Bill Shaw Part 3

Bill also played piano and organ. It was a special treat when he'd come to my house and play the piano in our living room. He was passionate about music yielding to it from a place deep inside.  He was the first person in whom I recognized their passion.  Bill would play for hours, often with eyes closed, leaning his head close to the keyboard so as to get as close to the music as possible.

One night in the basement at my house, Bill and a few other guys came over to jam. Bill brought some sort of electronic box that made strange rhythms. By pushing buttons and turning knobs he could change the sound, rhythm and tempo.  It seemed both ridiculous and irresistible at the same time.  It was a clumsy quirky "instrument" but typical of Bill Shaw, he was the first one we knew to use a "synthesizer drum machine" which years later became standard fare for many bands.

Bill left Hinsdale High School for reasons unknown to attend school at the Central YMCA High School in Chicago. I thought it was very brave of him to go to school in the big city. The very next year I departed Hinsdale High School to find myself a student at Central YMCA also. I thought I was very brave also. Had it not been for Bill I wouldn't have dared venture into the city for school but he helped me and we had fun there for a few semesters.

Bill was the first of our friends to marry and have a child. Ground breaking events for us teenagers. He was a faithful husband to his wife Suzy and good father to his daughter Celeste. His first apartment was in Chicago's Old Town where only the very hip people lived at that time. They later moved to Rogers Park in Chicago where my friends and I were often welcome.

As I matured and ventured into business starting Moss Hill Natural Foods, I saw less and less of my old friends. People began to move and marry and regrettably, I lost touch with Bill Shaw.

Update 09/15/07: Bill Shaw is alive and well living in California.  Just got off the phone with him.  Goose bump moment!  It was as if no time had passed since we last spoke.  Bill is semi retired having sold his piano store and is playing drums and keyboards.  He asked about you all and has only fond memories of our collective youth.  More to come...  Bill has a 20 track CD and 1968 vintage video soon to be posted here.  

Recent and vintage photos from Bill Shaw.  Click thumbnail to view larger image.

Billy with Mike (Roadhouse) Rider & The M80s

"Triumph" by Billy


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