Ask me anything about almost being famous. So close you can taste it, yet so far away - and now it’s 40 years away.

Vincent Bitetti
Mar 7, 2018

Los Angeles/Hollywood/West Covina, CA

I was in one of the most gifted undiscovered rock band of the 20th Century. Today, we have almost 40,000 Likes on a Facebook page, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of plays on the web, we sold tens of thousands of albums independently- at a time when there were no truly independent releases. There’s more-much more. Our singer - not just a singer - a truly gifted human. Committed suicide at 50 because all of his “eggs” were in the basket. A keyboard player on par with Wakeman and Emerson. Two guitarists and a bass player at home in any supergroup. A drummer who was one of the greats of his time. The keyboardist a child prodigy. Disappeared in the 1990s... the drummer, killed while riding his Harley on a beautiful Sunday afternoon... myself... trapped in 1979... 


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You mentioned that you could have done things on the business side differently. Which particular areas of the business side? Marketing, fund management, or something else?
Mar 9, 3:42AM EST0

Band Management. All aspects. Having a manager or managers is great... if: they have CEO level contacts/golfing buddies - and money they can invest if pitching their contacts does not produce the desired results. 

Mar 9, 6:20AM EST0
If you could listen to just one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mar 8, 4:30PM EST0

That’s hard! No fair! I’m just going to go with my gut:

my Back Pages: The Byrds

Mar 8, 6:34PM EST0
What kind of science fiction do you like? How did you get into science fiction?
Mar 8, 3:22AM EST0

I started reading science fiction/speculative fiction and some Fantasy when I was 13 or 14. I was always attracted to the stars - ever since a camping trip to Big Bear lake. The Milky Way is painted on the night sky... That led me to is there life on other planets? The only place to get even speculative answers was from science fiction. That’s how I got interested. But what kept me reading was the great stories, alternate universes and brilliant writers. Hers a few of my favorites:

Clifford Simak, Phillip Jose Farmer, Roger Zelazny, T. J. Bass, the list is endless! Check it out:

Mar 8, 6:46PM EST0

What was your biggest hurdle when it came to sourcing visuals, merchandise, posters, album art, etc?

Mar 7, 5:11PM EST0

We had a huge support system. Artists, designers, special effects experts, road crew, etc... we did not have social media of course or mobile phones-lol. Our 1st album cover is a 4x4 foot oil painting for example. We were always able to get what we needed. For the 2007 reboot, we used some ex-big record label people for everything from logos to album covers. We did a CD Baby run and it came with posters. And our facebook page has almost 40,000 Likes, I hope this is what you meant.

Mar 7, 11:22PM EST0

What could you have done differently that you know now and didn't then?

Mar 7, 7:52AM EST0

Everything on the business side. Nothing on the music side. 

Mar 7, 11:23PM EST0
You have been more like a music entreprenuer. Could you share something about your role in Sound Source Unlimited ?
Mar 7, 1:04AM EST0

I have been a musician my entire life. Sound Source Unlimited was created by way of my consulting role for musical instrument manufacturers. I was the CEO and a programmer at the company. There was a need for great sounds for keyboard synthesizers - for the novice, working and professional musician. Analog and Digital synthesizers with their proprietary technology and DSP chips are not easy to program. Each synthesizer is equipped with x number of sounds (let’s use 50 as an example). These sounds are created during the hardware & software development stage and as a result, the machines are shipped with basic sounds. We created sound libraries in categories: think Wedding, Film, Organs, Strings, Dance, Urban, etc... we employed professional programmers to create the after market libraries and sold them direct via mail order and through music stores - and even internationally via distributors. I hope this answers your question.

Mar 7, 2:09AM EST0
What are your other passions besides music? What else do you like to do/learn in your pass time?
Mar 6, 7:59PM EST0

Biology/Botany, Reef Aquariums, Medical Cannabis, Science Fiction, IoT and AI, Progressive Politics, hmmm... it’s a long list. I am 63 years old. I feel 40 ish, I am 20 something when it comes to music and performing/recording... producing and mentoring... Executive Producer mindset. Great question, not a complete answer I am afraid. Last week I spent a day in the recording studio with producer Barry Fasman (Google him), I worked on a Cannabis Grow Chamber that grows one plant and produces 1/4 pound of top shelf flower every 60-70 days. I set up studio time for my grandson Nathaniel - I’m going to co-produce a few of his songs (he’s never been in a recording studio). I consider that “mentoring “... and so on. I try to keep up with technology, consumer trends, pop culture, the latest scientific discoveries- without losing sight of what’s important- family/love/compassion.  

