Robbie Daug
Status: Member
Member Since: December 10, 2017
Last Visit:September 1, 2018

Robbie Daug

When i was 13-years-old, i quit school and was permitted to do so by a juvenile court judge.
I was far behind in school because my single mom kept moving me and my two older sibings every year - sometimes, twice a year, to a new apartment.
It was pretty impossible to do well in school.
From grade 1 to grade 8, i was in six different schools. I was basically put at the back of the class and i was, as i remember, pretty much ignored by the teachers because they didn't quite know what to do with me, and i was bumped up and put into the following grade. When i got to high school for grade 8, i was SO far behind and was placed into the slow learner class. I was insulted by that, especially when i saw how the guys in that class behaved.
I WANTED to learn, i really did.
Dropping out of school was the only way to be freed from the quick-paced system being so far behind.
I knew i didn't belong there.
My mother never once attended a teacher-parent night when the parents go to the school in the evening once in while to discuss their kids' progress or problems. My mom was a very uneducated woman (God bless her). She did have a heart of gold, though. And she raised us up pretty well (considering).

I started reading as many factual books as i could while i stayed at home, and i, sort of, taught myself.
Fresh out of school (at 13), i read two books,
"The Interpretation of Dreams", and "On Sexuality" by Sigmund Freud - with a dictionary close by. I, also, read, "Treblinka' and several other books that were really out of my league - having the dictionary close by helped me a lot.
I didn't want to read comics or novels, instead, i wanted to learn new things. I only wanted to read something i could learn from.

My mom, God bless her, only had a grade 6 education, herself, and couldn't answer my questions. My oldest sibling (sister) was finally placed into nun-operated detention home when she was 15 until she became 18. She had a habit of running away from home when she found out she was a love-child. The song, Love Child, by Diana Ross and The Supremes really got to her when she asked our mother why she was married in a black dress (Italian style) My mom was with child in the photo on her wedding day.
Our parents had separated around that time, and my sister blamed herself because they HAD to get married due to the pregnancy.
She felt unwanted.
I was 11 when she was placed.

My next oldest sibling (brother) dropped out of school at 16 to go work.
I was 13 when he was started to work, and that's when i dropped out of sheer embarrassment of being so far behind in school.

Where was my dad? Well, he was living with his new girlfriend and they were raising her two daughters from a previous marriage.

When i was 13-years-old, i was given a cheap, Miracle Mart electric guitar which came with no case, no strap, no extra strings, no picks, no tuner, no instructions except a page of guitar chords, no cables, no amp, no anything - just the guitar.
I think i was given a chord chart without a tuner as a way to discourage me from wanting to play guitar. There was not much caring-thought that went into that purchase.
I eventually broke the strings until only two remained, and i used to stay up late and play the thing constantly but never had a clue as to what i was doing.
I ended up playing on one string and managed to copy, by ear and memory, the TV theme songs for The Beverly Hillbillies and Get Smart using those square, plastic, bread-bag fasteners as picks.
I continued playing on one string for years in my room.
My siblings and mom all offered to pay for guitar lessons if only i would go back to school. I knew it was just a ruse to get me back into humiliating school, and i really felt that they would never honor their empty promises if i had agreed to return to school. I also knew that i would have an awful lot of catching up to do, being so far behind and all, and that was not encouraging as i knew i would not have time to enjoy the guitar. I, often, fell asleep with my guitar beside me on the sofa.
Besides, i was severely bullied starting on day one in high school because i had long hair below my shoulders and was bullied for it by the kids from my new, poor, tough, Irish neighborhood where all the Irish kids were either not allowed to have long hair, or were taught that only Nancy-boys had long hair.
I just wanted to look like Led Zeppelin's singer, Robert Plant.
I quit school three weeks later.

You know, when i look back at all of this, as i add more and more details to this profile, now, being 56 years of age, i really see it all through a very different lens.
It's rather therapeutic" for me to write all of this, so i hope you don't mind, eh.

Don't worry, i won't get into all that i did, and what had happened to me, when i was such a young truant. All of that is really for a number of different types of forums - or perhaps, even a book one day.
I know i'd have to become famous before anybody would care to know all about those incredible incidents.

At sixteen, i was working and i bought a cheapo acoustic guitar and a Led Zeppelin songbook which had the guitar tablature for Stairway to Heaven.
Using that tablature, i figured out which notes sounded on the different strings for the other songs in that book, and soon enough, my songbooks were filled with penciled-in fret and string notation (in fraction form) under each note on the page. Meaning, 2/4 meant to finger the second string on the fourth fret.
Chords, in fraction form, looked like complicated math equations on the page.

