The College Years

After graduating high school, I went to College at Boston University. I was pre-med, first a biology major and then a chemistry major. B.U. also has a respected School of Fine Arts, and I took a few elective music courses there ... theory, harmony, composition. I spent most of my study time on other sciences (at least the physics comes in handy now!), but I did learn quite a bit about music too. A great perk was that I had access to the piano rooms in the basement of the Fine Arts building. There were perhaps 20 of them or so .. some with outstanding pianos. They were soundproofed, and I could go there any time and rock out.

There was also a small room off the lobby of my dorm which had a spinet piano. I'd go there and play plenty loud ... looking for attention. Often people would pop in to see who was playing. It was during one of these deals that I met Rosemary, Louise and Jane ... who became three very close friends and, of course, musical inspirations. That's how it works, you know.

Amazingly, Aerosmith used to rehearse in the basement of my dorm. Can you believe that? It was 1971 and they were still unknown. I'd wander down there sometimes and listen. Very cool.

Another interesting side note: Howard Stern began attending BU's respected School of Communications in 1972, my second year there. I had some classes there too, but never met him. He was quite unknown at that time.

Through my two years at B.U. I whimsically performed solo in a number of local coffeehouses around Boston and Cambridge. I was just singing and playing piano ... a mixture of original songs and cover tunes.

My best college story by far is the following, which led to my writing a song called 'Michigan.' It's been a favorite of family and friends. Here's what happened:

My first semester, I was assigned to room with three other freshmen in a converted lounge. Somehow ... I don't know how ... I convinced my new room mate John to hitch hike with me to Michigan the first weekend we were there. He had a friend at U of M too. I thought it would be fun to surprise Dee.
(see the previous link 'Love+Music=')

I told the other two room mates: 'If Dee calls, you haven't seen me and you don't know where I am.' We left at about 10AM on a Friday morning. She called at about 3PM, 6PM and 10PM ... heard I was MIA ... and presumed I was out cheating on her already in the first weekend. Little did she know I was practically crawling across the country on my hands and knees to see her!

I got to her Ann Arbor dorm Saturday afternoon around 2PM. Her room mate gasped and said: 'She's in a friend's room down the hall, writing you a letter telling you what a jerk you are!'

I kid you not ... what happened next was just like those movie scenes on the beach in slow-motion. The door was open ... she was sitting on the bed writing ... I knocked ... she looked up ... blinked really hard about three times ... and then .... I swear there were violins playing as she burst into a huge smile and ran to me in slow motion. It was a moment that I will never forget.

I repeated this insane journey in December of that same year ... this time accompanied by a female hitching partner who was a friend of Dee's room mate and lived in the dorm next to mine. Small world. It was much easier getting rides with her ... but we did get stuck for about five hours in freezing cold and snow in Ohio.

Soon after, I wrote a song about these trips ... and the motivation behind them.
I recorded it once, but consider it an unfinished demo.
To wrap up this lovely, romantic story in a nice little bow ... click on the link below to hear 'Michigan.'

Eventually this link will play 'Michigan'

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