Lets start here:
Well, I have been playing bass for over 20 years now. I must thank Michael Wajciechowicz (Head of Middle School Band in Burlington Twp, New Jersey) and Matt Mercer-Stewart (Neighbor) for asking me to play bass in 6th grade band.
He provided me with a Telecaster Copy Bass that the school owned and I started from their. My motive was to get out of a class one to two days a week and learn a new instrument. I tried guitar and hated it, but it gave me a basic foundation for my left hand.
I had 3 private teachers Mike, Bill and Fred from Sunset Music in Willingboro, NJ. These guys were great, but when they started to gig heavy and I lost them as teachers.
My early motivation:
My brother (Jerry Kolber) was a guitar player in a local bands in the Burlington area. His bands always had one problem. Holding on to a good bass player or having a bass player who would show up. In addition, some people came out as bass players that ended up being guitar players who played bass to get in the front door just to say, "I'm really a guitar player."
From that point, I understood the importance of having a bass player in the band and how it could make or break a band. In addition, there was an over abundance of guitar players and drummers at this time. In those days it really wasn't cool to play bass.
My cousin Jack Kolber played in a Cover/Original Band called "Arety." I seen him on stage rocking the crowd at an outdoor event my parents took me to when I was 10 or 11. They did a set of Jethro Tull, Zeppelin, and Boston, then played their originals at the end. I was blown away, but knew that's where I wanted to be. Playing for people live.
Frank Napoli was the first bass player who taught me a pop song. It was "My Sharona." by the "Knack." From there everyone at Junior High Band would say, can you play, "Iron Man", "Dazed and Confused", "Heart Breaker", "Tom Sawyer", "Another One Bites the Dust", "Wip-It" , etc..... That's how I learned songs by ear.
Mark Holter, (Bop Meisters), was a neighborhood musician (sax +) and was substitute teaching at Burlington Twp High School. He turned me on to the music of Spyro Gyra, Jeff Lorber Band, Miles Davis, and Rich Cole, but the biggest thing he did that changed my world was to introduce me to the "REAL BOOK."
I have never really mastered the "REAL BOOK", but I can read thru most the chord changes and heads???. It drove me to listen to more Jazz, Fusion, and Funk. Back in the days where 90.1 FM was a 24 hr a day Jazz station. That made it easy at the time to hear Classic Jazz to Fusion. I now have to listen to SAT (Satellite) radio or web radio for Jazz.
I played in numerous local bands with John Greenwald, John Gilbert, Rick Georges, Rich Muller, Ronnie Borden, Mike Mosley among other people during my High School Years.
At Glassboro State College (Rowen), I had a class mate in Micro Economics who was a musician. He kind of blew me off, but a year later while getting a cheese steak in the school cafeteria, I said, "How the band doing (Critics)?" He said they needed a bass player and I auditioned. This meal changed my whole college experience.
From there me and Chris Cook became friends and I played with numerous people in college including Lee Nittle, Dave Robinson, Steve Hyde, Tim Kaneble, Paula Rio, Ross Hoffnagle , Mike Wazica and Bob Wilson among other people. This open the world to me since I was a Business Administration Major and was playing with music majors and serious college musicians.
I did get a BS in Business Administration and Marketing as my fall back to music, but it ends up it's hard to make good money playing music. It's a tough road. My parents were tolerant to a point, but as they say, "DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!!!" That's how my life went and how I treated music. Money was a motivation, as well as, the audience.
My brother was always into recording from the early 80's on. He started with a Roberts 2 track Reel to Reel that we would bounce 2 channels down to one. High tech for us at the time.
He and his friend Bruce Fredricks then spent their hard earned money on a 24 Track Studio Pro Mixing board and a Tascam 4 track Real to Real with a DBX unit. He was always the engineer and recorded local groups and wedding bands.
He was 5 years my senior and we didn't really get along till I was about 25. Not sure why, but we had a huge sibling rivalry going on for our parents attention.
