I'm pretty sure it was 1983? Apopka Jr. High, we decided to start a rock band. Jeff, Me, Warren Williams, Nicky Brown, Todd Smith....we were all in symphonic, marching and jazz bands. We started practicing after school, and over the years my parent's garage became our studio. Our first "big" gig was playing the Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival...probably 20,000 people over the course of 3 days. We opened up for big country acts as the "The Impacts" (we started out as "Nitro" back in Jr. High)...it was pretty intimidating for 14-16 yr olds. Anyhow....I would stop in at home while on military leave over the years and go to some of Jeff's rehearsals when he was with Isis; caught a show or two and had a blast. Jeff had "big hair"....like glam band hair. It was awesome! I've always be
en jealous of Jeff's hair. :) So many years went by and we hadn't seen each other. When Jeff came to Billings, Montana with Chicago, my wife and I got to go see him perform. I can tell you...when I saw him take that stage and start singing, I had tears streaming down my cheeks I was so happy and blown away. It was so amazing to see Jeff in his element with that band and set behind him. I'm going to say this for the record: Jeff putting his family first and making the decision to leave the road with Chicago is the mark of a true man. As a career military man, I know how hard it is to be away from your loved ones. Jeff making that choice says volumes about what is important in life. We should all take that example and follow his lead.