Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello and welcome

Welcome to my first attempt at blogging.  I’ve been resistant because I feel a little self-important getting on a soapbox like this.  When I tell stories of the music biz people are always telling me I should put it in the form of a blog.  So I finally succumbed to peer pressure.  Fortunately this is a soapbox that can be easily walked away from.  No hard feelings if you choose to.  I am planning to use as a platform for sharing my crazy stories about the music biz, gig stories, insights on bass playing, gear, my group Walk East, and life.

First I should share why I chose to name my group, and this blog, Walk East.  For my entire life I’ve had to live with people mispronouncing my last name.  It is sort of a custom in jazz to name groups after the leader.  When forming my own group I wanted to help people out.  I don’t care if people mispronounce my name but some people are absolutely socially paralyzed if they are concerned they are going to say someone’s name wrong.  In an effort to help those people out I chose Walk East.  Why Walk East?  Some sort of mystical significance?  A sort of spiritual journey?  Wrong and wrong. 

When I was in fourth grade we did a unit on the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  One afternoon two boys got into an argument and started calling each other names.  Seeing a teachable moment my teacher stepped in and pointed out that, in 1871, people were much more creative with insults.  This stopped the two boys short.  She went on to tell the boys that one of the popular insults of the day was to tell someone to ‘walk east’.  The boys looked at her with puzzled faces.  She then asked them what was east of us (in Chicago).  One boy answered “the lake”.  Exactly.  So she explained that telling someone to 'walk east' was telling them to go jump in the lake.

Fast forward 10 years to college.  The scene is a group of college students sitting around, probably with the help of some chemical amusement aid, sharing stories of their hometowns.  The topic hit on the Great Chicago Fire so I felt compelled to tell my story from fourth grade.  People loved it and one of my friends pointed out what a great band name 'walk east' would be.

The day came when I had a group of my own to name.  I thought back to that day.  I thought that it was a great combination of humor, my life experience, and would raise all sorts of questions for those not “in the know”.  Thus  WALK EAST.


  1. welcome to the bat cave..bassists often make good bloggers.

  2. Glad you got over the hesitation. Storytellers gotta tell their story!

  3. Marc, I'm digging the blog very much, but the white on black text is wreaking havoc on my poor retinas! Just sayin'!