I grew up in Sudbury, Ontario. I came from a typical household, consisting of two brothers and myself, my mom and my dad too. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood. Most of my friends grew up to be either cops or gangsters, just like in the movies. So when I met them later, I had kind of an “in”. Ha-ha!
At age 10 we moved to the suburbs and lived a fairly typical life. I started school early, around age four, because I had turned five in November. I skipped grade four, so I was two years ahead of my age group and my classmates were two years older than I. When I started High School, it was fairly awkward socially. Luckily, I started playing the guitar in a rock n roll band at the exact time that the coolest thing you could do was to play guitar in a rock n roll band!
I had really fantastic parents. My mother was born in Scotland and came to Canada at an early age – 9 or 10 months. Strict, old-fashioned family, and she only spoke with that accent when she was mad at us.
My dad was and is my hero. Without exaggeration I can say that he was the smartest (and wisest) man I have ever met. He knew literally everything, and was unstoppable at trivial pursuit. He was born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario. My mother and he were High School sweethearts, and married young – 21 and 19 years of age. They came to Sudbury for a vacation and never left.
When I think about it, I don’t recall any family traditions as such. I do remember a LOT of love. My parents were always “smooching” and they were always hugging and kissing us. It took me years to realize that not everyone had that luxury. And that I have brought to my own family, today.
I began playing the guitar and music at about age 15 or 16. Singing too. You could say my life was about running away and joining the circus! I remember the day The Beatles made their first appearance live on American Television on the Ed Sullivan show.
February 9th, 1964. I was hooked. They were one of the biggest reasons I started playing music and desired to go on the road!