A modern day Jack Kerouac
I grew up in a small farm town in Ohio and spent my summers living in a tepee doing living history reenactments with my family. It was a lot of Daniel Boone, American frontiersmen type of thing. I was throwing a tomahawk before I was even old enough to remember. And we cooked all of our meals over an open fire in a cast iron pot just like the early settlers did. We had to dress like them too, all in leather & wool. It was quite to my discomfort on those humid summer days. But at night, around the campfire, when the adults broke out the instruments and reveled the night away in song, it was pure bliss.
Looking back now, it makes sense that this childhood has led me to the road. Fresh out of college with an acting degree in hand, I moved from Ohio to California on a solo cross-country bicycle trip. Not only did I think my junky car wouldn’t make it, but moreover I got on my bike because I really wanted to know what it meant to be alive. A bold proposition, but as an idealistic young man, I thought it was a great idea to get at the heart of existence. Lacking a cell phone and credit card, I lived on $600 and a guitar to earn food money, while sleeping in homeless shelters, youth hostels, town parks and anywhere I could find to pitch my tent. Having been a boy scout, you’d think I would have been a little more prepared.
I survived that epic soul searching trek, and a handful of years later, the bicycle adventure became my first novel and soundtrack, Moment In The Sun. The next move seemed obvious. Buy a vintage VW Bus site unseen on Ebay for a promotional tour that I would document myself by film. How hard could that be? I wasn’t a film maker or mechanic, but given enough time and do-or-die circumstance, it’s surprising what you can learn. Those years on the road, filled with the colorful characters and artists I met, became my award winning rockumentary film, VW Bus Tour: Americana Bohemia.
Between some odd jobs and stints on the road, I even recorded a couple of studio albums. One was paid for by bartering my 1972 mustang convertible for studio time. It was a tough choice, but I’m still glad I traded a 3 year restoration dream car for the opportunity to record the perfect analog album.
Never one to sit still, it wasn’t long before the next novel in my trilogy demanded to be finished. After a dozen years of rewrites, Baseball Clubbies arrives with the genera defying soundtrack Stealing Home. Here we trade the road for the private clubhouse world of minor league baseball. A world exposed through the eyes of a struggling musician. It’s inspired by my five years living and working in the clubhouse of a Triple-A team. Boy, do I have some stories!
And nipping at the heels of those baseball cleats comes my second music film, Saturday Scout Club, loosely based on true events and accompanied by an original soundtrack.
Take a quick look and listen. It won’t take long before you’ll be swept up in Palka’s Do-It-Yourself buzz where you’ll be hatching your own dreams.