Watch How Did You Become a Musician?
In this video Willie Oteri answers the question "How did you become a musician?".
My mother was a musician and she always played records all time at home when we were growing up. I got to hear a lot of music even when I was very young. I was whistling music and singing along with it. When I was six or seven years old when people asked me what I wanted to do I said I wanted to be a jazz singer.
I thought Frank Sinatra and those kinda guys were The Shit, you know -that's the stuff to be! When I got older I realized I didn't really have the voice for it. So I started -I knew I wanted to be in bands and stuff when I was in high school, so I started playing -I first started playing flute when I was a teenager.
My sister had a flute and she never really played it. So I took that and I started playing flute. I used to just go find an area where there was a lot of natural reverb and echoing between buildings and stuff and play flute. From that I started thinking, well if I'm gonna get into bands I need to play something -nobody really wants flute players -until later when progressive rock bands in the seventies and eighties started using flute players. So I said I gotta play an instrument people want.
So I started playing bass because bands didn't have bass players. So I figured I'll play bass. So that was when I first started thinking about doing it permanently and being professional was I was in bands -hey I"m in bands, this is pretty cool, we're making money.
Then later when I started playing pedal steel in the mid seventies and working -getting a lot of gigs that way, I was completely convinced I wanted to do that. Do it as a profession. so then I just learned as much as I could about it to do whatever it takes to work in music.