Mar 7, 2:46AM EST0
Do you get involved in politics much? Do you think people should? What are your thoughts on gun control in the US?
Mar 6, 3:32PM EST0

I avoided discussing politics. That being said, with the situation we find ourselves in (the world - the USA), it’s hard not to speak up. To me, it’s not about parties/Democrats/Republicans anymore.., it about Right and Wrong and plain old common sense...  Prior to the Great Depression (1939) wealth was concentrated in the Top 1-5%... after the crash and many decades after, money was somewhat evenly distributed. Now, since the crash of 2008, wealth is now super concentrated in the 1-3% range, the middle class is basically gone and a citizen is POTUS... common sense (to me) says he has NO experience whatsoever and as a businessman he executes deals that are one sided and if they’re not, he breaches the agreements, doesn’t pay people and let’s his lawyers pick up the pieces. As a species, we should be evolving, not devolving... clean beautiful coal? Common sense tells me there is no such thing and coal miners don’t want their children in the coal mines.,. I could go on and on. I don’t believe he can relate to the middle class much less the less fortunate. I will stop there - I think you know by now I’m not a fan. I believe in a Star Trek future- an optimistic future. Not Blade Runner... gun control... I believe the NRA is all about selling guns and they use the 2nd Amendment to argue their case that any measure is a slippery slope... the fact is guns are here to stay. But common sense tells me that comprehensive Federal background checks should be the norm. A semi automatic hunting rifle does not need to look almost exactly like a fully automatic M16 military grade, armor piecering bullet killing machine. So... it’s about common sense measures that doesn’t violate or change the 2nd Amendment in any way. But if my 15 year old daughter was gunned down by a 17 year old “off kilter” boy with a AR 15, I would be devastated and would not want my daughter to be just another statistic in the war between the left and right political spectrum... hope this answers your questions... -:)

Mar 6, 6:08PM EST0
How many members were there originally in "The Story of Bluebeard"? How did you all come together to form a band?
Mar 6, 2:49PM EST0
Your profile says Cannabis Executive. Are you currently working in the Cannabis industry? Could you tell little more about it?
Mar 6, 12:41PM EST0
When you say "myself... trapped in 1979.", What does it mean? What would you do differently if you could go back there?
Mar 6, 11:07AM EST0

I was like 24 in 1979, the band was in heavy rotation on radio stations in CA. Not the Top tier stations but the next level down lots of college radio-but that started in 1977... by ‘79, KROQ, KCAL  and many others in CA. The record was everywhere- from Tower Records to the Warehouse. This allowed us to get paid headlining gigs at places like The Whisky A Go Go, Ttroubador and large venues like The Hollywood Palladium and Swing Auditorium, as well as colleges such as Cal Poly, UCLA, MSAC and more. We had managers... my biggest regret is that I didn’t get involved in that process directly. They just didn’t have the “chops” to pull it off in Hollywood.

Mar 6, 11:19AM EST0
Who got you started into the music? Was it with a musical instrument/influence?
Mar 6, 10:36AM EST0

It was Elvisy Presley and The British Invasion - started by The Beatles. But it was Jethro Tull and their incredible early shows that   really sucked me in. But... the Woodstock movie and the diverse styles that were being acceptence that drove my thought process that led me to believe in magic!

Mar 6, 11:26AM EST0
What genre of music did your band cover and how did it connect with the youth back then?
Mar 6, 10:21AM EST0

In the beginning we sounded like our influences - Early YES (up until Close To The Edge), Jethro Tull - through Minstrel In The Gallery... But By 1977, we had developed our own brand of “art rock”... Over time, we were more like David Bowie than KISS or AC/DC for example. We changed it up stylistically with the times. 

