UgotaWanit
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UgotaWanit

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The Theresa Tapes
New Beginnings

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Bio

Geren's Story:

Geren in a similar pose, some years later and with more expensive toys.
It all started in a 5000 watt radio station in Akron, Ohio... Well, not really.

Geren's full-time gig is as an Acoustical Design Project Manager for MTH Electric Trains in Columbia, MD. Like Neil Young, he gets to play with toy trains all the work day long. In prior lives, Geren has been a radio engineer, radio DJ and announcer, stage production manager, sound engineer, television producer and director, and has held every hi-tech computer related job from repair technician to sales to instructor to LAN engineer to IS/LAN Manager.

Geren's musical interest was kindled as a very small child. His first musical instruments included a wire-tine toy piano and a Fisher Price xylophone. In elementary and middle school, Geren played several flavors of clarinet, sax and oboe. In middle school, Geren concentrated on the clarinet and also played a variety of rhythm instruments in the school's concert band. About this time, he also developed a keen interest in electronic music, and started his formal training on the piano.

By high school, Geren had abandoned wind instruments altogether, concentrating solely on keyboard instruments, especially the piano. Classically trained, his musical interests at the time ran the gamut from classical to jazz to rock. He was also the rehearsal pianist for numerous theatre productions, played the part of a keyboardist in a fellow student's movie "Mr. Rogers goes Rock'n'Roll," and played keyboards in the high school parody band, "Dr. Mike and the Plague."

By the end of high school, Geren had joined the staff of the Columbia City Fair and Rick LaRocca Productions as Production Manager, overseeing almost all operations at events produced by Rick. During this time, Geren honed his skills as an audio engineer, mixing for Baltimore/Washington area performers such as Deanna Bogart, Disappear Fear, Mama Jama, Rhumba Club, The Baltimore Big Band, Section 8, Aleta Greene w/Paul Soroca (Paul played keyboards and Lyricon for Crack the Sky), Cowboy Jazz, the Mountain Laurel Band and many others. It was during this period that Geren met guitarist Bob Shimizu. Bob was the fearless leader of the Katzenjammers, a party-rock band based in Washington, DC. Geren signed on as their permanent sound man, a stint that lasted almost six years, until the Katzenjammers broke up.

In April of 1986, Geren bought a used Yamaha CP-35 electric piano, and began playing again. Additional synths and keyboards followed, and Geren landed a gig playing keyboards for another DC band, Eurasia. The gig was short-lived, due to managerial differences between Geren and band leader Gus Alzona. About the time Geren left Eurasia, he ran into an old high school friend, David Keye. He was playing keyboards and bass with the rock band Dutch Treat, based in Hanover, MD, and the band was in need of an engineer, keyboardist and backup vocalist. Geren auditioned and subsequently joined the band. Unfortunately, a rift formed between several other members of the band soon afterwards, and the group split up.

David also had a bunch of songs that he wanted to record, and so Geren agreed to produce David's first (and only) album. On a shoestring budget ($250 total!), Geren and David produced a technically and musically competent recording, bringing in only two additional musicians to complete the work. David began a local 'tour' to support the effort. David's interest waned quickly, however, and the project was doomed to obscurity.

Undeterred, Geren marched on, and jammed with new and old friends, including Bob Shimizu, Buzz Lerch, and high school buddy Steve Pavloski, eventually teaming up with Rob in 1992 to start the original UgotaWanit project. At the same time, Geren and Rob attempted to form a party-rock band called The Headlights. The Headlights was to feature Big John Payne (formerly of Arctic and Riptide) on bass and vocals, Andy Armetta on drums, Geren on keyboards and vocals, and Rob on vocals and sax. The band never did find a permanent guitarist, though a guy named Chris who had recently moved to Baltimore from Madison, WI, was the most promising choice. The Headlights burned out quickly, and never made if out of Andy's practice room. It was now late 1994.

Completely frustrated, Geren tried hard to forget about music. The studio he had built in the basement of his new house was removed, and all of the equipment sold off to make room and money for other hobbies. Four years later, in 1998, Geren decided to return to music. He had always wanted to learn to play guitar (and he still would like to!). Then wife, Colleen, responded by presenting him with a Fender DG-11 for Christmas, and Geren plucks away at that guitar even now. But, his true musical love remained keyboards and synthesis. Rob and Geren talked vaguely about getting together to "make some noise," but nothing ever happened. Rob had picked up a used Rola