September 28, 1955 -
Barry Knoedl grew up in in a very
technically oriented family. Barry's father operated a radio repair shop
in Garfield, N.J. after WWII. When he moved his family and business to
Patchogue, N.Y. in the late 40's, he began repairing televisions as well.
As they became old enough, Barry and his older brothers, George and Ray, worked
in Dad's shop, beginning with working on radios and phonographs, then hifi's and
tape recorders. Barry had his first tape recorder at the age of 4.
At the age of 12, he got his first 2-track tape recorder and began recording
music. Barry loved to play the piano and sing. He would play and
sing on tape, and then he would attempt to add harmonies on tape. Using a
stack of 4 channel mixers tied together, he would record his brothers' bands.
By the time he was 16, he was a pretty good recording engineer. It was at
this time that Barry began writing his own songs. He would record them
with friends, or more often track all the instruments and vocals himself.
In January of 1974, Barry was introduced
to Bill Kern because of their mutual interest in
collecting records by their favorite artist, The Beatles. In that first
meeting, Barry played his tape of original songs for Bill, on which he had
played most of the instruments, and sang all the vocals. Bill was very
impressed, not because of the quality of the recordings, but because he had done
the same thing himself. Barry and Bill soon formed a partnership that
would last until Bill's death in 2005. They initially started recording
with a group of friends, but soon found that they worked better with just the
two of them, occasionally bringing in other musicians as needed.
The interesting thing about Barry and
Bill's musical alliance was that both of them considered bass guitar to be their
primary instrument, but Barry played piano, which Bill did not, and Bill was a
stronger guitar player, and a much better drummer. By late 1974, Barry had
set up a small recording studio in the basement of his dad's shop. All
their recordings would be done there until Barry moved the studio to his home in