A long time ago in a strange and mystical land (meaning the late 1970s), I played in a rock band called the Stray Katz. We wrote songs, had adventures and recorded stuff, including a few tracks at the legendary Nimbus 9 studios in Toronto (where Pink Floyd recorded stuff for The Wall). I also played in a cover band called Persons Unknown and recorded solo projects with some amazing people until the world came knocking in the mid-1980s and I realized I needed to support myself.
From songwriting, I moved to regular writing and spent the next 30-odd years in a diverse career that included entertainment writing, copywriting and independent publishing. I also wrote as a music journalist and had the chance to chat with some awesome people, including:
- Amrit Song (Grammy Award-winning guitarist)
- Dr. Draw (electronic violinist and ringmaster of the Strange Parade)
- Candice Marshall (founder of Starlight Music Chronicles)
- Richard Flohil (music promoter and publicist)
- Donna Marie (singer-songwriter and extra on Vikings)
- Dalbello (recording artist and songwriter)
- Gord Sinclair (The Tragically Hip)
- Tyler McGregor (singer-songwriter)
- Molly Johnson (Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter)
- Dave Betts (Honeymoon Suite)
- Jean-Marc Pisapia (The Box)
Along the way, I appeared in a rock video for “I See Red” by the Silencers (A Letter from St. Paul). I chatted with Nash the Slash (a very nice guy) and following an interview with Denise Donlon and Laurie Brown, I had 15 minutes of fame when Citytv used my name as part of a TV commercial for The NewMusic. (Such smashing folks.)
I also occasionally created graphics for bands and artists.
And I kept writing songs, making demos and sending them out to record companies, music publishers and anyone who may be looking for a song to perform or record. Some of the music I sent out:
- >> The Parkway Tapes (my earliest MIDI songs)…
- >> Russia (full album demo)…
- >> Phantom Theatre (tracks for a Katz reunion that didn’t happen)…
- >> Song of the Exile (MIDI cover of the Caitlin Mathews song)…
- >> Strange Presence (full album demo)…
- >> Apple Logic (three-song EP demo)…
- >> The Horseman III (conclusion to “The Horseman” trilogy of songs)…
By the early 2000s, I realized I’d been writing and shopping my songs around for a long time and no one appeared interested. My recording equipment had either broken down or become wildly outdated and I didn’t have the budget to put together a new system. So I chucked it—literally. I took my scraps of recording gear and threw them into a dumpster. I tossed my drums into a storage locker and stuffed my songs into a box.
What I didn’t realize is that music keeps its own mind about things, and while I felt done with music, it wasn’t done with me.
In 2017, I shared some of my old songs with a local music promoter and manager after a chance connection at a Diana Krall concert. He liked the songs enough to decide I might be the right fit to write music for one of his artists. So with nothing more than a folk guitar and my camera, I wrote and recorded a new song called “Stillmorning Daughter” and sent the artist a link to the video—and to my amazement, he said he liked it and wanted to play it. So I wrote another new song called “Love Someone,” and he wanted to play that one too.
After that, I was introduced to other artists. Soon, I was invited to become an in-house writer for a startup rehearsal studio and music-promotion venture in Kitchener, Ont. And that brought me to where I am today—a writer who brings 30 years of professional writing experience into a suite of services available to solo artists, bands, agents, managers, promoters or anyone involved in the music industry.
Some of what I do:
- Content for websites and social-media pages
- Artist/band bios
- Press releases and other marketing/promotional material
- Feature stories for music blogs and magazines
- Video scripts and storyboards
- SEO writing for YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, etc.
- FACTOR and other grant applications
- Copywriting for crowdfunding sites
- Newsletters, emails and other fan communications for bands/artists who have email lists but don’t know what to do with them.
Got something you need?
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.