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Career Highlights

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Career Highlights

  • Recently Nikk's Band   (Any thing Wrong) Was Awarded
  •  "Outstanding Hard Rock Band of the Year"
  •  At the 2006 11th Annual Los Angeles  Rock City Music Awards held Dec. 8th at Universal
  • Glenn Downey 
  • Studies acoustic guitar with legendary Glenn Downey at age of eight
  • Alan Bradley Guitarist of the Rock Super Group "Max" 
  • Studies lead guitar with guitar master Alan Bradley at age nine
  • No More lessons
  • Al Bradley informs parents that there is nothing more that Nick can be taught
  • Frankenstein
  • First song performed in a group “Frankenstein” (by Edgar Winter) in the fifth grade with guitarist Toby Becraft
  • Parents Make Big Sacrifice
  • Parents give up entire second floor of family home for daily and nightly rehearsals
  • Groupie Heaven
  • First live commercial event at age twelve
  • Forced to Join Union
  • Local  Local Musicians Union president (Gordy Gabaree) tells Nikk he will have to join the Union at unheard of age of fourteen
  • Downtown Business Owners Suffer Long Term Hearing Loss
  • First and last band to perform concert on the downtown Ithaca Commons near Cornell University in New York – [Girlfriend, Miss Tompkins County beauty pageant winners dad  was President of the local Chamber of Commerce]
  • This Thing Weighs More Than I Do!
  • Purchases new Les Paul Custom at age of sixteen
  • Teens Living Jet-Set Lifestyle
  • Moves out of parent's home into newly built home with drummer Gregg Jesmer (both are only sixteen years old)
  • Better Let Them Back on Stage, We Don't Want a Riot On Our Hands
  • Forms progressive rock band in one hour. Enters high school talent contest, wins contest then takes stage to give 45-minute concert much to the thrill of students
  • Head West Young Man
  • leaves New York two weeks after high school graduation, becomes part of the local Santa Cruz, California music scene
  • In the Hills Above Santa Cruz
  •  Hangs out with members of the Doobie Brothers and attends open weekend- long jams at the house in Loma Prieta
  • Soap Opera Stars and Hells Angels
  •  Opens for Billy Squire at the Angels camp in Sonora, California to audience of over 2,000
  • Flying  High Again
  • Guitarist Brad Gillis (Night Ranger, Ozzy) introduces Nikk to custom guitar builder Dan Torres in Saratoga, California
  • Nikki "The Brian May of Bass"
  • Has custom flying V- bass built neck through body / made entirely of  oak wood
  • Patent Pending
  • Designs heavy high density mass brass bass bridge with solid brass core through body string sleeves
  • Hills of Berkley, California
  • Joins “Ruffians” as bassist doing first work up to their first album release
  • Was Not a Quiet Riot That Night! 
  • With vocalist Art Garza and drummer Troy Herrera in their San Jose Band perform with friends Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo at The Keystone Palo Alto show in Palo Alto, California
  • Halloween in Hollywierd
  • On a Halloween night moves to Hollywood for the bright lights with drummer Troy Harrera!
  • Beverly Hills & Movie Stars  
  • Girlfriend, actress Kitty Carl introduces him to Leslie Monet who soon  becomes his personal Manager
  • Here's Johnny! (With a Shotgun!) or "Breaking Up is Hard to Do"
  • Breaking up (but remaining friends)  with Kitty, goes on to date Malibu high school senior Dawn Carson, daughter of Tonight Show host Johnny Carson
  • Mom Wishes Fred Had Stuck to Violin 
  • Starts band with drummer Fred Cory (Cinderella) Rehearsals take place in basement of his Mom’s home in Binghamton, NY with guitarist Keith Grueber (brother of Craig Grueber bassist of Rainbow/Sabbath)
  • On the Street of Dreams
  • Project with guitarist Teddy Rondenelli and Brother Bobby Rondenelli former Rainbow drummer from the "On the Street of Dreams" album in Long Island, N.Y.
  • Young Secretary Says She Will Rape Nikki (after seeing photos in his bio at Loud & Proud Management offices)
  •  Nikk is invited to audition for WHITE LION in NYC, Nick declines, Dave Spitz (brother of Anthrax guitarist) gets the gig, becomes first of three bassist for them
  • Are We Really Going to the White House?  
