25th anniversary of Patrick Cowley's death
P A T R I C K C O W L E Y
***October 19 1950 - November 12 1982***
unfortunately, today is 25th anniversary of date when Patrick left all of Us! 12th of November, 1982 Patrick died from AIDS...
He was and still is the Best music producer, real genius on synthesizers, pionner of nowadays music; his music was before his time!
Thx to ???, here are some facts...
"PATRICK JOSEPH COWLEY , " Pat ", as he was named, was born on October 19, 1950, in Buffalo, under the sign of Libra. He grew up in the north of New York, with his brothers.Patrick was the second of them. James was the oldest (born in 1948 ) , then Patrick, then Mariellen and lastly Madonna, the youngest (no relation with the siger ). His father, Kenneth Cowley, sadly passed on January 2005 at 85 and his mother Ellen died about 13 months after Patrick. Patrick's grandfather was Bernard Cowley.
The branch of his family tree comes from the Horseheads and Corning NY area. There he was a drummer in garage style bands. He could play guitar, and keyboard, but his keyboard playing was by ear, though limited, but it contributed to keep his songs simple yet strong. He studied English at Buffalo's university.
In 1971, at the age of 21, he moved from Rochester to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin his synthesizer studies at the City College of San Francisco. and later making his own recordings and productions.
In 1972 Jerry Mueller started the Electronic Music Lab at City College of San Francisco. There were three students in the class : Arthur Adcock, Jerry Judnick and Patrick Cowley. Six months later Maurice Tani joined the group. They used to meet for class in Mueller's basement until a room became available at the college.
Patrick and I played in a couple of bands together, created radio jingles, songs, electronic pieces, costumes, back up singers....all kind of stuff. His disco music was really just the latest thing he has done. He was the student in charge in the Electronic Music Lab while other student used the school's equipment.
Patrick, Arthur and I continued to do a lot of experimental music, blending various types of music and adapting them to the synth. Some avant-garde, artsy stuff.
"After Patrick made some money with Megatron Man, he bought his own Electrocomp synthesizer and an Otari 1/2'' 8-track machine. " (MAURICE TANI )
At the time there were only three brands of synthesizers available : 'Moog', which was the name that most people associated with music synthesis and which was expensive, 'Buchla', also expensive, and 'Putney', made in England and relatively cheap.
So they bought a 'Putney'; It had a pin-matrix instead of patch cords, but it worked quite well. Later, they switched to an E-mu system (which Patrick used ) and finally to a 'Serge' synthesizer, which was ,and still is, excellent; It's the only analog piece of equipment left in the City College's digital studio nowadays.
"Patrick was a master of the E-mu system, but he did it intuitively.
Everyone else could talk the lingo: 'This oscillator is modulating the filter', but Patrick couldn't tell you how he got his sounds; he just did it." (JERRY MUELLER )
"One day, I came into the studio and heard a tune called 'A White Shade Of Pale". I assumed Patrick was playing a tape, but it turned out he'd synthesized the whole thing ! Not an easy thing to do !(JERRY MUELLER )
Patrick was surrounded himself with people from many styles of music: disco, rock, gospel, new wave, ... and I was the most new-wave. That was so amazing in Patrick." ( JORGE SOCARRAS )
It was really quite astonishing for them to hear those powerful and innovative sounds. Patrick did "kickin' In" and "Love Me Hot" which have never been released as well as many others which surely still remain in Megatone's vault (today Unidisc) . It was just at that moment when Sylvester became very intent on somehow integrating that synthesized music into their basic R&B (Rhythm and Blues) sound of that time, hired Patrick who, since then (1978) would go with him on tour by Southamerica and Europe with his keyboards and synthesizers.
By then, Sylvester was working on his second album, with his guitar player and songwriter James 'Tip' Wirrick ,who later became his producer. Patrick and Tip Wirrick were neighbour in San Francisco; they would become very close friends. There was a little tension in the beggining between Patrick and the other band members. They didn't give him much credibility as a player at the time because his sound and techniques were quiet ahead of the times for 1978 .However things really started to change after a while and he eventually became a very respected and beloved member of that group."
If You're interested in more, please visit this forum ,register and search for "Patrick Cowley"...You'll find also music of this genious!
R.I.P. master Patrick!