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person:ille_homine_albe [2015/01/22 22:17]
digital man [Steven B. Deppe (Ille Homine Albe) 1958-2014]
person:ille_homine_albe [2020/03/29 22:19] (current)
digital man [Steve Moves Back Home] typo
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 {{:​person:​scan0021.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Dresden show, 1986}} {{:​person:​scan0021.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Dresden show, 1986}}
  
-  * [[http://​stevedeppe.com|Steve'​s web-site (with Dresden'​s "​Occult Science of Power" as background music)]]+  * [[https://​web.archive.org/​web/​20170914140030/​http://​stevedeppe.com/|Steve'​s ​old web-site]] (which used to have Dresden'​s ​[[https://​soundcloud.com/​rob-swindell/​steve-deppe-with-dresden-occult-science-of-power|"​Occult Science of Power"]] as background music)
   * [[http://​bit.ly/​1lQ9iXJ|Steve'​s obituary in The Fresno Bee]]   * [[http://​bit.ly/​1lQ9iXJ|Steve'​s obituary in The Fresno Bee]]
   * [[https://​www.facebook.com/​sd559|Steve'​s Facebook page]]   * [[https://​www.facebook.com/​sd559|Steve'​s Facebook page]]
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 ===== Rob's recollection ===== ===== Rob's recollection =====
  
-I first met Steve in 1986. I was 16 years old at the time and my brother Mike had answered, on my behalf, a "​drummer wanted"​ ad in The Recycler newspaper for the progressive rock band, Dresden. Mike spoke on the phone with the bassist of Dresden, Dave Codde. Mike spoke highly of me and my drumming and arranged for me to later speak with and then meet Dave who came to our house to watch and hear me play (I played "Tom Sawyer"​ for him, without accompaniment). After that, Dave gave me a cassette tape of recorded original songs from the band (with drummers [[http://​www.progarchives.com/​artist.asp?​id=1597|Shaun Guerin]] and Howard Roth) and we then arranged my audition for the band at Francisco'​s Studios in Vernon, California about a week later. I didn't own a car at the time, so my brother packed my drums into his fire-engine red Dodge Coronet muscle car and took me and some of my drums, cymbals, and sticks to LA.+I first met Steve in 1986. I was 16 years old at the time and my brother Mike had answered, on my behalf, a "​drummer wanted"​ ad in The Recycler newspaper for the progressive rock band, Dresden. Mike spoke on the phone with the bassist of Dresden, Dave Codde. Mike spoke highly of me and my drumming and arranged for me to later speak with and then meet Dave who came to our house to watch and hear me play (I played "Tom Sawyer"​ for him, without accompaniment). After that, Dave gave me a cassette tape of [[https://​soundcloud.com/​rob-swindell/​shades-of-grey-from-dresden-with-steve-deppe-circa-1984|recorded original songs from the band]] (with drummers [[http://​www.progarchives.com/​artist.asp?​id=1597|Shaun Guerin]] and Howard Roth) and we then arranged my audition for the band at Francisco'​s Studios in Vernon, California about a week later. I didn't own a car at the time, so my brother packed my drums into his fire-engine red Dodge Coronet muscle car and took me and some of my drums, cymbals, and sticks to LA.
  
-Having already met Dave at my house, the audition would be my first introduction to both [[http://​www.stevedeppe.com|Steve Deppe]] (the keyboardist) and [[http://​www.guitarlessonsriverside.com/​|Karl Johnson]] (the guitarist). Elaine Donaldson was the singer of the band at the time and I don't recall her being there the day of my audition. I would only see Elaine a handful of times as her interest in the band seemed to be waning (or was it mutual?) and I would only play with Karl for a couple of years and Dave maybe a year longer than that, but Steve would remain an important musical mentor and important influence in other elements of my life for many years to come. Of course, I didn't know that at the time.+Having already met Dave at my house, the audition would be my first introduction to both Steve Deppe (the keyboardist) and [[http://​www.guitarlessonsriverside.com/​|Karl Johnson]] (the guitarist). Elaine Donaldson was the singer of the band at the time and I don't recall her being there the day of my audition. I would only see Elaine a handful of times as her interest in the band seemed to be waning (or was it mutual?) and I would only play with Karl for a couple of years and Dave maybe a year longer than that, but Steve would remain an important musical mentor and important influence in other elements of my life for many years to come. Of course, I didn't know that at the time.
  
