By age 11, Mark's love for guitar and dreams of the big time had completely taken over. Driven and determined, his passion for music propelled him through the years gaining him much respect in the music world. His appreciation for all styles of music is key in Mark's continuing search for new ways to develop his talents.
By age 15, Mark was performing shows in all the top clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area with his bands Overdrive (1980-1983) and Now (1984-1985). They opened for acts like Metallica, Ratt, Y&T, Randy Hansen, Loudness and Quiet Riot.
In 1985-86 Mark joined the famed prog rock band Starcastle. In the seventies, Starcastle played arenas touring with Jethro Tull, Rush, Boston and many others. Led by founding member Gary Strater who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2004, Starcastle's music was a fusion of rock and classical styles and with layers of harmony vocals. During this time, Mark also began studying with famed vocal teacher Judy Davis who worked with Streisand, John Waite, Eric Martin and many others. It was with Starcastle that Mark first began playing music with drummer Scott McKenzie. This band was a very special time in Mark's music career and was very experimental in it's approach with an artistic side rarely seen in the music of today.
From 1986 to early 1995, Mark was busy making records and touring the world many times over as lead guitarist for the Bay Area metal band, Vicious Rumors. Mark and VR toured in 20 countries, enjoyed video rotation on MTV's Headbanger's Ball (USA & Europe) and were nominated for "Outstanding Metal Album" at the 1992 Bay Area Music Awards for their 1991 Atlantic Records release, "Welcome to the Ball". Some highlights were performing at the famous 'Hammersmith Odeon Theatre' and 'Marquee Club' in London. Since then Mark has made guest appearances on VR's 2001 'Sadistic Symphony' release and their newest due out in March 2011. Mark will also appear at the Keep It True Festival in Germany with Vicious Rumors in April 2011 for a special one off show paying tribute to former lead vocalist Carl Albert. Vicious Rumors performed shows around the world to crowds as big as 30,000 people and performed with acts such as Paul Stanley (Kiss), Blue Oyster Cult, Badlands, Paul Dianno (Iron Maiden), Savatage, Testament, Danzig, Zakk Wylde, Metal Church and many others.
In 1995, Mark was asked by the Alameda All Stars to do some shows.The All Stars were all members of Gregg Allman's band and when an audition came up Mark got an invite and in turn Mark was asked to join the Gregg Allman and Friends band where he stayed as lead and slide guitarist for more than 10 years. This makes Mark the longest running guitarist in Gregg's 30 + year solo career. From 1995 to 2004 and again in 2007, Mark toured throughout the US, Europe, Canada and Japan as lead & slide guitarist for Rock n Roll Hall of Fame's Gregg Allman. In G.A. and Friends, Mark's fiery style and wicked slide playing added an exciting edge and intensity to the band's sound. With Gregg, also came the opportunity to work alongside legendary producer Tom Dowd (Clapton, Aretha Franklin) for the recording of Gregg's 1997 "Searching for Simplicity" release. Mark also appears on Gregg's 2001 "No Stranger To The Dark/The Best of" cd. Gregg Allman & Friends shared the stage with acts such as Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Govt. Mule, The Spinners, Wilson Pickett, David Crosby, Bad Co., REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Kansas and Cyndi Lauper to name a few.
In 1999, Mark was hired to play lead guitar tracks on some demos for a singer/songwriter from Detroit named Nicole Sutton. This would prove to be destiny as Mark and Nicole's magic connection began. For most of 1999, Mark, Nicole, bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Jeff Campitelli among others rehearsed songs mostly written by Sutton. But soon Stu and Jeff's obligations with Joe Satriani's band were beckoning. They continued to work on Sutton's music while also adding Mark's vocals into the mix. Mark's role as Producer became clear and soon the song arrangements were changing and embellished upon. Mark and Nicole dubbed the band Luvplanet. In 2003, Mark and Nicole went into the studio to cut the first Luvplanet cd along with Stu Hamm, Jeff Campitelli and Katie Schuch. After the cd was released the search was on for a permanent rhythm section and in came bassist Tommy Sisco and drummer Scott McKenzie. Now that the band was in place they began performing shows while Mark and Nicole's chemistry blossomed. They soon went back into the studio in late 2004 to record their follow up cd 'State of Mind'. During this time Luvplanet also performed the song 'Don't Take Me For A Loser' which features Mark on lead vocals, for the Give Us Moore Tribute cd. With stellar reviews coming in for the 'State of Mind' cd, more shows and a third release 'Lucky One' in 2008, it was obvious to everyone that the momentum was building and Luvplanet hear to stay. Now, in 2010 the 'Luvolution' continues. This is Mark's heart and soul in his music pursuits and it's all systems go!!!
Mark has been working on his debut solo cd, tentatively titled "Gem". The cd highlights his diverse musical palette and includes guest appearances by bassists Tony Franklin (Jimmy Page), Stu Hamm (Steve Vai), Jamie Van De Bogert (Gregg Allman) and Jeff Campitelli (Joe Satriani) as well as appearances by his Luvplanet band mates.
Mark has appeared on the Disney soundtrack "Sky High", acclaimed instrumental release "Guitar Farm", Stu Hamm's "Outbound" cd and Mark will appear on Stu's upcoming release as well as Brad Gillis' (Night Ranger) solo cd Alligator.
To hire Mark for recording sessions, production or guitar lessons go to: