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BOB FUNK - BREKENRIDGE
At 18, My brother and I ended up in the mountains in Breckenridge Colorado for a while and stayed with a good friend Bob Funk. Bob was a great trombone player and the 3 of us played Jazz in a small club in town during the winter. We played some amazing music together. Bass, Rhodes Piano & Trombone was a very cool sound. Bob went on to play with the great horn section "The Uptown Horns" that has worked with all the greats in the industry from the Rolling Stones to James Brown, these guys play with everyone! If you ever get a chance to see or work with Bob, do yourself a favor and don't miss the opportunity! He is the Best!!
FULL CIRCLE BAND - EVERGREEN
We eventually moved back to Denver where I had met a drummer who was going on an audition in Evergreen for a band and asked if I wanted to take a ride with him to a place called the Brook Forest Inn.
Brook Forest Inn Evergreen Colorado
I Eventually found my own place in Idledale. It was a dump but it only cost me 50 bucks a month! The band went through bass players and drummers rather quickly. Kenny & David the two guitar players and I worked with many rhythm sections over several years. There was another great band living in Idledale right above my house called the Backstreet Band. They had an incredible Bass player Jeff Watnee and a Drummer Danny. After Steven Flack left the band with Lawrence Clow one of many drummers we had played with, we hooked up with Jeff and Danny and continued to play shows in Denver and in the mountains. I don't remember why they left but the third and last rhythm section we would work with were from a band called Yukon Railroad. Bass player Joe Leonardi and drummer Butch Wagstaff.
Full Circle Band
I tagged along and ended up meeting a great group of guys who were forming a new band. The drummer turned out to be not so great but they wanted me to stay so I fired the drummer on the spot and didn't leave for the next 7 years. We formed a band called The Full Circle Band and quickly became very popular throughout the Rockies. We even recorded the first NFL Broncos Record called Orange Crush! We all lived together in the Brook Forest Inn and took over the club in the back room where we quickly became the band to party with in Evergreen. We had some wild times there and most importantly I met the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. But she was with the guitar player at the time and we became best friends but it wasn't until years later that we would actually be together and get married.
House in Idledale
Steve Flack and I at Brook Forest
Heart is Shinning - Full Circle Band
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AUTONA - A MULTI-MEDIA ROCK OPERA
The Full Circle Band eventually dissolved. Joe & Butch and I became real good friends and continued to work together. Joe and I wrote a Musical Opera based on Dickens Christmas Carol. It was Called "Autona" short for autonomous.
It was a story of an Oil Exec who meets a Part of himself, and she takes him through three states of his Planets evolution, the past, present and the future. With video monitors and a geodesic dome stage it was developed around Buck Minster Fullers concept of design science. Design is a process of making dreams come true.
I went to NYC to try and sell it and met with Clive Davis through a series of friends. He told me I didn't ask for enough money so he passed on it.
We formed a band around the show called the Autona Subsidy to pay for posters and recording and we all had a great time doing this but the show was never produced in it's entirety.
We even designed this poster above to promote the show and get feedback from colleges and universities to see if they would be interested in booking it. The top Dark Blue part was the Main poster and we added a serrated bottom strip with several questions they could fill out, peel off and send back. We got about 95% return on our mailing and everyone of them wanted to book the show. But eventually we all ended up going our separate ways and Autona was never produced!
Autona - Joe Leonardi & Chris Meredith
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LINDA DIANE DUNLAP
Many things happened in Colorado but the most important one in my life was meeting Lovely Linda!! At the time she was living with the guitar player in the Full Circle Band but was completely off limits. That was sacred ground that I would never cross but from the first day I saw her at the Brook Forest Inn I was completely smitten by her! We became best friends over the years and eventually the guy she was living with, cheated on her and left and one day after that she came to my house in Idledale to supposedly take a shower, haha, and we ended up in there together. We fell in love! After all of our friends and the band left Colorado for greener pastures it was Linda and I that took all our belongings and stored them in a Denver Storage Rental place. She went on to Dance in Maui Hawaii and I left for New York City, not exactly sure why we didn't stay together than but several years later she came to NYC to get me to get her stuff back to her from storage and it was like she had never left. We fell deeply in Love once again and eventually got married. She is my soul mate and my true best friend and the love of my life!
I had returned to Colorado to play in yet another band but my brother tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident so I returned home. After several months back on the island one day I got a call from David Robinson the guitar player in the Full Circle Band. He said that Doug Kershaw, the Famous Cajun Fiddle Player, was looking for a keyboard player and that I should come out and try out for the spot. I left the next day and after a week of rehearsal went out on tour with him all over the country! Was a very strange tour! We started in Missoula Montana as the main act at the Krueger Beer Festival where Bonnie Raitt opened the show for us and we played for 25,000 drunk college kids and then 3 days later played Blood River Landing a swamp in Louisiana for 50 people! And then on to the pitchers mound at the Superdome in front of 75,000 people for the Gumbo Cookoff to the steps of Philly under the Rocky statue to play for the city of Philadelphia. It was definitely an interesting tour. We also did a show with Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Jr at the Austin Opry House in Texas. We ended after 6 months on the road returning to Colorado and played at Red Rocks Amphitheater. It was a great show but at the end we all quit! We were all so exhausted by then and everyone really was ready for a break and something new. But I learned so much about performance and being on stage from Doug as he was an amazing showman. It really was an honor to work with him and he helped me form a much better understanding of what it took to being a live performing artist! Forever Grateful you were amazing to work with!
David Robinson and I with Kershaw
During this time I continued playing and recording with various local artists and a good friend of mine, Jac Murphy who was the keyboard player for Michael Murphy, had gotten hurt in an airplane accident and asked me to fill in for him and Michael at another Red Rocks show. It was the Pepsi Cola Festival, Steve Martin opened the show and the main act was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I have a video somewhere that I will post once I find it!
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