Posted: Jul 26, 2012 11:59 AM by Dan Shadwell
Updated: Jul 26, 2012 12:10 PM
A few weeks back, Jon Anderson, lead singer and songwriter from the band "Yes" stopped by our studios. He's a rock & roll superstar... and one of many hugely talented musicians you may not realize lives amongst us here on the Central Coast.
Recently, I met up with two more outstanding artists, whose credits read like a who's who of rock and roll.
"You know I moved here in 1990 and I got called for a gig at Harry's Beach Bar in Pismo," Terry Lawless remembers, "... and Mike and I met on-stage at Harry's in 1990 and we've pretty much been... it was kind of love at first sight," Terry says, batting his eyes comically. Mike laughs. "Well, yeah, okay. musical love."
Lawless and Dean joke around a lot, but their resumes are all business.
I talked with them between sets during a gig at McKeon and Phillips, a Santa Maria winery.
It was just the two of them, but the sound of the duo was full and lush, as they wound through years of classic rock tunes, playing a variety of instruments.
The setting was casual and intimate, but they're no strangers to the big time venues--they've each played to sold-out arenas with some of the biggest bands in the business.
With those credentials and the relative proximity of the L.A. music scene, I had to ask... why live here on the Central Coast?
Terry smiled. "The weather is great, the people are great." He paused to look around the cavernous room stacked to the ceiling with wine barrels, "...you're right in the middle of wine country, like we're doing today--a wine tasting, and people just enjoying life."
That doesn't mean they won't still take the big gigs when they come along... over the years, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, the Doobie Brothers, Jackson Brown, the Beach Boys, Janet Jackson and U2 have hired one or both of them for world tours.
In fact, Terry is still the keyboard player for U2, but he says they get and give just as much in this low-key setting as they would in a stadium packed with screaming fans.
"You get a lot more energy from a crowd of a hundred thousand obviously, but you know what? Music is music and Mike and I don't have a 5-cent show, a 10-cent show. You get what you get from us all the time."
I watched Lawless and Dean jam through the Moody Blues classic, "Knights in White Satin," and the Steely Dan tune, "My Old School," working in the guitar, keyboards, sax, and flute.
When they took a quick break, I observed, "You guys look like you have fun."
"We do," Terry nodded. Michael added, "One of my slogans is,... if you're playing music and you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong."
Terry Lawless also writes music that you've likely heard on TV and radio. We'll be talking with him more about a thriving music business he's built in Santa Maria.
If you'd like to check out one of his gigs with Michael Dean, you can see their complete bios and calendar at lawlessanddean.com. You can also see the video version of this story by going to the videos section right here on the KSBY website.
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