As the years rolled on and my interest developed I became serious about pursuing the local club scene as a performer. I became reacquainted with an elementary school friend, Billy Lenz, who played in bands in high school. In the late 1970's together we developed a song list and performed at a party as the duo "Flat Bed" named for the truck that was our stage. That was the beginning and basically the end of that duo. Still friends today but have not played much together since.
Still in pursuit of performing I met Harry Patrie sometime around 1980 or '81. Harry was an excellent singer and began coaching me to sing harmony (on key). Harry and I shared mutual interests in music and performing and along with another friend of Harry's we formed a trio and called ourselves "Crossroads". Our first performance was a benefit for "Over Eaters Anonymous" in Wheaton, MD. Harry's friend eventually lost interest and Randy Conlan stepped in on Guitar and vocals. Later Randy dropped out and Hunter Pitts joined us. Hunter played harmonica, tambourine and sang great high harmony. This elevated us to a higher plateau and we landed some descent club jobs. All good things must end, as did this sometime around 1983.
At this time I was bit by the performance bug and determined to go on. I took voice lessons for about nine months and struck out on a solo performance mission. I ventured out to participate in John Harbison's open mic night. Once I felt like was ready I started booking jobs. Finding a few clubs that were interested I forged ahead. I was having fun playing to some small and medium audiences all the while trying desperately to develop vocal and guitar skills, the audiences were generally kind (and forgiving).
In the winter a 1986 a young neighbor, Gary Rosen, asked if I'd be interested in jamming with he and his friends Troy Bardwell and Todd Shapiro. This formed the band "Daktari”. Playing classic and new rock taken mainly from my solo repertoire, Daktari became successful and played almost every weekend. Allan Clark became the group’s soundman. Allan, also a drummer, eventually took over the kit for the 4th set each night as players rotated roles. Allan and I drew close with our common ties to music and bourbon. Once again it was about June of 1988 and good things came to an end. Daktari broke up.
I finished the year out as a soloist then in 1989 old friend Don Owen resurfaced to form the "Worthington Owen" duo. We had a great year but do to work and family Don did not re-sign for 1990. At this time Kevin Heister became my partner and we performed regularly at local clubs as “Worthington and Heister". Allan Clark still in the picture played drums at venues that suited and soon we became "Worthington, Heister and Clark". Through the next several years this group played regularly and were joined on occasions by Don Owen, George Harvey and others. On Thanksgiving Day 1994, Greg Kruse joined the band as the group’s full time bass player. The band was then known as "Worthington, Heister, Clark and Kruse”. Around the same time Steve Alexander (and old high school friend) also started coming around and played harmonica with the band. In the fall of 1996 Kevin Heister dropped out and Steve was approached to join the band as a full time member to play guitar and harmonica. Accepting the offer, this group became "Riptide". Riptide plays ‘80’s, 90’s and original rock in and acoustic/electric format (and still rocks to those early tunes of Neil Young upon request). Set back by an untimely stroke in Jan. 2002, the guys in the band rallied to get me back on my feet. Kevin Heister re-joined the band to help out until Riptide decided to call it quits on Dec. 31, 2004 playing its final gig at JJ. Muldoon’s New Year’s Eve party.
In 2005 I joined forces with Stoney (aka John Johnstone), a multi-talented musician and singer. He played a powerful bass and sang harmony and I played guitar and sang lead vocal. We went for about a year and Stoney moved on to play with several other bands.
In 2006 I returned to solo work playing regularly in bars, restaurants and private parties mainly in Montgomery Co. Md. Denise D'Amico and I started to playing together. Denise played tambourine and sang harmony. In 2008 we met Neal Herron at an open mic. Neal now joined us on stage playing a rip roaring harmonica that will be sure to grab you attention. He moves, he sways, he sweats. Inspired by the music and he'll be sure to inspire you too! Neal's been playing for over thirty years and adds a great deal to our act. Denise decided to call it quits in November 2011. I want to thank her for all of her contributions. The pictures, the good times and for setting up this web site.
I want to thank all who have supported me on my musical journey and to the friends I’ve made along the way. And to the family of local musicians, you are the best!
Major influences of mine have been The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Tom Petty and others. Also, local musician Harry Traynham, has been very influential as a leader in the local music market and as a friend. A Special thanks to Jack Diamond of Mix 107.3 who Riptide spent a year with, playing for Al Gore, performing on the same stage as Tom Petty, Jon Bonjovi, John Popper, and Stevie Wonder as well as opening for the Moody Blues at Merriwether Post Pavilion.