Jerry was always a better student and career wise made great decisions. He has his BS in Accounting & MBA from Rider University, as well as being a CPA. He is now a PMP (Project Manager) for Johnson and Johnson, but at heart a great guitar player and recording engineer (also note my brothers distain for Eric Clapton, who he says is the world's most over rated and rude guitar player).
As adults, we respect each other's accomplishments, as well as, our hard times in life. I think music has brought us closer together and we have the relationship I know we always wanted to have.
He has seen the world ten times over, but has never fully lost his passion for music. Along the way, we picked up some cool musician friends from the UK - Phil Goodwin and Tom Kanach (Wale of Souls) from Asbury Park Jersey.
We now work together to get musicians, bands, and friends to record in our home studio's (Kolber Studios).
With the help and inspiration from our peers, Dan Smedily (Marquee/Kolber Studio's -3) , Mike Ian (Randori), Mike Vengo (Back Talk), and Dave Robinson (Bigg Romeo/Boperations) have helped given us direction and expert advise.
Not to mention, Dan Smedily designing and installing custom wiring, as well as, the overall studio layout of the studios, I don't think the studio would be as ergonomic and sound worthy as it is today without him.
Note about Jaco:
While on summer vacation during Junior High, 1979-80, me and my brother were watching HBO. We were flipping around the station (no remote's then) and came across "Shadows and Light " concert (1979-80). I remember me and my brother watching this guy with white pants and a red shirt with a red bandana. We both said, this guy is going to suck on bass. How wrong we were.
Low and behold it was our introduction to Jaco Pastorius. His open solo with his twin Acoustic Cabinets and a Tape Echo, he preformed the most incredible solo bass song I had ever seen. We watch the rest of the show with Joni Mitchell, (Rhythm Guitar Vocals) Pat Metheny (Lead Guitar), Lyle Mays (Keyboards), Michael Brecker (Sax), and Don Alias (drums). The world had changed for us that day.
Place of birth � Philadelphia, PA
Started playing Bass - age 11
Other instruments � Drums, percussion
First band - age 11
Bass Influences � John Paul Jones (Zeppelin), Jaco Pastorious (Weather Report), Victor L. Wooton (Bela Fleck), Chris Squire (Yes), James Jamerson (Motown), Paul McCartney -- Got to http://funkbassist.com for more info.
Drum Influences - Neil Peart (Rush), Stewart Copeland of The Police, Bill Bruford (YES), Steve Gadds (Steely Dan, Plus..), Terri Bozio (Zappa, Missing Persons), Dave Weckly (Chic Corea Electric Band), Tommy Igo (NY Voices), Jack Kolber (Arety), Mike Ianeri (FM), Bob Wilson (Marquee)
Favorite bands � Beatles, STP, Pearl Jam, Rush, Zeppelin, The Police, Pink Floyd, Bela Fleck, Erika Badu, Weather Report, Primus, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden,
Favorite album � Permanent Waves
Past bands � (�Little Rascals�, Riverton NJ), �Black Watch Drum and Bugle Corp.� Rhythm Method, Critics, Romp-A Go-Go, Undercover, Martin�s Law, B17 Blues Project, Big House Band, Undertow (Tom Kanach), Slamm Band
What�s your sign, baby � Gemini
Favorite causes � My Electric Bill and Mortgage. VH1 Save the Music � �not having any instruments in schools so that kids can express their musical abilities is one of the greatest tragedies of our times and I�ll do what I can to help prevent that from happening�.
Quote � �Criticism is a gift for self improvement,� Cendant Mortgage and �No good deeds is left unpunished,� Tim Treblok.
Nicknames � Captain T, �T�, TimmyK
Favorite songs � Hemispheres, Natural Sciences.
Favorite movies � �Glen Gary, Glen Ross�, �Matrixs Series�, �Shining�, �Kill Bill�
Favorite food � Chocolate
Drink of choice � Coffee
ATM pin number � GFYA
Hero � NONE or God