My musical life began as a drummer when I was a small kid. I played mostly rock and roll with some country thrown in, while playing in bands with my brother.
In the late 60's, I started listening to more country music on the radio, and being in the San Francisco area, I began going to the Fillmore West (actually around 1968 -1969). I was an avid Grateful Dead fan. About the same time, I was hearing the sound of the steel guitar on the radio, and Jerry Garcia was starting to play Pedal Steel for The New Riders Of The Purple Sage. John Hughey, with Conway Twitty, is actually the one that got me interested in playing the Pedal Steel Guitar. John still remains my favorite player.
Practicing with the band was impossible because my mother couldn't take the noise level of the drums. I would sit on my bed and play an acoustic guitar with a knife or something, similar to a Dobro. Not long after, my brother found a triple 8 string neck National at a local music shop and bought it for me. Not long after that, I traded it in on a new ZB Custom single 10 string Pedal Steel Guitar. I traded my Drums in on my first amp, a Fender Twin Reverb with JBL speakers. That's pretty much how I got my start.
I have done recording as a staff steel player at a Bay Area studio recording for a band I was in, and doing demo sessions for others. I played on the road for about 6 months with a band that did a lot of club and fair gigs through the Southwest, often opening shows for 2 major acts at larger venues and fairs, I played at the Oakland Coliseum twice, and a lot of the major clubs in the area. These would include: Cowtown (San Jose), The Saddlerack (the original in San Jose and the newer one in Fremont), The South Forty (Fremont), The Redi Room (San Jose), Cal's Depot (Sunnyvale), A party at Sutter's Fort (Sacramento) for then govenor George Deukmejian,Little Joey's (San Jose), The Sandalwood (Modesto), Hidden Valley Ranch (Fremont), The Longhouse (Gilroy), The Horsehoe Club (Sunnyvale), Rookies (Manteca), Valencia Club (Penryn), The Wrangler (Elk Grove), Whisky Barrel Saloon (Lodi), Rookies (Manteca), and too many other smaller clubs to mention.
Bands I have been in include, Desert Star, Tone Pony, Double Down, Resident Angels, Fresh Country, Donna Cox and the Chosen Few, Randy Weese and Brahma, Charlie Thompson & Company, The Don Cox Band (filling in a couple of times for my good friend Barry Blackwood), Sandy Ellwanger, Cowboy Larry & the Bit and Spur Band, Saddleback Ridge, The Dick Green Band, and others I am sure I forgot. I am currrently retired from playing.
My proudest moment in my career was when my band, Desert Star, won the nationwide Seagram's 7 International Battle of the Bands by beating out 6 other bands in Nashville in 1983 after a nationwide, 7 week long bunch of preliminaries, 2 rounds of semi-finals, in 7 regions around the country, with the final 7 competing at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Members of the band included myself, Caryn Sinkler- Vocals, Donna Preston - Vocals, Dave Preston - Bass Guitar and Vocals, Charlie Wayne - Lead Guitar and Vocals, and Rick Brochinni on Drums and Vocals. Please click on the "Desert Star" menu button to visit the Desert Star website section here on RichardSinkler.net.