User:El Sid

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I was conceived on a warm spring night on a baseball diamond with help from a bottle of cheap Rye and cowboy charm. Growing up between Northern and Southern California I led a confused childhood bouncing from one school to another until landing in the sticks of Folsom in the late 70's with long hair and a skateboard making me instantly a social pariah. The rest is a blur of irresponsibility, questionable decision making and poor judgement in friends.

The only saving grace was a mother who had a love for a variety of music and a bipolar record collection. Along the way a step father emerged who insisted on listening to Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull as loud as possible while smoking copious amounts of hippy lettuce, thus forming my magical foundation of musical tolerance.

I started playing an acoustic guitar poorly at the age of 12 or 13, then alto saxophone for a short period. Finally at 15 I picked up a bass guitar as everyone else around me played guitar and four strings sounded a lot better to me than six as my sausage fingers could never form a proper open C chord.

Shortly after my conversion I was in a band named Caution (named for a sign me and my band mates stole while high, which hung in my garage). The only song we ever seemed to attempt was Iron Man and some terrible teenage originals written while on acid. I am not sure if I was kicked out of the band or just wandered off. Nevertheless I put up a sign made from a paper plate in our local music store stating "Have Bass will travel" and found myself playing with two brothers whose sole purpose in life was to play every song on Van Halen's first album aptly named Van Halen, needless to say I became very proficient at playing the E string on my bass.

After a brief hiatus in the military (where I played with a methed out, Metallica loving guitar player who yelled at me a lot for not being Cliff Burton) I found myself back in Northern California playing for a band named Zodiac. A psychedelic sort of metal jam band which almost got a gig at the Boardwalk after waking up my upstairs neighbor who was in a "real band" and said we could open for them when we got 10 or 11 songs together. Needless to say we never did as Zodiac broke up shortly after our rhythm guitar player thought it a good idea to give a drug addict the combination to our storage unit/practice space who stole most of our equipment and left the state.

A short time later a guitar playing family friend introduced me to the blues and we immediately started the band Bubba and the Butchers Boys (the guitar player and harmonica player were butchers, really they cut meat for a living and I was Bubba, I know not why) a three piece blues band with no drummer. Unfortunately the boys broke up and I had the opportunity to audition for a band named Brother Wolf (later renamed, Push), two guys in Grass Valley who were actually musicians, had backing and where setting up a tour of Europe. We got along really well until they heard me play and then I got the "let's just be friends" talk. Broken and humiliated I started taking bass lessons and really tried to hone my craft.

Then for some reason I can not comprehend me and my girlfriend (now wife) decided to sell everything and move to Hawaii; Oahu to be precise. This opened my eyes to all sorts of different music and in another sense put me in a strange musical vacuum as the only music I ever played or heard was local Hawaiian, a mix of country,rock,reggae and naturally Hawaiian. While there I played with a number of outstanding musicians but never formed a real band. After three years and five months of humidity and alcoholism we decided to move back home to Folsom.

I purchased my first four track and decided to do my own music as I had learned to play guitar while in Hawaii (vaguely) and started jamming with my friend Johnny, the infamous Zodiac rhythm guitarist who was also playing in a country band with my cousin Jed (drummer) and Cameron (guitarist) and a lead singer and pawn shop owner named Josie. In a strange cosmic coincidence I found myself also in a band named Oilcan with an old neighbor's son who was 14, obnoxious and talented beyond his years (he would prided himself by playing with his teeth like Hendrix). After a few months of Oilcan I had enough of his random guitarist outbursts and left.

How, where and why I still do not know, I found myself playing with Jed, Johnny and Cameron in a band named Grumpy (named after a hat I used to wear) and I finally found myself on stage at the Boardwalk in front of a substantial crowd which eventually after months of midnight Thursday gigs turned into our girlfriends and wives and a few friends. However, we did get a small following and played various venues to our tens of fans. Eventually, the four night a week practice sessions till the wee hours of the morning, me the only one with a real job to go to the next day and the fact I was just the bass player had me leaving after a year. They eventually changed the name to "The Grumpy" and did rather well for the most part.

Not sure what to do next I just kept plucking away and recording awful songs on my four track, jamming occasionally with random people I found myself playing with a talented songwriter Bill Henderson. A chance discussion with a coworker had me get in touch with my now longtime friend Bob Gonzalez (drummer) and we formed Grandpa's Toolbox, an alt-countryish band playing a metric shit ton of Steve Earle and Bill's originals. After practicing a bit we found ourselves jamming on Tuesday nights at the Powerhouse Pub in Folsom as Bill knew the owner and we needed a place to practice. It turned into a semi-gig in which I finally, after years got payed to play music. Sadly, the band broke up after a two year run due to a prima donna bassist and artistic differences.

I then became a full on bass slut playing one night, last minute gigs with whomever. After a bit of wandering around I had the good fortune of sorts to play with Blame the Bishop, this too lasted only a fortnight give or take a few months as I had a mental meltdown and decided to take a break from life. I never actually stopped playing, just stopped playing with others. Then two years ago I had the not so bright idea to start an old man punk band, Filthy Old Men, with my friends Simon (lead singer) Craig (bassist) and cousin Jed (drummer). We practiced twice with Jed and he left, then we lost our bassist to the wind. Simon and myself keep threatening each with talk of getting the band rolling again which in theory sounds great, but life seems to be getting in the way. Well, that's my story. Nothing more to see here...move along...move along.