Don Parkins


Don Parkins, Bass / Guitar / Vocals / Song Writer Extraordinaire! contributed this autobiography:

Born a middle class white child in
Akron, Ohio, the date was January 1, 1951. The rubber smell was everywhere!

My dad worked at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. My mom worked at the Akron City Hospital. They worked different shifts so someone would always be with us. My mom played the piano, that's where it all started. (By the way, they are still together!)

Walked to and from school with my friends for twelve long years. Made it through the fifties and sixties without seat belts! Smell the rubber?

Played all sports in the street, the hard way. Not healthy sliding into second base on the brick streets and dodging oncoming cars! We learned fast not to let the smell distract us.

I obtained my great sense of humor from my dad and Steve Allen, who my dad and I would watch on the old Tonight Show. All of the Bizarros band members have a good sense of humor and I believe that has kept us friends all these years. All of our dads worked for the rubber man. Could there be some sort of "rubber effect" on all of us?

I first heard Fats Domino do Blueberry Hill in the late 50's. I had the 45 and I would listen to it for hours. I knew rock & roll would be part of my life. I grew up listening to all of the great ones, Elvis, Orbison, Fats, Little Richard, Rick Nelson, MC5, Alice Cooper, Bowie and then the Velvet Underground. Lou Reed, man! I was really hooked! I picked up a cheap acoustic guitar and started playing it every day.

I went to England in 1972 and stayed for two years. I saw many bands from that era in London clubs and small stages. It was truly a wonderful two years. I started writing songs and taping them on a reel-to-reel which I have to this day. I have kept it in good working order all these years. I still have all the early work I did and I also have many hours of Bizarros practices and live performances. Many of my early songs are Bizarros songs coming out soon on a new CD. It just goes to show you, rock & roll never dies! It just waits for us to discover it again.

Back from England in 1974, it's a depression. No jobs. Unemployment compensation. Time to practice the guitar and write new music. Life is still good. The band starts to come together. Nick talks to Terry. Terry talks to Don. Don talks to Jerry. We get a drummer. We start to practice. We write some songs. We get some jobs here and there. Akron gets publicity over new music. We get signed. We make record. The record industry plunges back to the real world! Nick introduces me to Patty. Head over heels. We get married. We have baby. His name is Pete. He is a great son. Then the years fly by. One thing that did go away is the rubber smell. That smell is now being smelled by the third world countries!

Now the Bizarros are back together again at the Mannequin Odd Studios. Sounds great too! (Probably due to the fact I wrote most of the tunes on this one!) There's my great sense of humor shining through again! The air sure is fresh here in Akron, Ohio. As fresh as this new material we are about to present.

It sure is fun to play music with the people you grew up with. It's good to stay in touch through the years. Here is to a long life and music and friends.