 {{:​person:​scan0030.jpg?​300|Steve Deppe, 1986}} {{:​person:​scan0030.jpg?​300|Steve Deppe, 1986}}
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 {{:​person:​scan0028.jpg?​500|Dave Codde and Rob Swindell, 1986}} {{:​person:​scan0028.jpg?​500|Dave Codde and Rob Swindell, 1986}}
  
-As my membership in the band solidified and we became a bit more familiar with each other, Steve and Dave would try to direct my drum parts on the songs. This was my first exposure to any band mates not being perfectly happy with whatever drum part I came up with. I was pretty musically accomplished for my age and I thought a lot of my drumming and really wanted to **be** the next Neil Peart, so I didn't take it too well when Steve or Dave would try to simplify my drum parts. In hindsight, this should have been expected based on my age and hubris. While I appreciated the music of bands like Pink Floyd and AC/DC, I didn't want //play// the simplistic style of drumming associated with bands like them. I wanted to play the //Rush// style of drumming, on everything! In many cases, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to play for a particular song segment, but I just knew I didn't want to play whatever it was that Steve or Dave was suggesting: I was the drummer so I should write the drum parts! The band stuck with me though and even though we had our disagreements over substance and style I think I came around to seeing (and playing) things more their way.+As my membership in the band solidified and we became a bit more familiar with each other, Steve and Dave would try to direct my drum parts on the songs. This was my first exposure to any band mates not being perfectly happy with whatever drum part I came up with. I was pretty musically accomplished for my age and I thought a lot of my drumming and really wanted to **be** the next Neil Peart, so I didn't take it too well when Steve or Dave would try to simplify my drum parts. In hindsight, this should have been expected based on my age and hubris. While I appreciated the music of bands like Pink Floyd and AC/DC, I didn't want to //play// the simplistic style of drumming associated with bands like them. I wanted to play the //Rush// style of drumming, on everything! In many cases, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to play for a particular song segment, but I just knew I didn't want to play whatever it was that Steve or Dave was suggesting: I was the drummer so I should write the drum parts! The band stuck with me though and even though we had our disagreements over substance and style I think I came around to seeing (and playing) things more their way.
  
 {{:​person:​scan0023.jpg?​500|Dave Codde and Rob Swindell, 1986}} {{:​person:​scan0023.jpg?​500|Dave Codde and Rob Swindell, 1986}}
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 {{:​person:​steve_deppe_pipe.jpg?​500|Steve'​s meerschaum pipe}} {{:​person:​steve_deppe_pipe.jpg?​500|Steve'​s meerschaum pipe}}
  
-After a year or so of playing with Dresden, we had played publicly as a band just one time (at a block party in Hacienda Heights that I think Karl arranged and which had been cut short by the police and their helicopter) and we recorded a 3 song demo, all without a singer. We had been searching for a full time singer the entire time I was in the band, but I was eager to play more shows and record more, so I decided it was time to leave the band and find a band with more immediate activity that might lead to rock stardom. Dave, Steve, and Karl all had full-time jobs and it just didn't seem to me that it was as important to them to "make it" as a musician as it was to me.+After a year or so of playing with Dresden, we had played publicly as a band just one time (at a block party in Hacienda Heights that I think Karl arranged and which had been cut short by the police and their helicopter) and we recorded a 3 song demo, all without a singer. We had been searching for a full time singer the entire time I was in the band; our near-miss at an appropriate singer was when Steve connected with John Hall, formerly of [[https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=f14cmf3XleE|Shiva]], but John flaked on the night of his audition and seemed to avoid Steve'​s calls after that. I was eager to play more shows and record more, so I decided it was time to leave the band and find a band with more immediate activity that might lead to rock stardom. Dave, Steve, and Karl all had full-time jobs and it just didn't seem to me that it was as important to them to "make it" as a musician as it was to me.
  
