In 1998 one of many memorable engagements was an employee appreciation dinner for a large hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The venue was The Aladdin Shrine Temple's main hall which has a capacity of 2000.

My setup looked almost too small on that huge stage but the audience responded favorably and the party ended up being a great one.

Having been in bands for so many years, I had more than enough equipment to adequately cover the room and this made the show a big success. I was asked back the following year.

1998 was the beginning of part two of "The Plan". I had written some instrumental compositions over the years but had not done anything with them in quite a long time. I went back more than 25 years and the one that really stuck out from those early years was a 1972 composition the I had entitled "Theme From A Motion Picture Not Yet Made". Stupid title, I know, but the melody was still pretty catchy. Another one that stuck out was a 1982 composition called "It's About TIme!" I also listened to "Lonna's Theme" which was the 1992 composition I had written for my wife and there were two compositions in 1993 called "Mikey's Shuffle" (another good composition with a stupid title) and "Hypnosis" which I retitled "Lullaby In Rock". Long story short, I decided to start introducing the instrumentals in my show to see what the audience response would be.

One night in 1998, using the 6 year old tracks from the original recording to make a set of rhythm tracks for the song, I closed my show with "Lonna's Theme". The response from the audience took me by complete surprise. After putting the song in the show in more venues and getting the same great reaction, I knew it was time to get serious about part two of "The Plan".


Another project that I completed in 1998 was a 2 cassette set of my show which was recorded live. I did this because so many people were coming up and asking for a way that they could get a copy of my show. The reason I did a 2 cassette set was I could not narrow down the song list and feel like I was giving people their money's worth. Two of my originals, "Lonna's Theme" and "Millennium Kruise", appear on this set in their early, original forms.


By 1999 things are going well with the live show. By spring I had picked out a group of songs for the CD that would need changes and updated productions. I also realized that I had to compose some more material to round out the selection and give the CD the right "feel". For the last several months I was including some of the compositions in my show and they were continuing to draw praise.


I also finished a project in June of 1999 that began in November of 1998 with my sister and her husband. He had some ideas for a few songs and wanted her to put together a demo for Nashville. I reworked three of the songs and we recorded the demo.


I finally got started on my CD on October 26, 1999. The working title for the CD was "Love Without Lyrics". I made a promise to myself not to take on any other projects in the studio until this one was done. "Lonna's Theme" was the first song I tackled and all the individual tracks were completed by Thanksgiving. On December 7th I started on "Just For Fun" which originally had the title "Mikey's Shuffle". I finished it just before Christmas.


The end of 1999 was very interesting. I took some time off from the studio because of the busy Christmas season and because I was booked for the last three days of the year at Mohican State Park Resort & Conference Center in Northern, Ohio. What made this engagement unusual was that the first night, I was the Master Of Ceremonies for the Beatlemania Show's spin-off group "Get Back".

I organized the event, hiring the sound, lighting and backline companies. This group really did a great job imitating The Beatles. Complete with costume changes for the different eras, this group went through a chronology of songs by the 'Fab Four' and performed them very well. Being the producer of this show was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it.


The second night I did an intimate show in the lounge of the resort using minimal lighting and sound and doing lighter selections than in my regular show. The big night, New Years' Eve, I was back in the ballroom where "Get Back" had performed and it was one of the best nights I have had as a solo act. Some close friends from Cleveland made a surprise visit to the show which made the night even more special. We brought in the 21st century in grand fashion.


The year 2000 brings into focus more of part two of "The Plan". On Thursday, February 3rd, I started work on a 28-year-old melody that I ultimately dedicated to my mother, Viola. Within 2 weeks I finished all of the tracks for "A Song For Viola". Also in February, on the 17th, I started re-recording "Millennium Kruise" which was a mid '80's melody that was originally played on organ. The tracks were completed by mid-March. On Wednesday, March 22nd, I began work on a 7-year-old melody that was originally called "Hypnosis". All the tracks were finished for this composition by mid-April and I retitled it "Lullaby In Rock". Monday, April 24th, I began composing and recording "Border Night". This was a brand new composition and it is one of the few pieces on my new CD with different movements. I am very proud of it. This composition took nearly two months to compose and record. On Tuesday, June 14th, I started reworking an 18-year-old song that received lots of praise back in the early '80s called "It's About Time!" I had considered naming the entire CD after this title but in the end, the CD became a self-titled project. I added a "Prelude" to the beginning of the piece which was a piano-only ballad that came to me in the middle of a music store one afternoon! I also added a full brass rhythm and trumpet solo finale to the piece which really makes it uplifting. The entire 10 minute composition took nearly a month to record. "Close Your Eyes", the final recording for this project, was started on Monday, July 17th and completed mid-August. This too was a brand new composition written specifically for this CD.

Now that all of the songs were recorded, the mixing and mastering began. By late October the entire recording portion of making my CD was over. Now, the tough part began. I needed a cover design that would catch peoples' attention and give them a sense of the type of music they would hear on the CD. Then there was the design for the other three pages of the booklet as well as the back of the CD. There was also the very large task of deciding what to write on three sides of the booklet and the back of the CD. At this point, I quickly realized I was only half done with this project.

Completing the cover and liner notes made the days and nights literally run together as the year drew to an end. My son, Adam, came up with a perfect graphic design for the cover. It says exactly what I want it to say - this is not traditional piano music. I used the graphic in different forms in a couple other areas of the CD. The text was scrutinized heavily by me, my wife and my cousin, who is a marketing expert. Once I knew that everything was done, I quickly shipped the project to the manufacturer and readied myself for 2001...