In the early 60s, he was a drummer for Frank Zappa but suffered a six-month illness with mononucleosis which cost him his job prior to the recording of Zappa's first album with The Mothers of Invention. He later became the drummer for the band Western Union.
His first management signee was Lisa Kindred. He later became A&R consultant to the Blue Thumb Records label, working with such artists as Ike and Tina Turner, Albert Collins, John Hiatt, Albert Lee and Earl Hooker. While working for Vanguard Records he started producing John Fahey and through him, he began his management and producer's relationship with Leo Kottke. He produced all seven albums for Kottke on Capitol Records. He later joined with Chrysalis Records to purchase Fahey's Takoma Records label. He signed The Fabulous Thunderbirds, T-Bone Burnett and George Winston to the new Takoma label.
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