The Frisco Story

Bob...

"I grew up in the Sunset district of San Francisco. At age 6, I saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show and started begging for a guitar. My dad hated Rock'n'Roll and refused. I kept after him and finally got my 1st guitar in 1963. At the time, I was into The Ventures, Ray Charles and Country music.

I joined my first band the following year; guitar, bass, drums, and accordion. We played everything from 'Fly me to the Moon' to 'Louie Louie' and made $200 each playing City College dances, nice gig for a teenager!

In high school I got into Clapton, Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, and especially blues artists like Albert & B.B. King. I would sneak backstage at blues shows and pester everyone to show me a riff, which I'd practice to death until the next show.

In 1968 I bought a brand new Martin D-28 acoustic guitar and set off to become a sensitive singer-songwriter, performing at SF folk clubs with a 4-piece band. That group evolved into a 7-piece Rock'n'Roll circus called '90 Weight', playing Northern California clubs along with such notables as Mike Bloomfield, Charley Daniels, Little Feat, Elvin Bishop and others.

Next came a stint with the house band at the The Pierce St. Annex in North Beach. In '75 we went to Anchorage, Alaska to open Pierce St. Annex North. It was 6 nights a week, 7 hours a night, good money but a serious burn-out! Returning to San Francisco, I worked various local clubs with duos and trios, and began giving guitar lessons.

Suzy was one of my students."

Suzy...

"I was born and raised in Iowa, the youngest child and only girl. A perfect recipe for being spoiled rotten. Good thing my parents weren't rich!

I started playing flute at age 10 and though I remained in band, my passion moved to acting at 14. I majored in theater at the University of Iowa where I did summer stock and started a children's theatre company with some fellow actors, taking a production of 'Alice in Wonderland' to elementary schools in Iowa, Texas and Illinois.

Next it was off to New York City to study and eventually conquer Broadway. I lived with 3 dancers from San Francisco who convinced me SF might be a friendlier place to forge my career. One of the dancers was Bob's high school sweetheart and I spent my first few months in SF living with her and her parents.

I Joined 'The New Shakespeare Company of San Francisco' in '73 and spent a year touring college campuses all across the USA. After that it was 2 seasons with 'The Napa Valley Theatre Company', and then other companies in the Bay Area. I finally got my Actor's Equity card in '76 in a production of Jules Feiffer's 'Hold Me' at the Little Fox Theatre. During this time, I was also taking guitar lessons from Bob.

Things were moving from friendship to what would become a life sentence..."

1977 - Frisco is born...

"Between acting engagements, I was working at an Italian Restaurant in San Francisco called the Villa Romana. The owner asked if I knew any musicians who could play at his new place on Masonic St. I recommended Bob. The deal was free dinner and wine to audition. When I told Bob he said, 'You need dinner too, do the audition with me.'

So we played the five songs we knew together and got the job, 4 nights a week that stretched into 4 months of work. It was the beginning of an odyssey that would stretch from the Bay Area into Northern California and beyond.

In 1980 we started touring hotels and resorts in Canada, booked by an old friend of Bob's and former '90 Weight' member, Stephan Poulos. He kept us busy in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon for 5 years.

In 1986 we started criss-crossing the States, and ten years later packed up and moved from the Bay Area to North Liberty, Iowa. Bob still hasn't forgiven me.

It's been a great life for us!"