My Musical Life
JOE GETTY AND THE DEAD FLOWERS
Music has been a very large part of my life since my first year of high school in 1979. I had just started learning to play the bass guitar the summer just prior to starting high school, so when I went to sign up for band I was virtually drafted into the jazz ensemble. For those who know me, the rest is history.
This page is basically a window into my musical history and 'career' up to this point in my life. It has had it's share of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and a brief time of complete abandonment, but has always been the one thing that I can identify myself with. Even though I don't make a living with music anymore, I will always consider myself a musician first and foremost because it's the one thing in my life that I've had a true passion for.
The column to the left is a list of the bands that I've been in over the last 20+ years. I've been in many more than those listed, but only for those to the right do I have some type of recorded performance. One of my regrets in life is that I didn't record more of what I've done musically. Click on the links to take you to the respective band page. Each one will have a history, maybe some pictures and some MP3's for download if you are so inclined.
High School, 1979-1983
I started out in music with the bass guitar in the summer of 1979. I took lessons that whole summer before I started high school, and through out it as well. I was what you would call 'ravenous' for anything that was related to music. I remember thinking that I'd become so good someday that I'd never have to get a real job (haha! Reality really sucks!) During high school I was involved with everything the school offered in music, from the jazz ensemble and concert and marching bands, to choir and the theatre orchestra. I eventually made section leader of the drum line in marching band, rhythm section of the jazz ensemble and percussion section in the concert band my senior year. High school was not a good time for me as I really hated the whole 'popularity' games that everyone (including the teachers) were playing. I credit the band, my friends therein, my music teachers and my experiences with them for me not dropping out. Music made it bearable. Actually, it made it worthwhile.
In my senior year of high school, I was introduced to something called Drum and Bugle Corps, or DCI (Drum Corps International). This was very similar to marching band, in that it was made up of young people (14-21 years of age) that marched while they played their instruments and also included color guards of flags, dancers and/or rifles. The main difference was that Drum Corps didn't have any woodwinds. It was all brass and drums and color guard. The band went and saw a show that DCI was putting on. I was totally blown away by the power and size of these groups. The thing that impressed me the most was obviously the drum lines in them. We're talking 10-12 snare drums, 4-6 tonal bass drums, 3-6 multi-toms, 4-7 tonal cymbals and a complete pit that could include tympani, xylophone, marimba, and any other number of mallet instruments, percussion and sound effects. The precision at which these guys played was nothing short of phenomenal and the performance level of these groups were far and above high school, and even college bands. The main reason for this, I later found out, was because of the grueling schedules that these groups endured. The off-season schedule, which was from the beginning of school (around September) to the end (around June) was every other Friday night from 7-10 pm, and every other Saturday and Sunday from 10am to10pm. During the on-season (basically the entire summer), every day was spent either rehearsing from 10am to 10pm, or traveling and/or performing shows. They literally ate, breathed and slept with their instruments.
I finally joined a corp called the Anaheim Kingsmen in the spring of '83, who were a small organization compared to say, the Concord Blue Devils or Santa Clara Vanguard, and not even at their level of performance. When we went to Florida for DCI Championships, we didn't even place in the top 50, but I'll still never forget that summer. Having to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner for a week straight, having to wear dirty clothes for more than a few days because we didn't have time to stop to do laundry while on the road, having to take a leak out the bus window because we were late to a show and the director wouldn't let us stop, walking into the girls shower by mistake and seeing the entire rifle team nude! There are more, but I won't go on. My drum chops greatly improved because of the time I spent with them, and my set playing style was and continues to be influenced by that style of drumming.
College - 1983-1986
To Be Continued...