I learned rhythm by listening to the quarters and eighths etc, in Stairway To Heaven and taught myself to read music.
I began understanding notation like this.
When i was 18, i bought a book called Music Theory (A Barnes and Noble Outline Series) which covered the fundamental concepts of tonal music including notation, terminology, and harmony.
Written by George Thaddeus Jones. I still have that book.
I focussed on the first six chapters to help me understand the symbols used in manuscripts. After that, i just browsed over the rest of the complicated chapters absorbing whatever little i was able to absorb. It was getting confusing for me. At that point, i would have really benefited by having a music teacher. I never pursued it further. I focused on songwriting and just playing scales and basic theory.

I bought a scale book by Johnny Smith which used the bass and treble clefs on ONE staff, in order to play scales on guitar in actual pitch to avoid all the ledger lines above and below the staff.

I started to buy different instruments like a mandolin, a bass, and a keyboard called Elka Strings, and a Korg MS-10 monophonic synthesizer, and began dabbling with those.

After i had learned how to play most of the songs in the Led Zeppelin songbook, i went out and bought a complete The Beatles songbook and i started to understand pop song-writing, and i started to write better songs.

Soon after, i started recording multi-track recordings using two mono Radio Shack tape recorders and bouncing tracks back and forth using the built-in condenser mics. It was Hiss-ville but i learned the fundamentals of multi-track recording like that.

I later bought a book which explained how to multi-track in large recording studios and i bought a TEAC A-2340 reel-to-reel 4-track recorder machine and a BOSS KM-60 six-channel mixer which were BOTH modified by the previous owner, who was a working recording engineer in local, professional recording studios. He was also an electronics technician. The KM-60 and A-2340 worked like a real studio console. He had rewired them both and added switches so that it was like my own mini studio.

I bought a drum machine and learned how to program drum patterns. Having to think like a four-limb drummer really helped me program realistic-sounding drum patterns.

By this time, i was 24-years-old and had already been working full-time in a strip bar (since i was 18) as a barboy (serving the girls the beers and refilling beer fridges and washing the glasses). I was making pretty good money. I later became the bartender, and a pseudo-door man. I made it to assistant manager but with REALLY poor math skills - i didn't know how to do subtraction and long division with a pen and paper. To avoid being found out that i had lied on my job application about completing high school, i left the job to return to school to get my high school education in adult education classes.
While in school, the bar was sold to another owner and i lost my status there.
My unemployment benefits ran out after nine months before i could complete my schooling from basically a grade 5 education to grade 11. Impossible to do in nine months. So, i went back to work again.
I got caught up in "life" and supporting myself after i had left home at 18 and lived a pretty stable life until the bar was sold. I ended up bouncing from DJ job to DJ job and finally ended up in Toronto as a strip bar DJ after bill-101 in Quebec made it difficult for unilingual anglophones to work in public without sufficient knowledge of the French language.

In Toronto, i moved in with an exotic dancer who supported me while i attended school to complete my secondary studies but that still wasn't enough time in which to finish high school.
She and i had split up after 13 months and i ended up living on the streets for 30 days. I quickly found a job as a door-to-door-vacuum salesman for the Kirby company. After one month of that, i met my soon-to-be wife who worked for a German-speaking consulate general, in Toronto.
We were married six months later and we lived in Switzerland briefly and then moved to Frankfurt a.M.. She is the person who bought me my Andrew Schroetter student violin. She was studying opera at the time in her spare time, and she was a very good recorder player. She would sight read and play classical pieces on the recorder. She had a lovely operatic voice, actually.

We had reversed roles - she would work and i would raise our future children, and then finish my education when the kids were old enough to attend school. I was a house-husband.

We had two, beautiful daughters but our youngest died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome only six days after her first birthday. She was not very healthy from day one, with breathing difficulties.

We were married for only four years when we split-up (due to her mother interfering with our personal problems). I was "flown back" to Montreal a broken man.

My music was being ignored for the most part as we fought internationally for custody of our surviving daughter.

I still hadn't finished high school, and i was in my early 30s by then.
I threw myself into school and was determined to complete it, and, finally, i earned my secondary V diploma at age 35.

I, then, studied in a professional, French cooking school but could not complete the course due to the immense stress caused by the custody battle.

I went back to work for a while as an amateur, independent, sound engineer/producer in my virtual CuBase environment, and was recording and acting as music-producer for my musician friends.
Times got rough until i was offered an apprenticeship position in an authentic, Thai-owned restaurant where i became a second-year apprentice with 27 months of Thai training to my credit. I was the third chef in this family-owned resto.
However, the business folded, and i was, again, in a rut, but had managed to save a lot of money while working there.

Then my dad passed away and had left us some money. That lasted about 5 years.
Living in Quebec without being completely bilingual really affects getting a well-paying, satisfying job. Knowing that fact, i went on welfare when i was 50-years-old and i live like a "semi-retired" man.
I, now, do video editing and make music videos in my spare time for one of my musician friends. I'm still learning to do it well. Hopefully, i can have a late-blooming career in video editing and audio postproduction. I would like to start doing my own Foley Sound eventually.

