MICHAEL SEIDITA, Windsor CA
I received my first Silvertone acoustic guitar from FedCo when I was about 10 or 11. I puttered about with that thing never really taking it too seriously. When I was in Jr. High School I starved my self and saved most of the daily allotment of 35 cents a day lunch money by just purchasing the 5 cent bowl of rice and gravy and the 5 cent milk in order to buy my Dream Guitar from Don Weir’s House of Music. I must have gone to Jr. High for 10 years because 25 cents a day doesn’t add up to much but eventually I was able to purchase that beautiful no-name Japanese pick shape guitar with the worst string action imaginable.
The first gig I ever played was playing bass on that pick shaped guitar for Mark Zuvick’s family and friends. I was singing in ‘House of The Rising Sun’ and I was standing on some blocks because I was too short to reach the microphone. As I sang, “There Is A House…Owe!.. In New Orleans…agh..shit” My lips were being constantly shocked so it was making my performance a bit erratic to say the least. The audience had a good laugh that day at my expense.
Some years later I decided to actually get serious about playing with other musicians. I bought a real bass guitar and joined the Improve Jazz Class taught by Bennett Friedman at the SR Jr College. The problem was I didn’t know anything about playing bass and especially nothing about playing jazz. On the first day of class I was presented with having to hold down the bass line for about thirty musicians who to me seemed like they were all accomplished players. I fell flat on my face because I didn’t have a clue as to what I was suppose to play. But in the coming months I persevered and learned exactly which notes I needed to play for each progression. There wasn’t much improvisation happening on my part but I was eventually able to hold it together. At the end of the class Bennett said to me, “Michael, you know when you first came in here I didn’t think you knew ‘Shit from Shinenola’ but you really have come a long way. Now that down thar is shit so don’t step in it.”
I continued with my starving musician shctick even though I had been long cut off from my 35 cents a day lunch money. I had joined a blues band which had in it Spencer, a punchy harmonica player.
It had become somewhat of a joke that I wasn’t eating much because I didn’t have a stable job. I did manage to get a horrible job climbing into attics and down in basements wrapping insulation around heater ducts. One day at practice I told Spencer that I got a job wrapping ducts. Spencer came up to me and asked, Wrapping Ducks?” I said, “yeah. You chase them, get em down, hold their beaks closed, and then you wrap em up.” Spencer gave me a confused look walking away shaking his head and said, “ Wrapping Ducks....Ain’t never heard of that.” The next week at practice Spencer came up to me and said, “Michael, You know I work at Friedman Brothers a huge hardware store and I asked a lot of farmers that come in there about your new job and they said they’ve never heard of such a thing!”
I’ve played in several other bands since then. Most recently I played in a band called Paulie’s Garage. This was kind of a current pop country band which wasn’t really the type of music I yearned to play but I liked the band members, we gigged fairly often and I always had fun playing in that band along with making a little money. There were many times when I asked myself what was I doing in that band. We had a good run until Paul the leader of the band said that he’d been playing so many years that he needed a break.
Even more recently I’ve started something I always wanted to try. I put together duo which consist of my bass player Jim Gatewood and myself on various acoustic instruments. We have mainly played at a local wine bar called Baldassari’s Wine Lounge. The wine bar was a great place to learn how to play as a duo and now we are ready to stretch out and play some other venues. I’ve recorded a number of original tunes over the years and this gives me another format for getting some of these originals out to the public.
RICK ALTIZIO, Windsor CA
I love playing with this crew. There are a few people that gave me the music bug early in life. Ralph Settembrino was the first. When he would come to babysit my sisters and me he would take us to his band practice and I knew I wanted to do that. I was fortunate to live in a neighborhood that had all kinds of young people that had the same passion.
I would play my snare and cymbal because that’s all I could afford with a classmate Ramon in his backyard doing a lot of Neil Young and other tunes.
As I got older I realized I really liked singing and I didn’t have to carry a bunch gear around so I put the drums on the back burner for a while.
