About Bill Back

Bill Back developed his original long neck four string banjo style as a strolling street and camp performer. The style is simple, and easy to play, allowing focus on visual comedy. His primitive harmonies and rhythms are fun and from the heart. He grew up in New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Ohio, sang in school, church, and while walking through the woods and cities. At age 12, he started writing songs, and playing guitar by practicing with hundreds of other pickers. Moving to Los Angeles at 16, He learned to play banjo. People laughed at his animal hand puppets playing the banjo. Steve Goodman told him that we are here to make people smile, cry and laugh. Jack Elliot told him that it was better to connect with one person, than to sing to a crowd. In 1970 he sang on stage with Richie Havens, but mostly played solo to small groups at campgrounds and parks for free. He worked as a landscaper, artist, draftsman, and teacher. In 1984 after an accident while doing tree work he was almost cut in half, and spent most his time writing songs. In 1995 he became “Bloopo” the musical street clown, a one man band making people smile with humor and funny songs. He went to the Shrine Clown School and was mentored by Dr. Patch Adams. In 2006 he started recording live, old style one track mono songs, some that he wrote or sang and played for over forty years. He encourages and instructs others to find their voice, write songs, produce their own music, play guitar and banjo, learn folk songs, design album covers, perform in public, clown around and to improvise.

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