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Ben Folds
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Folds became attracted to piano at age nine. His father, a carpenter, brought one home through a barter trade with a customer who was unable to pay. [1] During this time, Folds listened to songs by Elton John and Billy Joel on AM radio, and learned them by ear. During his years at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Folds played in several bands as the pianist, bassist, or drummer.
In the late 1980s, Folds (as a bassist) and longtime friend Millard Powers formed the band Majosha. The group released several locally produced records. They played their first gig at Duke University's Battle of the Bands in 1988, and won. [2] They played at bars and fraternity parties, and eventually put out a self-produced EP, which was sold at a few local stores called Party Night: Five Songs About Jesus (1988). The record featured only four songs, with none of them actually being about Jesus. They recorded Shut Up and Listen to Majosha in 1989. It contains, among other tracks, the four songs from Party Night (remixed and/or re-recorded) and what Folds would later record with his own band ("Emaline" and "Video"). At about the same time, they did a dance mix of "Get That Bug" that was released in Japan.
Majosha broke up in early 1990, and Folds formed Pots and Pans with Evan Olson (bass) and Britt "Snuzz" Uzzell (guitar and vocals), where Folds played drums. The newly formed band lasted for only a month, after which Olson and Uzzell went on to form Bus Stop [3] with Folds' brother, Chuck Folds, on bass, and Eddie Walker on drums. [4]
Folds eventually got a music publishing deal with Nashville music executive Scott Siman who saw Folds open for musician Marc Silvey (as well as playing bass for Silvey's band Mass Confusion), and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue it in 1990. He played drums for a short stint in Jody's Power Bill, headed by Millard Powers, Will Owsley, and Jody Spence. Jody's Power Bill was later renamed The Semantics. Folds did not take a creative role in the band. He, again, attracted interest from major labels. He ended up playing drums there as a session musician. [5]
"In Nashville, I was running eight miles a day, hanging out with my friends, walking around eating chocolate-chip cookies and playing a lot of drums, which I enjoyed. Life was easy. I was never frustrated – even though I wasn't fulfilling my contract obligations. If you are failing in Nashville, at least your standard of living is nice. Nashville is a nice way to fail." [5]
Folds attended the University of Miami's Frost School of Music on a percussion scholarship, but dropped out with one credit to go before graduating. He devoted a lot of time to working on piano technique. "I spent maybe six months just running scales with a metronome like a freak," Folds said. "I suppose that did something." [6]
Folds tells audiences about a jury recital when he was a student at the University of Miami’s music school. A jury recital consists of playing a prepared repertoire (and sometimes unprepared pieces from prior years of training) before faculty members who apply a grade for the entire semester. Folds, a drummer, showed up with a broken hand from defending his room mate from bullies the night before, but was required to play anyway. He ended up losing his scholarship and in desperation threw his drumkit into the campus' Lake Osceola. [7]
After leaving Miami, Folds moved to Montclair, New Jersey and began to act in theater troupes in New York City. He enjoyed it in 1993 to the point where he didn't want to keep pursuing a musical career. [5] He also played weekly gigs at Sin-é, famous for being the cafe which had helped start Jeff Buckley's career.
Soon after, Folds moved back to North Carolina. The Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer sit amet tincidunt lorem. Integer a enim a neque ullamcorper eleifend. Quisque tempor dictum purus, in pretium dui ullamcorper sodales. Mauris ante lorem, hendrerit nec blandit et, congue non velit. Proin ut tortor vel enim commodo ornare eget id nisi. Nunc sit amet tellus nibh, vel interdum dolor. Quisque tincidunt, nulla ut imperdiet placerat, magna augue elementum orci, ac sollicitudin urna turpis non sem. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin bibendum varius vestibulum. In id justo at magna posuere pharetra quis ac nulla. Suspendisse vestibulum justo at massa imperdiet laoreet. Cras euismod adipiscing neque, ac tristique nisl luctus sit amet. Nunc accumsan felis ut lectus vulputate quis blandit sapien egestas. Pellentesque justo neque, auctor quis hendrerit vitae, tempus eget magna. Sed id lobortis augue. Nam pharetra sagittis leo, id vehicula elit faucibus sit amet. Integer facilisis imperdiet dui in commodo. (from en.wikipedia.org)