I started writing my own music when I was in Jr. High School. I had taken classical piano starting at age 5, but only after quitting lessons in my early teens (much to the horror of my parents) did I begin to use music as a form of self expression. My family lived in La Mesa, California, and my mom's piano, a Baldwin Acrosonic, was placed right up close to the big front window of our house. I sat down one day, stole a few chord patterns from my childhood icon, Barry Manilow, put my own melody and words to it and called it my own. Bang! Done! That wasn't hard. How much does Barry get paid for doing this? At age 13, if that's all it took to write a song?! 'Regurgitation' was my middle name! Musically, I knew even at an early age that there was nothing truly 'new under the sun'. I also knew those Barry Manilow chords and melody had been used a million times by a million songwriters...and now of course, one Jr. High student. What I didn't know but soon came to realize, was that there was a foundational difference between my song and Barry's...something strange in the way Manilow presented it. I didn't even know what 'it' was, exactly. I only knew that when I heard 'it', I was instantly overcome and enveloped by 'it'. I also knew even though I had copied his song verbatim, my song had not copied 'it'. I can still remember as a child, riding in the back of my parents '74 Volvo wagon with my ear pressed against the backseat speaker, tears coming to my eyes whenever Stephen Bishop's 'On & On' came over the air. I don't know why I cried. I just did. 'It' moved me to tears. Little did I know at that time, I would spend the rest of my life pursuing that God given passion...to capture 'it'. Even now, after years and years of writing and playing my material in front of people, I still can't say with any real certainty that I've ever actually reached my goal, to capture 'it'. I have been told by a few people (probably paid friends), there's a few times that I've come close...