A Page Of God and Musical Appreciation

                                         The House Of The Magic Moose

First and foremost, God Rocks and Rules!!! Salvation through Jesus Christ is paramount, especially in this day and age. The proof of this is blatant and obvious just about any and everywhere one chooses to look. Living in the Santa Cruz, CA area, I see about me everyday our dire need for the very love, joy, peace, and true freedom that is graciously given to us by God through Jesus Christ. We of this planet need to concentrate more on Him who is all things and a whole lot less on we who are not very many things at all. We need to lay down our remotes, our gadgets, our prides, and our lusts, and pick up a Bible. We seem to not have a problem with running out and buying the latest trinkets, studying the owners manuals, and then sitting back as we relish the belief that somehow with these things our lives will now be more simple and complete. Yet we will not take the time to read the owners manual for our own life.
 
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
 
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
An existence of which I had no idea was possible opened up and took me in the moment I dedicated myself to God through Jesus Christ. I have a testimony that would suck up bandwidth from here to there. Miracles have happened before my eyes that most people either don't see or don't understand...lives changed in the midst of some of the most insidious and degrading circumstances and behaviors that one could imagine. Not the least of which was mine. I was always fond of saying that I would sooner believe in little green men from outer space than in God. Well, God showed up. The little green men didn't. Thank you, Jesus.
 
 
So...What exactly is a "Magic Moose"?

Long ago, in times best referred to as learning sectors, I was given the nickname "The Magic Moose". It was a time of nonsense and levity, tinged and fueled by indulgence. In later times, it dawned on me that it would be a unique name for my forays into the artistic universe. So was born "Magic Moose Productions", lovingly lorded over by none other than...me...Steve Smith. Well, that's Steven J. Smith to various nefarious agencies and outlets of human misunderstanding and torture. Call me Steve, and in light of that informality, enjoy this space. I currently reside in Scotts Valley, a small and historical community on the central coast of California. I have been a musician all of my life, and have been a professional musician almost that long. I play the electric bass, the guitar, and I can sing, but lay no claim to being a singer. I play a wide variety of styles, which seems to fit into the diversity that my generation is noted for. I enjoy reading the Bible, photography, cooking, and aquariums. Sit back and relax. This is a place of artistic integrity and social concern. In other words, we do not allow attitudes around here. Leave them at home. The price of admission to this site is the content of your character. It is all that counts.

I dislike richly talking bout myself, but here goes...

In the olden golden times I was blessed with some amazing musical opportunities.  The first was being taught by Harold "Hal" Wetherwax. He is an accomplished musician who taught during the day and gigged around the L. A. area at night. He did more than play, he taught me how to be a musician. He had me on stage making money at the ripe old age of 9 or so, and taught me those things that you never get in a room playing scales. Things like showing up on time, courtesy, respect for not only the people you were playing for but yourself. I started on the guitar, and still play it, but at a gig one night in our little combo, he had me play the electric bass for one song. I fell in love and that was the end of my guitar ambitions. Along with the solid musical basics, he taught me to play all styles so I would never have to turn down a gig, and the concept that if I would learn to sing, I would always be in demand. He also taught me two extremely important things about not only being a musician, but about life...have fun playing your instrument, and no strife. Thank you, Hal. Along with Hal, I have always said that my other "teachers" at the time were Paul McCartney, and though very few people had any idea whom they were at the time, James Jamerson and the amazing Carol Kaye. I studied a lot, as musicians do, with records and radios.

