Jan-Feb — Working as a software consultant, living with three roommates in a small but sufficient house in northeast Nashville. I was in search of either a new home or a studio space where I could resume working on the songs I started writing in 2019 during my residency in Memphis. Going to a Crossfit gym a few times a week.
Mar-Apr — Pandemic starts the day I sign the lease to a studio space. Considering I still lived with three other people in a small house, it was perfect timing since I started having to work remotely. I spent every day working from my studio, and every night playing drums, singing, or playing guitar at my studio, recording and working on new music.
May — I woke up one morning in early May with my left arm incapacitated with pain. A case of golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow, I thought from drumming so much, but it was really due to a chronic issue (infection in my chest). I am unable to play guitar or drum, and my voice is also affected. One of my roommates moves out, so I begin to be able to work from home.
Jun-Jul — Another roommate moves out, and I am left with just one. I begin cooking more to try to heal myself, as well as a creative outlet since I am unable to play music. I am taking hikes at the numerous beautiful parks in Nashville. I visit my brother and his wife in Buffalo for a week in July. I have an acupuncture session that relieves my pain a little, but also points me in the direction of using massage as healing modality. I start running in July.
Aug — I visit a good friend in Washington DC while trying to get permission to fly to Jordan to visit my ailing mother. She passes away on Aug 21. I am grateful to be with my friend in DC, and not alone in Nashville.
Sept — I spend almost the entire month with my brother and his partner in Westchester NY. I’m running regularly and discovering deeper health issues, while my arm heals slowly and steadily.
Oct-Nov — I’m back in Nashville, working, cooking, and beginning to resume work on music.
Dec — I’m in Westchester again for the holidays.
Jan — Living in Buffalo, getting going through all my personal belongings in preparation for my move to Memphis for my artist residency at Crosstown Arts. I knew I wasn’t coming back to NY, so I purged most of my belongings, kept a few things in Buffalo, and brought down to Memphis everything that I needed to work on new songs.
Feb-Apr — Living in Memphis at Crosstown Concourse for my three month artist residency.
May-Jun — Subletting a friend’s room in Nashville, unsure where I was going to end up but attempting to live wherever I found a place.
July-Dec — Living with Julian, Evan, and Brooke in my own room in Nashville. Looking for a software development job so I could start earning to pay off my debt and pay for making another record. I found a job in Nov and started working the week of Thanksgiving, Nov 25.
Jan-Feb — Finishing my days living on Monitor St in Brooklyn, NY, getting ready to go off on tour in support of Hahaha.
Mar-Jun — Toured the US with my band (Sam Gehrke on bass, Nick Dooley on drums), as well as solo with Rick Maguire. Played lots of shows with Washer and Bethlehem Steel, as we all drove down to Austin, TX for SXSW together in the same van, and I played guitar for BSteel as well. Hahaha was released on Exploding in Sound records on April 20, 2018.
July-Aug — Toured Europe solo, and then took the month of August to keep traveling through Europe on a vacation after months of touring. Played in Holland, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. Then traveled to France and UK on vacation.
Sept-Oct — Visited my mother in Jordan, and then returned to NY, floating on friends couches and beds while I playd a few shows and got ready to head to Buffalo. Lived out of my storage unit in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Nov-Dec — Moved all my stuff out of storage and drove it up to Buffalo to live with my brother and his wife for three months before my move to Memphis for my artist residency at Crosstown Arts.
Jan-Feb — Living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, working on new recordings and the last song recorded for Hahaha with Alex Molini.
Mar — Went on tour playing bass for Jackal Onasis to Austin, TX for SXSW. Toured with Ovlov on the way back to NY.
Apr-Jun — This was a good time for me. I was freelancing as a software developer while playing music with my band at the time (Leanne Bowes on bass and Max Almario on drums). I was going out a lot and was feeling loved. I led the band for John Early’s “Literally Me” show at The Bell House in Brooklyn for Pride weekend in June.
July-Aug — I had my heart shattered for the second time in less than a year by the same woman — obviously I’m a fool and take responsibility. I sunk into a depression and lost my mojo for a few months
Sept-Oct — Still depressed from heartache, but started getting back on my feet. Still living in Brooklyn.
