The Elliot Schneider Short and Improbably Authorized Biography
In the summer of 1969 when men first set foot on the moon, I met Les Paul in Chicago. I was visiting the daughter of his former drummer Tommy Rinaldo. Mr. Paul was both warm and sardonic. He invited me to travel back to New York with him, “Ten Years After” and Dusty Springfield. Strangely enough, I said, “thanks, but I can’t,” and so he gave me his card and invited me to his home in Mahwah, New Jersey. I played for him at his home in March of 1970 and he wanted to produce my song, “The First Day Of Summer.” Being young and stupid, I never took advantage of that opportunity. Hey, it was the Sixties…
On December 25, 1979 my band Elliot Schneider and the Pitts was the third band in history to debut at CBGB’s on a Saturday night. (Patti Smith, the Talking Heads, Blondie and Television were some of the debut artists.) When this band burst at the seams I became a music critic. Murray the K read my interview with Danny Kalb. He requested that I do his deathbed interview. It was a cover story for the Soho News.
In 1982, I left New York and moved to San Francisco, where I put out my first album. Chris Halaby, the brother of Queen Noor of Jordan, plays on some of these songs; in fact he's the guitarist on "Wise Men Never Say.” Chris and I were put together through a mutual connection with John Hammond, Sr. who discovered Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
In San Francisco I first played as Elliot Schneider and The Pitts and then formed Elliot Schneider and The Banned.
In 1987, I gave up the holy grail of rock and roll. I retired, went to graduate school, became a high school history and philosophy teacher—and played in rock band with my students. We would play high school rallies in front of screaming appreciative pupils (who were hopefully without dilated pupils!) Then in 2005 I got breast cancer, beat it, retired from teaching and returned to rock and roll with a vengeance. I am determined to drop dead at ninety years of age on stage with a smile on my face. My beloved Carmen Castro will still be playing keyboards right next to me when I do and if there's an encore, I will rise up and sing one last time...
On Saturday night December 8, 2012, I was played on the BBC Radio Merseyside (Liverpool) on Spencer Leigh’s program, “On The Beat.” Imagine that—British Invasion in reverse! And the same day Chestnut Radio put out its list of the Best Albums of 2012, 16 CDs “in no particular order” and my album, “If Looks Could Kill, I’d Wear Mirror Sunglasses made the list. (In fact Ralph J. Rizzo, the owner of the station, later said it was his absolutely favorite CD of the year with Jack White coming in second!) On December 19, 2012, London DJ and author Henry Scott-Irvine (104.4 FM) said on his show that my CD was “one of my favorite albums of the year.” His theme for that program was the Best Of 2012.
In 2013 the BBC Radio Merseyside has continued to play more of my music.
My previous album “Surreal Survivor” was No.1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases mp3 chart in Rock/Oldies & Retro.
My second CD, “If Looks Could Kill, I’d Wear Mirror Sunglasses,” was released in June of 2012 and is, of course, getting extensive international airplay.
“Excellent stuff—that guy’s got swagger!” –Spencer Leigh, BBC Radio Merseyside (Liverpool) after playing “If Looks Could Kill, I’d Wear Mirror Sunglasses” on his Saturday night show, “On The Beat.” (December 8th, 2012)
“Elliot Schneider’s gold lame shirt and spandex pants, his Jagger moves and Elvis Costello delivery…and his Bob Dylan nose make it impossible to classify him, categorize him, deny, defy or crucify him. Everything about him invites skepticism; you know right off he’s either a total flake or a total genius.”
Cary Tennis (now Salon.com’s renowned columnist)
“I prefer to think total genius!” –Tom Lambert, Irish DJ of the syndicated “The Independent Music Show”
“Elliot Schneider’s new album is utterly FAB--a great album—wonderful!! One of my favorite albums of the year.” –Henry Scott-Irvine, DJ 104.4 FM London, England (author of “Procol Harum: The Ghosts of a Whiter Shade of Pale” with an introduction by Martin Scorsese.)
"I have been loving your new CD. I cranked it up all the way home from Ray Davies at the Fillmore. I hope you've been getting lots of great responses from folks on it. I was happy to hear about your news of overseas play!! I keep it close in my car for instant pick up..."
--Annalisa, DJ at KFOX and formerly KFOG in San Francisco.
"Definitely unique--the enigmatic Elliot Schneider is the multi-talented King of Unrestrained Extravaganza! He’s a Californian Rock Icon; nothing but rock god status for Elliot now!!!" --RockTrish, “Whatever Rocks Your Boat” DCR 97.4 FM (Radio Show of the Year, New Scottish Music Awards 2012)
Selected Album Of The Week by DCR 97.4 FM
“My favorite album of 2012 is Elliot Schneider's record, “If Looks Could Kill, I’d Wear Mirror Sunglasses!” –Ralph J. Rizzo, DJ/Owner Chestnut Radio
Selected for FAVORITE ALBUMS 2012 (Sweet Sixteen--No Particular order) Chestnut Radio
“Bay area rocker Elliot Schneider’s career reads like the lyrics of a rock ‘n’ roll song.” –Randy McMullen, San Jose Mercury News
The legendary DJ Rodney Bingenheimer played "If Looks Could Kill, I'd Wear Mirror Sunglasses" on KROQ in LA and posted the video on his blog.