Over the years, neither L.J. Witter nor Steve Gerick realized that the other had musical ‘chops’ since they rarely discussed it. It wasn’t until Steve mentioned he played ‘some guitar’ and L.J. said, “Hey, I sing a little” that a seed was planted that has grown into an intense collaboration that has lasted more than a decade.
In 2008, Steve and L.J. decided to create music together and produced their first studio album. The fact that both Gerick and Witter were well past middle age, deciding on a name for the band was more of a problem than actually creating music. They settled on The OGeeZ, which in modern parlance could mean Original Gangsters, Old Geezers, etc. Since we deemed ourselves more of the latter than the former - The OGeeZ it was!
Their music can only be described as “genre-bending” as their musical tastes explore the boundaries of everything from Blues, Latin, and R&B to Pop, Jazz, and even Rap. As a result of their diverse musical preferences, their fanbase stretches the globe.
The fact that these two are still creating great music at their age is notable, especially L.J. Witter, who is eighty years young! For all who are way past middle-age and love to sing and play music, we hope our music will inspire you to reexamine the boundaries of your artistic talents.
L.J. Witter is the singer and lyricist for The OGeeZ. L.J. grew up in San Francisco after arriving from Hawaii at the age of five. At a young age, L.J. was introduced to a diverse collection of musical genres by his mother. He remembers listening to Hawaiian music, pop standards, rhythm & blues, classical, semi-classical, Broadway musicals, and country & western.
L.J.’s mother was – in his words “an amazing singer and a dynamite hula dancer." L.J.’s father was also a lover of music and although he did not sing or play an instrument, he did appreciate all types of music, particularly jazz, boogie-woogie, and the standards. This background had a significant influence on his varied musical tastes and is reflected in his work over the years. L.J. sang lead, baritone and second tenor in ‘Doo Wop’ groups in his teens and early twenties. He was part of the duo ‘Denny and Lenny’ and cut his first record “Ghoul Love” in the sixties.
Steve Gerick is the driving force behind The OGeeZ. Steve has been a musician since he was 14 years old. His first guitar was an acoustic Sears Silvertone guitar he bugged his dad for weeks to buy for him. He is a self-taught guitarist, pianist, and composer and was exposed early in life to a diverse range of musical influences from opera to hard rock. Steve played in cover bands through his teens and early twenties in the Midwest before moving to California in 1977.
Steve played in a jam band upon first arriving in California but soon left music for several years while he pursued a career in the computer industry. In 2005, he picked up a guitar and keyboard as a way to find a pleasant escape from the pressures of life in Silicon Valley.
In 2007 Steve began learning the world of desktop music production. Steve leveraged his experience working with computers with the music production training he received and built his first recording studio in late 2008 in his garage in San Jose.
Steve plays guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica, and various virtual instrumentals on all of The OGeeZ’s recordings. He also performs occasional background vocals.