Bernie at John Palmer's in
Welcome to Songwriter's Journey!
Griff, Mark & Palmer was our band in the 70's in Marin county.
We practised as John's Palmer's house in Lagunitas, California. Those were great days. We enjoyed a lot of local gigs.
John was our dulcimer and rhythm guitarist. I played guitar rhythm and some lead too. We both had Martin D-18's. Mark
played a super fine fiddle. We played mostly folk, country, bluegrass and some folk rock. I was a public school teacher
for my day job, Mark Masarek was a full-time musician and part-time jack-of-all-trades. John managed a health foods store.
I was also playing with a friend I met at the San Francisco Folk Club who had just wizzed in from Paris, France and other
points international. Michael Brown had a basket full of instruments and played them all quite well. We decided to form a
team and called ourselves Griff 'n Brown. We played at Straw Hat Pizza in Greenbrae, The Fondue Pot in Mill Valley,
The Spaghetteri in Redwood City just south of San Francisco three times a week, we played at the Sleeping Lady in Fairfax,
And the Palms Cafe in San Francisco at Haight & Ashbury, we played at the Spaghetti Factory in Greenbrae and Palo Also.
Gad, we had a great time playing all over the place! He was Magical and I was Uncle Bernie in our dialoging with the clientele.
Michael played clarinet, piccilo, melodica, flute, bongos, Irish Penny
Whistle, maracas, cabassa and of course a giannini Brazillian
nylon stringed guitar! Michael was trained as an actor and was a terrific MC type of guy. He could get anyone to sing along, had
a marvelous voice and was quick as a wit-witty. I learned a lot from his tutoring me to what we called "Patter" with the crowd.
At the Spaghetteri in Redwood City, we would go from table to table
taking patter turns and ask for a request. We had a back and forth
zany routine (we thought it was great!) we did. then sang a song. After
hitting about 4 or 5 tables we went up to the small stage and
did a set for about an hour. We had a lot of folk songs we both knew and we had put in our hours of practice at Michael's place
in Mill Valley till we had it down cold. Michael had us practising the "patter" till we had that down cold too!
It was fun in those days playing all over and I was living at Tam Valley at the time. We played at a place in Tam Valley called
The Persian Palace or something to that effect. It was a great gig.
At the top that's Steve McCarty and I at a gig in San Rafael. Steve was writing "Wild Moubntain Honey" at the time. Steve Miller
later recorded on his album "Fly Like An Eagle". That D-28S Martin I'm playing Steve managed for me along with an order
to Manny's in New York put in by the Steve Miller Band. I was happy to get it! The year was 1975. So my Martin is 35 years old!
It's years later now and I'm living with my wife Mina, our cockatiel
"Duke" and our miniature Schnauzer "Toby". I run a Professional
Recording Studio: Back Roads Productions and Gospel Trax Recording in
Redding, California. I was in business for almost 5 years but
the technology of home recording took care of the small recording
studios. I also have a Christian Music Recording Ministry I am very
proud of where I give free recording time to who ever has Christian
songs or music to record. I limit it to 3 hour sessions and have done
14 Christian Projects so far. So give me a shout on the cyber horn and let's talk...hope to be hearing from you.
So friends welcome again to "Songwriter;s Journey" and as you breeze through the pages and songs, stories and lyrics, CDs and
links, you'll be on another journey I'm sure you'll fine engaging. Bernie