Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1951, Marc is the eldest of two sons born to Phyllis and Monte
Decker. His brother Robert is a top cancer specialist in Los Angeles as well as an aspiring
comedian. His father Monte was an accountant, but also a jazz and classical music lover. When
music played his father pointed out the different parts of the work as the piece unfolded.
His mother, Phyllis, is a youthful eighty and one of California’s up and coming artists.
It was his mother’s piano playing which supplied an inspiring soundtrack to his childhood
Marc began his musical training at age eight with piano lessons. His teacher was Stuart Fastofski,
later a conductor for several Canadian orchestras. As a child, his parents often woke him
up to play for their friends when hosting parties and the like. He used these opportunities
to show off by playing pieces with his eyes closed and his hands crossed. As he has been reported
to have stated on more than one occasion, “ I may be Jewish, but I’ve always been
a ham.” When he was ten, he happened to be at a local football game watching through
the chain-link fence. As the marching band came around the track at halftime, the multitude
of drummers slamming it out was too much for the impressionable youth. He went crazy, ran
home and declared as he burst through the door, “I’m going to be a drummer!”
This, as it turns out, was in fact the only true statement he had ever uttered to his parents
since the day he was born.
Age twelve would prove to be the earthquake year in Marc’s childhood. He joined his
first band (The Megatones), formed another at school, excelled at school, had his first childhood
sweetheart, and was all in all, living in Camelot. Then one day he arrived home from school
to find the president had been shot. A month or so later, his parents got divorced, and he
moved to Queens with his mom and brother. But just weeks after the move, something amazing
happened…the Beatles hit America. He was never the same. At this time his sole passion
in life became the drums. He cut school nearly every day just to play. He fell in with some
friends and they formed a band. They even played a few gigs. At night, after his mom went
to sleep, he climbed down the fire escape and boarded the subway from Queens to Greenwich
Village in Manhattan. Amazingly, he was allowed into most of the clubs. After all, he was
only twelve, it was past midnight, and he was alone, smoking cigarettes and drinking rum and
cokes (they never asked for I.D. Man how times have changed), and as he sat in the dark underground
clubs, there, ten feet in front of him was Muddy Waters just doin’ it. This is where
he learned the blues and the thrill of performance. But after nearly three years of this behavior,
his mom relocated the family to L.A. Goodbye blues, grease and late night adolescent alcoholic
stupors, hello sunny Cal, and surfers, and hippies, and babes, and bands,
Marc was nearly fifteen when he arrived in L.A. in 1966. He continued his pattern of not going
to school until he was old enough to quit at age sixteen. He was already in several bands
by that time and played out often. He had his first taste of success at this time as well.
He joined a band in Palmdale, California called the Obeah Band. They caught the eye of an
up and coming radio DJ named Don Imus (Yes, The Don Imus) who financed a recording session
in L.A. at Goldstar, a legendary studio. Marc wrote the A-side and the song (16 Times) became
number one in Palmdale, Lancaster, Bakersfield, and other small towns… a sort of “regional”
hit. However, by seventeen, the band broke up and he was off to other things.
Marc spent the next dozen or so years as a drummer, performing in every kind of band. At twenty
he found himself in town for a time. He decided at his mother’s coaxing to take his
GED test in order to enter a computer tech school, which he did. After receiving his diploma
in Computer Programming, he decided to go on to college to study music. He did this first
of three college stints for a year and a half until Albert Collins called for a band, and
he and his mates were gone the next day. He played several tours with blues legend Albert
Collins, rockers Adam Strange, Boa and Avalanche, and even did local gigs with his own original
band Angel Demonic. His bands shared the bill with many of the legends of rock such as Chuck
Berry, Van Halen, Savoy Brown and numerous others. He toured the U.S. many times over with
these bands and others, but every time he returned to L.A. he recorded in the studio. He had
started learning guitar, and coupled with his early piano skills was able to record his music
playing all the instruments. He had also become a prolific writer so there was no shortage
of material. During this time, he even had occasional airplay, which, he considered a minor
success in itself, as L.A. radio was quite difficult to penetrate. In particular, L.A. radio
jock Doctor Demento played his music nearly every week over a long period of time.
