E.J. Gold as a musician and his involvement in the Music Industry - Brief Bio

Updated 2023

E.J. Gold was born in New York City in 1941. As the son of H.L. Gold, the famous writer and founding editor of Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, he grew up surrounded by the Intelligentsia of New York -- writers such as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, to name a few. Other family friends included John Cage, Ben Shahn, Julian Huxley, Merce Cunningham, Charles Laughton, Orson Wells and Elsa Lanchester.

Gold, as a young artist of the New York School, spent the late '50s and early '60s on both the East Coast in art circles and music circles mingling with young jazz greats as Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, and Philly Joe Jones, and on the West Coast in Los Angeles in association with the renegade California Nine and as a student at Otis Art Institute.

Discovered in the CBS Television City mailroom by Bob Sutton, vice president and general manager, Gold was hired to photograph a recording session at Columbia Recording Studios. Soon after, RCA also hired him. Some of his work culled from many photography sessions of the Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders and other pop bands was published in Teen magazines like Mod Teen Magazine and Tiger Beat.

During this time, Grelun Landon, head of West Coast publicity for RCA Records, and his wife Diane met young singer / songwriter Harry Nilsson who was working on his first album at RCA. Diane Landon called Gold to meet Nilsson in the studio at RCA. E.J. and Harry became close friends.

The two spent time at RCA, hanging out when not involved in photographing Harry's recording sessions or surreptitiously doing background vocals or percussion tracks for the Monkees and other musicians working on projects in studio. Meanwhile, Gold was developing a portfolio for Nilsson from shots on location around L.A. and nearby southern California sites. Although Harry's first choice of photos for the cover of his debut album Pandemonium Shadow Show was by Gold, the studio first published it with a different cover.

E.J. Gold sitting at the recording studio board at RCA during a recording session in 1972.

In 1972 E.J. Gold returned as a musician to RCA where he knew recording engineers, producers and arrangers like George Tipton and recorded his own debut album Epitaph for an Ego with artist Brad Newsom. Gold's I Can Free You album was a memorable RCA recording session that was said to have had the engineer at the board hypnotized for the entire length of the piece.

Other titles recorded in the 1970s were Live at RCA, Pythagorean Harp and Harmonium, How I Raised Myself From the Dead and Resurrection, all available on Faxl Music on BandCamp. Also during this period, Gold was acting manager / producer for other novice musicians in the Industry, helping them arrange recording sessions at RCA and other Hollywood studios.

Leaving the smog of L.A. behind in the mid 1970s, Gold moved to the northern California Sierra Nevada foothills. As a mentor, he attracted around him a circle of like-minded artists, musicians and theatrical people. Just a few recordings remain mostly of local or regional talent that he recorded in his small studio set up in Grass Valley, California.

In 1978 during this transitional period, Gold composed a classical piece -- Redfin Concerto. He recorded in St. George's Chapel a couple of professional classical musician performers, John and Elizabeth Farr, performing the concerto. It wasn't until years later in 2014 that the recording was found, identified and released on CD under one of Gold's stage name pseudonyms -- Leslie-Ann.

Central African recording artist Borrina Mapaka, Isaac James, and E.J. Gold take a break from one of the many musical jam sessions that took place at E.J. Gold Fine Art gallery in downtown Grass Valley, California.

In the early to mid-1980s, Gold and friends recorded at Heavenly Recording Studios and Moon Studios in Sacramento, such albums as Janitors From Outer Space on which Gold partnered with Menlo MacFarlane, a percussionist and vocalist as well as Tony Dey, a well-respected regional drummer.

In 1985 Gold's musical oeuvre began to explode with the expansion of his home studio facility. He also added a DX7 to his studio, at a time when it was changing the sound of popular music in our culture. The DX7 synthesizer opened the world of synthetic waveforms and tonal control as well as created unique timbres that he utilized in numerous compositions.

Some of his earliest recordings of this era are Blue Smoke, Rates of Passage, Venus Rising and Dance of the Hi-Tech Shaman, all still available as downloads from Faxl Music on BandCamp. And having established professional relationships with two Sacramento studios, Gold easily produced professionally mixed and mastered albums.

