Berklee really did it for me. The school gave me a very singular insight into my creative process that simply doesn’t quit. Any genre, anytime; personal or business; I just don’t seem to hit any brick walls and, I only seem to be getting more excited as the years pass! Needless to say, the lifelong friendships and memories established during our eight years in and out of Boston, are absolutely priceless.
My program was The Jazz Composition & Arranging Degree and my instrument major was percussion. I had to change my instrument major to mallets exclusively because that was my whole thrust for being there as far as my main axe was concerned. I did however, get a lot of excellent drum set instruction that first semester.
1976 was a very pivotal year for me, with Shelly in her final trimester, staying with her parents, waiting for Henry to arrive and me starting college so far away. Every Friday, after my arranging class, I would hop into our van and drive the 883.2 km, Mass Pike, then New York Thruway to Toronto (3 times until our first of three beautiful sons actually arrived!).
…a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!
Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!
I had been on the road three years before coming to Berklee, so I knew the ropes and set out to find a working band to make some extra cash when I wasn’t in school; I answered an ad for a drummer. We were to play a series of Chinese food restaurants within 100 km radius of the school that featured music for dancing. The band consisted of a female lead singer, a guitar player, who is a dear friend to this day, a Cordovox player who punched bass as well and myself on drums (I still dragged my vibes along to play ballads). We played all over Massachusetts and New Hampshire. That era makes me think of Year Of The Cat, Al Stewart; Cold As Ice, Foreigner; Blue Bayou, Linda Ronsdadt; 9 To 5, Dolly Parton etc.; lightweight MOR of the times was our thing. We played together 2 years.
Interesting contrast to the music I wanted to create; I was either in school or playing and balancing my family life; interesting times!
*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.