would you rather talk about first, music
really doesn't matter. Go for it.
why don't you tell me a little bit about
your background first. I know that you grew
up in Southern California and went in to
Vietnam. Did you serve overseas?
in 1966 through 67.
you came back and went to school for your
Masters in Music?
actually not. (laughs) Okay, this is a good
place to start. I came back from Vietnam
and...I'd been in music before, I was pretty
hip to what was going on in the scene. Before
I went into the Army I was in a group called
the Greenwood County Singers and we had
four albums and as many singles, and the
singles did well in Billboard and the trades.
Our singles were always at least in the
Top 20. Which is not bad, especially during
those years 'cause there was a lot of good
music happening. Anyway, having said that
I went into the Army--I was drafted--went
to Vietnam, got back, and I felt like I
had been robbed of my life.
know, being drafted you feel a lot like
you were kidnapped. I actually got my draft
notice in Lake Tahoe and my group was playing
with Andy Griffith and Roy Clark, it was
a pretty cool scene and then I got ripped
off. I went i the Army and did that, not
that that wasn't a good experience in retrospect.
I came back out and I really wanted to get
into the counterculture scene that was going
on at the time. It was very cool. There
was a lot of love and brotherhood, and politically
people were real sharp and knew what was
going on, and they were active.
I kinda eased into my cultural peer group
for a few months and then I got into a band
called Stone Country. I was with them for
about a year, they already had an album
and we did a bunch more tv and stuff, played
Vegas and stuff like that. Then I kinda
pulled out of that, actually it kinda fell
apart at one point, and decided to just
start writing alot and just become the itinerant
musician. Wandering from here to there and
kind of be that thread between human beings
with my music. Literally be a traveling
troubadour. So I did that for a few years.
then in about 1972 or so I went back to
school because a band that I had had called
Jamie Rush had just broken up and I was
real upset about it and I thought, "Well,
jeez, I'm gonna put music on the back burner
for a while and I'll just get into some
acting." I went to the City College
in the city where I lived (Long Beach City
College) and I was gonna get into the music
department but...the guy that was in charge
of the music department I didn't really
get along with all that well. So I thought,
well I'll jump into some acting 'cause I
knew the theater arts department was really
good. There was a guy named David Emms who
was in charge of it, David is now in charge
of a theater out here called South Coast
rep in Orange County and they have a very
I just started doing stuff and I immersed
myself in this production, that production,
until I did one called CIRCLE GAMES, it
was an original piece written by a couple
of different people and it was pieced together
like little vignettes. Then I wrote the
transitional music for the vignettes and
performed it as well as performing in the
vignettes themselves, so I was wearing a
couple of different hats. (Laughs)
somebody called me and said, "Hey,
we really liked what you did and we think
we have this little part in this film,"
and that was my first picture.
which picture was that?
thing, that was JIM, THE WORLD'S GREATEST...
was Don Coscarelli's first film. What kind
of roles did you have in that film and KENNY
were fun, especially the first one. It was
a guy named OD Silingsley, and he was a
hang glider pilot that provides a bit of
lightness to a very heavy scene that follows
that scene...the killing of a kid. You know,
if you're gonna kill a kid you've gotta
lighten up the moments before and try bring
it up after that. And the kid in JIM
would be killed by his father, so they needed
something to really bring the moment up
before that...it was a high impact. And,
so they created this character OD Silingsley.
He was funny, kind of a hippy hang glider
pilot and he gets the older brother of the
kid to go in the hang glider and he really
likes it and it's a moment of freedom in
a rather depressing plot. In KENNY AND COMPANY
I played a teacher for Don, actually I played
his favorite teacher that he had.
you were kind of recreating a role for him.
and the guy was really cool, real good with
kids, really liked kids, but knew how to
react to them. That was kind of a neat character,
too. I was also the musical supervisor on
that film. I pulled the musicians together,
got the studio time to do the music for
it, and I wrote one of the themes as well.
talks about PHANTASM and the growth of the
Reggie character in Part
2 of our interview...