The next four years were a creative hotbed for Gold who recorded and produced many solo albums, for example: Private Reserve, Beyond the Veil, Way Beyond the Veil, Mystical Journey of the HI-Tech Shaman, Night Bloomin' Jazzman, Spacing Out, Saturday Night in the Higher Dimensions, Golden Age and Ritual of the Cave. Furthermore, he delved into the classical genre with a series of three releases entitled Live at the Philharmonic I, II, and III as well as collaborative projects like School Days, Childhood's End, Fourth Dawn and Bardo Dreams for his growing audience.

Gold occasionally performed locally and in Sacramento both as a solo artist and with his band. However, his many other creative endeavors competed for his time. As a result, he focused his musical ventures on creating and recording music rather than on performing and touring.

E.J. Gold and Harry Nilsson in December 1993 walking out of Gold's northern California recording studio after listening to a demo that Harry brought up from Los Angeles to review with E.J.

In 1989 he met Jimmi Accardi, another native of New York, and they formed the songwriting team Accardi / Gold and registered it with BMI. By this time Gold's private "home" recording studio had expanded to its own large building with an adjacent large painting studio that was often filled with art students working at their easels.

In 1993, Bill Laswell's New York sound engineer, Oz Fritz, joined the recording crew at Gold's California studio. He engineered Accardi / Gold who were producing numerous albums spanning diverse genres. One of their favorite pastimes around 11:00 pm was to start recording in the studio capturing improvised melodies and lyrics till sunrise. Often other musician friends sat in on their all night sessions. The Accardi / Gold Songbook, Shapeshifter / Timetripper, One Single Outbreath and the SMOG-OPs Canteen recordings exemplify some of these nightly sessions.

Additionally, Gold recorded with a band calling themselves Zaphod and the New Harmonics. And over the next few years, they released a half dozen albums of avant garde music.

Christmas of 1993 saw Harry Nilsson with his entire family travel north to visit E.J. Gold and friends. E.J. hosted Harry for the holiday week surrounding him with music-making in his private recording studio, story-telling in Gold's large guest-filled dining room and gift-giving and good cheer around the tall Christmas tree. Gold and his staff shared with Harry samples of artwork, ceramics, "merch" and the hardbound signed and numbered limited edition book all produced for Gold's New York City 1992 "Moonbeam Show," an art exhibit inspired by Harry's songs. Harry feasted his eyes and the two talked of future collaborative projects. Unfortunately, Harry Nilsson passed away just a few weeks later.

"Bassist Jared May and drummer Isaac James improvise a funky groove with E.J. Gold adding melody lines and riffs on the alto sax. The recording session was engineered by Oz Fritz manning the board in Studio B at Cloister Recordings."

After Harry's death, Bill Graham of BMG and Gold were in phone correspondence. And in November of 1995 he also traveled north with his wife to visit Gold. Many stories were shared and gifts exchanged including the presentation of Bill Graham's plaque with a golden record he had received from RCA in 1972 for Harry's hit single "Without You" that sold over a million copies. Gold received it with due honor, and it continues to hang in his recording studio along with large framed photo prints of Harry taken for Pandemonium Shadow Show.

Throughout the 1990s, Drummer Bob Bachtold would sit in on sessions whenever he was in town. This was long before the personal computer and internet were widely accessible to the public, so there was no file sharing or track exchanging protocols. All recording was live in studio with an engineer. Good Vibes, Hippie Heaven, Jazzmobile, Sax Pistol, No Bread Lotsa Jam, Harlem Daze, Surrender, Ride That Carousel and Awesome Blues are a few of the albums with Accardi / Gold and Bachtold that are currently available as downloads from Faxl Music on BandCamp.

In the mid 1990s Gold, who was a video game designer and an excellent online gamer himself, was in close contact with id Software's co-founder John Carmack and American McGee, one of Quake's top level designers. Gold was inspired by the explosion of the video game industry, in which id Software was a front runner in the market, and by the proliferation of online gamers as now millions were playing Doom and later Quake. Taking many stories of his own experiences into the recording studio, Gold worked with his songwriting partner Jimmi Accardi to create music for gamers to listen to while playing. Their music reportedly improved one's online playing performance.

