Linda Herman [accordionlinda]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I play music for ballroom dancing in the Los Angeles area using a Roland V Accordion, FR7, midi to a Ketron SD3 sound module. One has to find their "niche" in the world and this seems to be mine. I also do vocals. I do not consider myself a singer but it does seem to work. I describe my voice as "sultry".
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I now work as a single. I was part of a duo along with my friend and love Glen Kelley, a drummer. He passed away in 1999. For a short time I worked with Roland Fabbrie until his death in 2007. Now I'm back performing by myself. Both of the above people influenced me personally and musically.
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
I sell my music online at CDBABY. They are great. I also have a myspace site.
Link to cdbaby - http://cdbaby.com/all/accordionlinda
Link to myspace - http://www.myspace.com/dancetimewithlindaroland
Please list discography in which you have participated.
I have cd's available online at cdbaby and of course onstage also.
Just type in Dancetime With Linda & Roland in a search engine and you find me.
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
I started taking accordion lessons when I was 8 years old from Arlene Boddicker, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They had a wonderful program that kept everyone interested. We played all over the world as teenagers. What a wonderful experience and I thank her and her family. I'm still in touch with her.
What was your musical education?
I had private lessons from age 8 from Arlene Boddicker in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was a complete "education" consisting of music and theory.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
I remember as a kid going to a ballroom dance with my parents. I would watch and listen to the band and wanted to be able to do that. I'm not sure I thought I could do that for a living but it did happen. I started playing in a dance band in Iowa when I was 16. It was great being paid for playing and accordion. In 1977 I met Glen Kelley and played in his 7 piece polka and big band. I used to arrange for the band. We had 2 trumpets, sax, baritone horn, tuba, accordion and drums. I purchased an electronic accordion and then Glen Kelley and I performed as a duo. Eventually in 1984 we moved to Los Angeles and got in the "senior circuit" as I say. That is we started to play for ballroom dance clubs and senior centers. I'm still doing that.
What is your creative process?
Do I have a creative process? I suppose so. I have a suitcase full of music. I find a song and then arrange it to suit my style. My repetoire consists of music from the 30's to now. All styles also from big band, country, rock and roll, latin, etc.
I have started to write some of my own stuff. That started after my dear friend Roland passed away. I have written several songs concerning death. Then in June of 2008 there was a flood in Iowa. It took out one span of a 110 year old bridge to nowhere near where I grew up. I wrote a song called Ode To The Sutliff Bridge. I posted it on youtube and it touched a lot of people in Iowa. It took me "home" in August of 08. I want save the bridge. It could be symbolic. I could not save Glen and Roland from dying but maybe I can save the bridge. It is a truly beautiful and unique place.
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
I think night. I woke several times and had words in my head. I usually get up and jot them down. I also get creative on the golf course. Have a pencil and piece of paper with me and jot down the words. Usually the words come first. However my last song, Love's Struggle, came with the music first and then the words. I have not recorded it yet. It is a sort of love song about my friend John.
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
No, not from dreams. I just wake up and can't go back to sleep because words are in my head. Don't think they come from dreams.
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
I have both the words and music together. Then I try recording it. At that point I might do some changing. Eventually it just sounds right. If I can go around singing it then it is probably ready to record.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
Writing my own stuff seems to come after some emotional thing happening to me. My first song, Gasoline Blues, came after gasoline started rising so high back in the 90's. I did not write anything until after Roland passed away in 2007. So it appears emotions influence my creativity.
What part of your job is your least favourite?
I suppose setup and teardown are my least favorite parts of the job. Although I'm good at doing it and can do it fast. I don't really like going out and searching for new places to play. People seem to act like you are doing this for the first time.
How often do you practice?
Not enough to keep up technically. Should play everyday.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
I'm pretty laid back. But I'm usually excited to get started. Want to see a big crowd. I don't really get nervous. No butterflies. Maybe years ago but not anymore.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
My teacher - Arlene Boddicker
My first partner - Glen Kelley
Whoopie John Polka Band
40s, 50s, & 60s music and groups
List three songs that are key to your life.
Ode To The Sutliff Bridge
San Diego Serenade
What should be done to stop piracy?
I haven't a clue
What type of music do you detest?
I'm not big on rap but I can't say I detest any type of music. I do like music with melody however.
What time did you get up this morning?
I was up around 6AM. I'm always an early riser even if I go to bed late.
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
I sell myself mostly by word of mouth. I do send how promos once in awhile. Write letters, send cd's that sort of thing. No experience with record companies. Just cdbaby and they do a fantastic job.
What other things have you done to make a living?
A musician is always a musician. But I have done stuff from selling airplane parts to being a janitor. You do what you have to do. But music has always been there.
Have you ever played on the street or in the subway? How much did you collect each day?
Who would you play with, without a doubt?
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Find your "niche" in the world and go for it. Be on time. Do the job you were paid to do. Please the audience and the people who hired you. Know your clients and make sure they know what you do. Do not misrepresent yourself. Be proud of what you do. Always try to improve and don't get in a rut.
Seal Beach, California