Nov-Dec — Finished up artwork and production for Hahaha. Started booking a US tour for Spring 2018 in support of the album that was going to be released.
Jan-Mar — Lived in Brookline, MA with Kris Kuss to work on songs for what would become Hahaha. Rehearsed a few times a week with Kris, while writing dedicating most of my time towards making a good record. No other job at the time, so no income, and I was living off of borrowed money. Recorded most of the basic tracks for the record with Mark Fede in Allston, MA at his newly constructed studio on Rugg Rd — we were the first project to record in there.
Oct — I go on my first solo tour, performing all around the Northeast US.
Apr — After a short battle with cancer, my father passes away at NYU Hospital.
Mar — Started trying to learn fingerstyle guitar. Wrote “Terran Holiday”, which I consider to be the first song I really wrote.
May — Got dumped by my girlfriend, and I moved into a sublet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, and I quit my job all in the same week.
Jun-Jul — Lived alone for the first time in my life, in the sublet. Cried a lot, played a lot of guitar and wrote a lot of music. Slept a lot, started working out regularly for the first time in my life.
Aug — Moved into my own very small room in an apartment with some friends in a less nice part of Williamsburg. I was extremely depressed and heartbroken, but playing music almost every night.
Oct — My father is diagnosed with lung cancer
Jan — Drove back to NYC and resumed work as a software consultant. Lived in Manhattan with my younger brother and my then girlfriend.
Nov-Dec — Quit my job as a software developer and drove out to Yucca Valley, CA from NYC with my then girlfriend to live in a remote home in the high desert. The property bordered Joshua Tree National Park, and we lived there without TV or internet. She wrote her screenplays and I wrote music, rediscovering guitar and composition after a few years of a rut. I discovered Bob Dylan (thanks to a Christmas gift of the great documentary film No Direction Home by Martin Scorsese), and John Lennon’s first solo album.
Dec — Started to play with Dima Drjuchin and Jonas Fields in Mother of Three.
Moved to Astoria, Queens, NY. Lived with a couple Filipino brothers for less than a year but more than just a few months. At some point they had seven people staying with them!
May — Left Brown University having “graduated”.
May — Graduated high school from UNIS.
Left UNIS to go to Stuyvesant High School. Discovered Jimi Hendrix thanks to my friend Ernesto Archila. His step-dad turned him onto to Jimi, and he passed me a tape in the hallway at Stuy. I must have listened to “Red House” about a hundred times the day I discovered it. I loved that Hendrix was lefty too. I was very depressed at Stuy, feeling very out of place and also had my heawrt broken by my girlfriend Carole Waters, who cheated on my with Ernesto, claiming she was a polygamist (we were in 9th grade).
Obsesed with guitar, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam. Bugged my dad until he bought me an electric guitar (a cheap Ibanez) and a practice amp (a small Peavey).
Obsessed with Alice in Chains, comic books, and girls. Got my first guitar, a big eastern European babe as old as I am with two soundholes, dusty old strings, and strung righty. Discovered I played guitar lefty, and played with the strings in reverse order for my first year until I broke a string and decided to change all the strings and string it correctly. Started relearning guitar.
Obsessed with Aerosmith (thanks to MTV), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and girls.
Aug — Moved back to NYC. Took a helicopter from JFK to the heliport on 34th St for the first time. Our cat Rudi pissed in his kennel after holding it in for way too long (transatlantic flight all the way from Jordan). You almost made it little guy.
Dec — Moved to Khartoum, Sudan with my family for my father’s job at the UN.
I started kindergarten classes at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, which is where I continued to go to school almost every year through high school. This is when I really started becoming self-aware. I was watching lots of MTV and loved David Lee Roth, and later become obsessed with Steve Vai’s guitar playing.
This is all what I was told, as my memories from this period are understandably scant. Born in Manhattan, NY at Bellevue Medical Center (I’m in Bellevue, Nashville right now as I type this!). Lived in Tudor City, Manhattan for the first couple weeks of my life, then moved to Waterside Plaza, where my family lived until 2014. I attended nursery school at Waterside. My only really clear memory from this period was going to the hospital with my dad, where he gave me a rose to hand to my mother. She was in a hospital bed, and I didn’t really understand what was happening at the time, but realized later it was 1982, when my younger brother was born.