- Dana Robbins
From The Beginning
My first blog will begin my journey in the music business. I'm so thankful I was given the gift of music at a young age. When I was 4 years old, I would play melodies from TV commercials on piano and my mother started me on piano lessons. Those piano lessons lasted thru High School.
At the age of 11 or 12 in elementary school, all the students were taken into the schools theatre and every instrument in the band and orchestra were there for the taking. When I saw the saxophone, the angels began to sing! This was in Ann Arbor Michigan, where the university had great student teachers. There were also great band directors in every Junior High School and in the 2 huge High Schools. I'm still in touch with my band director.
The first band I joined was "Sounds of Charisma"..... and then "quickly" switched to "Shimmer", playing Top 40 in hotels. We toured throughout the midwest. It was during one of those gigs that Frank Zappa and his band had just come from their arena show and were looking for a great bar to hang after. It wasn't long before the band spotted him and asked if he wanted to play a couple tunes. The crowd went wild! As Frank got on stage, he turned and looked at me and asked me to sit in with him..........( are you serious!) It was one of those moments when I knew I wanted to play my sax for my career and also work hard for better gigs.
Fusion was the next new sound that was introduced to me after my hotel gigs. And I joined a band with a great piano player that had graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Wasn't long before I enrolled there and studied for a couple years before I went on the road again. Thats another story for another day.
I moved to LA shortly after that band fell apart.