Bill has been writing and playing music in bands and on his own for just about as long as he can remember. It is a passion. In 2012 he started fleshing out a new collection of song demos that were uploaded to this site for feedback when first recorded. That collection, now finished and christened Last Night at the Ha-Ra, is being rerecorded professionally with musicians from the US, Europe, and Australia.
Bill began joining rock bands in the mid 1970s as a teen in Pennsylvania. With the power pop/punk quartet Tina Peel (listen to their teen anthem Pajama Party here), he played under the stage name Rowdy Doody on various EPs and other live compilation recordings – including Pajama Party, More Than Good Looks, 60 Seconds Over DC – before moving to Texas and then California, where he played the club scene as a solo artist and later in a band Bill formed with collaborator and guitar whiz Wayne Ditzel (formerly of the Readymades).
Bill’s first full-length CD – Eskimo in the Sun (available here for listening and free download) – was released in 1995 with the help of Wayne on lead guitar, David Fox on bass, and Dave Dewey on drums. Marvin McFadden, of Huey Lewis and News, played trumpet on Dance Hall Girls, and Dave Wellhausen engineered and co-produced the recordings at his Wellhausen Studios in San Francisco.
The Last Night at the Ha-Ra demos were recorded at Mirabeau Studios, also known as Bill’s flat in Aix-en-Provence, France and mastered by Chris Graham Mastering. Collaborators included Bill, Bill, and Bill on all instruments and at the mixing board. What these demos lacked in professional studio sound quality was hopefully compensated for in grit, heart and soul.
Last Night is being rerecorded in 2018 at La Buissonne (Provence), Parr Street (Liverpool), and Megasonic (San Francisco area) studios with Russell Cottier producing. Contributing artists include Pete Thomas on drums, Jon Fellows and Wayne Ditzel on guitars, David Dower on piano, and Daniel Mille on accordion. Record release is planned for summer 2018.
The Last Night demos are no longer available for listening, but earlier works remains available on Soundcloud.