 (Steve was working at CompuCorp as a software engineer, Dave worked for Sears selling and repairing home appliances, and Karl worked for a music store giving guitar lessons and selling musical equipment. Steve was driving a brand new 1985 black Corvette that was sexy as hell and it was obvious that Steve was doing well financially) (Steve was working at CompuCorp as a software engineer, Dave worked for Sears selling and repairing home appliances, and Karl worked for a music store giving guitar lessons and selling musical equipment. Steve was driving a brand new 1985 black Corvette that was sexy as hell and it was obvious that Steve was doing well financially)
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 {{:​person:​scan0019.jpg?​300|Rob,​ at home on the phone, 1986}} {{:​person:​scan0019.jpg?​300|Rob,​ at home on the phone, 1986}}
  
-I didn't immediately join another band though I was jamming with some friends and auditioning for other bands. Eventually Dave called me to say that Dresden had found a singer, Baron Knight, and asked if I would rejoin the band. We had all been screening singers while I was in the band and I remember rejecting a singer named "​Baron"​ because I didn't like his demo tape (in particular, his singing on it) and I wondered if this was the same guy. I agreed to meet the guys at their new studio in Santa Ana, California and meet this new singer and sure enough it was the same guy I had previously rejected. Somewhat reluctantly,​ I rejoined the band with assurance from Dave and the rest of the band that we would be playing gigs and recording ​eminently+I didn't immediately join another band though I was jamming with some friends and auditioning for other bands. Eventually Dave called me to say that Dresden had found a singer, Baron Knight, and asked if I would rejoin the band. We had all been screening singers while I was in the band and I remember rejecting a singer named "​Baron"​ because I didn't like his demo tape (in particular, ​[[https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=Swfaoa8PJtc|his singing on it]]) and I wondered if this was the same guy. 
 + 
 +{{:​person:​baron_knight_with_cassle.jpg?​300|Baron Knight (second from left) with his former band, Cassle)}} 
 + 
 +I agreed to meet the guys at their new studio in Santa Ana, California and meet this new singer and sure enough it was the **same guy** I had previously rejected. Somewhat reluctantly,​ I rejoined the band with assurance from Dave and the others ​that we would be playing gigs and recording ​imminently
  
 {{:​person:​scan0012.jpg?​500|Rob Swindell, Baron Knight, Karl Johnson, Dave Codde, 1988}} {{:​person:​scan0012.jpg?​500|Rob Swindell, Baron Knight, Karl Johnson, Dave Codde, 1988}}
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 {{:​person:​scan0011.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Rob Swindell (drums at least) and Baron Knight, 1988}} {{:​person:​scan0011.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Rob Swindell (drums at least) and Baron Knight, 1988}}
  
-We worked hard to refine our set and integrate Baron and prepared for our first gig with the new band name "​Threshold"​ (the name Dresden was taken by some other more established bands). The gig was just after my high school graduation, in 1988, at the club then known as "​Goodies"​ in Placentia, California. We were on the bill with 3 or 4 other bands and we were definitely not the headlining act ("​Reinkus Tide" was). It took us about 20 minutes to get our massive amounts of gear on the stage and plugged-in (my electronic drums never did work for this show), so our set was cut short to about 20 minutes.+We worked hard to refine our set list and integrate Baron and prepared for our first gig with the new band name "​Threshold"​ (the name "Dresden" ​was now known to have been used by some othermore establishedbands). The gig was just after my high school graduation, in 1988, at the club then known as "​Goodies"​ in Placentia, California. We were on the bill with 3 or 4 other bands and we were definitely not the headlining act ("​Reinkus Tide" was). It took us about 20 minutes to get our massive amounts of gear on the stage and plugged-in (my electronic drums never did work for this show), so our set was cut short to about 20 minutes.
  
