Edward Profet, Jr.:
I was born at a very young age in Manhattan, the first of four children. The first 6½ years of my life we lived in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn before moving to Bayside, Queens. I went to PS 41, Marie Curie JHS 158, Bayside High School, and Queensboro Community College. My mother, brothers and sister still live there, and even though it's changed since I lived there, I still love Bayside and still consider myself a "Baysider."
One of my first recollections of anything on TV was seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was too young to be affected by it then, but the boys from Liverpool would become a major part of my musical life as I grew older.
My first instrument was the clarinet, which I learned to play in the 4th grade. The next year I switched to the trumpet. I spent the next several years playing either trumpet or baritone horn in school bands right through high school. (Trivia Fact #1 - My first live performance was playing "Never On Sunday" on the trumpet in 6th grade.)
If you were to ask me what I always wanted to be, I'd tell you it wasn't the rock star I've become <grin>, but a Major League baseball player. I tried out for, and was scouted by, several pro teams. And, if I do say so myself, I was a pretty good second baseman and met several ballplayers. I'm proud of what I did on the ball field. Soon, however, baseball wound up in the rear-view mirror of my life. Several things contributed to this: a) turning 18 and not having the desire to sacrifice and take myself to the next level; b) getting injured several times when I was 18; c) discovering girls and d) discovering music.
Music didn't come easily for me at first. I picked up an acoustic guitar my mother had but didn't have the patience, so I let it go for a while. I picked it up again a few weeks or maybe months later, something clicked, and I haven't put it down since.
I never took lessons and I never learned to read music. I do everything by ear (most of the time I have no idea what it is I'm doing!). Being self-taught, I never learned technique. I don't know augmented chords or I-IV-V progressions. I know I'm not a conventional bass player in that I use a pick and my thumb frequently (nor am I a conventional drummer in that I play left-handed on a right-handed kit - I didn't know any better). I just listened to songs on the radio, learned them, and played them note-for-note. I never learned to improvise - still can't - and I was never into long, drawn out blues jams, maybe if I was a soloist I would feel differently. I just like songs - nice, melodic, "hummable," pleasing-to-the-ears tunes. Maybe that's the Beatles influence I mentioned.
Speaking of the Fab Four, I was walking home from college in Bayside all those years ago when I passed a bar with the front door open. Inside was a bar full of people singing the "na-na" part of Hey Jude which was playing on the jukebox. I stopped and listened until the song ended, and yeah, maybe I even sang with them. I walked away thinking how cool it was that one song could bring all those people together and make them happy (either that or it was the alcohol!). To this day Hey Jude is my favorite song in the whole world, and I could spend hours talking about it. It's also the song that made me want to perform in front of people and "maybe make them happy for a while..."
I joined my first band, Moonwolf, soon after that. I played rhythm guitar in that band and soon afterward joined another band, Baby Blue, where the lead singer was (and probably still is) a female. At the time we were doing Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon. We wanted to do some songs originally sung by male groups, but since we couldn't have a woman sing Take It Easy ("it's a girl, my lord...") or the BeeGees' Lonely Days ("where would I be without my woman..."), I gave singing a try for the first time. (Trivia Fact # 2 - My first vocal performance before an audience was singing Toyland in second grade. It was a good performance, as I remember, but I didn't sing in public again until around 1980.) I passed the audition, so to speak, and became the male lead singer in the band.
I never cared to be a lead singer. Although I do enjoy singing a song or two a night, I don't want the spotlight. I enjoy harmonizing. That's my forte. I'm not sure when it started, but when I sang along with the radio, it was always in harmony. Oftentimes I'd make up a harmony part where there wasn't one (little did I know that I was practicing for X-Session!).
I was in several other bands prior to my joining X-Session. I played for several weeks in an original band but we never made it out of the lead singer/songwriter's living room. One thing of note here is that, for the first time, I played bass in this band. I had fiddled around with it before (as I had with drums, piano, ukulele, and mandolin), even playing it on some early recordings of mine, but I hadn't yet learned it properly. After I left that band, I joined a band, Risque, where I alternated between bass and rhythm guitar. Around this time, 1982 or so, I started writing and recording my own songs again, playing all the instruments. I became friendly with a girl named Christine Quadrino who, in addition to becoming one of my dearest friends, became my songwriting partner from 1983-1987.
We formed a band, DVS, which was basically a vehicle for Chrissie and me, with a revolving set of musicians. We were an original recording band, and on one of our sessions, Chrissie brought along her brother Mike to play saxophone. Several years later, Mike called to see if I was interested in jamming with some other musicians, and from that jamming, a band began to take shape. We would eventually be known as The Late Show and we performed regularly at clubs like The Dublin Pub and Mulcahy's. At around this time, 1991, I became a full-time bass player by default, since no one else in the band could sing and play bass at the same time. The Late Show was together from June of '91 to September of '94. During the winter of '93, Jim Del joined the band and played with us until we broke up. Around this time, he was also performing with a guitar player named Todd in a two-piece band called X-Session. (Trivia Fact #3 - Pat Montefusco, who I'd met through mutual friends in The Late Show, was also in an acoustic band - a trio - called Revival at about the same time Jim had formed X-Session.) I was asked to join, and on April 7th, 1995, X-Session became a trio. I know the date because I still have the set list - you know, in case it becomes a collector's item. Pat became our guitarist in February of 1997, and it's been a wonderful ride ever since. Audiences, venues, even songs change, but the one constant for me has been the fun I've had playing with Pat and Jim for over ten years. I've enjoyed listening to them too, as I'm a big fan of them both. They are incredibly talented musicians, wonderful singers, and great guys. And they're very funny - I laugh a lot in this band.
I'm lucky to have played in some good bands over the years. I've made lasting friendships both on and off the stage. Basically, I get paid to have fun, and it never gets old. See ya around the bars.......