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A Word With Willie

Welcome to Willie Oteri's Blog about his life and lessons as a musician. From here you can browse the full articles on each topic covered in this series.

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The First Time I Was Paid to Play Music

Watch The First Time I Was Paid To Play Music
Visual artist KD Neeley asks Willie Oteri, "When was the first time you were paid to play music?"

KD Neeley, "When was the first time you were paid to play music?"

Willie Oteri:
Yeah! I do remember the first time I was paid to play music.

A friend of mine's high school dance that he did. We were probably seventeen or eighteen. We were horrible but my friend hired us to play at his- it was a private boys' school in Monterey California and we played at a dance. And that was 1969? '68 or '69. My second paid gig was maybe a year after that at Fort Ord in Monterey playing for soldiers before they went off to Vietnam. So, that was interesting to say the least.

Then after that, not a lot happened for a couple years until I moved to Santa Cruz California and then I started nagging people about, "Let's get a band! Let's have a band! Let's have a band! Let's have a band!" And that finally turned into one of the more popular bands on the West Coast at the time actually, called Red Ragged Rose- a country rock band. And I played pedal steel on that. The guitar player in the band- I wanted to play bass in the band but he already had somebody he wanted to use- so he goes, "Why don't you learn to play pedal steels?" So, I spent a lot of time learning to play pedal steel. And I basically made my living playing in that band and working part time jobs for about five or six years It was really nice.

Last modified onFriday, 11 December 2015 04:14
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Thanks to KD Neeley of ZiADiA for putting this series together!

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