About the Artist
Dave Solo was born in the midst of the baby boom, growing up in a sprawling suburban California landscape similar to those portrayed in the shows he watched on his family’s black-and-white TV. He listened to his six-transistor radio late at night and heard Wolfman Jack playing haunting Delta blues and driving, forbidden “race music.” He looked up into the smoggy evening sky and saw Sputnik, the first artificial satellite of Earth, orbit out of reach while beeping arcane Cyrillic codes, scaring the shit out of everyone in America.
His privileged, idyllic childhood world darkened by degrees as world events hit hard and left indelible marks: He hid under a wooden desk during an air raid drill during the Cuban missile crisis, cradling a moth collection for show and tell.
He witnessed television news reports of Civil Rights marches and the racist violence of the Alabama police deploying fire hoses and attack dogs. “That’s what the Germans did to our people.”
He experienced the cataclysmic assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Medgar Evers and Robert Kennedy, murdered the very night Dave worked to get out the vote for his California primary.
He observed the encroaching horror of the Vietnam war killing untold thousands, including young people who came from the schools he attended. His birthdate and those of his friends were assigned draft numbers.
The music of the Beatles blasted away some of this darkness, along with that of the Stones, Who, Kinks, Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Buffalo Springfield, Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young.
Dave started to find his way singing harmony and, instructed by friends, began fingerpicking an old, nearly unplayable Kay guitar. Studying the
music of Bob Dylan revealed a long tradition of songwriters who wrote and performed as a means of fighting for peace and justice as well as a way to mark the joys and sadness of their lives. A succession of guitars, bands and motorcycles followed.
While attending college at Cal State Sonoma in December of 1971, he spent nine months in a full-length leg cast after being struck while riding his motorcycle by a hit-and-run driver, presumably angry over anti-war protests at the school.
Dave and Nancy married the next year and moved to Michigan in 1974. They raised three creative, wonderful children who are now busily raising their own creative and wonderful kids. He ended up managing and later owning a local business which took up most of his time and every damned bit of his patience until, miraculously, someone bought it in 2014.
All of these songs except “Talking Jack Kevorkian Blues” (c. 1990) were written in this period of unexpected freedom. After a lifetime of mass consumption of books and music and grateful to his teachers, friends and family, Dave is happy to finally offer something back.
You know it goes so fast,
There ain’t no way to make it last
By the time you try to grasp it,
Life’s already lapsed into the past