Back In 1987 Keel had a song on the soundtrack for a movie called Dudes, starring the now-famous Jonathan Cryer and directed by Penelope Spheeris, who was also noted for directing The Decline of Western Civilization series. We got to do a video with Penelope for that single and that relationship led me to be invited to participate in Wayne's World, which shot in the summer of 1991. The phenomenon now known as Wayne's World was a reoccurring skit on Saturday Night Live when Paramount Pictures decided to make it into a movie, no one had any inkling it would blow up to be one of the most popular cultural icons of the early 90s. I had been staying in touch with Penelope and was hoping I could get her to hire me to compose some music for the film. While I was not offered that role, she did offer me the role to be one of the guitarists in the band that backed up Tia Carrere in the film. For those of you with an acute memory, that band was called Crucial Taunt.
Over the course of that summer I had the time of my life, working alongside Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe, Brian Doyle-Murray and Alice Cooper.
Two years later, I got to reprise my role in Wayne's World 2, sharing scenes with Christopher Walken, Chris Farley and my musical idols Aerosmith. Little known fact: Peter Frampton was initially booked to be in Wayne's World 2 and was on the set for several days... it was amazing to hang with him.
As a result of the success of these films, I got booked on several TV shows as well, including Murder She Wrote and Step by Step. Don't blink though, you may miss me!
In the summer of 1985 Keel was playing Dallas, Texas for the first time when two young rocker-looking dudes knocked on the door of our tour bus. They introduced themselves as the Abbott brothers of a local band called Pantera and asked if could they come on board to play me a few songs off their most recent independent release Projects in the Jungle. It took all of hearing 10 seconds of the first song to realize I was hearing an extraordinarily-gifted group of musicians who were writing and playing well beyond the scope of their teenage years. That auspicious introduction was the start of a friendship with the band that lead me to become one of their very early supporters. Throughout the ensuing years I would travel down to Texas whenever I could to hang out and party with them. I mentioned them in interviews whenever I could, trying to elevate their status in the national press. I even convinced our record company at the time, (Goldmountain) to sign the band and indeed they did offer Pantera a small production deal. Unfortunately it did not lead to a major-label release.
In 1987 I played the guys a song which I had initially recorded for Keel called “Proud to be Loud,” and the guys decided to re-record it for their next album which would be called Power Metal, their first full-length recording with new vocalist Phil Anselmo. I produced that track alongside Vinnie Paul and played rhythm guitar on it as well. In addition, I played a short solo on another track called “We'll Meet Again.” I could not have been more proud when the guys finally secured their major label deal and released Cowboys From Hell in 1990... almost almost half a decade after I had first met them. Twenty million album sales followed, and validated what I had known all along since that first encounter on our tourbus: That Pantera were destined for greatness.
After being musically dormant for the better part of three years as I was developing MasterSource, I started to get the itch to create and play music again. I assembled a bunch of friends and decided on the name, Medicine Wheel. Our first album entitled First Things First was recorded and released in 1994. It featured several songs co-written by my buddy Tommy Thayer (ex-Black 'n Blue and currently with KISS) and we got a deal with a Japanese label who also brought us over to play.
In 1996 we recorded our second album Immoral Fabric and in 1998 released our 3rd and final CD entitled Small Talk. Although Medicine Wheel did not play out very much, nor sold in huge numbers, we made some great music and it is still a project I'm very proud of. Many of the recordings that we did for these albums wound up being included in the MasterSource collection and were used in high-profile motion pictures, TV shows and commercials.
1995 saw the release of my first-ever solo effort, entitled Marc Ferrari & Friends: Guest List. This release featured many of my friends from the rock community and showcased diverse writing and playing components. Guests on the CD include MSG’s Robin McAuley, Autograph’s Steve Plunkett, Medicine Wheel’s Michael Mulholland, Blackthorne’s Bob Kulick, Mr. Big’s Pat Torpey, and Black ’n Blue / KISS’s Tommy Thayer. I was proud to have such a collection of first-rate talent helping me with this project and the title continues to be a fan favorite to this day.
As the success of MasterSource grew, I started getting inquiries from fans who heard my music in TV shows or films but did not know where to purchase it as these songs were only available to the production community. Out of that came the idea for my 2nd solo effort Lights, Camera, Action released in 2003.
Everyone has a unique story to tell, and mine is unique to myself. I have been fortunate to have experienced a few diverse facets throughout my life and I have often been asked to speak about them. I have always felt humbled that someone would want to hear about the various paths that my life's journey has taken me so with that in mind I decided to become active in the local Tech / Startup / Entrepreneurship community in my area and to share my experience and knowledge with others that may stand to benefit from it.
In 2014 I joined Tech Coast Angels, one the largest and most active investment organizations in the country. With over 300 members in 5 regional networks, TCA members have invested over $170 million in over 300 companies that have gone on to attract over $1 billion in additional investment capital. Many of its members are former CEOs of successful businesses from diverse industry segments who bring a wealth of know-how, critical business connections and knowledge to the collective pool. I look forward to attending TCA-sponsored events as it affords me an tremendous learning opportunity as I broaden my business horizons.
Here are a few companies I have made investments in thru TCA:
Beatshare is a multi-media messaging platform enabling the creation and distribution of user generated content. We breakthrough an untapped, multibillion, international market using the power of music as an entry point. Our proprietary feature set includes an interactive design tool for mobile interfaces, efficient metadata sharing system for media messaging and a hub-spoke architecture enabling layered content creation.
Doctor O’Neil's Immuno Gum
Immuno Gum® is the first product designed to bring you 6 key ingredients to support the immune system in a gum. Immuno Gum® can be used on a daily basis, and servings can be increased if an extra immunity support is needed. If you are around people who are sick, or starting to feel a little under the weather yourself, pop in a couple of pieces of Immuno Gum® and give your immune system support!
Immersive develops fully immersive Virtual Reality content targeted at the VR/AR market. We are capitalizing upon the strengths of a team that has deep experience in technology, the arts, gaming and VR as well as leveraging deep relationships with thought leaders in a number of verticals, including medical, training, education and enterprise.
I also became active with Hub 101 and was a guest speaker as part of their local entrepreneur series.
Operated by Cal Lutheran University, Hub101 offers co-working, incubation and community for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow and scale their startups with the help of mentors, coaches and service providers. I even got asked to teach a course at Cal Lutheran University. “Professor Ferrari” has a great ring to it!
Everybody is passionate about something and I've always had a passion for cars and mountains. These two things may at first seem unrelated but I am certain there are some subconscious metaphors related to the challenge of climbing mountains and going fast. People have always said I was driven! I have been lucky to be able to own some iconic vehicles such as the Aston Martin Vanquish (one of the Bond cars) and the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, a street-legal track-focused variant of the 430 series. I have great respect for and am awed by the power and beauty vehicles like these exude.
I have been hiking and backpacking the mountains of California for almost 20 years now; tagging Mt. Whitney back in 1999 (the lower 48's tallest peak) and exploring all throughout the Sierra Nevada range and the various California deserts such as Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Anza Borrego. In 2014 I decided I wanted to scratch something off my bucket list and decided to realize a long-held dream of visiting the Everest region in Nepal.
Over the course of 13 days myself and 2 friends hiked thru the Khumbu region up to Everest Base camp, which sits at 17,500 feet. Experiencing the amazing culture of the country while being surrounded by some of the world's most spectacular scenery was a life-changing adventure which continues to pull at my heartstrings every day.