I sang for a couple bands in Marin county and it was a blast and met some great people. Then I met my friend Pete who I would play music with for close to 40 years. We had the same musical interests. I love him and miss him very much. That’s when I decided to get back behind the kit. I figured if I was crucial to the band I would be able to play forever.
I appreciate everyone who has been a member of this band over all these years and I hope we just keep on rolling and make people smile.
ROB CARROLL, Healdsburg CA
Rob put down his trumpet and picked up guitar after high school, finding it to be a more versatile instrument for campfires and parties. He played guitar and bass in a couple of bands in the east bay, then began writing his own material around 1990, and formed a band "Burning Bush League" that played all original songs at private parties and festivals. That band lost steam as 3 out of 4 members had newborns at home! After relocating to Sonoma County there was an extended period of learning production and DAW skills for the purpose of marketing music for commercial purposes. He has produced and recorded around 50 original tunes, but not that many have seen the light of day.
In approximately 2008 (the date cannot be verified...) he joined the 8 piece band that was called Lickidy Split as the bass player. A lot of rehearsing (and some gigging) took place over the next few years until the band decided to slim down to a 5 piece, and The Renovators were born. The band rapidly became a tight unit and played many gigs in clubs, pubs, weddings, parties and even the town green at Windsor for the Cinco de Mayo celebration. Tragically, in 2018 the renovators lost their founding member Pete Collins, which almost brought an end to the band. The Renovators collectively decided to carry on in Pete's memory and Rob has now moved into the rhythm guitar/vocals position, where he is dedicated to helping the Renovators carry on Pete's legacy, including the brotherhood of great fun, camaraderie, and classic rock for all people who love live music.
Rob has also enjoyed playing and recording original music with his daughter Lucy, who is now attending UCLA. In 2013 they formed a band called Boomerang that played many local gigs over three years, which were popular with Healdsburg tourists and locals. Having a daughter with a true musical gift who is willing to play gigs in public with the old man is the icing on the cake in his musical career!
CEASAR AZEVEDO, Santa Rosa CA
I remember in third grade I picked up a trombone and tried to play, but my arms weren’t long enough. It wasn't until six grade in San Francisco in the mid '70s that I discovered a passion for Latin rock. Listening to the great bands such as Santana, Malo, and War in my early years in San Francisco had a big influence on me. I picked up the trombone and joined the elementary school band, and our first band performance for our school was Soul Sacrifice! When I moved to Santa Rosa in the eighth grade I continued playing my trombone at Cook Junior High School, then I really got serious as a freshman at Santa Rosa High, learning music theory and the basics of playing in a horn section. The first band outside of school I played with was a band called Slick. We played R&B, funk and soul. The second band I auditioned for was New Moon led by Tom Trujillo. After that, I went back to my roots and joined a big Latin band learning all aspects of Latin music. So I took the Latin flavor and combined it with the rock ‘n’ roll! Brass and percussion is my thing with the Renovators.
FAIREL CORBIN, Santa Rosa CA
The newest member of the Renovators has been playing bass in Sonoma County for decades. Fairel is an accomplished bass player and vocalist who has played in rock, blues, and country genres. He started on guitar in Junior High School in 1969 forming a band with some friends. Fairel stayed with guitar for about four years until a friend from another band called him up desperately needing a bass player for a New Years eve gig. He thought "why not?" and the rest as they say- is history.
Last year Fairel lost his longtime partner Tucker McMullen leaving a big hole in his musical life. We renovators can all relate to that. Tucker and Fairel played together for 32 years, cementing themselves as mainstays in the Sonoma County music scene in many different bands, one of the most successful being Medicine Man, one of the hardest working cover bands in the county! The duo Tucker and Fairel toured and performed all over the US and in Mexico for many years.
We in the Renovators are very excited to have him onboard laying down some foundational bottom end, and are glad to have him bring new tunes for us to play as we forge this great new partnership!