The Pulsators formed in 1989 as a trio. This original trio consisted of Johnny Campbel lon drums and vocal, Douglas Ian McKenzie on guitar and John "Schu" Schuster on bass and vocal. Their first live show was at the infamous (but now defunct) Cotati Cabaret.
They soon added a fourth piece, Bill "the Doctor" Griffith on saxaphone in late 1989.
In mid 1990 John Schuster switched to 6 strings from 4 and the Pulsators became a quintet with the addition of Michael "Mick" Whittington.
Last but certainly not least is Scott Gilroy on sound support.
The Pulsators have released their first CD on Venture Beyond Records in May of '93. Having signed a publishing deal with Art Neville's (The Meters, Neville Bro.'s) Sweet Loraine Music the CD has done well locally and on tour routes.
As the tides turn so do the Pulsators. John Schuster and Bill "the Doctor" Griffith left the band so Rick Clifford (saxophone) and Steve Long (trumpet) have joined the Pulsators.
The latest CD was released January '99. Art Neville has contributed some inspiring keyboard parts.
Karl Marinko joined the Pulsators for the new millennium adding keyboards permanently to the band.
Tours include the west coast from Seattle to San Diego and the South from Texas to New Orleans. Currently they have a touring schedule locally (north San Francisco bay area) and inland west in Park City, Utah and in Idaho.
Johnny Campbell's Biography
One of ten brothers and sisters in a boisterous household with artistic parents, Johnny Campbell started life out in the Los Angeles area. He fell in love with the drums at eight years old, and took to playing them immediately.
He moved to northern California as a teenager and started performing in bands around the Petaluma area. After finishing high school, songwriting became a passion of his. Because of this, he began playing guitar to help his songwriting. Heavily influenced by the Rolling Stones, and American roots music he played with various Bay Area blues bands.
Shortly after he discovered reggae and Bob Marley's music.
Around this time, the San Francisco punk scene began to explode along with Johnny's new band the Impostors.The Impostors were signed by San Francisco's influencial 415 records where Johnny's songwriting finally got exposure. They released two records and Johnny got a reputation as a professional drummer. He then played with other bay Area bands including the Tazmanian Devils.
After a SF gig he was approached about auditioning for a band called Tiggi Clay who were signed to Motown records. He got the gig and recorded on a release by the famed label. (What the hell is white punk boy doing on Motown records?!).
During this period he decided he wanted to persue his songwriting talents.
While moonlighting with Teresa and the Brewers, he met Douglas McKenzie, they developed a friendship and began jamming with former Impostor John Schuster and and the seeds of the Pulsators were sewn.
Douglas Ian McKenzie's Short Biography
Douglas Ian McKenzie started playing guitar at age 13. Being the youngest of six, his older brothers had an influence on his musical exposure. Soon Chicago blues had a definite influence on his playing. Artist such as BB King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin and Sonny Boy Williamson were a part of his musical diet.
Of course there were other influences such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Allman Bros., and Yes. In 1979 he joined his first club band with his sister Teresa on vocals. The band was short lived however because Douglas was off earning his Physics degree at Sonoma State University.
The music couldn't wait and soon the Below Zero Blues Band was formed. The band played extensively in the north S.F. area backing local blues stars such as Sonny Rhodes and Mississippi Johnny Waters. Then in 1984 Below Zero disbanded and Teresa and the Brewers were formed. The Brewers developed a faithful following in the bay area.
During one of their recording projects they hooked up with drummer Johnny Campbell. The Brewers disbanded in late '86 and Doug went on to form his own band Rock House Blues Band. This band was relatively short lived Doug being more of a support artist than a band leader. Shortly after Johnny Campbell gave him a call and the Pulsators were born.
Michael "Mick" Whittington's Biography
"Mick" was born in West Palm Beach, Florida and moved often thoughout the South and Mid West, he eventually settled in Napa, CA. During this transitional period Mick's mother played Fats Domino and Johnny Cash 45's.
One night Mick's mom invited him to watch The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, which had quite an impact and started his musical career. He started playing guitar soon after his father taught him a few chords. Mick began playing bass in 1978. Heavily influenced by the Beatles, he also learned many of their songs on guitar. His first professional band was Exxe, which played gigs with the Imposters, (Johnny Campbell's pre Pulsators band).
Mick joined the Pulsators early on when John Schuster, switched from bass to guitar. He is also influenced by Led Zeppelin, the Who, Yes and early heavy metal bands such as UFO and early Scorpions. Before joining the Pulsators, a friend turned him on to the Neville Brothers, paving the way towards the Pulsators' musical influences. Mick full stage name is "Mick the Family Man Whittington", reason being is his son Anthony and daughter Elizabeth.
Rick Clifford's Biography
Rick Clifford's first intrest in music was sparked by playing guitar in church in 1966. His interest soon spread to saxophone in High School playing swing, jazz and Mo' town in St. Louis. For the next ten years Rick played with a big band featuring ball room dancing styles of music.
He's interested in music therapy and utilizes his skills while working with emotionally disturbed children.
Rick received his bachelors degree in Social Work from the Uninversity of Missouri in 1985. Rick came to California in 1991 and made his home in Sonoma County. He immediately hooked up with local musicians including; Volker Strifler, Willie Jordan, Eric Lindell and Animal Farm.
In 1997 Rick was asked to fill saxophone duties in the Pulsators. From his depth in tonal qualities, he is know as Froggy.