I was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1952 and grew up in a part of town there called Alamo Heights. My father played piano and organ, as had his father, who was reputed to have been a strict piano teacher and organist. When I was 13, I washed neighborhood cars until I had saved enough money to buy my first electric guitar (an Alamo) and my first amplifier (a Kent). I learned how to play music by ear by copying surf guitar records like The Ventures, and later, Jimi Hendrix, and still later, Frank Zappa. I played in local bands through junior high and high school during the 1960's. I began to study classical organ in 1970.
I attended North Texas State University in Denton, Texas from 1971 to 1975 where I studied composition and organ. I began teaching myself bass guitar in 1974 while at school there. I spent many hours in the electronic music labs learning about analog synthesis on the great Moog modular systems there. My years at the music school increased my music awareness spectrum in a huge way and still influence my thinking even now. I experienced for the first time Stockhausen, Bartok, Carter, Coltrane, and much more. I was lucky to be in such a rich environment at that time of my life. I graduated cum laude, receiving a bachelor of music degree with a major in composition, specializing in electronic music.
In 1975 I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional music career, with one of my main goals being to play in Frank Zappa's band. I took whatever kind of musical work I could get - night clubs, weddings, high school dances, a few sessions - anything to make a living, so long as I was doing music and staying in good practice. I met Robbie Krieger in 1976 and recorded synthesizer with The Doors on an album called American Prayer. I formed a jazz group with Bruce Fowler and Don Preston called Loose Connection in the latter 1970's. We made some recordings in Echo Park and performed a few times in Los Angeles. We also did some recordings in Hollywood with Vinnie Colaiuta in December of 1978.
In the summmer of 1978, I passed the audition and began playing bass in Frank Zappa's band. In 1979, I also took on the duties of being the "clonemeister", or band rehearsal director. The band rehearsed for 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. I would run the rehearsals for the first half of the day, then Frank would take over when he arrived. I did 5 tours with Zappa and can be heard playing bass, guitar and keyboards on about a dozen recorded albums. For more on my time with Frank, click on Zappa.
In the early 1980's I co-wrote music, recorded and toured the U.S. with Robby Krieger. We had a live band then for a short time called Red Shift that did only a few recordings and gigs in the LA area By this time, having a 1/2" 8 track tape recorder, an electric piano and some synthesizer gear, I focused a lot of attention to writing and recording music at home.
I began working with Giorgio Moroder in the mid 1980's on albums and film sound tracks, including "Scarface" and "Topgun". I did keyboards, programming, bass, and arranging for a wide range of artist including Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Billy Idol, Berlin, The Motels, and many others. I learned a lot from Moroder about the practical side of commercial music production and music for film.
I opened my own recording studio in the Mar Vista district of Los Angeles in 1985. Since then, I have produced albums and composed sound tracks for films and television at my studio. I have composed and produced four solo albums and I continue to write new music. New recordings and selected album tracks are available at arthurbarrow.bandcamp.com for download.
For a more detailed look at some of the work I've been up to, click on Stuff I've Done