Back in the day, the best band I think I was ever part of was called Trauma. The band was conceived by me and the late great Gabe Sinohui, my friend and writing partner. It consisted of myself, Keith Fort (my brother on bass and drums) Gabe Sinohui on lead guitar, Dwayne Ganier, a great friend amazing lead and rhythm guitarist, Lori Merstik-Simpson on vocals and a few drummers over the years. 

Gabe introduced me to progressive rock bands like Saga and Rush and I introduced him to Jazz like George Benson and Spyra Gyro among others. We would find ways to merge these different styles into our music. Back then we wrote progressive rock, ballads and straight ahead rock tunes. We would play wherever anyone would have us and had a blast. As time moved on the band changed and evolved but Gade and I and the rest would still get together and play our music, laugh and sing. Gabe and I meet in high-school choir and started playing and writing back then. Later as we formed trauma we pulled from the choir crew and brought in Dwayne and Lori who we meet at a choir competition with another high-school.

In 1989 I moved to Arizona to raise my family and the band was over. Shortly after I moved, we lost Gabe and I was so distraught I couldn’t bring myself to attend his funeral. To this day I am ashamed of that mistake. No matter how bad I was hurting I should have attended and shared in the loss with his family and our good friends. 

I think back to those days often and I wonder what my old friend and I would be writing today. How he would contribute to my music now. In someways I think he still does contribute to my music. When I am playing the guitar I hear him playing in my head sometimes, shredding on a solo or tossing in some crazy chord in the song that was a pain to play but sounds so sweet. He has and will always inspire me.

I have been going back over the music he and I wrote and slowly re-recording the songs and releasing them. For the most part I have been focusing on the songs that I wrote with his influence. We had a way of pushing each other to write and play better, I do miss my old friend.

Below are a few photos that I thought I would share of the band. These are old Polaroids that I scanned and have moved from computer to computer of the years. As I find more I will add them to this page. 


From left to right R.E. Fort, Gabe Sinohui, I believe that is Eric on Drums, Keith Fort, Lori Merstik-Simpson and Dwayne Ganier


This line up was probably the best we ever sounded. From left to right, Dwayne Ganier, Lori Merstik-Simpson, R.E. Fort, Becky (one of the best drummers we ever had), Gabe Sinohui, and Keith Fort.

Miss you guys

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