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
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
“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
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.
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.
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
and shop manager and worked with the company for several years.
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
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
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.