Thomas Bradley MuseI spent a whole lot of time in my final high school years in an ad-hock bedroom /art studio in the basement of my parent’s house, Wantagh, NY. Records from Steve Miller, ELO, Doors, Pink Flyod, Yes, The Who wore thin.
Lights out, speakers carefully positioned around a pillow on the floor, I could hear every corner of those recordings, every breath. After school, on weekends WNEW’s gurus kept me hearing more. DJ’s like Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa and Pete Fornatale knew what was happening, what hadhappened and even what may happen in rock and shared it. I was stoked, sucking it all up. Music seemed like the most powerful force in the world.
Those days TV would have music specials mydad would make me sit and watch. Johnny Cash, June Carter, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Elvis to name a few. Whenever theycame on he would call me up from my room make me watch. These were real characters to me at the time, but my Dad knew better. Thanks to him, this music too is now very much a part of my soul. Love you Dad!
Sadly, I was resigned to never control or create the great forcecalled music. I tried for 30+ years off and on to play something, anything. Trumpet in elementary school, pan flute at our stoner conventions in the woods, piano, harmonica and guitar. On and off and off and on for decades. So sad, but nothing ever stuck. I would try, eventually quit, and move on. Words always came easy though; story lines, narratives, ideas always flowed naturally.
Melodies were a constant companion, one after another, always a great distraction from the stress of conformity and adult expectations. My incessant writing of plays, poetry, short storieslead me to an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Philosophy from Albany University in 1986.
My musical frustration all began to change when I met a girl (hah! always a girl). A beautiful girl at that who played guitar, could sing andp erform like nobody’s business. We started dating and she brought a guitar on our first surf trip together to the Caribbean in 2002. With her loving coaching, advice to focus on rhythm above all else, I improved. With the relaxed lifestyle of surf and sun I improved. Calmly, I began to play music.
This time it was different, sticky. Now I don’t like being without the guitar, quiet moments on the beach, airport lounges, anywhere anytime. Making music is life. Writing words to music and music to words! It’s magical, powerful, spiritual. Jettykoon emerged after several years of doing just that. Jettykoon emerged from the glimmer of faith alight in me by the music. Jettykoon emerged from the need to affirm that faith with an audience. The Montauket, Montauk NY hosted our first affirmation (gig), Spring 2009. Nerves aside, we offered a developing sound and an original song list to a few patrons at the bar. Thank you Abby and Billy for 5 fun years since then with no end in sight! Thanks as well to our hearty fans, you make it happen, you make it possible to share our journey through music. Peace. TBM
photo credit Mary Ellen Matthews
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The combination of my mother leading church choir, and the rocking live talent that visited nearby Stony Brook University, kept my teenage years rich in soul, rhythm and dance.
School day forays into violin, and drumming in the memorial day parades, could not have foreseen my graduation into a bassist some 30 years later. But fond memories of friends who were ‘battle of the band’ winners back in my senior year, always had me envious. They played those killer hot Zeppelin song with such ease! I moved out east in late 80’s to find south fork music venues could rock like the rest of strong Long Island.
With Bay Streets, Wild Rose, and Stephen Talkhouse, my appreciation for live music and players grew around me. While not a player at the time, I started a ‘musicians in the round’ during the mid-90’s in Watermill. We listened to friends, and touring performers in a lounge atmosphere. Brian Luckey and Brian Moritz opened the door for me one fall.
I purchased a Hurricane 4 string bass, and a Roland amp, and dug in. Fantastic surfers in their own right, these boys had played together for years, creating a hypnotic sound that took you right to the peak! It was sink or swim with these players, so I applied myself and got my game on. Friendship with Thomas and Abby was locked in place long before we came together as a band.
Either at the beach, in the surf or on the dance floor, there was always musical appreciation. As we move into our 5th year with Jettykoon, the lines on the fret board map are as clear as the sun rising over Montuak’s lighthouse. Much appreciation goes out to our family, friends and fans who enjoy and support us throughout the seasons.