E.J. Gold of the Insane Investors Club rocked the 4th anniversary celebration of CNBC's early morning stock market program Squawk Box, on a live global network T.V. broadcast to over 150,000,000.

After his band Gorebag & the Grunts had recorded numerous tracks, Gold hosted a visit from American McGee to preview their music live in studio. The visit provided top level gaming demos and inspiration for more great music. Albums such as In Your Face, Hot Night in Hell and In Your Mother's Face from this period still have a niche following. However, id Software eventually chose the music of Nine Inch Nails for Quake's sound bed on its next release.

Another "game changer" in our culture in the late 1990s was the role of the internet in the stock exchange which triggered the "dot.com bubble". The rise of the day trader dramatically coincided with rumors of young ordinary middle class people trading stocks and making millions overnight. The prominence of the "get rich quick" dream and the new IPOs hitting the Nasdaq provided plenty of song material for Gold, who actively worked his stock folio and was knowledgeable from the time he had worked on the New York stock exchange floor as a young man. For him the Wall Street album and hit singles like "Kahuna and the Brain" were the tip of a creative iceberg.

In August 1999, Accardi and Gold performed for the last time together via live satellite broadcast from Gold's studio in California for the150 million strong television audience of CNBC's Squawk Box program's Fourth Anniversary show with broadcast anchors Kahuna and the Brain and Host Mark Haines. The band went under the moniker of the Insane Investors Club and had several singles at No. 1 and in the top 10 of several categories of the first online digital distribution streaming platform MP3.com. MP3.com grandfathered the widespread streaming platforms of today like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora's Box and more.

Cover for jazz CD released in 2006 with E.J. Gold (lower right) collaborating with three dynamic young musicians -- Justin Lowis (upper left), Aja Salvatore (upper right) and Isaac James (lower left). Lowis was a music major in university. Both Salvatore and James have separately traveled repeatedly in Africa playing with and recording local musicians particularly in West Africa. The foursome blending brings to this CD numerous original material as well as vibrant covers of some of the old jazz standards.

Y2K came and went uneventfully and the 21st century dawned upon us. For brievity's sake, E.J.'s musical experimentation focused earlier in the decade on percussion with two notable releases -- Spirit Drums and Jojoba. However, he was primarily in his forty foot long and 25 foot high painting studio painting large canvases for Jazz musicians to perform in front of on stage. Over the next fifteen years, he created a large body of artwork, referred to as JazzArt, which traveled extensively even crossing international borders in order to grace jazz venues of many of the great jazz performers.

While Gold was painting prolifically, he was also involved with a local art gallery. Besides exhibiting bold, dynamic 6 foot JazzArt canvases, he was a regular for attending in their back room jam sessions with numerous local musicians as well as professional musicians gigging in the area. As the jazz heated up Gold, with some local jazz musicians moved their sessions to his studio from where two albums were recorded and named in honor of the gallery -- Mill Street Jazz Lab and Mill Street Jazz Lab II.

The gallery was a magnet for improvisational sessions, so carrying a harmonica was standard practice for Gold. His harmonica expertise was captured on a couple of album releases -- Music for Morons, a harp demo (2005) and Psychedelic Harmonica (2006).

An offshoot of his creative harmonica work in jam sessions, Gold organized and recorded for anyone wishing to learn to play harmonica courses of study. He produced Music For Morons -- Harmonica Course, a series on CD for the beginner, intermediate and even advanced student to work with in both the key of C and the key of E.

Taking up the Gemeinhardt flute immediately after receiving it as a gift, E.J. Gold goes into his private studio to record spontaneously inspired original compositions with studio engineer, Oz Fritz. The CD produced is entitled Inside Outside and was released in 2006.

E.J. also started giving guitar lessons beginning with acoustic guitar. He was appreciated by many beginners who were presented with "The 3 Chord Theory" -- most songs can be played in three chords. The website under his gaming handle "gorebagg" -- https://www.gorebagg.com/ -- was developed and showcases the lessons of primarily three instruments -- guitar, flute and drums. Playing acoustic guitar, he recorded and released Blues on Foggy Mountain in 2006.