  • Meets with top music industry professional and artist placement agent Lucy Forbes of Rock Congress
  • I Like Trick Names
  • Joins “Magic” with vocal master Jess Harnell and keyboardist Stu Simone 
  • Start a Revolution
  • Magic is billed to become the biggest thing since the Beatles. A bidding war erupts and Magic is literally torn apart by the feeding frenzy and side deals
  • Nikki - Kidd Dynamite!
  • "Is Mr. Explosive In?” Drummer Carmine Appice (Ozzy, Rod Stewart) on the phone, calling Nikk at his  apartment in Hollywood Hills
  • Ready to Strike! King Cobra
  • Nikk auditions for King Cobra at drummer Carmine Appice's Sherman Oaks hillside home
  • Man On The Silver Mountain 
  • Drummer Gary Driscoll (Rainbow, Elf, Bible Black) flies Nikk back to New York for his heavily backed development deal
  • Rock' n Roll Hotel 
  • Moves into Vicky Collandra’s Rock' n Roll Hotel (famous for having had every major rock star through it’s doors at one time or another)
  • I Dub Thee Bass Player Hotel 
  • While living at Rock' n Roll Hotel Nick and RAVEN bassist/vocalist John Gallagher from England are living at the house while he is recording the “Stay Hard” album at Pyramid Studios. Bass playing can be heard coming from both ends of the house at all hours
  • Audition Not Required?
  • While at Rock' n Roll Hotel, Pyramid Studio calls. Vicky asks Nikk if he wants to replace Anthrax vocalist Neil Turbin in the studio. Nikk declines offer and Vicky calls on Joey Belladonna in Utica, New York who becomes the new Anthrax singer
  • Nikki Rocks Rochester, New York
  • Joins Immaculate Mary in Rochester, N.Y. [Immaculate Mary appears Worldwide in GreenWorld Magazine]
  • But My Amp Is Only on Two! 
  •  Immaculate Mary sets Guinness Book of Records as Loudest Band in the World at the World famous House of Guitars in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Sabin 
  • Joins “Sabin” with the Sabin Brothers, guitarist Ritchie and drummer Mike Sabin. They  record demo which generates massive interest from top producers including Anthrax producer Carl Canedy
  • Uttaro 
  • Joins Uttaro after guitarist Joey Uttaro convinces producer Paul Curcio at Music America Studios to record his album by walking in with his guitar and Marshall stack to demo his material, this only days after Metallica recorded the "Kill Em All" album there
  • Hey! Why Are All My Wine Glasses Shattered? 
  • Multiple recordings using melodic lead guitarist Al Gouger and  Rock Opera singer Sterns from the Eastman School of Music
  • Slayer Of Ingwie Malmsteen
  • Nikk auditions in NYC for Yugoslavian classical hard rock guitarist Andre Janzic
  • Wow Nikk, is That You’re Car? Really? Can I Drive It?
  • Areosmith guitarist Brad Whitford after they had finished pounding a lot of bourbon and cokes outside prestigious Hotel Strathallan in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Hey I Only do Originals
  • Areosmith's Steven Tyler: "Hey Let’s get Nikk up on Stage with us!"  Hanging out with Areosmith for food and drinks after their outdoor concert at Silver Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Steven Tyler Kicks Ass on Drums
  • Performs with Areosmith, Steven Tyler on drums/vocals. Brad Whitford and Joe Perry on guitars while Tommy Hamilton and Joey Kramer momentarily sit on the sidelines at Red Creek Inn in Henrietta, N.Y.
  • The Metallica Audition
  • It's Lucy!
  • October 27th 2:00 am (EST) Nick’s girlfriend awakes him for phone call from agent Lucy Forbes It is only 11:00 pm (PST) at her office in Santa Monica, CA. Lucy Forbes ask Nick if he is interested in auditioning for Metallica and gives him Bobby Schneider's (Metallica tour manager)  home  phone number
  • October 27th 6:30 pm (EST)
  • Nikk Flies out of Ithaca, N.Y. to  San Francisco the very same day, after completing a full day at his then day job
  • October 27th 10:30 pm (PST)
  • Arrives in San Francisco (it’s now 1:30 am in the morning, NY time for Nikk)
  • October 28th 11:00 am (PST)
  • Standing in front of San Francisco’s Hard Rock Café, Metallica’s personal picks Nikk up and they drive out to the airport to pick up Flotsam and Jetsam’s bassist Jason Newstead flying in from Phoenix, Arizona
  • October 28th aprox. 2:00 pm (PST)
  • Nikk is the first of the three bassist’s called in to audition at the Rehearsal Spot Studios in Hayward, California while Jason Newstead and another bassist from Daily City, Ca. wait in the load in area for their turn
  • No Laughing Matter Guys....
