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The original four members from Left to Right, Richard Elliot - Lyricon and saxophones, Michael Jochum - drums and percussion, Daniel Bortz - Chapman Stick, fretless guitar and cello, Paul Edwards - Chapman Stick and vocals.
The Origins of Kittyhawk
Los Angeles - 1977 Daniel Bortz and Paul Edwards had been playing the Chapman Stick separately when they had a chance meeting at the home of its inventor, Emmett Chapman. Daniel has just moved to L.A. a year prior from Phoenix, AZ were he was a local working musician and studied Cello at Arizona State University. He set up residents in a small apartment in Laurel Canyon were he stumbled upon an add for the Chapman Stick in Guitar Player Magazine. "It was tuned like a cello and guitar, played by tapping the strings", Daniel recalled. "Well, I had studied cello and was a guitar player, this sounded like it was made for me." After finding the address to Chapman Stick Enterprises, he realized it was located less than a mile from where he was living. "I called the number [from the advertisement] and Emmett answered and invited me to come up to his house and try the instrument out. My intuition screamed that this thing was made just for me! Start to finish from reading the article in my studio apartment to walking out with my first Chapman Stick #77 was maybe one hour."
Paul Edwards, born in Kansas City, Kansas, found himself in Southern California at an early age. "My father was a physician and worked for the Claremont colleges," Paul told producer Tim Flores who was living in Claremont, CA at the time. The two lamented on growing up in Southern California in the 60's and 70's, and the changes to the music and club scene. Paul had studied bass and guitar from an early age, but became a dance major and music minor while attending Cal State Fullerton. Music was still a driving force for Paul and after graduating, he became a singer and folk guitar player and started performing in the small clubs in the Southern California. That's when a chance meeting would change his life.
In 1974, Paul Edwards was booked to play at a club the same night Emmett Chapman was to perform with his invention the "Stick." "I was so impressed with the Stick and Emmett's performance that I gave up other instruments and went full time on the it," Paul stated. Paul even started working with Emmett, helping him assemble the instruments and of course, learn to play the Stick. From this time forward, Paul would soon become a master of the touch board, developing his own techniques and style.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bortz was becoming obsessed with learning, understanding the tuning and the use of the independent right and left hand parts of the Stick. But, after months of practicing, Stick #77 developed a nasty buzz. "I called up Emmett and he said [to] bring it over and he would fix it. I remember playing a riff in Emmett's work shop, showing him where the buzz was." It was then that Paul, who was down stairs, heard someone playing a Stick, that certainly was not Emmett Chapman. Paul came to investigate and found Daniel playing his riff for Emmett. "Paul and I talked and we seemed to hit it off from the very start," Daniel told Tim Flores. "Right away, we decided to get together and exchange ideas. Paul asked me about the riff and I told him it was part of a song I was writing called "Kittyhawk". Paul curiously asked why I called it "Kittyhawk". I said it's the first song on a new innovated instrument and I liked the association with the beginning of flight", said Daniel. It was then that Paul's eyes became wide, "you know I'm related to the Wright Brothers!" What!!, Daniel thought. It was then that Paul opened his brief case and showed Daniel a small piece of white cloth from the original Wright Flyer.
Coming Soon, the story of Richard Elliot and Michael Jochum.
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