about mikelewismusic

mikelewismusic, aka Mike Lewis or Michael David Lewis, is a singer-songwriter from San Diego, CA, and a veteran of the San Diego music scene.

Mike writes and plays all original material,  providing a slice of the human experience from his own viewpoint. Joy, exuberance, love, loss, sadness, and humor are all examined from a unique, heartfelt point of view as only Mike can deliver.

mikelewismusic – a musical biography:

Growing up my dad always played country music.  I got a very healthy dose of Johnny Cash growing up.  That was my first musical memory, and that left a huge impression on me.  When I started elementary school, I discovered popular music, and my first foray into that was the Jackson 5.  I remember admiring Michael Jackson most of all, and soon thereafter I discovered Elton John.  Those two were my first real musical heroes and the great music they made stuck with me:  From the Jackson 5: “We’ve Got Blue Skies” (my absolute favorite J5 tune), “The Love You Save”, “ABC”, “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “Ben”, and “Maybe Tomorrow” were my favorites.  Elton John tunes that I loved were “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”, “Someone Saved My Life”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Harmony”, “Rocket Man”, and “Your Song”.  Soon I discovered FM radio, and I was introduced to the world of Rock ‘N Roll.

Rock music had grown from the 60s – arguably the greatest era of Rock ‘N Roll with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, and countless other great rock groups – into the arena-rock fueled artists of the 70s:  Led Zeppelin (who started in 1969 actually), Aerosmith, Boston, Peter Frampton, and KISS.  It was KISS that pushed me to the edge of wanting to play guitar, so at the age of 13 I talked my parents into buying me a cheap Sears Les Paul copy.  I taught myself chords through various Mel Bay books.

I stumbled along for years on guitar through high school until I hooked up with my first band, The RADICAL MOLESTERS.  We played Beatles, Who, and Stones covers, as well as songs of the day – this was the 80s, so this included a healthy dose of the Clash, The Police, etc.  It was in this band I made the switch to being a bass player.  It seemed that my attempts to teach myself guitar gave me a good idea of fretboard knowledge that translated well into the bass.

RADICAL MOLESTERS – L-R, Clifford M. Jomuad, Mike Lewis.  1st gig 5/22/82 at the Town and Country Hotel, San Diego, CA.

By now I was fascinated with The Who, and the songwriting of Pete Townshend in particular.  I always had an interest in writing, and songwriting seemed to be a perfect outlet for me.  However, I lacked the basic knowledge in chord structure, so I just focused on lyrics.  I must’ve penned over 100 song lyrics and poems in a 6 month period.  However, I was too shy to ever show them to anybody!  But I’ve always written songs through the years and continue to do so to this day (I’ll get to that soon).

The RADICAL MOLESTERS became “The USSR”.  I played with them for a few more years, and then hooked up with a band called “NEIN”.  All of this was fun, but by 1985 I earned my degree in Computer Science, and at the tender age of 22 made a foray into the workforce and put music on the backburner.

Mike – Rehearsing with The USSR – 1983

Mike with The RADICAL MOLESTERS, Del Mar Fair, Del Mar, CA, 6/29/89

I continued to jam informally with friends, and in 1989 a brief RADICAL MOLESTERS reunion culminated in a show at the Del Mar Fair.  After that, I pretty much stopped playing.  In 1991 I got married and sold all of my equipment.  It seemed that maybe my musical adventure was coming to a close.

However, by 1997 I started getting the itch to play again, and this resulted in a purchase of a Fender P-Bass.  In 2000 I bought a Rickenbacker 4003 bass (with a Sea Green finish) and by 2001 I was back in a band called CenterAisle.  We stayed together for a few years and had an amicable breakup.  I hooked up with Ed De Caro from CenterAisle and together we formed With Intent.

Mike with CenterAisle – Rhythm Lounge, San Diego, CA. 1/18/03

Mike playing for With Intent. Metaphor Cafe, Escondido, CA. 7/24/04

This was early in 2004, and I remained in With Intent until September of 2004, where I bowed out because of family commitments. The time required to rehearse in a band was taking away valuable family time.  With three young children this was no longer possible.  But this turned out to be the blessing of blessings.  Although my time constraints prevent me from participating in a band, there are no constraints with me playing solo acoustic guitar.

While in CenterAisle I rekindled my love for songwriting.  I had actually started cranking out many songs.  So now on my own, armed with an acoustic guitar, I started working on a solo acoustic venture featuring my own songs, many that I wrote while in CenterAisle and With Intent.

I began playing original tunes on acoustic, informally dubbing this effort “mikelewismusic”, which happens to be the title song of my debut CD, released in 2006.  “mikelewismusic” the song celebrates my musical history, and the many friends that I have been blessed to cross paths with on my journey are mentioned in this song.  I tip my hat to all of them, for their collaboration with me over the years helped shape me to what I am today.

“mikelewismusic”, the song:

Mike’s debut album – “mikelewismusic”, released April 2006.

Mike performing as mikelewismusic at the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar, CA. 7/4/2006

In 2009 I released my second solo effort called “Headin’ North” – this was a concept album, a “Rock Opera” if you will, about a young man trying to find spiritual guidance through earthly means.  This album, along with “mikelewismusic” are both available for purchase on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com (physical CDs and mp3 downloads) and also available on iTunes (mp3 downloads only).  Links to CDBaby are linked on this site.

Mike’s second album. “Headin’ North”, released October 2009.

In 2011 I put together an all-star band of musicians I grew up with from Montgomery High School in Otay Mesa (South San Diego), CA, dubbing ourselves “The Magic Montgomery Brothers”.  Several of these fine musicians were bandmates of mine in both The RADICAL MOLESTERS and The USSR.  This supergroup was put together to play a one-shot performance at a benefit for a local school.  It was an honor and pleasure to be able to work together with the talented musicians from my youth, all of whom I looked up to in one way or another as a youngster just starting out in music.

Mike playing as “Mick Montgomery” in the Magic Montgomery Brothers. Holy Family Festival, San Diego, CA. 10/1/11

2012 saw some activity from my very first band, The RADICAL MOLESTERS.  Working with my longtime musical partner and collaborator Clifford M. Jomuad, we released an album containing The RADICAL MOLESTERS performance from the 1989 Del Mar Fair.  The album, titled “TRSW Live 1989” is available on CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes as well.

RADICAL MOLESTERS live album “TRSW Live 1989”, recorded in 1989. Released on 6/29/12.

Today I focus on writing songs, practicing my craft on both guitar and bass, and looking for the next big thing, be it recording, creating videos, working with a band, or simply noodling around.

Music, pictures and videos will be posted as separate blog entries as I work through my musical history via this website.

Keep making music!

~mikelewismusic

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