BMHOF Class of 1984
Ken has been one of the top guitarists in area music for almost 4 decades. The following is "in his words" a year-by-year time capsule of his career.
1954- I began taking music lessons at Edwin's Music Store to learn how to play the accordion. (The only formal musical training that I ever had. (My fathers dream was for me to be the next Myron Floren)
1957- I grew tired of the accordion and started to teach myself trombone, baritone horn, trumpet, drums, and just about anything else that was lying around the school band room. Looking back I realize that this period actually helped me to realize that I could play just about anything that I set my mind to.
1964-Convinced my Mom to help me buy a set of drums.
1965-1967-Played drums in a local band called "The Chosen Few"
1968-I left Buffalo to attend Concordia College in NYC. I could not take my drums so I purchase and old Fender Esquire guitar.
(I really wish that I still had that guitar.)
1970-I continued my studies at Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
1970/72-I played guitar for a band called "Independence Road, touring in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Played a lot of clubs and concerts. We were the opening act for Cactus and some of the bigger name mid west bands.
1972-I returned to Buffalo and formed a band called "Red Dog" with some of my friends.
1973-Answered an ad in paper. I went and jammed with Tom Makar, Frank Pusateri, Russ Costello, and Rick Collins. The next day I joined "Jambo"!
1973-1978-Played with Jambo. Probably the best chance that any of us had to make it.
1977-Released our first single. "So You Want To Be A Dancer"/"The Spider Prince". We all continued to write and record with the addition of Bob Makar on drums and increased the number of Jambo originals in our play list to almost thirty tunes. We did lots of opening act work for A&M records. I truly believed we were on our way. Massive outdoor concerts like "A" Day, Chestnut Ridge, Lancaster Speedway etc. just helped to build the momentum.
1978-Jambo voted Top Rock Band in Q97 Best of Buffalo.
1978-Jambo breaks up???
1978/81- Frank and I joined "Sky". Lots of talent with this band but lots of problems too. (too bad)
1981-I formed FatBrat version#1 Bob Maggio on vocals, Paul Rizzo on Keyboards, Greg Priester on Bass and eventually and thankfully Pat Brayman on drums.
1984-Inducted into Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
1985-1987-Joined Shakin Smith Blues Band.
1987-Played with Jamie Moses Band
1987-I quit playing for almost five years with every intention of never playing again. I could not stay away.
1991-Formed second version of FatBrat with the original bass player Greg Priester, drummer Pat Brayman, Dennis Fura on Keyboards and my brother Bob Wilczak, a fine guitarist in his own right.
1991/present -I continue to play with FatBrat but I have done many shows with Only Humen, Hit n Run and I played with Shakin' Smith when he released his CD.
FatBrat is still my prime directive, and first musical love.
The band has had numerous personnel changes but Bob and I continue to have fun.
The current lineup includes my friend Rick Ryan on bass and Pat Brayman is back on drums to create in my humble opinion the finest rhythm section in the galaxy.
Back - 1984