My Life Story by Ken Bloom

Ken Bloom


My legal name is Kenneth Michael Bloom. My family originally came from Germany, moved to Russia and then my grandparents on both sides immigrated to this country around the turn of the century.

I was born in Los Angeles and I’ve lived here most of my life except for short periods. When I was 16 I was in the Robin Hood Band and went on a European tour with them, and except for other excursions here and there I grew up mostly here.

I started playing in the fifth grade, when I took up flute. You know, it was nice, it was small, it was easy to play, it wasn’t hard to carry around. But then I had to be the smart one and take up fifty different instruments and now I sit here and I need a property crew to carry my stuff around. It’s a pain in the neck but I get bored playing the same instrument all the time.

I played flute for about a year, then switched to clarinet and played that for five years, played sax too. Then I got into high school and it was a thing where the school would often be short a few instruments and I’d always be nominated to take up the others. One concert my friend and I played 50 different instruments.

I was playing in this little dixie land band with a friend of mine, who played clarinet and tuba. And we said who ever got the money first would buy a banjo, which would be great for the dixieland thing. So what did I do but go out and buy a five string banjo, which is not good for dixieland. But it’s great for old timey blue grass stuff, and I was just funking around with it when I heard the New Lost City Ramblers and it was all over. I was a country music addict.

Then I was in a little old timey string band called the Main Street Shuffle Kings for a while and I was playing everything in there.

Then about last year or so I met Travis Lewis at UCLA. He was the only kid in my English class who wore cowboy boots and things like that to school so I figured he had to be cool.

So we started picking together. And I ended up playing guitar and steel guitar with the Boomer Boys. Then we got into this Lewis and Clark thing, which is great for me because it allows me to do all sorts of things.

I’ve been studying Indian music for the last few years. And I’ve been studying with Ravi Shankar ever since he opened his school here.

I sit and I play a lot, and that’s my story.

Magazine: Flip
Publisher: Kahn Communications Corporation
Page: 32