During my young years, I was afforded the opportunity to spend time onstage with Lou Rawls (with the amazing Jimmy Williams on drums), Bill Medley, Freddie Fender, Jay Graydon, Mike Wetherwax, Mike Lipe, John Debney, Frank Hayes, George Bell, and Paul Schaeffer. However, a lot of playing has gone on lately since moving to the Santa Cruz area in 1994, and it is with much gratitude and humility that a look back provides me with fond memories of great music and even greater musicians who have given to me their time and wisdom. I thought that a mention of them would be appropriate as time moves on and past the millenium. Special thanks to...in no particular order...Leo DeRuntz, John McCabe, Ron Uslaner, Dave Clarke, Nico Spence, Quenston Staten, Randy Hayes, Shad Harris, Rick Walker, Rick Castella, Jimmy Sanchez, Robert Holmes, Jimmy Norris, Mike Daugherty, Ron E Beck, Russ Stemple, Keith Graves, Mike Vanderhule, Eric Gunn, Peter Booris, Dave Tucker, Keith Wald, Jimmy Jam, Dan Thompson, Bryant Mills, Dennis Dove, Allan Kreitzer, June Core, Michael Jiggetts, Brian Loftus, Carveth Clauson, Butch Cousins, Larry O'Bannon, Olaf Schiacapasse, Jim Baum, Todd McMaster, Tim Allan, Endre Tarczy, Victor Little, Doug Polhaimus, Dennis Murphy, Myron Dove, Nate Pitts, Craig Owens, Tim Miller, Ron Madrosian, Omar Spence, Ernie Buck, Larry Doan, Paul Sampson, Ron Thompson, Terry Hiatt, Mani Mandrix, Bryon Berkes, Laura Chavez, Richard Becker, Allan Frank, Randy Sauro, Oliver Harris, Mike Schermer, Miko, John Wedemeyer, Jerry Shanahan, Rene Solis, Johnny Cat, Bruce Ferrell, Bill Cefalo, Shawn Gonzales, Art Floresca, Stuart Horton, John Davis, John Morris, Garth Weber, Vernon Davis, Becki DiGregorio, Steve Kirby, Ike Cosee, Ken Arconti, Richard Leigh, Rick Torres, Dan Stromb, Greg Chansky, Vinnie Peterson, Dave Barrett, Marc Bass, Frank Ramos, Jim Hannibal, Doug Rowan, Wes Anthony, Gary Regina, Tom Politzer, Jack Bowers, Robin Spence, Lizz Fischer, Brian Chester, Don Edmonds, Rick Knight, Neal Panton, Otis Coen, Stephen L. Bigger, Sean Spurr, Dennis Holseybrook, Archie Hooker, John Lee Hooker, Jr., Jen Miller, Rose Senteney, Sherry Bright, Carly Gerwig, Valerie Fiddmont, Lara Price, Pam Hawkins, Melanie Redman, Kyle Moran, and Jennifer Allan. There have been countless bands whoever I was playing with have shared the stage and warmed up for, such as Chris Cain, Lydia Pence and Cold Blood, Debbie Davies, Coco Montoya, and Noel Redding, to name a few. To them goes my utmost love and respect...for the teamwork and musicianship. They make playing fun.


And some very special thanks go to four people I consider special friends and mentors...Jack Bowers, a man who fulfilled a great need at a very unique period in my life. He is an extraordinary person, musician, teacher, and friend. Steve Knobles, a bass player who keeps it on the floor. He is always there when I need him in whatever form I need him...as a musician, as my music equipment consultant, and, most of all, as my teacher and friend. To John Garcia, a musician who keeps it in the clouds. In my time with his band, he continually taught me hard, and taught me well. He has opened up my heart, ears, and eyes to things that I took for granted. And, to Lauri Hofer Romero...vocalist extraordinnaire, musician, confidante, my friend...my hero.

Thank you, all...

I want to also send my best and direct your attention to the folks at Alembic in Santa Rosa, California. In 49 years of playing, I have witnessed the birth and constant maturation of the electric bass guitar. For all of us who are from around my generation and always have been in love with the instrument, it started with Leo Fender and his monumental yet simple genius that was tempered with the sensibilities of the common man. The custom made, or boutique bass, began a short time later with the fluid and vivid imaginations of Ron and Susan Wickersham along with their, for lack of a better term, merry pranksters who gave to us The Alembic Series Bass. Combining that bottom line ethic of Leo Fender with an endless universe of possibility is what makes a true and ideal icon. For me, Alembic is the consummate electric bass, and where my search for perfection ends. Instances in a lifetime that provide a musician with that "special" instrument are rare at best. The instruments created by these folks are alive as the music that they allow us to create. They are, hands down, the finest instruments I have ever been afforded the privilege to play. Thank you, Ron, Susan, Mica, and all at Alembic.

Finally, as I look back from where I am at this particular point, I must give praise to one moment and share the highest musical compliment ever given to me. It was so special that I have since considered it one of the high points of my musical career. While playing one of those gigs we all take from time to time...a duo gig
with John Garcia at a well-to-do pizza parlor, of all places...we were playing our last set and we heard someone say "Louie Bellson is here". I shouted out sarcastically, "I hope he brought his kit". As it turned out, it was, in fact, the great Louie Bellson. As I worked my way through the folks to try and get into the restaurant, I looked over at the booth where a small crowd had gathered, and amazingly enough, there sat Louie Bellson. He glanced at me and asked, "Aren't you the bass player"? I was stunned as he nodded to his right and patted the seat next to him in his booth. We talked for the better part of half an hour and as I got up to leave, he said, "You're a great bass player". Thank you, Louie.

As always, these pages change. I am still trying to figure out the new and mysterious Google web page. Have patience and please come back soon.


Victory in Jesus Christ
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