All the members are experienced talent from many different genres. We bring that all together in a brotherhood and you have a well balanced band with an extraordinary sound.
Doug has been a vocalist for over 30 years, inspired by talents such as Jim Morrison, Dream Theater, Black Sabbath, and DIO. Over the course of his singing career he has fronted numerous bands and played many venues. Doug has opened for many notable acts including Triumph, Warrant, Great White, and Cheap Trick. Today, Doug is participating in several solo recording projects and enjoying sharing the stage with RELIC.
45 years ago my musical journey began. I made my way as a classically trained piano player playing lone gigs during college at local city pubs for dinner. At the same time I was exploring the world of blues piano along with bass guitar. What I could do taking my piano theory and putting into bass. I spent time with my buddy bass legend Gary Shea ( New England , Alcatraz ) as he and I would exchange bass and keyboard theory in my living room. I also owe kudos to my bass guru Chuck Bartels ( Bettye LaVette ) for the years spent sharpening my chops. My bass model has always been James Jamerson and Standing in shadows of Motown. Rock and Roll has been my passion. However I owe my bass Improv to the summers spent with Detroits own Scott Grinnell and the Detroit Metro Jazz Workshop meshing those jazz licks into punchy rocking bass lines. I saved the Jazz improv for the stage at Detroits Cliff Bells. Aside from that I have been with Relic since its inception several years ago giggin all over the Detroit metro arena. Relic ..... A great band with a true brotherhood
A special thanks to The Detroit School of Rock and the Music Foundation for there support over the years .
I have been privileged the past few years playing with Relic. The music might be secondary to the friendship and that’s pretty rare, for often egos get in the way of the music. I owe each and every one of them a debt of gratitude for letting me into their circle and for allowing me to grow musically and as a person.
When I was ten my first musical disaster was the Tuba because my friend Roger thought it would be cool for us. It wasn’t. Years later I bought a Kalamazoo Bass Guitar which neck was so warped it took the strength of a gorilla to fret it which was my introduction to guitar. I would practice Black Sabbath songs and others until my fingers literally bleed before I was smart enough to have the truss rod adjusted. During this time my friend Dave Wells and his older brothers influenced an interest in the music of the 70’s which lead me to playing with him in our basement, he on drums which was my first band experience. After his untimely death, I hooked up with a few bands around Northern Oakland County until I was approached by 3 high school classmates to form Crossroads which played covers of James Taylor, The Eagles and other softer popular bands of the times on bass and guitar. At a very young age we were able to secure gigs at now defunct bars like the Back Seat in Keego Harbor and the Wagon Wheel. Barely young enough to drink it was heady stuff at the time.
After our lead singer decided to get serious and go to college, we all decided we would follow suit and I sold most of my gear except my Martin D28 which has moved with me from state to state and house to house. Occasionally I would open the case and play it but typically would remain packed away only to see the occasional light of day. I added a PRS Electric one day when I had some extra dough about 15 years ago. But really the good intentions of getting a little more serious about playing were always overshadowed by making money and building a career.
One day only a few years ago a friend of mine walked in the office with a bass guitar. And I asked her what she was doing with a bass and she told me she got hooked up with a School in Royal Oak and now, she is playing bass. One thing lead to the next and she was relentless at encouraging me to go talk to the school and see if there was a place for me. Without he constant encouragement, I wouldn't of but that that's what lead me back to playing in a band and music after all these years. I appreciate you reading this far and I encourage you to follow your dreams musically or whatever your interest is, because it’s never too late. A heartfelt thanks to Royal Oak School of Pop and especially Sheri and Steve who are very special people. As well as a thanks to Lori, Kathy , Doug, Sandy, and Martin and all our supporters. And especially Jennifer my wife, the person who indulges all my interests after all these years even though I am not sure how she does it. But I am grateful she does.
