We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Tempo (Temple) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what do you attribute your success to?
As the bandleader of The Bonedaddys for over 36-yrs, I’ve always considered my role to be one of a “benevolent dictator.” Sure, I make the final decisions but always leave room for the creative input of others. Because the music and the experience of performing is unusual and fun, I’ve been able to attract great players throughout the lifetime of the band who want to make their individual creative mark on the music. As a bandleader I allow that and embrace the changes and roll with the punches. The main ingredient necessary to empower a musical ensemble that improvises a lot like The Bonedaddys is trust among its members. This is supported by creating a professional environment in which each are supported musically and emotionally by the rest.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My creative endeavors have always involved both music and visual art. I graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute class of 71-72 with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking and very soon afterwards began gigging as a percussionist. But I have always kept painting and participating in art showings, and for a while owned a gallery/studio in Mar Vista called Trunk Gallery. I’ve always enjoyed working in both disciplines because one (music) involves creating in ensemble with the participation of others while my art is usually an inward solo activity. It’s a nice balance. In many ways they both shelter me and serve each other. The common denominator between my creations is hopefully an “upfull” tone meant to move and uplift people physically, mentally and spiritually.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Going west to east, I’d probably start with the Venice Beach Walk and Santa Monica Pier, with a possible day trip to Catalina. Mexican food would be the first priority. Then the Getty and LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits. Hit Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, then cruise Fairfax Ave for Canter’s Deli or Ethiopian food. Then up to the Sunset Strip, the Los Feliz to walk the grounds and Japanese Garden and eat at Yamashiro; before a visit to the Magic Castle. Then Glendale for Armenian, Montebello for Chinese and Los Alamitos for Indian. More Mexican and Thai food anywhere. Then we’d go to Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear Lake, hit the High Desert, then down to Joshua Tree and Pioneertown to eat and dig some music at Pappy and Harriet’s. Back to Seal Beach, the Dog Beach, then north on PCH to Chez Jay in Santa Monica.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We owe it ALL to our listening (and dancing) audience that has supported us and continued to grow throughout the years.
for Black and white silhoutte photo only : Richard Wright