Jerry Cortez - Guitar, Vocals
"As a kid I was exposed to a variety of music from Swing and R&B to the music of the British Invasion. When I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan I knew I wanted to be a guitar player that played in a band, and my dream never wavered from that day forward. In 1965 my uncle introduced me to the record "Papa's Gotta Brand New Bag" by James Brown. I'm pretty sure I wore out the 45 that day. That experience kick started my love of funk and soul music.
I have had many influences, but my first musical influences were my father, Victor, as well as his younger brothers, and my brother Robin. Robin is three years older than me and plays the drums. He introduced me to dozens of musicians as we grew up and brought me into musical situations with older kids with more experience.
I was surrounded by music 24/7. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area gave me the chance to go to lots of live shows and to see many of my heros. My dad played tenor sax on gigs at least five nights a week throughout my childhood and still does to this day. Besides turning my brother and I on to East Bay Grease in 1970, he exposed us to some great music, including a time when he got us out of bed and drove us, in our pajamas, to a nearby club to hear Lydia Pense and Cold Blood. We parked on the street out front and listened through an open door. What a thrill for an aspiring musician. It also made for an entertaining story to tell Lydia when I joined Cold Blood 20 years later. When I was a young kid I was going to concerts and shows at Fillmore West and Winterland. The Bay Area was a great place for a music loving kid to grow up.
I spent my formative years with my guitar in my hands almost constantly. That love of music and playing is still with me and I take pleasure in the fact that I get the chance to play with some of the best musicians on the planet in Tower of Power".
All band member biographies were compiled by Leo Sacks.
Leo Sacks is a freelance record producer in New York. With Emilio Castillo, he co-wrote “Happy ‘Bout That” and “Stranger In My Own House” for Tower of Power’s Oakland Zone (Or Music, 2003), and the bonus track “Nothing Like It” for the European edition.