Category Archives: Music

Howard Buzz Feiten Guitarist

Howard Buzz Feiten Guitarist

Happy birthday
born November 4, 1948
Buzzy Feiten was 21 when he played guitar with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band  the last day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The band came on at about 6 AM by the dawn's early light for their 45 minutes set. 

By the time he was 21, Feiten had already played Carnegie Hall. At 18, he had played the French horn with the American Youth Performs orchestra. His attempt to get into Julliard School of Music as a French horn player failed.

Like many musicians, Feiten was also in a local band, in this case on his home area of Long Island, NY with The Reasons Why during the summer of 1966, but his talent allowed him to branch out and back up other musicians.
Buzz Feiten tuning system
Eventually his guitar skills brought him to the attention of Paul Butterfield who hired Feiten to replace Elvin Bishop as his guitarist. From there the road led to Bethel, NY.
Howard Buzz Feiten Guitarist
Buzzy became Buzz and became the guitarist for Felix Cavaliere's Rascals. He played on their on their Peaceful World and Island of Real albums. "Jungle Walk" came from the former.

In 1972, he was part of a project that produced the "Full Moon" album: Buzzy Feiten, Neil Larson, Gene Dinwiddie, Philip Wilson, and Freddie Beckmeier. Dinwiddie and Wilson had both been in the Butterfield band.

His credits are, not surprisingly, extensive as the AllMusic site shows. His own site is more specific and even more amazing.
Howard Buzz Feiten Guitarist

Buzz Feiten tuning system

In 1992 he developed the Buzz Feiten tuning system. According to the system's site:

1. Shelf Nut: our exclusive Buzz Feiten Tuning System¨ (BFTS) Shelf Nut moves the strings closer to the first fret according to our Patented Formula. This eliminates sharp notes at the first three frets.

2. Intonation: your guitar's bridge is adjusted according to our Patented Pitch Offsets, creating balanced intonation over the entire fingerboard - every fret - every string.

Feiten guitar

Buzz Feiten tuning system

In 2012 he introduced a line of guitars: I'm proud to introduce you to... an incredible new guitar line called, "SuperNova/Future Vintage".  The Future Vintage mission is simple... I wanted to take the best elements of guitar and hardware designs from the Golden Era of the electric guitar, (1948-1970) and using those elements, create new designs that would perform up to the very highest standards of the most discriminating guitarists in the world. We all search for an instrument that feels alive, and gives back MORE than we put in. That's when playing a guitar becomes a truly incredible experience. That's been my mission building Buzz Feiten guitars, and the driving force behind SuperNova.

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Father Steve Muruga Booker

Father Steve Muruga Booker

Muruga jamming on his invention, the Nada drum at Sage St. Studio (2015)

Father Steve Muruga Booker

Father Steve Muruga Booker was the drummer who backed Tim Hardin at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, but at that time he was simply Steve Booker. He  was about to leave the Paul Winter Consort which had also included Woodstock band mates Ralph Towner and Richard Bock.

In any case, the way Steve relates his Woodstock connection, (from a Detroit Metro Times piece). "One day while in New York City, I went to see Jim and Jean. They were going to a jam at the Café au Go Go on Bleecker Street in the Village, which was the happening hippie place at that time. ...Tim Hardin was also [there].  ...I approached him... while walking down Bleecker Street. He said if I’m ever in need of a gig to call him, and he gave me his Woodstock home phone number.

Booker showed up a week later with friend Richard Bock. Hardin offered them both a spot in his then-organizing band.  They agreed and Hardin left them to practice without him for two days. Luckily, the group was used to improvisation and did well until Hardin returned.

Unfortunately, Hardin's performance, despite the stellar back up band, was not one to remember. Being intimate on a drizzly evening in front of 400,000 people was not what a Hardin performance was made for.
Father Steve Muruga Booker
For Booker, for then Steve Booker, the event was literally life-changing. He met Swami Satchidananda whose spirituality immediately impressed Booker. Booker studied with the Swami for several years and it was Satchidananda who gave the name "Muruga" to Booker.

Booker continued to be a musician and eventually was ordained an Orthodox priest. Today he operates his own chapel, St. Gregory Palamas, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His spirituality led him to invent the nada drum, a variation on the talking drum.

The list of people Booker has played with is a who's who of musicians. A very partial list includes: Peter Babriel, George Clinton, Merle Sanders, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, John Lee Hooker, Al Kooper, Ted Nugent, and Dave Brubeck. (a more complete list

Booker's own words best sum up his life now:  You could say that the spirit of Woodstock continues for many of us through the spirit and heart that’s still in the music we love to play.
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Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

A 2016 Phoenix New Times article about Richard Bock begins this way: Not every neighborhood Italian restaurant can claim a world-class musician as its owner — but Giuseppe's on 28th in Central Phoenix can. For nine years, owner Richard Bock was the principal cellist for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in Italy. And if that's not impressive enough, he played with the Phoenix Symphony for 24 seasons, toured throughout the United States and South Africa as a part of Frank Sinatra's orchestra, and played in both Carnegie Hall and The Forum in Los Angeles.  

And????

For those of us who are Woodstock Music and Art Fair alum or those who are not alum but big fans nonetheless, the omission of Bock's participation with Tim Hardin at that famed event is glaring. I suppose we must step back for a moment and accept the reality that that festival was not and is not the be all end all of everyone who performed there.

And looking at that "partial" list above from the New Times, one can understand why. 30 minutes with Tim Hardin doesn't quite measure up to 24 seasons with the Phoenix Symphony.

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Bock's path to the festival was, as with many things in life, a matter of circumstance. In 1969, Bock was in the  Paul Winter Consort. So was Steve Booker.

One night Steve had been to the Cafe Au Go Go in NYC's Village. Tim Hardin had been part of  a jam there. Tim told Steve if he ever needed a gig to let him know.  Tim was living in Woodstock.

Steve and Richard had coincidentally just decided to leave the Paul Winter Concert and so decided to visit Woodstock and Tim.  Tim Hardin was putting together a band for the upcoming festival and asked Steve to join. Steve recommended Richard. Tim said sure. Thus...
Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist
According to Richard Bock's restaurant's site,  Bock "grew up in New York.  ...[and while] playing in a club on East 84th St in the city with Dave Brubeck's son, Darius...a customer in the club, who lived in Florence, filled Richard's thoughts with images of Italy, the culture, the music, the people and the food. He extended Richard an invitation to come to Italy, and 2 weeks later, Richard was on his way!

Soon after his arrival, he was walking the streets of Florence when he bumped into an old college friend, a pianist, who was involved in the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, the most famous theater in Italy. Soon after this chance meeting, this friend got Richard an audition for conductor, Riccardo Muti. Muti happened to be looking for a Principal Cellist for the orchestra, so Richard decided to perform and was offered the position. He thought he would stay a year, but stayed almost 9! It is here where his love for the culture blossomed.
Richard Bock Woodstock Restaurateur

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

In 2002 became the owner and operator of Giuseppe's on 28th in Phoenix, AZ.  He is both the restaurant's chef and cellist. I will assume that there are few restaurants anywhere that can make that claim.

Nor can any claim that their musician chef was, "a part of Frank Sinatra's orchestra for 5 years, touring throughout the United States and South America. [And that] He performed in concerts with Tony Bennet in Boston and also performed in Carnegie Hall and the LA Forum.

Nicely done Richard Bock Woodstock cellist!


Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

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