By age twenty-six he had had enough of touring in other people’s bands and simply being
a drummer. He decided to stay in town and work on original projects. He spent the next ten
years to this pursuit. His first major project was “Hollyweed” in 1975 followed
by “Red Alert: A Space Rock-Opera” in 1976-78. Both projects were recorded at
JPM Studios, engineering and Sound FX by John Peters. This was followed by a number of recording
projects and his own original bands including Marc David Decker and The Newz, Decker’s
Drivers, Channel Logic, Homer The Band and Doctor Daddio and The L.A. Mints. Most of these
are available for both listening (no samples, only complete songs) and downloading on MarcDavidDecker.com.
To keep up with things, Marc started several publishing and record companies. He formed many
partnerships as well, most notably with Pete Peterson, who was co-executive producer and co-owner
of two record companies with Marc (Biba Records, Dija Records). His manager for a time, Bill
Owens, was also influential and introduced Marc to many of the people he greatly admired such
as jazz greats Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, rockers such as The Cars and
Alice Cooper and Television writers and producers Jerry Parsigian and Don Siegel. Jerry and
Don ended up writing the stage play for Marc’s Red Alert, which nearly reached production.
By 1987, Marc’s bands had airplay on many L.A. radio stations, his records were in the
stores, and his bands had played every club in L.A. multiple times. Unable to get over the
big hump, he began to morph creatively. He published his first poetry book entitled, Bullet
Words: Poetic License To Kill and was surprised when it was slightly well received. He appeared
as a radio guest promoting his poetry in a number of radio interviews and even a PBS half-hour
special for TV. In addition, he began painting. This, like the poetry, was something brand
new. In just a few years, he painted hundreds of 2-dimensional works (oils, acrylics, watercolors,
pen and ink, pastels and mixed media). After just two years he had his first art show, had
done several album covers and had paintings hanging in recording studios, radio stations and
upscale restaurants in L.A. His music also began to change. He was now writing more avant-garde
music with elaborate orchestrations. The days of rock seemed to be waning.
As the eighties were coming to a close, Marc’s friends began telling him his music was
sounding very “Film Score-ish.” He was also composing works in the “classical”
style, and realizing he was now in his late thirties, he hung up his rock spurs and made a
decision. Following the advice of friends, he put the word out to see if he could meet anyone
in the film business. Finally, about a year later it paid off. A friend of a friend of a friend
hooked him up with Tamara Shad, an agent in the “biz.” Through Tammy, Marc ended
up scoring a dozen films and a dozen TV shows/gigs over the ensuing five or six years. All
of these projects made it to cable, some even to network TV. They include ESPN’S Hockey
Player Magazine and CBS’s The Ben Stiller Show, and films such as The Last Dance, The
Dark Backward and Psycho Cop II. Still, after five years or so, he felt that here too, he
could not get over the hump and score that really ‘meaningful’ film.
By 1995, Marc was tired of waiting. He decided once again to return to college for the third
and final time. This time, his goal was music composition. Although he had written hundreds
of songs and numerous film scores, he wanted to really understand the orchestra. He stayed
in college for ten years, taking on a second major (Music Education) as he was finishing his
Masters in Composition.
By 2001, he emerged with a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Music Composition, completed work
on a Bachelor of Music Education degree as well as a California Teachers Credential. He won
numerous awards and composition competitions, and graduated receiving the Outstanding Student
Award from the music department.
Currently, Marc lives in L.A., has two grown children from his first marriage, Neil (a father
of three) and Megan (mother of four!) and loves his seven grandchildren beyond description.
He is working on two books, which will be posted and available on his site (when complete)
in the near future. He recently celebrated his 25th year as a Lakers fan, His 50th as a Yankee
fan, still loves pizza and still eats it.
Since 2000, Marc has been teaching music at the Elementary School level for the Los Angeles
Unified School District. He is passionate about his work and finds it to be extremely rewarding.
In 2007, in an attempt to get back to his own music, Marc entered into a partnership with
friend and fellow teacher Ian Edmiston. They purchased a new studio, and with help from long
time friend and engineer Phil Moore have begun to crank out the music. To showcase it, he
decided a website would be the perfect place. He hopes to complete this vision by the end
of 2008. The site is of course, MARCDAVIDDECKER.COM and when complete, will offer not only
his new music, but additionally, his entire catalog of past work; more than forty music C.D.’s,
200-300 paintings and pen and inks, several books, a page for kids, one for teachers, thousands
of photos, and even a page for video creations, such as screen savers, evironscapes and cosmic
interviews with interesting people.