 {{:​person:​dresden-threshold_gig_tickets_from_goodies_1988.jpg?​500|Ticket Stub for the Dresden (Threshold) final gig}} {{:​person:​dresden-threshold_gig_tickets_from_goodies_1988.jpg?​500|Ticket Stub for the Dresden (Threshold) final gig}}
 +
 +All in all I think //we// thought we performed pretty well although:
 +  * The song tempos were definitely accelerated due to adrenaline (mine)
 +  * Karl's friend who worked the sound board didn't get the memo: //this// band was "all about the keyboards"​
 +  * We were a bit bemused by Baron'​s "​bumble bee" outfit
  
 {{:​person:​scan0013.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Baron Knight, Rob Swindell, Karl Johnson, and Dave Codde, 1988}} {{:​person:​scan0013.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe, Baron Knight, Rob Swindell, Karl Johnson, and Dave Codde, 1988}}
  
-All in all I think we thought we performed pretty well (the tempos were definitely accelerated due to adrenaline and Karl's friend who worked the sound board didn't get the memo that the band was "all about the keyboards"​). ​Someone recorded video without audio and we got an audio recording from the sound board on cassette tape. When we later listened to the audio recording of the show, we sat in stunned disappointment. This gig led to the dismissal of Baron and Karl and not too long after, Dave would move to northern California and then back to central California for career and family reasons, leaving just Steve and I to move forward with the music.+Someone recorded video without audio and we got an audio recording from the sound board on cassette tape. When we later listened to the audio recording of the show, we sat in stunned disappointment. This gig led to the dismissal of Baron and Karl and not too long after, Dave would move to northern California and then back to central California for career and family reasons, leaving just Steve and I to move forward with the music.
  
 {{:​person:​scan0014.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe and Rob Swindell, 1988}} {{:​person:​scan0014.jpg?​500|Steve Deppe and Rob Swindell, 1988}}
  
-By this time, I had become engrossed in Steve'​s compositions and Steve would teach me my favorite parts on the keyboard (mostly from "Mass for the Dead") when I requested. Some of the longer more intricate pieces that I didn't immediately "​get"​ when I was younger, were now my favorites and I was eager to get them recorded just so I could listen to them for my own enjoyment and I just *knew* that fans of great music would find and love Steve'​s songs, with or without drums. Heck, I didn't care if it was even a band, I just wanted the melodies and arrangements to be downloaded from Steve'​s brain to something more permanent and easily shared with the world: like a compact disc!+By this time, I had become engrossed in Steve'​s compositions and Steve would teach me my favorite parts on the keyboard (mostly from "[[https://​soundcloud.com/​rob-swindell/​steve-deppes-mass-for-the-dead-string-septet|Mass for the Dead]]") when I requested. Some of the longer more intricate pieces that I didn't immediately "​get"​ when I was younger, were now my favorites and I was eager to get them recorded just so I could listen to them for my own enjoyment and I just *knew* that fans of great music would find and love Steve'​s songs, with or without drums. Heck, I didn't care if it was even a band, I just wanted the melodies and arrangements to be downloaded from Steve'​s brain to something more permanent and easily shared with the world: like a compact disc!
  
