Brad T. Svoboda ( Drummer/ Percussionist )
by Brad T. Svoboda
(Flagataff, Arizona )
Fred Catero! An amazing, genuine inspiration to my life! As a drummer I started playing at age 7, self-taught. My primary inspiration growing up in a family of musicians, vocalists, composers, including my parents and my two older brothers.
At age 12 I began playing professionally in various local bands in the San Francisco Bay Area. At age 15 I was very thankful to have had some absolutely amazing opportunities to have played at a number of concerts and recording sessions along side some quite prominent bands at that time. However, the challenge for me at the time was my age ( some 5-7 years younger than most of these other band members) which I managed to typically disguise behind my shoulder length hair.
Some of my most memorable experiences included playing at Bill Graham’s Fillmore, Winterland, Avalon Ballroom, Golden Gate Park, and The Lyon’s Share. In the late 60’s early 1970’s
To have played at concerts alongside and in some cases with bands like Grateful Dead,Jerry Garcia, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Boston, and Moody Blues....Amazing experiences I’ll never forget. Some however were embarrassing....Like being asked by Jefferson Airplane and Moody Blues to tour with them as their drummer....Only to have my parents inform them that I’m still in High School for two more years.
Fast forward to current day music is still my passion in life, even on a part time basis just doing occasional studio recording sessions and live performances.
I say all of this to say, after all these years....One of my most memorable experiences was the honor of having been invited by Fred Catero personally to his San Francisco Bay Area home. Fred impressed me as being so very genuine and down to earth despite his amazing musical recording engineer expertise!
Evidently, Fred had heard of this young up and coming local band as mentioned in Bill Graham’s book about Bay Area bands of the late 60’s era.
Here I was early 1970, so incredibly honored to have been invited to Fred’s beautiful home, where he had an awesome recording studio. Remembering like it was just yesterday, walking down the hallway of his home seeing the framed gold lp records of Santana, Chicago Transit Authority Band, Blood Sweat and Tears Band Albums.
I recall Fred commenting about our band “You kids are pretty good, let’s do some recording here”.
Thank you Fred! For a musical recording experience I’ll never forget!