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Ronald Farson Karp

Born in May 1961 in Bristol, Pennsylvania, Ronald Farson Karp started playing drums at age five. His early (1966-1979) influences were the Ventures, the Beatles, Motown, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Deep Purple, Yes, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, and CSNY.

During his formative years, Ron played mostly with other local musicians in garage bands until he met Roger Schultz, who introduced him to Jamie Thompson. The three then teamed up to create Black Rose, which focused on writing original music. Although the group only played together for a few months, the trio worked well together, and the seeds of musical camaraderie were sewn.

“In 1980, I got a phone call from Roger, who insisted that I move to State College to join Red Rose Cotillion.” With a little encouragement, Ron made the move, and RRC completed the transition to a full-fledged rock band. The combination of Ron’s rock-solid drumming and Roger’s driving bass formed the nucleus of RRC’s rhythm section. As the band evolved and Ron matured as a drummer, he became equally as comfortable playing progressive music as he was playing straight-ahead rock n’ roll.

After RRC disbanded, Ron teamed up with Jamie, Roger, and other State College musicians to form Pictures, which performed in State College until September of 1982, when Ron and his future wife, Barbara, and Sam the Cat moved to the San Francisco Bay area.

In 1983, Ron joined a band called Spanx, which performed mostly cover songs of artists such as Ted Nugent, Eddie Money, Los Lobos, Ry Cooder, Joe Jackson, & Van Halen. Spanx played mostly in San Francisco Bay area clubs.

Most of the members Spanx also worked at a plastics machine shop, and was introduced to the world of Computer Numerical Control (“CNC”) machining. Joining the company as a machinist, Ron soon became a programmer and shop manager and worked with the company for several years.

After Spanx broke up in 1988, Ron played in several other groups, including a rock band (“Andy’s Gang”), a reggae band (NBAT/ aka “Nothin’ But a Thang”), a Motown band (The Brothers Owen), and a power trio (The Tels). He also emceed several Bay Area events, such as Molly B’s Annual Chili Cook-off and the Renown Sound Awards.

In 1996, Sam the Cat died, Ron and Barbara got “two crazy Parson Jack Russell Terriers, Nigel & Finster,” and moved to the rural Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon where Ron got a job at Darex Drill Sharpeners in Ashland, Oregon as a CNC Programmer and Department Lead.

Then, “after getting to know each other for 17 years,” Barb and Ron got married in December of 1998. When their daughter, Allison, was born in Medford, Oregon in 1999, they loaded up the truck, the baby, and the dogs and made the long haul back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be closer to family. Ron currently works as a Project Manager for a vacuum science company.

Copyright 2006 Red Rose Cotillion. All Rights Reserved.
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