Born in Winnipeg, Bob started playing piano when he was 13 years old. At the time, the only portable instruments available were the Vox Continental Organ and Farfisa portable organ, which were very expensive. With a little ingenuity, the bass player in Bob’s first band, Rick and the Ravens, was able to cut down a pump organ and power it with a vacuum cleaner. Add pick-ups in the pump organ and voila! A stage organ was created. Rick and the Ravens could now play all the hits that the group “The Animals” could play, and Bob was on his way to becoming the next Alan Price.
Skipping ahead to present day, Bob has worked with many bands in both Canada and the US, and has shared the stage with the likes of Kenny Loggins, Seals and Crofts, Canada’s Crowbar, Lighthouse, Tommy Hunter, the Alan Sisters, and many others. His fondest memories are of those early days on the prairies when he really learned the business of music.
Bob presently has 3 projects on the go; a 50s/60s band called The Regals, a classic rock band called One Night Only, and the talented Gorden James and The Good Guys Band. When he’s not playing, Bob can be found working at World of Music in Kelowna, B.C., selling top brands like Roland.
Bob plans to “Rock ‘til I drop, and have a ton of fun doing it!”.
Five Fast Facts About Bob
What is your favorite genre of music to play?
Being a seasoned musician (63 years old), I have played everything from country to what we now call ‘classic rock’, to jazz, to 50s/60s, to standards. I love it all! After all, it’s all great music.
What three songs are on every playlist you create?
- Take Me to the River (Commitments version)
- Summertime (Various arrangements)
- Stand By Me (simply because I like it!)
What is the most requested song you are asked to play?
Depending on which band or project I am in, the most requested song is still ‘Mustang Sally’.
What’s your favorite piece of Roland gear you own and why?
Definitely the Roland VK-8M. No question, the best Hammond organ emulator I have ever owned. It is accurately reminiscent of my B3/Lesley set-up I had in the late 60s and 70s.
What would you recommend other gigging keyboardists look for when searching out the ultimate rig?
Every keyboard player needs the 5 basic sounds: a great piano, awesome organs, Fender Rhodes sample, Hohner clavinet samples, and strings. Roland provides all of these in my rig. I have an RD-300GX MIDI’d to the VK-8M. This gives me everything I need.