Company Head: Architecturally
Designed Interiors and for SMS: Sports Memorabilia Showcase
Professional Musician: currently drumming with Crossroads band
Can you tell me about your background…
I was born in Torrington but grew up on my grandparent’s farm near Lake Champlain. My father was a musician and traveled often. He introduced me to drumming at an early age and during my late teen years I filled in for him at local clubs when he was away. After high school I went to architecture school but continued to work as a drummer to pay my tuition. I was always drumming with local bands.
Blue Oyster Cult was a band from the 1970s – early 80s famous for many hits including Don’t Kill the Reaper. In 1986 it broke up but the key players formed a smaller band and continued touring and playing BOC songs. This is when I met Joe Bouchard, lead singer, and joined the band. We packed places everywhere we went and Joe was a great showman. Once we reached our sixties though, working in a seven-piece band with a light show became a little trying. So, after 19 years with them I left to play in smaller, more local bands and the one I am playing with currently is called Crossroads. Crossroads features a wide variety of familiar hits from the past and present. The two original brothers from Oyster Cult, along with Dennis Dunaway from Alice Cooper went on to form a group called Blue Coupe; they do an acoustic version of BOC and Alice Cooper tunes for large venues.
It was through this smaller band that I met my wife Susie who has always lived here in Granby. At one point about four or five years ago she was looking for a band to play a charity event to benefit cancer victims. Her husband David had recently died of pancreatic cancer. I had seen her at the Maple Tree Café several times. I volunteered to meet with her and told her I needed to see the bandshell in Salmon Brook Park where the event was to be held. This way I could get to actually know her a little better. On the performance day we held a raffle with the band as the “prize” and made $50K for the cause.
Susie was also in need of a home redo. Using my architectural skills and help from a builder, John Fitzgerald, who was our neighbor, I set my mind to working on her house here in Granby. It wasn’t too much longer before we were married, living on Day Street and handling several businesses together.
Talk about your architectural firm…
ADI does home remodeling, generally of older homes. Oftentimes people enjoy living in a historical building but want modern conveniences and an open style. This is where we come in. I also have a coordinating business called Sports Memorabilia Showcase that is involved in designing museum quality rooms or spaces for people who want such displays. I find it especially fun to go to trade shows and get to know popular athletes involved with sports memorabilia. One time I was at a show in New Jersey and I got a call to “please meet Emmet Smith.” This was an unusual surprise. He was scheduled to speak at the show but didn’t have the right screen so I lent him one. He was interviewing people for feedback for a company he was starting, thus we had great conversation.
How about your music…
The band I recently played with at Parrott Delaney Tavern in New Hartford is called Crossroads. The songs we play are familiar but we do them to a different beat or style. It is not original music but tried and true tunes.
What are your thoughts on living here in Granby…
I think that a true effort is given to maintain historical sites and buildings here. Holcomb Farm and Lost Acres Orchard are wonderful for good food. The people here in Granby are homespun and unpretentious. They aren’t jaded.
I like that Granby is a short drive to Hartford and has a church that sponsors musical events. For a while I lived in Litchfield but being there was like being in Maine; in comparison, Granby is just plain close to everything.