MP3 Rob Lawrence - MYSTIC SHEPHERD, Future Memory
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8 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Pop Crossover, NEW AGE: New Age
Rob Lawrence was born, Robert Howard Lawrence, on June 14th, 1955 at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA. His parents met in 1952 at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, while both were studying to be career music teachers. They taught music in public schools all of their lives. Rob's Mom, Betty, taught Violin and Instrumental Music, and Rob's Dad, Tom, taught Choir, Drama and Math. Sports were not popular in this world of music, and Rob, at age 5 began Piano Lessons in 1960. He can't remember is first Piano teacher's name, probably because he used to cry a lot in his lessons, however, his mom heard of a wonderful teacher in Pittsburg, CA, named Madeline Caruso. She had many students and held recitals many times a year. This gave Rob his first taste of performing, all very exciting. He studied with Mrs. Caruso for about 3 years until she died of Diabetes suddenly. The greatest thing she did for Rob was to give him a sense of confidence in himself. At the last lesson he had before she died, not knowing what was going to happen of course, she listened as Rob performed a piece from memory for an up-coming recital. She sat quietly after he finished, then told him that he should never give up, and if he continued, he would do very special things with music in his life. Strange thing for her to say, not knowing it was the last lesson. He never forgot this combination of praise that was also a bit of a burden for an 8 year old.
Without much encouragement from his parents to participate in sports, Rob did the next most obvious thing; he tried his best to be popular with the other kids by becoming known as the kid in class that played piano. By the 4th Grade, he started learning Cello and playing in the school orchestra. He took lessons from Maurice Bergen (Concord, CA). This was Rob's first exposure to traditional German personalities, and a bit of an emotional challenge. He later took lessons from Ariel Whitbeck (Danville, CA), Mildred Rosner (Berkeley, CA), and Renee Sharp at SF State University. In 6th Grade, Rob began to learn Trombone from Dennis Bell. Rob enjoyed this tremendously because this allowed him to participate in Jazz Band, the coolest music group in school that actually got some respect from the general student population. If you weren't playing sports, then Jazz Band was the next best thing. This continued through the years under the instruction of Loren White, and Don Young in High School, and onto SF State University's Concert Band.
Rob graduated from Antioch Sr. High School, Antioch, California in June 1973, and worked a couple of summers between school for his uncle, John Foote, building vacation cabins around Pine Grove, CA.
Between 1973 and 1975, Rob attended San Francisco State University as a Cello Major, also playing Cello in the SF State University Symphony under the direction of Lazslo Varga, the Principle Cellist of the famous NY Philharmonic during its years with Leonard Bernstein. This was all very challenging (to say the least about a kid from small town USA, not to mention being so worn out from "too much fun"), and ended up with Rob leaving school going back to live with mom and dad. After 6 months of rest, Rob went back to school at the local community college, Los Medanos in Pittsburg, CA, included course work in Psychology, Biology, Creative Writing, English and Music.
Through 1978, he earned all he could working for one of the oldest, most experienced, and music store owners ever, Jimmie Webb (what a character!) at Webb's Music Center, Antioch, CA. There were a lot of local musicians coming and going at the store, and soon Rob had become acquainted with and had joined a local band of friends as it's Bass Player. Soon, he moved onto and joined a local Antioch, CA Top 40 Band "Promise". Band members included Antioch High School Band Teacher, Don Young, and other High School students he had gone to school with from the Jazz Band. On recommendation of Don Young, this band took Vocal Lessons with Bob Boyle (emphasis on group harmony vocals) at Family Light Music School (Sausalito, CA: the same building that later became the Record Factory Recording Studios). This period also included Hammond Organ Lessons with Merl Saunders (Alumni of Jerry Garcia Band, Grateful Dead, Buffy St. Marie, among many others).
Rob's first experience actually working in an all-original band was with "Humblebee", a band he formed with local musicians Milt Haverty, Lance Richard, and Gary Reilly who was later replaced by Ken Shugarts. This band lasted long enough to record a couple of demos with not much success, leaving Rob and Lance Richard in search of a new band. By 1980, Lance discovered a great lounge band called "Electric Wood". It wasn't too long before both Rob and Lance had joined and replaced the other drummer and keyboard players in that band, later adding Rob's sister, Katy, as lead singer. They traveled as six band members and performed all over the Western USA, meeting many friends along the way. "Electric Wood", eventually morphed into "Dawn Patrol". We played all over Western USA, favorites including local Reno, Nevada venues: Delmar Station and The Grand Ballroom.
All this time, Rob had been writing and recording on his own, not only Rock Music, but Classical Compositions as well as for String Quartet and other Orchestral based works. He also did commercial work, hired to do soundtrack music for one of the first computer animation films ever, "Carla's Island", which was developed as a project by Nelson Max, a Mathematician at Lawrence Livermore Lab in Pleasanton, California. This was a turning point for Rob, learning to love the studio work, but torn between that and performing live with the band. He chose the band.
While on the road in Bishop, California, and the next night on St. Patrick's Day in Mammoth Lakes, CA, Rob met and fell in love with his one and only "one night stand", Jan Green. She ended up jumping in the van with the band and away they went. It's been 20 years now and 3 kids later. Rob and Jan finally married 2 years ago.
After all this time, and several careers later (Rob worked for KSRV Radio, Ontario, Oregon as a Radio News Reporter/On-Air Personality responsible for collecting, writing, interviewing and reporting the news in the local Ontario, Oregon market area), Rob has finally found his way back to the music world, playing in a Classic Heavy Metal Band, "Crosshair Culture", and running his own Record Label, "Humblebee Records, Inc."
Rob is always asked, "What kind of music do you like?" his response typically is, "good music, there's only two kinds, good and bad". For Rob, the music comes from somewhere else, it comes through at the oddest moments, and can be any style, he likes it all, and just considers it his burden/joy to bring it to life. Rob performs all instruments on these recordings, and would have used Soprano Sax and Oboe if he had ever had the patience of learning these too. His goal is to do more and more film music, which he absolutely loves, and play as much Heavy Metal as his ears can tolerate. This, he craves, which is a real surprise to him because he didn't particularly like it before, now being a recent convert to Metal and mourning the years he didn't listen to ACDC.
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