My first job was at a car wash. I was 15 years old and only worked weekends, 7:00am to 7:00pm. On a good day, this car wash would do 600-700 cars! I decided then and there that hard labor was not for me! Instead, I was going to be a musician, much to my parents' dismay. (The pic below is of that same car wash, but many years later)


At age 16, I became a member of a very popular group called The Dubonnets. At that time there was only one other member that was 16 years old, and the rest were 14 years old. Because we were all still in school, we performed weekends around Columbus and nearby cities and then as we started gaining popularity, our performances included venues a little further away. After I graduated high school, the band went through member changes and by late 1968, had changed its name to Phantom Duck.

During this period after graduation, I remember working part time jobs in a gas station, a clothing store, concrete construction (for about a week) and a pool hall on Columbus' east side. The odd jobs were helping me sustain myself financially during the really uncertain times in the music business.


The Dubonnets / Phantom Duck stayed together until January. I worked at my parents' restaurant, the Forest Park Inn. I handled prep and then worked the grill during lunch hours and some dinner hours. I did this until I severed a tendon in my right hand's little finger when hitting a frozen section in some beef while trying to chop it. I needed surgery to repair the tendon. Once again, the universe was telling me to keep working at being a full time musician.

It took well over a year to rehab my right hand enough to play piano again. To this day, I still do not have full mobility or sensitivity in that finger.


I had the opportunity to tour with the National Rock Opera's Jesus Christ - Superstar as a sound and light technician. My hand had not sufficiently healed enough to audition as a keyboardist for the show. At the time, I was not only being paid as a technician, but I was also renting equipment to the tour, so I had additional income each week.


Eddie Ray and Company asked me to be a part of their band. That barely lasted a year so I decided to try and put a band together from scratch for the first time. Colours was the end result. I soon learned that there's more to putting a band together than just assembling people who can play and sing.


The same guitarist that was part of Eddie Ray and Company and Colours, started forming a band in late 1973 and asked me to join.


The band called Livestock hits the stage. Again, lots of talent, but personality and vocal health issues kept the band from any real success.


Having learned a lot from all these past experiences, I was able to assemble a four piece group that had real success. Reflection got the attention of many night clubs and various other venues very quickly when it performed its first engagement in the spring. Within weeks of that engagement, the band was booked for the rest of the year. Finally, I was able to sustain myself playing music and not having to supplement my income with a part time job.


This year brought a major change in Reflection, when it went from a four piece band to a duo. Reflection, worked steadily for two years. But the travel was extensive and I was getting tired of being on the road, even though the income was good.


Reflection as an entertainment entity comes to a close. Our last gig was in April, 1983. We shook hands and said goodbye. It was time to step back and re-access.

After that last Saturday night, I went to work as a manager trainee for one of the family's restaurants that was to open mid-summer. Once the new restaurant opened, issues with ownership started cropping up so I left the business and went to work for a nightclub owner who had just opened a brand new facility that was booming.


I had the opportunity to purchase a small nightclub. I lasted in that business for about 4 years. Ultimately, my "conservative" drinking habits didn't mix well with my patrons, who were obviously heavy drinkers and wanted me to become one. In a last ditch attempt to keep the bar going, I created a revival of Reflection, but that too fizzled along with the bar..


After the bar closed, I managed a nightclub for a while, then my family came to me saying they needed someone to take over their pool hall in north Columbus. I accepted the position and was there for three years.

Also during this time, I became a co-songwriter with Doug Smith, the guitarist for the 1988 version of Reflection. This was my first real experience with colaborative songwriting and Doug and I certainly wrote our share.


Smith 'N' Kontras became a performing duo in early summer and was extremely successful for over 4 years. At that point, Doug decided to move to Nashville to pursue a country music career as a solo singer / songwriter.


I become a solo artist performing all over the state for 6 years. I released a CD of original instrumental material called Michael Kontras as well as a CD of songs from my show Songs You Grew Up With.


I was getting very road-weary, again. It was time to come home, take yet another fresh look at the industry I loved and take it in a different direction. Meanwhile, I became an Administrative Assistant to the President of an insurance agency, starting on December 31st.

During my employment at the agency, I also started putting together a band that would play primarily local and semi-local gigs with very little travel involved - where we were close enough to come home afterward. The name of the band was Four Old Guys. The group also recorded a promotional CD.


Our church had just hired a new minister that we were all very excited about - or so I thought. She asked me if I would be interested in coming on board as the Administrator for the church. I accepted. This lasted for about a year and a half, until her postition (along with her administrator's) was promptly terminated by the church board for no apparent reason.


I interviewed for administrative positions with graphic skills for 10 weeks and finally landed a position with a major insurance company that was purchased by a global insurance company a year later. I started on September 4th. Four Old Guys disbanded. During this time and after Four Old Guys, in 2009, I formed Powerline.


Powerline disbanded in January. The rest of the year proved to be a crazy mixture of different bands. I was asked to fill in with four different groups and then on September 30th, I went on stage with THESE GUYS LIVE for the first time while keeping my full time job with the global insurance company.


My position, along with two VPs and one Senior VP, was eliminated in March. Then again after 10 weeks of interviewing, I landed a Sales Coordinator position with the largest Canon Copier/Printer Dealership in the country in June. I still continued to perform with THESE GUYS LIVE.


I worked until October 29, 2021 and I still perform with THESE GUYS LIVE.