I've always written. Besides books, I write articles, essays, plays, poetry, music, and song lyrics. I also keep a weblog that I've maintained for 12 years, usually posting weekly, sometimes more frequently as the spirit moves. My books are chiefly fiction that include equal doses of humor and drama. I'm also a classical composer and a singer-songwriter, but that's another story. My books mostly deal with music and musicians because I'm a professional musician who was raised by a family of professional musicians from Vaudeville to opera, from jazz to rock and roll. In my family's English past the Wallers were court musicians and poets who include Sir Edmund Waller ("Go, Lovely Rose"), while the other side of the family was made up of writers who include greats Mark Twain and Alexander Woollcott. Between the paternal musical genes and the maternal literary genes, I didn't stand a chance. Writing about music was the natural and most obvious path for me to take.
I was born on California's Gold Coast between the Pacific Ocean and the Topa Topa and Refugio mountains. Because my parents couldn't afford formal musical training, I began teaching myself. By the age of eight I could read and play piano using music and also by ear. By high school I'd already begun to write music and to play the large array of musical instruments that cluttered our home of professional musicians. After graduation I set out on a musical career that over the following 12 years included nightclub and coffeehouse dates, showcases, opening for popular recording artists, concerts at schools, prisons, political rallies, a concert tour, recording, and frequent television and radio appearances.
I have lived and worked in Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, Haight-Ashbury, and London, my music introducing me to the private world of musical icons Jimi Hendrix, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Monkees, the Doobie Brothers, Paul McCartney, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and others. During these years I performed on a number of television talk shows, including The Mike Douglas Show and Elliot Minz's Headshop.
In 1986, while pursuing a degree in musical composition, Maestro Frank A. Salazar, founder and music director of the Ventura County Symphony, took me under his wing as his sole (gratis) private pupil and later hired me as his assistant, a post I held until his retirement six years later. Under his tutelage I learned composition, arranging, music history, conducting, and a variety of other subjects concerning composition and performance. Over 200 of my songs and orchestral pieces, which cover a wide range of styles and forms, have been published. My music has been performed throughout the United States as well as in England, Italy, and Spain.
At the age of nine I won a writing contest with a one-act play that was staged by an adult cast in Solvang, California, where we lived at the time. I wrote my first novel at sixteen and have written many poems through the years, many of which I eventually set to music. I've written articles for Boomers and Books, Boomspeak, The Encyclopedia of 18th Century History, and The Sounding Board, the journal of The American Composers Forum, among many others.
I recently published Books One and Two (With A Dream and With A Bullet) of my rock and roll series, Beyond The Bridge, in a single Special Edition and am currently writing Book Three, With A Song and Book Four, Enharmonic Intervals.
In 1995 I wrote Night Music: the Memoirs of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which was recently pulled pending the completion of a second edition. Other works in progress include Harley & Collette (a romantic comedy set in modern-day Vienna), Touching Fire (a mystic love story about a 15th century Franciscan priest), California Gold Coast Dreamin' (a coffee table book), and my memoirs, A Polite Little Madness. I also am currently working on an album of original music with the same title.