Bill Manning

My introduction to being in a band came very young. I wanted to play drums but parents said no. A couple of neighborhood friends in high school formed a garage band (with none other than Andy and Mark) but needed a bass player. Guess what instrument I learned? I knew how to play piano not a clue about bass but I learned fast.

And so began my music career for the last 50 years. I started with a Silvertone bass from Sears played through my parents TV until I practically blew out the speaker. Next came a Silvertone amp and many guitar and amp upgrades throughout the decades.

Some of the most fun of those early days was meeting at Andy's or Mark's house to listen to the latest Beatles or Rolling Stones album that came out. I remember being in Andy's living room one day and we put on this brand new album by this very strange group called the Jimi Hendrix Experience. We were blown away. That was followed by Cream, The Mothers of Invention and many, many others. Years later it was Gentle Giant that became the gold standard.

After the first brand broke up with my neighborhood buddies I was in a couple more bands, basically dance and avant-garde.

I've known Bill Birney since childhood, stayed in contact including after he moved to Arizona and came back to San Diego. We then started collaborating with a loose off the wall musical experiment. I met Mick through Bill at college, mix in Andy and Mark and that's how Horsefeathers was born. The music we wrote in the beginning was a bit simple, if not flat out goofy, but when we started playing at colleges and they ate it up we knew we were on to something. And the rest is history.

I'm still in bands today though it's been an on and mostly off musical trail since Horsefeathers. Family and many other obligations tend to get in the way. However the most fun and rewarding experience I've ever had in a band was Horsefeathers and the fact that we are still close friends to this day I think is testament to what that all that meant.

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