I started drum lessons at the age of 10 at Hewitt’s Music in Melvindale Michigan. Between the ages of 13 – 15, I began full Drum Kit lessons at A. Weaver Music in Allen Park Michigan. I got my first set of drums as a Christmas gift from my grandparents in 1975. I could hardly wait to play in a band with my guitar playing grade school buddies.
I would practice seven days a week; to any Rock song I heard on the radio (98.7 WLLZ) or (101.1 WRIF), If it wasn’t on the radio, I would rehearse to vinyl, eight track or cassette. I was highly influenced by the bands Aerosmith, Montrose and Foghat. I would practice to these and many other bands, until I could play their songs note by note.
Then came 1980, I just graduated from High School and registered with a place called Musicians Referral Service. I was put on a list for sit-in drummer positions with local bands in the area. It opened up a door of opportunities for me, for playing with bands that played the local club scenes in the early 80’s.
Bitter Sweet Alley, Toby Redd, Almighty Strut, Steve King & The Dittilie’s amongst others. The venues mostly took place at clubs: New York – New York / Septembers, The Main Act, Center Stage and The Token Lounge. …The Main Act is where I eventually met my wife.
My next focus was on new influence’s of the most popular groups and their songs were taking over the early to mid 1980’s. AC/DC, Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard, Cinderella, Van Halen and Guns N Rose’s… on and on and on!!!
In the early spring of 1981, I got a call to audition for a band called “Straight Up”. I remember the agent on the phone told me to bring a current picture of myself, that they could keep. That seemed a bit odd to me… I asked him why? He answered…listen kid I need just two things from you…You gotta be able to play and you gotta have the look we want!
After several months have passed, I got a call on a Sunday morning. The person on the other end said, we have finished with all auditions and we have made a decision…”You’re our drummer”!!! He said be prepared to be on the road for at least 6 – 8 months. We are going to be a warm-up band for the Romantics and then in the future; possibly sharing the stage with Journey, Tom Petty, Loverboy and the Greg Kihn Band.
I sat down with my parents to give them the big news; I already had a job out of high school working in my dad’s manufacturing company. He had started the business in June of 1974, and I worked there during High School Co-Op programs and through the summers. My options were; Pack-up and go on the road to play music, or stay and try to grow with the family business. When your 20 years old that’s a really tough decision! …. Well, I decided to stay home and continue to work and play music on the weekends.
I continued to practice my drumming for the remaining years, I had studio’s set-up in the basements of my homes and always…Practice, Practice, Practice! I got seriously involved again in 2010, when I seen a television commercial while watching a Red Wing’s game, for FOX SPORTS Detroit TV Promo campaign; called April In The D. I sat down and wrote the promotional ditty and played along with it, I needed a band to make it complete. It was the late winter of 2010 and I was watching a Sunday morning broadcast of FOX 2 News on TV and there was my answer. It was a gentleman by the name of Jason Gittinger, the founder of the Detroit School Of Rock And Pop Music. I went to my computer found his contact information and proceeded to tell him what I was looking for. I needed a producer who could help me with the music and someone to record it in audio / video format. We scheduled a meeting to discuss my recording and production needs. We talked for hours and came up with a game plan to move forward with the April in the D Project.
Jason was able to hook me up with a great singer, guitar and bass player. We decided to call the band “Monday Night Crew”… we arrived at that name because the studio was only available on Monday nights. We rehearsed for a couple of months and then filmed and recorded the “April In the D” promo package and submitted it to WRIF Radio in the early spring of 2010. We were notified about two weeks after submitting the package and found that we were in the top five, but only the first place recipient would be honored by having there music video played during televised Tigers and Red Wings games. We still got a small spot on a one hour special FOX Sports TV show that was based on the top entry music videos. We were all pretty honored and pleased with our attempt at stardom.
That opened up a window of opportunity for me becoming the drummer for 3 great bands, from 2010 – 2015. The first; being a band that I am proud to have named and been a part of … since its humble beginnings RELIC.