My father was a real hillbilly from a sharecropper farm south of Richmond, Virginia. In elementary school, he was taught Jefferson Davis (Confederate Army Leader) won the election over Abe Lincoln. He could light a wooden match at 30 yards with a 22.

When I was around eight (1956), my olderst brother, who generally played by the rules, became obsessed with the new teen fad, Rock and Roll. A smart dude, he would play records and say, "You hear that R? They're playing the same chords the last song played. And you hear those lyrics? They're basically singing the same song."

By around 12 I was deep into playing piano. I'd play day and night. My next older brother, the wild one, would harrass me and say, "Can't you play anything else? I'm getting sick of hearing 'What'd I Say' and 'Blueberry Hill' ".

I think my dad's skill with a gun, my oldest brother's obsession with originality and my next oldest brother's forcing me to play something 'different' have haunted me all my life.

My dad unintentionally taught me that authorities can lie and you can't believe everything you hear. My oldest brother blessed me with an obsession for originality. My next older brother forced me into the unknown with music. It was then I started making up my own piano parts and imagined melodies. It was that or get my butt kicked.
My dad also taught me that with practice you can bring light into the world

Then I married my incredibly brilliant wife who dragged me into civilization.