OK! I guess I should get this out of the way first. I use "Stephen B" because most people have trouble pronouncing or spelling my family name which is Byczek, a Polish name. (When I was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune in 1984 Pat Sajak asked me if I wanted to buy a vowel. Ha!) Now you have to understand that in Polish a Y is pronounced like an I and the CZ sounds like a CH. Therefore, the Polish pronunciation would be Bitchek. I was born and raised in New York City. You CAN'T have a name like that in NYC. I would have had to spend my life hearing lines like: "Yo Bitch! Get over here!!" I guess my dad must have had similar experiences as a kid because he "Americanized" the pronunciation to sound like "Buy zeck". I was grateful.
Still a classic big kid. I guess you can say I suffer from "Peter Pan Syndrome"....I don't wanna grow up...LOL! That's me at 2 yrs old sitting on the potty singing my heart out! Cute huh? hahaha!
I'm a natural musician. I started out playing drums at 9 years of age and played all through Mater Christi high school in NYC including stints as the jazz band drummer for all four years and one year in the orchestra. My mentor was a neighborhood friend, Ronnie Tourso. (That's him playing that great Gibson '61 Les Paul with what later became known as the the SG body). It was he who found out that this white boy actually had some rhythm!! It was also Ronnie who got me to sing. He is responsible for getting me in my first bands and showing me how much fun it was to be a performer.
It's funny how I never recall having stage fright. I've always been drawn to the spotlight and have to credit my 4th grade teacher, Sister Cecilia Therese for nurturing my vocal talents. She was instrumental in my early understanding and appreciation of vocal harmony and counterpoint. So there I was, singing lead from behind the drums and always being blocked out by the guitarists standing in front of me. What else could I do but learn how to play guitar, so I could stand out front while singing leads? And even though I'm primarly a bassist I still get out front with a 6 string every so often...as you can see in the pictures with the Five Boroughs. Look! In the picture on the left I'm even getting a standing ovation after singing "Cara Mia"! It's still a rush after all these years!