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About

I have been a music fan ever since I heard The Beatles when I was 8 years old. I remember the albums so vividly. I remember pulling out my favorite records from my parents collection, and dragging the needle across the record to play them over and over again. The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Allman Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Cream, The Rolling Stones.. all that great music.. it just filled me up as a kid, sitting there, listening, soaking it in, mesmerized by the sounds they made. The guitars, the drums, the harmonies. It planted a seed in me at an early age that I later swore to follow for the rest of my life.

My biggest passion is creating original music.. in other words, writing songs. After I got my first bass guitar at 14, I became obsessed with trying to create songs, new musical parts, riffs or chords that sounded good to my ears. I didn’t care if I sounded good or bad, I just liked doing it. I quickly put a band together with friends and my musical journey had begun.

Over the years I have played in band different bands, and in every band I’ve learned something valuable. We never stop learning and growing.

I continue to write, record and play, and look for new musical adventures in songwriting and composing. I have a studio in Westside Costa Mesa where I connect and share the gift of music.

Thanks for listening.
Murphy Karges
Summer 2019

Bands:

Barf:
Very first band, we were a fictional band consisting of my brother, my cousin and I, and we played on pots and pans and sang about girls who broke our hearts. What else is there? We even gave ourselves fake names, but they’re too explicit to publish. (Band Members: Murphy Karges, Terry Karges Jr, Herm Cundall)

Animosity:
My first ‘serious’ band. We learned Sex Pistols songs and I began writing crude original songs. This band actually had two iterations, the second of which moved beyond the garage and got actual gigs and played parties. (Band Members: 1st iteration- Murphy Karges, Chris Hatt, Eric Lough; 2nd iteration- Murphy Karges, Dave Marriott, Dave Collins, Darrel Birthe, Greg Hark)

The Shaman:
This band was my first band where it wasn’t straight punk rock, and also the first where I wasn’t the sole songwriter and leader. Dave Marriott was that in this band, as I’d known him from Animosity. We played a mix of rock with grooves mixed in, and a 60’s vibe thanks to our singer, Scott Brandon, and it also featured the shredding-est lead guitarist I’d ever played with to that point, Joey Borden. We had a particularly memorable gig at The Whiskey in LA before we disbanded. (Band Members: Murphy Karges, Dave Marriott, Scott Brandon, Joey Borden, Steve Smith)

The Shrinky Dinx:
This was the band that became Sugar Ray. But I feel like this band deserves it’s own category. We played together for 7 years before we got a record deal, and there was such a big life to this band all its own. We did 50/50 covers and originals. I wrote the music in this band and Mark wrote the lyrics. We had a lot of fun and played all kinds of crazy parties, one San Diego Kegger in particular I played with a sprained leg and on crutches, and Mark kept tipping me backwards, teetering to fall over, while playing, to make the crowd laugh (and I did nervously too) and the whole place was just super nuts and somebody went through a plate glass window. Notable songs we wrote were “Don’t Go To School (unless the pusher takes you)” “Golddigger” “Three Piece & Biscuit” Big Fish Little Pond” “Smoking Kill & Living” “Lick Me” & “Caboose” Stan and Rodney were so incredible to play with and we all just had chemistry right from the start. (Band Members: Murphy Karges, Stan Frazier, Mark McGrath, Rodney Sheppard)

The Weirdos:
In the spring of 1989, and Mark quit The Shrinky Dinx to focus on other things. Luckily, I answered an ad in Music Connection Magazine for a touring band that needed a bass player. I went and auditioned and got the gig. It was to play bass for The Weirdos on an 8 week national tour supporting The Circle Jerks 20th anniversary. I remember Flea would stop by our rehearsals (I had to learn basslines he had recorded for the record- yikes!), but he was always cool. I lived on Nicky Alexanders couch in the months leading up to the tour, and then we went out and had an incredible time. Keith Morris and Keith Clark were nice to me and called me ‘Rookie.’ After the tour I did a few more shows with them, including opening for The Cramps and The Red Hot Chili Peppers in San Francisco for New Years Eve 1990. After The Weirdos, we put The Dinx back together and never stopped until we got a record deal in 1994.

Sugar Ray:
When we got a record deal in 1994, we had no idea where it would go. We just felt lucky day-to-day. We figured somebody would come by, figure us out, and pull the plug on the fun. So we kept a light attitude, being raised on BEHIND THE MUSIC, but we also worked hard to never go back to our old jobs.

In the end, we sold over 9 million records and toured the world for nearly two decades. We played countless TV shows, (The Jon Stewart Show- he had one years ago on Fox, if you can believe that, The Today Show(2X), Late Night with David Letterman(5X), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno(5X), Conan O’Brien(4X), The Drew Carey Show, and I can’t remember how many others there were. If I do I’ll update in here. (Band Members: Murphy Karges, Stan Frazier, Craig Bullock, Mark McGrath, Rodney Sheppard)

The Special Goodness:
In between the end of 14:59 touring cycle and before we’d started writing and recording for our 4th album, the self titled, Sugar Ray, I joined up and played with The Special Goodness for about a year or so. It was a super fun band because I loved the songs Pat Wilson (Weezer) wrote, and I loved playing in a rhythm section with Atom Willard (Rocket From The Crypt/Social Distortion/The Offspring/Angels & Airwaves/Against Me) because he’s just one of the coolest drummers ever. Super fun power trio. This was Pat’s band and he’d had several iterations, the first of which he’d recorded all the parts himself. We did several shows and then went on tour with the Weezer/Dashboard Confessional/Rooney Tour of 2002 sharing the side stage with Rooney. (Band Members: Murphy Karges, Pat Wilson, Atom Willard)