Sometime in 2009 I met a couple that completely changed my life. I was coming off of a unpleasant divorce from a 22 year marriage, with my two sons living with my ex and and my mom had come down with pancreatic cancer. I was not working much and having a hard time maintaining financially & mentally.  I was singing around town and on Friday nights I sang in Oxnard, Ca at a place called The Lookout, owned by Gary Richards, a friend of mine who owned a couple of other bars I sang at in Los Angeles.

Brad & Teena Boeckmann would come in on Friday nights and listen to me sing. They were always dressed very casual in shorts & flip flops and showed interest in my act. They would occasionally buy me a shot or two and one night Brad approached me and asked me if I wanted to give him lessons, or just hang out with him & Teena. I wasn’t feeling good that night, I think my throat was worn out from massive singing, and I asked Brad if he would like to get up and sing a few songs.

Brad got up and sang a couple of songs and he was really good for a non professional.  He sang Cortez, one of my favorite Neil Young songs and I was impressed and happy that I could rest my voice, drink some tequila and listen to Brad play.  After a few weekends of them coming out to see me, I casually asked Brad what he did for a living, he said he sold cars. I asked him where and he said Galpin Motors. I was immediately impressed because Galpin was a 40+ year old company with a stellar reputation in Southern California.  I had rented cars & trucks from Galpin and was always pleased with the quality, prices and attitude of the people that worked there. I asked Brad what division he worked in, sales, service, rentals?  He said he and his family has owned the company for 40 years.  Brad was the vice president of the company and along with his father Burt ran the business for the entire company, which is massive.

As it turned out, Brad & Teena lived about 15 minutes from my house and I started going over to their beautiful house in Chatsworth on Tuesday nights and we would jam for hours.  Brad had about 30 guitars at that time, Martin’s, Gibson’s, Taylor’s  so we never ran out of axe’s to play.  The big surprise for me came when Brad asked Teena to sing with us  one night.  She opened her mouth and she sounded like an angel, I couldn’t believe how good she was. She was shy and we really had to pull it out of her, but when she sang Wind Beneath My Wings, I think we both cried. She is a world class singer, and I have seen and played with some amazing women. (To Be Continued…..)

Gary, Galpin & Giving back