experimental music, infused with rock, disco, electro-pop and punk. The next five years gave way to a Chicago-type sound. I worked with as many musicians as I could get into the studio, learning the foundation of composing, arranging and mixing. I spent all of my spare time reading manuals, and being in music stores asking sales people technical questions . By the end of the 80�s I had recorded some fairly serious sounding Techno / House tracks.
Into the 90's I continued to DJ and experiment in the studio. I wrote prolifically with a House project duo, Boy's Life, as well as continuing to compose my own personal material. Around the mid 90's I constructed my professional studio in a funky Toronto downtown loft. I finally had a control room with proper acoustics, and a good size vocal booth, both fully equipped to do some serious song writing and recording. In the late 90's I teamed up with UK legend, DJ Paul Walker to explore a harder, more underground techno-type sound in the guise of Monogamy. In 1999 I decided to go solo and start a new House project. The sound of Shirtlifter took on a driving beat, speaker-busting basslines and a cool, funky feel. The sound I had been looking for. It felt right and people were beginning to respond. After two records, Dirty Funky House, and Fuel, one EP, and several singles, I hear daily from people all over the world, I really love that. Gid Up ( a gogga maha), from the first record was selected for inclusion on Locked In which was distributed by Klublife magazine with the participation of Smirnoff. The determination and hard work is finally paying off. With a growing network of support, my music just keeps getting better.
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