SIGNIFICANT DOCUMENTS, March 23 - In this photo, my grandfather Ralph throws himself into the role of Shylock, the timeless victim/villain of The Merchant Of Venice. From the look of sheer indignation on his face, he's probably at the top of Act 3 ("Hath not a Jew eyes"?). The picture was presumably taken sometime in the 1970's, during his time at Cal Poly Pomona.
Not being a musician, my own influences as a performer were largely visual. This picture was a big one. Now that I'm bandless, I have fewer opportunities to make this face in public. But occasionally some wayward barista or postal clerk will cross me and - blammo! - out comes the Shylock. It's a neat secret weapon, one of many things for which I owe my grandfather a debt of gratitude.