  • Four measures into "Master of Puppets" Lars Ulrich screws up and everyone stops and starts laughing. Nick hammers out Master of Puppets, Kirk Hamett lights up with a huge grin and smile as he hears Nick’s playing. Upon finishing, Lars  jumps round from his drum kit and gives Nikk a sideways high five hand shake slap
  • Think You Got It!
  • Studio owner Steve Lagruda, who was in the control room observing the audition walks out as Nick is leaving, Nick asks as to how he did. Lagruda says "I think you got it man" walks Nick into his office and hands him his  business card
  • Jumbo Jet
  • October 29th 9:00 am (PST) flies out of San Francisco to Los Angeles on a TWA 747 Jet. Agent Lucy Forbes has arranged three more major auditions while he is in California
  • Where's the Limo Guys
  • Greeted at LAX by ACTS (CBS recording artist) from Pittsburgh, Pa., who will be auditioning Nikk later
  • You Forgot Your Drums?
  • Auditions for Sound Barrier (Capitol) on the big stage at Mates Studios in San Fernando Valley 
  • He Sucks, Lucy
  • Lucy Forbes has been informed by Metallica tour manger Bobby Schneider that Jason Newstead has been selected as the new bassist for Metallica
  • People in the White House have Power
  • Agent Lucy Forbes immediately contacts record company, makes another call and puts Nikk on the phone with Flotsam & Jetsam guitarist and drummer at their apartment in Phoenix
  • What Do they Sound Like? I thought Flotsam & Jetsam was a kids breakfast Cereal
  • Flotsam & Jetsam ask Nikk to meet with them when they perform at the Country Club in Reseda, California
  • Sorry to Interrupt Your Hot Date Max
  • Capitol Recording artist vocalist James Neil of the band MALICE introduces Nikk to producer Max Norman (Ozzy) at his table at the world famous Rainbow Bar & Grill Restaurant on Sunset Strip. Max suggests that they do a project together
  • Fox Has Heart Broken, Later Marries California Firefighter
  • Nikk meets new girlfriend (former Miss Argentina Eva Migliore) later that evening, but returns back to N.Y. two weeks later
  • More Than a Feeling
  • Agent Lucy Forbes refers Boston, Ma recording artist Bobby Texiera to call on Nick for bass position in Tazara
  • Nikki Gets Freaked for Life Seeing Nothing But A SwanSea of  Wanton Female Eyes
  • Tazara performs at the Car Palace in Swansea, Massachusetts (the night after New Kids On The Block) to over 3,000 screaming (mostly female) fans 
  • USAIR Forgets Producers Luggage
  • Nikk flies producer Dennis MacKay In from Los Angeles to Boston to track and record Tazara
  • Where is Brad Whitford’s Room?
  • Pre-production work begins at Screaming Sheep Studios in Brockton, Ma
  • What Is It, A Nuclear Bomb Shelter? Studio Built Underground Outside of Boston
  • Tazara Records at Blue Jay Recording Studios with world renown producer Dennis MacKay
  • Fidelity In Hollywood
  • Producer Dennis MacKay competes Mix and vocal overdubs for Tazara at Fidelity Studio in Hollywood
  • Venues run out of Alcohol Bartenders Sent Scrambling To All Night Markets
  • Joins New York rock super group Saber-X, who go on to shatter venue attendance records and liquor sales
  • You Just Walk Up On Stage and Play Man, We Don't Need To Rehearse
  • Rock group featured in the Penelope Spheris documentary film THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATIONTHE METAL YEARS” fly Nikk back to L.A. Frustrated that the band never rehearses Nick starts rehearsing at Sanctuary Studios in North Hollywood (next door to George Lynch's band Lynch Mob) in another killer band with a hot young vocalist who hails from Texas)
  • Thought He Was a Record Producer
  • Meets film producer John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Home Alone) while shopping for leather on Melrose Ave before flying back New York the next day
  • It's Not True! His Lady Friend was really Hot, I just Didn't See It!