Mar 6, 11:34AM EST0
How does it feel like to be famous and then suddenly getting back to the normal life like others? How different is a life of famous music artist than a normal person?
Mar 6, 9:47AM EST0

We were momentarily famous in a fishbowl /meaning West Coast - up and down and extending into places like Arizona, New Mexico, parts of Texas, etc... and Japan and the United Kingdom and Cretan parts of Western Europe. We had a taste of stardom... It wasn’t until 1987 that we “through in the towel” so to speak. Our peers like Van Halen, The Motels, and even local bands like Motley Crue went to to get very famous - and rich... That made it really hard to move on. We would get recognized in our hometown - even in Hollywood. In summer, we would pull up to a stoplight and hear our songs playing in the cars around us. It was exciting - we could taste it. The crash was like withdrawal from heroin - maybe worse. And for some of us - unbearable. Only a couple of us returned to a “normal” life...

Mar 6, 11:47AM EST0
Where else do you think you can channelize your creativity besides music?
Mar 6, 9:24AM EST0

Everywhere. The spark of creativity is what made me an entrepreneur-a serial entrepreneur at that! 

Mar 6, 11:48AM EST0
What's the strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played with your band?
Mar 6, 9:22AM EST0

From the net: The Golden Bear was a nightclub in Huntington Beach, California from 1923 to 1986. It was located on Pacific Coast Highway, just south of Main Street. It started out as a restaurant and eventually hosted such artists as Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hoyt Axton, Jackson Browne, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Dave Mason, Tower of Power, The Chambers Brothers and Jerry Garcia. We opened for ex-Jefferson Airplane/Starship guitarist Jorma   Kaukoken’s band... two things: their music was very hippie based San Francisco- almost laid back - and we were Tull/Aqualung era sounding but bombastic and two: it was the first and only time I was stoned on stage (it was only pot, but it was from Humboldt!) LMAO. I forgot half of our songs - it was like The Twilight Zone. The audience was “polite” but clearly didn’t know what to make of us! 

Mar 6, 12:02PM EST0
When was the last album launched by "Bluebeard"?
Mar 6, 8:25AM EST0

It was a Tribute album of sorts for our original founding member, leader, multi talented Robert Barry Leech who was a “victim” of suicide at the ripe old age of 50.., You can download it on iTunes and there are some CDs around (try Amazon). It’s called Deluxe with Reverb and features most of the original band, keyboardist (and producer  Barry Fasman) and the late, great Robert Barry Leech ic channels to a “T” by Elington Erin, a guy with amazing pipes who knows our history. He was in a rival band back in the day called Siddhartha. That CD was released in 2007 by Warner/ADA right before the collapse of Warner Bros. Records. Again... bad timing! 

Mar 6, 12:24PM EST0
What makes you smile when you think about the 70s when your band was progressing and creating original music?
Mar 6, 6:16AM EST0

Everything. The comradary, the road crew, the rabid fans, the time we live in - the adventure. The optimism, the hope, dreams and the timeless music. 

Mar 6, 12:26PM EST0
Have you had any ‘formal’ music training? Do you think it is needed? Many good musicians are self taught no?
Mar 5, 5:46PM EST0

We were a mix. Keyboardist = classically trained, Songer/Songwriter (played 5 instruments at a “master level” - self taught/God gifted, Two guitarists = some lessons but mostly self taught, bass guitar = same, Drummer = same. Our producer, Barry Fasman is high end music theory/schooled & gifted. He conducts orchestras. But rock bands - The Beatles for example... none of the guys could read or wrote music. They knew the chords and progressions and how to tune a instrument but no formal training. Studio musicians are usually schooled in many styles. Toto is a bunch of high end studio musicians for example, so there are some famous rock bands that have members with formal training but most do not.

Mar 5, 7:10PM EST0
What would you like to share with someone just starting in the music industry? Is fame the point or it doesn't matter?
Mar 5, 5:29PM EST0

Good question! Some very famous musicians/bands started to get girls or get popular. Hence the phrase “Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll”... but truly, if it’s a “calling” you do it for the love of music and creation.

Mar 5, 7:13PM EST0
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