Unlike many guitarists respected for in-your-face guitar acrobatics who remain satisfied with creating only instrumental shredder music, Mark is most inspired by the strength of a great song and singer. Mark's appreciation for the beauty of the human voice, and how it cuts through to a deep emotional place, is the inspiration that makes his notes sing. Mark's unique, melodic, and emotionally driven style makes him stand out among other guitarists.
By age 11, Mark's love for the guitar and his dreams of the big time had completely taken over, driving him to make music his life. His passion propelled him through the years, earning him much respect in the music world as a guitar virtuoso, singer, songwriter, and producer. His deep appreciation for all styles of music forged a path guided solely by artistic choices. By age 15, Mark began performing live in the San Francisco Bay Area club scene and leading his first band 'Overdrive' (1980-1983) as lead singer/songwriter/guitarist. Sharing the bill with acts such as Blue Oyster Cult, Metallica, Ratt, Y&T, Randy Hansen, Loudness and Quiet Riot, Overdrive proved to be a worthy musical group!
In 1984-1985, Mark felt the need to create new music and formed a group called 'Now'. Delving into a more progressive rock style, Now provided a natural progression from his previous band. Although short-lived, the band performed many shows in top venues throughout the Bay Area.
In 1985-1986 Mark was invited by bassist/vocalist Gary Strater to join former Columbia recording artists and prog rock legends 'Starcastle'. From the mid-seventies to 1980, Starcastle toured the US and played arena shows with Jethro Tull, Rush, Boston, Heart, Journey, etc. Starcastle's style was more intellectual and experimental than Mark's previous bands, allowing him to open up and tap into a deeper place with his music. From 1985-1989 Mark also studied voice with legendary voice teacher Judy Davis (Streisand, John Waite, Steve Perry).
From 1986-1995, Mark was busy recording and touring the world as lead guitarist/songwriter for heavy metal's Vicious Rumors. Mark and 'VR' toured in over 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 include performing at the famous 'Hammersmith Odeon' and 'Marquee Club' in London, as well as headlining a sold out tour of Japan. Since leaving VR in 1995, Mark has made guest appearances on VR's 2001 release 'Sadistic Symphony' and on their 'Razorback Killers' cd, and also reunited with the band for a special show in Germany at the 'Keep It True Festival' in April 2011. 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 invited to play shows with some of his hometown friends, the 'Alameda All Stars'. As members of Gregg Allman's band, the Alameda All Stars were soon in need of a new guitarist. Mark was invited to audition, and in one night he walked away with the gig. For 10 years Mark captivated audiences performing with 'Gregg Allman & Friends', making him the longest running guitarist in Gregg's solo career. Touring internationally in the US, Europe, Canada, and Japan, Mark's youthful fiery style and wicked slide playing added a potent edge and intensity to the band's sound. Also with GA&F, Mark worked alongside legendary producer Tom Dowd (Clapton, Aretha Franklin) for the recording of songs on Gregg's 1997 'Searching for Simplicity' release. Mark also appeared on Gregg's 2001 'No Stranger To The Dark/The Best of' cd. GA&F shared the stage with acts such as Jeff Beck, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company, Ted Nugent, The Spinners, Wilson Pickett, David Crosby, Joan Jett, Kansas, Derek Trucks, Govt. Mule and Cyndi Lauper to name a few.
In 1999, Mark was hired as a session musician to record guitar tracks on demos for a singer/songwriter from Detroit named Nicole Sutton. As it turns out, Nicole and Mark had much in common both musically and personally, and the two soon realized that their paths crossing was no accident. Together with bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Jeff Campitelli, rehearsals began as they prepared songs to record. The group performed a handful of shows before Stu and Jeff's obligations with music partner Joe Satriani came calling. Mark and Nicole moved forward as Mark's role as producer became clear. To find a name for the band, they drew miscellaneous words from out of a hat -- and Luvplanet was born! They began fine tuning song arrangements and vocal harmonies, and in 2003 they recorded their debut cd. In 2004, the band was featured on the Gary Moore Tribute album 'Give Us Moore', on which they performed 'Don't Take Me For A Loser' featuring Mark on lead vocals. Mark and Nicole's collaborations continue to blossom, creating memorable, meaningful songs with huge hooks and quality musicianship!
To date, Luvplanet has released 6 full-length studio albums: Luvplanet (2003), State of Mind (2005), Lucky One (2008), Luvolution (2010) , Rivertown (2016), and the double cd (20 song collection) 'Something Good' (2020). In 2020, with the CV scare hitting the world, Luvplanet also released the impactful song and music video 'The Day They Closed The World'. Truly a song for the times that has become a song of hope for so many!
Mark has also appeared on the Disney soundtrack 'Sky High', on the acclaimed instrumental release 'Guitar Farm', on Stu Hamm's 'Outbound' and 'Just Outside of Normal' cds, on vocal legend Mickey Thomas's (Starship, Elvin Bishop) 2011 'Marauder' release, as well as on Brad Gillis's (Night Ranger) 'Alligator' cd as a performer, singer and and songwriter.
To hire Mark for sessions, production or guitar instruction: firstname.lastname@example.org