In 1979, Tony Orlando said to Gary, "When you’re dreaming about your life and future, shoot for the moon… because even if you miss, you'll still be up there among the stars." That’s how Gary has lived his life from day one. He was born in Richmond, CA (near Oakland), the son of a Chevron machinist and homemaker wife. By watching TV shows like "The Ed Sullivan Show", Gary at 6, was inspired to play music. At age 9, after 1 year of practicing, he was performing for PTA meetings and local events all over his home town with his brother. Hearing the applause and receiving that kind of attention became an addiction that would turn out to be life-long.
Gary started his first band at age 12. By 14, he joined his brother's band "The Vandells". They became so popular that they toured the Orient during his senior year. One month after graduation, Gary was working Harrah's Reno & Lake Tahoe. He dreamed of starting his own show band. He teamed up with Sandy Selby in 1973 to form one of the most popular groups Nevada had ever seen, and touring coast to coast throughout the 80's & 90's. Gary produced 4 of the 5 albums they recorded. Branching out was the next step.
In 1992, Gary became an entrepreneur creating Slam Grand Piano Company. The concept was a light weight, easily movable piano that would never go out of tune. The company is in its 20th year and has built pianos for stars like Madonna, Maroon 5, Carrie Underwood, Tom Petty, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Journey, Celine Dion, Alison Kraus, David Foster and more.
Gary (who bears a striking resemblance to ABBA's Benny Andersson), not only enjoyed the music of ABBA, but had the opportunity to see ABBA in September of 1979, and remains a true fan of their sound. To recreate one of Rock & Roll's greatest groups, he called on his partner, Sandy Selby (who has a 4 octave range), to help the dissection of the vocal parts.
Every musical note would also have to be transcribed and replayed into a computer. Gary called on Fred Sampson for his knowledge in midi-computer music. All of the parts were assembled and compared to the original ABBA tracks for accuracy.
Gary's wife Jeanene, and their children, Ben, Casady and Garrett, were blessed with the patience and the eyes to see the vision of their husband/father's dream, and allow him to freedom to passionately work for that goal.