I began playing piano at age 7. We had an old Empire grand upright. Mom played and read music. While moving the piano downstairs into our newly remodeled basement one day, the huge beast got away from us, careening down the staircase. The paneling was destroyed, but the piano was unscathed. Later, when I was 12, my parents gave me a Kay electric guitar and Silvertone amplifier for Christmas. That was 1964 and the British Invasion was in force. Guitar was easy, most pop songs requiring only three chords, like E-A-D or C-F-G. I learned the barre chords and generally 'messed around' endlessly on guitar. My musical cousin John was an influence, even though we only jammed together a couple of times. We lived in separate parts of the Midwest. One afternoon when his family visited, we taped a session of five songs on piano and bass on our Wollensak reel-to-reel recorder. Actually, the bass was my Kay guitar tuned down one octave. Over the next few weeks, I practically wore out that tape recorder trying to learn the songs on piano by heart. One song was titled "For Carlos" and it is a part of the Short Stories album. I remember taking a few piano lessons, but for some reason, I spent much more time playing piano and guitar on my own, and learning from tape recordings from the radio. I like to just play music, instinctively. When music is playing, I don't hear anything but the music, not the lyrics and not any conversation. To me the expression "background music" is an oxymoron. When music is playing, I am dialed in to the music. As far as recording my own songs, I have always wanted to compose and record. It was not until the year 2001 that I found that digital multi-track recording and effects processing was affordable by the common man. With the recent purchase of a Roland XP-80 keyboard-synthesizer, composition and recording is surprisingly easy. One can lay down many musical and rhythm tracks, choosing from dozens of instruments plus percussion, edit the tracks, add effects and save. Some of these early recordings found their way to the Cruising Lane 2nd Release album. I took a music theory class a couple of years ago. I wanted to learn how to read music and converse technically with other musicians. I found that learning basic music theory as an adult is not easy. The mental blocks one establishes over many years impede learning. Concepts such as base-10 math and the decimal system are blocks. If one has the ability to pick up songs easily by ear, and I do, this is a block. Young persons can learn languages and music rapidly without the all of other clutter in the way. Music theory is arcane. The treble clef different than the bass clef. Twelve chromatic notes spanning a staff having only five lines. All supported by centuries of widespread acceptance. No doubt, many have attempted to create and promote a new, more logical musical system and method of charting notes. But music theory remains what it is.