 In 1989, Steve and I moved from the studio in Santa Ana to another more secure studio in Whittier, California and it was there that we auditioned and played with different guitarists and bass players. When we found [[http://​www.reverbnation.com/​musician/​kenjaquess|Ken Jaquess]], we were sure we could move forward finally as a new band (but preserving most of Steve'​s music from Dresden) and Steve'​s girlfriend of the time, Holly, had suggested the name "​Vertrauen"​ (German for "​trust"​) for the band. I liked the name so much that I decided to use it as the name of my new bulletin board system, running on a PC-XT clone running WWIV v4 on MS-DOS. We never did much as a band with the name "​Vertrauen",​ but the BBS by that name has lived on, all these years, in one form or another, and ultimately played a large part in my life. In 1989, Steve and I moved from the studio in Santa Ana to another more secure studio in Whittier, California and it was there that we auditioned and played with different guitarists and bass players. When we found [[http://​www.reverbnation.com/​musician/​kenjaquess|Ken Jaquess]], we were sure we could move forward finally as a new band (but preserving most of Steve'​s music from Dresden) and Steve'​s girlfriend of the time, Holly, had suggested the name "​Vertrauen"​ (German for "​trust"​) for the band. I liked the name so much that I decided to use it as the name of my new bulletin board system, running on a PC-XT clone running WWIV v4 on MS-DOS. We never did much as a band with the name "​Vertrauen",​ but the BBS by that name has lived on, all these years, in one form or another, and ultimately played a large part in my life.
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 Around 1992, I turned Synchronet into commercial software which I would develop and sell [[:​history:​|for a living]] for a couple of years and I employed Steve to write low-level communications and screen I/O libraries in x86 assembler (something Steve was particularly good at). Steve contributed,​ gratis, some other small C functions and optimized algorithms which live on in the modern Synchronet software still developed and in-use by hundreds of sysops and BBS users in the Internet age today. Around 1992, I turned Synchronet into commercial software which I would develop and sell [[:​history:​|for a living]] for a couple of years and I employed Steve to write low-level communications and screen I/O libraries in x86 assembler (something Steve was particularly good at). Steve contributed,​ gratis, some other small C functions and optimized algorithms which live on in the modern Synchronet software still developed and in-use by hundreds of sysops and BBS users in the Internet age today.
 +
 +=== Steve'​s Resume (circa 1994) ===
 +{{:​person:​steve_deppe_resume_pg1.png?​200|}} {{:​person:​steve_deppe_resume_pg2.png?​200|}} {{:​person:​steve_deppe_resume_pg3.png?​200|}} {{:​person:​steve_deppe_resume_pg4.png?​200|}} {{:​person:​steve_deppe_resume_pg5.png?​200|}}
 +
 +==== Steve Moves Back Home ====
 +For a period of time in the mid 90's, Steve actually lived with me in the house I purchased from my mother in Fullerton, California and had lived in since I was 9 years old. After a few months of awkward cohabitation,​ he moved to L.A. to live with his girlfriend at the time and we lost touch for about 10 years. During that time, after breaking up with his girlfriend, he moved back to Fresno and lived there with his parents and also for a period with Dave Codde in Pine Mountain Lake.
 +
 +=== Re-connection ===
 +At some point Dave Codde gave my phone number to Steve or gave me Steve'​s number. I don't remember who reached out to whom, but I do remember sitting in our toy-hauler while vacationing on the beach of Oceano Dunes and talking to Steve on the phone for the first time in about 10 years and it was like no time had passed at all. The conversation lasted for hours as we caught up and I was eager to see my old friend and mentor and reconnect musically, if that was in the cards.
 +
 +{{:​person:​xmas_in_reedley_2007.jpg?​500|Steve in Fresno, Christmas 2007}}
 +
 +As it turned out, my wife's family lived near Fresno, so we had several opportunities to see each other and work on some of Steve'​s material from the Dresden/​Vertrauen days (again, mainly, "​[[ftp://​vert.synchro.net/​music/​DRESDEN/​Requiem.MP3|Mass For The Dead]]"​),​ and Steve recorded some of our improvisations in his private studio ([[https://​soundcloud.com/​rob-swindell/​steve-deppes-last-jam-with-rob-swindell-on-v-drums|listen here]]). But mainly, we just socialized on the occasions that my wife and kids and I would visit my in-laws near Fresno. Steve enjoyed bringing over DVDs and sharing his favorite shows and movies with anyone that would sit and focus long enough. We played board games and just talked. Steve was now mellower and a bit more comfortable in social situations, so he would join our New Year's Eve and birthday parties eagerly. ​
 +
 +{{:​person:​steve_deppe_studio_2011.jpg?​500|Steve in his music studio in Fresno, 2011}}
 +
 +I always felt that I owed much of my professional success to Steve'​s early inspiration and encouragement. At one point I offered to try to get him hired as a firmware engineer at the corporation that had employed me for many years, but Steve declined. He said he didn't want to relocate to expensive southern California, but I also sensed that he didn't really have a desire to reenter the workforce.
 +
 +=== Epitaph === 
 +
 +Steve was a gentle giant with a sharp wit, a deep understanding,​ and a sympathetic ear. He was a musical genius. I'm very thankful we reconnected before the end and I will always miss him.
 +
 +{{:​person:​virus_ti.jpg?​200|}}

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