After the Mill Street Gallery closed, Gold also went into the recording studio with his alto sax producing a solo album of original compositions entitled Mysteries of the Meteorite. And a few months later he was gifted a silver Gemeinhardt flute which inspired Gold to record an album of original improvisational pieces with his new silver flute. He tells the story of when he received this very expensive gift, he declared that he didn't know if he could play the instrument and would willingly return it to the giver. But he was encouraged by his patron to play the instrument as he could. And from these magical musical experiments was assembled "the pure tonality of the flute that seems consistently to tickle, cajole and elevate the spirit," the album Inside Outside.

The creative thread twists and turns as Gold discovers the recorder. His late wife had left him a handmade Von Huene soprano wooden recorder which one day he found and tried to play. Instead of playing it traditionally like a baroque instrument, Gold developed his Zen Flute meditation music. In 2009 he produced nine Zen Flute albums with many different kinds of Zen Flutes from expensive wooden soprano, tenor and alto recorders made of both hard and soft woods, to less expensive high quality Yamaha plastic instruments, including the "2 Buck Chuck" all of which transported the listener to other realms. These are all available as mp3 downloads on Faxl Music on Band Camp.

E.J. plays tri-drum in 2011 recording session with his band Faxl.)

At the same time, every Sunday he offered in person in his studio and on the internet on a live streaming service, Zen Flute lessons. Thirty weeks of classes were captured on video and made available on DVD to students for further study or those not able to attend.

The next year 2010 saw the online live streaming and video recording of 48 Drumming Classes that replaced the Sunday Zen Flute Classes. This shift was also reflected in the music of Gold's band that originally assembled in September of 2009 and played together weekly in his studio over the next 10 years and in fact, until the onset of the COVID epidemic in the U.S. in 2020.

Besides explorations of many drums -- dumbek, congas, requinto, tablas, djembe (he frequently played a set of three), the tri-drum (Udu) and numerous ceramic drums from African cultures, Gold replaced his M1 and DX7 keyboards with a new Korg. The Korg besides offering piano and organ tonalities, has many synthesizer voices providing Gold copious room for using sound to penetrate the veil to other dimensions. With this addition came the recording of 10 Akashic Initiation albums released originally on CD, each cover bearing a different original sigil created by Gold, and now available for download on Faxl Music on Band Camp.

Faxl joined by special guest Drummer Isaac James records their live performance for a large audience attending E.J.'s 73rd birthday celebration, December 2014. Musicians top row left to right: Isaac James, Iven Lourie, Nancy Burns, Robbert Trice, E.J. Gold, Julia Glasse. Bottom row left to right: James Rodney, Claude Needham, E.J. Gold, Grace Kelly Rivera, Dan Rosenstein. (Not pictured are T. Jones and Matt Lozowick.)

The band Faxl had grown since its original inception. Julia Glasse brought her strong jazz and blues singing talents to the mix. She and Gold were remarkable to watch playing off each other both vocally as well as her ability to pick up the thread of his musical wanderings and scat sing. Faxl's first album, Live in the Barn, was released in 2011 and their 11th album Goddess versus Trump came out in 2019.

E.J.'s solo albums during this time, recorded his discovery of steel tongue drums and the drone instrument -- the didgeridoo. Besides his tongue drum recordings Temple Bells (2012) and I Want to Fly (2016) and his numerous "healing didge" recordings in 2014, Gold continued to play the Zen Flute and Udu (tri-drum) adding their unique flavors to the sound of Faxl.

All of the above briefly chronicles E.J. Gold as a musician developing his music as an explorer discovering instruments and new sounds. Numerous albums have been referred to in the context of their chronological release. Nonetheless, this brief bio does not represent all of E.J. Gold's musical explorations or recordings, but most of his released work is available from Faxl Music on Band Camp: https://faxlmusic.bandcamp.com/. Another resource for biographical information is Gold's photobiography by Linda Corriveau entitled More Color, Less Soul published as part of Gateways Fine Art series in 2002. It's available in paperback and as a pdf download from https://www.gatewaysbooksandtapes.com/books/bk090.html/. For a list of all E.J. Gold's musical recordings see his discography.