Live-music lovers who attend open mikes, such as those at the Wild Goose and Tease, may be familiar with local guitarist Robbie Lindauer.
Live-music lovers who attend open mikes, such as those at the Wild Goose and Tease, may be familiar with local guitarist Robbie Lindauer. The 41-year-old musician and Web marketing guru has settled in Ashland after following a nomadic path that included California, Kansas, England and Hawaii. "My parents were restless movers and so am I," Lindauer says. For now, he and his family are happy to be in Ashland and in close proximity to his parents. "We chose Ashland because we didn't want a big city, but we did want a nice city. We wanted Southern Oregon and, well, Ashland's just the coolest as far as that goes."
Lindauer recently took a break from building websites to speak with the Daily Tidings about his passion for music.
DT: How did you become interested in music?
RL: My father was a music educator and pianist, so I had a piano and guitar in my bedroom from the time I was born. He would play Chopin and Brahms and Beethoven. I never really got into classical music, probably because my father was so good at it I found it pointless to try to keep up or catch up. My grandfather introduced me to the Beatles' "The White Album," and I realized what I really liked, so I bought my first electric guitar and learned to play pretty well.
DT: When did you first start playing publicly?
RL: When I was 18, my first public performance was in the backup band for a theatrical production called "Axis Bold as Love," which was a biography of Mike Tyson set to the music of Jimi Hendrix. It was a huge opportunity and learning experience to play Hendrix along with this story line, the same way, every time.
DT: Do you play alone or with a band?
RL: I like performing alone because it's like playing golf in some ways, although I'm excited to recently be playing with a band of guys who are great, and we expect to be playing around town soon.
DT: Who are your musical influences?
RL: I like almost all varieties of rock 'n' roll, and currently am leaning toward The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. But I always fall back to the Beastie Boys and The Clash because that is the music of my youth. Of course, I also like The Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin. Definitely as far as guitar-playing, Hendrix.
DT: Have you ever recorded an album?
RL: Yes, several. I played on one that was nominated for a Grammy for reggae in 2006. Not that that means anything. I didn't even get to go.
DT: What do you like most about being a musician?
RL: Music is completely peaceful in some ways. Playing music is creating something that disappears instantly, so you don't generate dependencies, only — assuming it's any good — loveliness. Music is what God does, I think.
DT: What has been a challenge for you in terms of playing music?
RL: Being lazy, busy, stupid, grumpy. I have also learned that if it's got strings I can play it, and if not I should stay away.
DT: Why only string instruments?
RL: When I first picked up a guitar, I understood what it did. The same with a violin, a bass or a harp. Once, when I was a kid, I picked up my sister's flute and tried to play it. I just couldn't do it. I finally can play the harmonica, but it was the hardest thing.
DT: Is it difficult balancing your day job with your music?
RL: Yes. I work from home, make my own hours and work too much. Music almost always loses.
DT: What do you like to do in your spare time?
RL: Music. I also read philosophy a lot, and mathematics, and take walks and entertain my wife and kids.
DT: Tell us about your family.
RL: My wife, Stefanie, is adorable and kind and wise and a great salsa dancer. My children, Nikolas, Sofia and Mimi, are beautiful people whom I adore more than anything else.
DT: Is there someone in your family who has greatly influenced you?
RL: All of my family members, maybe my father and mother most. What I've learned from them are the basic truths of life: Nothing is ever easy, practice is worthwhile, patience is a virtue, and it's worth being a good person because you can sleep better.
Angela Howe-Decker is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.