In 1978, Andy Gross was playing bass in a traveling band. Driving to a gig in Shreveport, Louisiana, Andy saw something that changed his life. Written on the back wall of a restaurant, Andy saw words that gave him a glimpse into the future. Andy saw that the oil companies were going to drag America into hate-filled wars in the Middle East.
When that band broke up, Andy moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to write country music. Little did he know what his Nashville years would bring. In Nashville, Andy became obsessed with the message he’d seen on the restaurant wall. Although a small publisher offered to publish some of his songs, Andy passed it by. He was too busy in the Nashville public library reading books on the history and the politics of the oil industry. The more he read, the more obsessed he became.
Andy decided that if he wanted to write great music, he would have to write about the things that really mattered to him. He gave up trying to write “hit” songs and started writing protest songs about the oil companies bankrupting America and dragging the world into war. In 1979, he wrote “Ten More Gallons”, a political song that talked about war coming in “Iraq(and) Afghanistan.”
In 1980, Brock Walsh, who was part of Linda Ronstadt’s L.A.clique, heard Andy play his protest song “OIL” and literally jumped out of his chair. Brock put some musicians together with Andy and produced several rock and roll recordings, including the singles “OIL” and “Ten More Gallons.” Working with Brock and Andy on some of those L.A. recordings were Andrew Gold, a number one hit artist who had also produced some of Linda Rondstadt’s biggest hits, and Robby Krieger, the Doors’ guitarist.
While Andy was working on these recordings, he was befriended by a “street person” named Joel, who became his vagabond promoter. Joel drove all over America, trying to get radio stations and record companies to play or promote Andy’s music. Because of Joel, Andy’s records played on radio stations in ten states, including L.A.’s then number one rated rock station, KROQ. Joel also got Andy into meetings with A & M Records, although nothing came of that connection.
By the mid-eighties, however, America lost all interest in what Andy was signing about. The events that had forced people in the late seventies to look seriously at America’s oil dependency had been skillfully erased from the collective consciousness. Andy’s window was gone, and it seemed like no one could appreciate his protest songs. Andy took a seat in the back row and forced a smile as the events that he had predicted marched inexorably forward….
….Until the wars broke out in Afghanistan and Iraq. After that, Andy knew that he had to break his silence. It was all happening just like he thought that it would. He would always blame himself, if he did not stand up and make his voice heard. Andy started looking for musicians and a recording studio.
That is when he met Eli Naim. Eli is a Florida guitarist with a computerized recording studio and all the latest gear. He met Andy by chance and fell in love with Andy’s music. Andy and Eli worked for two and a half years to complete his CD “OIL.” It’s a collection of original songs about unrest, protest, love, and living. Andy is now organizing a concert tour.