Then & Now
The Journey The road leading to today has been a long one. As a young boy starting to play the guitar, learning came somewhat easy for me. I can remember those days like they were yesterday. As a teenager, things began to get interesting. I wanted to play in a band and have the opportunity to play with other musicians. I believe it was at that time I realized music was something that would be with me forever. And it has. In my teenage years, I started playing with a band called 'The Other Side'. I was thrilled to have the chance to play. Doing a number of different styles and cover songs really started the process in developing my skills as a guitar player. I remember doing my first solo in the blues tune 'Stormy Monday'. I was eager to play some of my stuff. Playing in a two guitar band with Tom Rutledge was great. Tom was one of the best players I have had the opportunity to play with. His unique style seemed to always keep me thinking and we played very well together. After playing with 'The Other Side' for a couple of years, Tom and I were asked to play in a group called 'Hot MaMa Silver', a band that was doing very well for themselves on a local level. 'Hot MaMa Silver' was headed up by Herb Eimerman. Herb was teamed with drummer Bill Brobowski, who we had always wanted to play with and who I respect to this day. Their abilities were untouched. This was the chance of a lifetime for us. Of course we jumped at the opportunity. We did songs written by Herb and added our flavor to them, as well as many cover songs that really gave us a chance to play. Recording our first album was a journey for all of us. The band was doing very well and had the opportunity to be the opening act for a number of major acts such as Rush, Sammy Hagar, The Outlaws, REO Speedwagon, J.Geils Band and Jim Peterik, who soon became 'Survivor'. We were also doing shows in our hometown Chicagoland area, as well as the Midwest. Life was good and 'Hot MaMa Silver' was moving forward. This was a beginning for me... to have people around me that would push me to my limits of playing and boy, did it ever happen. During those years, I think I developed my playing more than any other period. The group continued to play and perform in the Midwest but never made the record deal that we were all hoping for. After another year or so, I made the decision to leave the band to explore other avenues of music. In doing so, I had the opportunity to play with a number of different people. This further developed my style of playing, which now was starting to surface on it's own, doing a lot of Jeff Beck and other fusion type material. This was the time that I really started thinking about doing my own music and started working on writing for myself. I later discovered that Herb was beginning a solo career which has become a well deserved dream come true for him. His writing today has proven to be successful. In playing for years with a true friend, Chip Muellemann, we never really found musicians that we could develop a better than normal band, and this put us both in a position of disappointment. Today, I miss playing with Chip more than anything. He was a bass player that I could play with and always know where we were going. Yes, I can't tell you how playing with my best friend is missed. That was then. Now, I am bringing my music out as a solo artist and showing my true emotions by writing about events and situations in my life experiences to reveal my hidden thoughts. I am having a great time of it and I am hoping that people will have the opportunity to hear some of my heartfelt music and reflections of my life. To perform my own music has proven to be a dream come true for me. I hope you enjoy the music... Randy Massey.