Rock Operas of Shaolin Records

1974 Bonita

Bonita was originally named, The Thrush. This is the first album written by me, then recorded by me and produced by me. That was as far as I could take this project in 1974 with no recording contract or relationship with any record companies. It wasn’t until 1984 that I founded my own independent record label, Shaolin Records. I recorded this album as the staff Record Producer and Recording Engineer of Bonita Studio in Bonita, California. I did it in my spare time, usually late at night and often with my many friends and the studio session players I befriended from recording sessions there. This album has songs inspired by a variety of factors while living in the huge A-frame house next to the recording studio.

I was 20-years old producing radio spots, recording demos for local artists, and engineering-producing a few Western-Country music albums. I also recorded several mariachi albums for bands that crossed the border from Mexico to record there. It was an incredible experience to be the staff producer-engineer and turn 21 while working there. A wealthy record producer and his wife took me out for my 21st birthday.

This album grew from one song I recorded at Bonita Studio as a paying customer, “Wishwood Bridge,” into an album of experimentation and inspiration. This album was recorded on a Tascam 4-track 1/2″ tape recorder. I got real good at 4-track recording in the two years I was an engineer here.

(This was also when I began the Autumn Flavours poetry book based upon an inspiration of life being lived in 4 seasons that repeat throughout a lifetime.)

1975 Underground

This was my FIRST album actually preconceived as a story or movie in my mind. I consider this to be my FIRST ROCK OPERA because I planned from the first to the last song with songs to tell the story.

This story plus the following rock opera story would be combined in 1984 to become the novel, Sid’s Place.

(This was inspired by the book Helter Skelter and my own experiences living on communes and hitchhiking across Canada and the United States.)

1976 In Violence

This was my SECOND album actually preconceived as a story or movie in my mind. This ROCK OPERA is a continuation of the story in the rock opera, “Underground,” starring Tom Calder.

(This was inspired by the book Helter Skelter and my own experiences living on communes and hitchhiking across Canada and the United States.)
(Tom Calder would become the bass player for American Zen in 1992. Sam Persons was the last bass player to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to record with American Zen. He was the bassist of the band Injun, who only performed a couple concerts but rehearsed in “The Bat Cave,” from 1986 to 1988.)

1976 The Pauper

This was my FIRST album actually preconceived as a story or movie in my mind. I consider this to be my FIRST ROCK OPERA because I planned from the first to the last song with songs to tell the story.

I produced this album at a 16-track recording studio in San Diego: Studio West. Since I was paying for the studio time I didn’t record the entire album. But the four songs we did record came out fantastic!

“The Pauper”

“Without You Day By Day”

“Beggar’s Call”

“Together And Free”

Scroll to Top