I dabble with violin, alto saxophone, recorder, tin whistle, keyboards, harmonica, mandolin, bass, and i am a pretty good drum programmer. The guitar is my first and main instrument. I'm a pretty good percussionist, also.

I can improvise on "almost" any instrument after a few minutes with it in my hand. I am not saying i sound like a well-seasoned professional, but i don't do too badly. People often ask me, "How can you just do that?"

I was raised surrounded by a lot of different musical styles. My mom loved country music and traditional Irish music, and my dad liked all those Dean Martin and Don Ho songs and they both liked Rock and Roll (Bill Haley, Everly Brothers, Elvis etc).
My siblings were each into different styles of music, so i absorbed all of that, too. I had to live with an uncle for a year and he got me interested in the 70s rock bands and folk singers (like from the Woodstock era).

My mom would talk about her late stepfather and how he, as a German, loved sitting in the study and playing records of symphonies. So, i started listening and found it was truly amazing how it all came out of one person's head.
Every time i blindly went to buy a symphonic record, i always seemed to choose one that i had heard somewhere.
Then i began listening to operatic recordings. I liked it all. This was when i was 18-years-old.
My friends liked 80s and 90s rock and i liked MOST of it. There is not much i do not listen.
I liked Django Reinhardt and bought MANY of his recording, and Charlie Christian (with Benny Goodman), Sidney Bechet, Marshall Royal, Joe Pass
I simply can't write them all down - i'd be here for weeks. I even enjoyed Ravi Shanker and Robert Fripp's Frippertronics music, soul music and disco, funk, R&B, Funkadelic and Parliament, oh yes, and all kinds of blues.

There's been a period recently when i began listening to Arabic music on youtube.

Nowadays, i write songs in various styles from hard rock, "light" metal, folk, ballads (love songs), power-ballads, to jazz and blues (nothing's been published) and i doubt that any will ever be heard by the masses as "hits".


In 2001, just before working in the Thai resto,i spent 6 months (18 hours per day) writing, producing, programming bass and drums, and recording, sound-engineering and mixing my independently-funded blues CD consisting of 60 minutes of original songs in the styles of blues, jazz, rock and roll, and a ballad.
I didn't have a band to promote the thing, so i ended up selling the 150 copies, which were burned in my compact disc drive (in batches of 48), to my friends, and friends of friends, and family members.
I did all my own graphic design editing using PhotoShop for the cover. I had handwritten approximately all 150 copies of the disc-labels/stickers, and i numbered and signed each disc.
It was just a demo, actually.
It's called, Robbie Daug - Nothin' But Trouble(s). Sound clips can be heard and laughed at on www.allmusic.com.
I was going for a basic trio-sound of guitar/singer, bass, and drums. Three songs have more complicated arrangements than the others.
I ended up deleting all of my master tracks, and just kept rough mixes to make space on my small hard drive for another CD project which somebody had offered to hire me for, which was later canceled.
So, all i had were my rough mixes. I got so discouraged by the cancellation that i just used my rough mixes for my finished project.

I, also, used three, different singers (besides myself) on three of the twelve tracks.
One of which was sung by my daughter who was five-years-old when she sang to me, over the telephone, during a long distance phone call i had recorded to keep as a memory.
The first and last tracks are instrumentals.

I have, also, composed one, unstructured pseudo symphony when i was around 25 years old, which was played live onto tape using an Elka Strings keyboard with overdubbed parts using the Elka and a Korg MS-10 monophonic synthesizer. It was totally improvised as i played the various parts. I still have a mixdown of it on an audio-cassette, just like i still have everything i've ever recorded since i was 17 years old. I am 56-years-old, now.

I am Canadian-born and raised in Montreal, Quebec to an Irish-British mixed mother whose mother and father were from Liverpool England and County Cork, Ireland respectively.
My father was an Italian-Canadian mix whose mother was born and raised in New Brunswick and was of Scottish, Acadian-French and British ancestry, and his father was born in Calabria, Italy.
I refer to myself as an Irish-Italian as i am blond with blue eyes and fair skin having a 10-lettered, four-syllable Italian family name.

I think i could have become famous when i was younger if i only had the ambition, drive and perseverance to "go for it". There were several times when i had offers which i either didn't take seriously because i never thought i was up-to-par due to my lack of education and/or because i was just too absorbed with my own self-doubt to accept the offers and take any chances.
I lacked self-confidence.
If only i could have known then what i know now. Yea yea! We all know it - a shoulda', coulda', woulda person - a classic case of wasted talent.

I think i've covered most of it.

Thank you, for reading all of this