started on guitar at 18 but soon switched to bass so he could join
friends in his first band. For the next nine years he played and sang in
various rock and dance bands in a wide variety of hotel, school, office,
and private functions in and around Durban in Natal, South Africa.
After moving to Canada, his trusty 1965 Fender Jazz bass gathered some dust
under his bed, but a few years ago when Steve and Constantin joined forces,
Ross was eager to play it again.
Ross is also now the proud owner of a 50-year-old double bass affectionately
known as Bertha, and she adds an authentic sound to the rockabilly and jazzy
tunes the band plays.
|Steve was born in the
first half of the previous century and has been playing guitar for 85 percent
of the time he has been on the planet. It all started as a teenager with
the strumming of a tennis racquet to the strains of the Rolling Stones and
the Beatles on a hand-cranked record player. The purchase of a cheap guitar
led to a life-long love affair with the instrument and participation in a
succession of garage bands lured him into the belief that he had some talent--or
at least the ability to ride the volume control on his amplifier. As he matured,
he discovered that acoustic music was far more satisfying than heavy metal
and, in celebration of his mid-life crisis, took up a number of other instruments,
including mandolin, banjo, cello, harmonica, and accordion.
|Constantin is the baby
of the group, not quite having reached half a century of age. He learned
piano and trumpet 'as required' by his parents, moving to more passive musical
pursuits (a record collection over 1000 and the only member of the group
with 4 working turntables) in his twenties while studying photography.
For better or worse, his profession changed from photography to accounting
in the early 90s, and by 1997 his career drove him to purchase a piano to
maintain sanity. This was followed by guitar a bit later because transporting
a piano to campfire sing-alongs just proved too difficult.
He has been singing as long as he can remember, but other than school and
church choirs, most of his singing was done in Karaoke bars and while driving.
We all feel a bit safer now that his musical pursuits have been moved off
of public roads and bars to the RPM rehearsal hall. He was born 10
years too late for his musical tastes, and the happy coincidence of meeting
the more senior RPM band members Steve and Ross in 2008 proved to be a perfect
musical match. Constantin is RPM's audiophile techno geek who toils
over microphone characteristics, amplifier attributes, and still thinks that
vinyl records sound better than digital.