By day, an account executive for a fast-growing video content production agency, and by night a bass player and lead vocalist, Cathy Beck says, “I’ve been a ‘weekend warrior’ for most of my music career.”
She claims music is in her DNA thanks to a great uncle who plays upright bass, grandmother who played the mandolin, and a mom who sang with the boys in the neighborhood during the ’50s. She discovered her passion for performing in a school play at age six. A few years later, she began piano lessons and joined the Sunday choir.
During her teenage years Beck discovered rock and roll. “The greats like Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson helped shape my vocal direction,” she says, “while heavy metal bass player/writer Steve Harris of Iron Maiden appealed to me in a different sense, influenced by his standout bass lines, stage presence, and story-telling songwriting.” Bass guitar soon became her instrument of choice.
“I’ve worked with incredible musicians,” she says. Beck played with two all-girl bands in the late ’80s; and in the early ’90s with Roxy Rose and Hell’s Belles. She later worked with two prominent acts on the New York/New Jersey scene—The Monster and Big Bang Baby.
She’s now in the group Brian and The Hit Girls, which plays corporate events and casinos. “I provide lead vocals on the female material and all backing vocals,” says Beck. “Like any musician, I’m constantly in pursuit of finding other great musicians to work with and projects to develop.”
Who are your main influences?
Vocally: Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Pink; Bass: Steve Harris, John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, and Geezer Butler.
Why do you continue to make music?
Music is a place where I go to for serenity and expression. Whether it’s jamming on an R&B piece with my iPad/iRig or performing for big party-happy crowds, music puts me in a place where the outside world can never penetrate.
How do you continue to learn?
Being in cover bands, I keep up on new songs, styles, and trends. Each band has its staple songs. Surrounding myself with super-talented musicians also helps to step up my game.
What benefits have you found to making music?
It keeps me young, in touch, and happy. I notice a major disconnect when I don’t play. It also made me health conscious; I put a lot of effort into staying healthy and fit.
How do you make time for music in your life?
Thankfully my husband is also a musician. We have a different set of priorities. Work, family, then music—everything else comes later. I’ve also had the fortune of working with great employers who understand I may need to occasionally leave early or take a day off to travel to a gig.
What advice do you have for someone getting back into music later in life?
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have the time you did when you were a kid. If you can pick up your instrument and jam a few times a month, savor the experience. If you have a family, get them involved. You may inspire them to pick up an instrument!
What is the best memory you have of making music?
Playing to hundreds of partygoers from those at clubs to weddings to acoustic duets to hair shows at the Waldorf Astoria—I’ve been truly blessed and am forever grateful to have had such amazing moments!
This article can be found in our November/December 2013 issue!