  • After lengthy discussion, John Hughes introduces lady friend and hands Nikk a Business card. Nick finally realizing who he is talking to, almost knocks over a rack of leather jackets while turning to leave the store
  • Robb, Those aren't Really Bass Drums! They look like Cannons off the U.S. Navy Carrier Enterprise!
  • Rob Donahue (heavy metal double kick drum master) and George Lynch clone guitarist rehearse and work up material in Elmira, New York in one of two  pre-production rooms there
  • Hey Go Back to N.J., the Girls Next Door Think Your Musicianship is Wimpy.
  • MOD is in pre-production next door for the "SURFING MOD" Album. Nick’s band blows them away in energy, talent and intensity.
  • MOD Wants to Kill Nikki
  • While temporarily split up with girlfriend, finds MOD bassist at her House when stopping over to visit her. A panicked MOD bassist puts Nikk In a head lock, drilling him in the head with huge gaudy silver rings.  Nikk having had just about enough tosses him up and over a couch and through and open ground floor widow, MOD’s bassist leaves keys to MOD’s van on her coffee table, never to return again. MOD’s van sits in front of girlfriend's house for two weeks while MOD has no transportation to the recording Studio 45 minutes away. Sorry Alex…. and  years later in Santa Barbara, CA. Nicks new guitarist, Klaude Ryker (formerly of GOTHIC SLAM  who also hails from N.J) tells Nikk that the bassist is actually a pretty cool kid
  • Nationwide Guitarist Search
  • Nikk and Drummer Rob Donahue set up shop in a Binghamton, N.Y. rehearsal complex using guitarist Don Horvatt from Scranton, P.A. and calling in the Young Singer from Texas In L.A. He had worked with in North Hollywood. Nikk begins a nationwide search for a cutting edge lead guitarist
  • You probably Suck Too So Why Don't You Save Us Both a Lot of Time
  • After literally going through hundreds of demo packages Nikk received a phone call one day from a guitarist from California. So frustrated was Nikk, he made the guy just audition over the phone. Confident and without hesitation, guitarist Grant Estes rips lead after killer lead out over the phone. Nikk was blown away.
  • Hey My Producers Manager Says Your Old band is a Cult!
  • Grant Estes (former guitarist of Suicidal Tendencies) is brought in from Los Angeles for the lead guitar slot
  • If the Beatles did so can We!
  • Works up an entire original album “I-Witness” with childhood friend and super guitarist Toby Becraft Performing six shows in the month of December and then going on to record the album at Toby’s house, using an old 1976 Tascam 4-track reel-to-reel recorder. The basics were recorded in less than hour. Producer Paul Curcio was really excited about it and was listening to it everyday while he worked at his office. Nikk thinks the idea of success may have freaked out Toby. There are some incredible performances on those tracks! That recording certainly makes quite a statement about where Toby and I come from, I remember when were just kids  nine years of age man, look this kid used to ride up and down twenty miles of the steepest hills on a bike with his guitar slung over his back to get to rehearsals every day, then would go home and rehearse another ten hours. There was never a lick or a song he could not do and he was doing lead vocal too! To this day I never heard anyone play leads as clean as Toby!  It was really great working with him after all these years!  Nikk Says he is still like a brother to me. He was a guitar God since the day he was born! Toby rules man!
  • All The Worlds Most Beautiful Women Come to Live In Santa Barbara And All The Santa Barbara Bands Get Record Deals Here Too!
  • Songwriter – Guitarist Brian (Wise) Michilette, who introduces Nikk to producer- engineer Dave Fortman (formerly of Ugly Kid Joe) at his home recording studio Santa Barbara, California
  • You Want Me to Produce?
  • Santa Barbara, Ca. Heavy alternative band GROLBY ask Nikk to produce them.
  • Nationwide Going Global 
  • Starts up Multimedia company that specializes in marketing , develops two programs and publishes two books, marketing them through out the United States via TV commercials and trade publication display ads: 37 employees, 6 companies and 25 phone lines coming into the building to handle the call volume
  • And Please Stop Asking The Girls In My Office Out On Dates
  • Associates from Dream Works Music Division visit Nick’s company operations on three separate occasions, staying as long as three days at a time. Nikk Is paid the ultimate compliment when top record executive Wayne Crochet-Blanchard tells Nikk, You Know…. "we are very impressed with your organization!”