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The Neuroscience


They say the brain is not fully developed until the mid twenties.

It’s hard to know exactly when the switch was flipped.

But at some point early on, synapses began to fire in unpredictable directions.

Here is the truth, stranger than fiction.

The old tapes, the static and the melody.

( For more fun click on blue links below to see photos )


The Story 

Jeffrey's mother enrolls toddler in cutting-edge child development study at University of Minnesota.

Designed to nurture more imaginative children, Jeffrey receives no discipline for  first five years of life,

Silent until age three, he suddenly speaks in complete sentences, dominating all dinner table conversation thereafter. A curious, imaginative and anxious, child, he plays host to a number of exotic maladies and is anesthetized with ether gas mask four times before age of seven.

Able to perform Chopin entirely by ear, he is fired by piano teacher for feigning sight-reading skills,

and is forced to master Flutophone, mandated by Board of Education.

Pre-pubescent Years

Disdain for Nature

Lacking experience as a true outdoorsman, he nearly drowns in only six feet of water when sucked into mysterious whirlpool while inner tubing at Apple River.  

Struggling to resurface, his cranium smashing repeatedly against massive buttocks saddled into inner tube above, he is swallowed by the swirling vortex, and miraculously wakes up on riverbank with nobody in sight.

The following summer, while skipping stones at Cedar Lake with buddy, Mark Meyers

on lazy afternoon, the boys are jumped by juvenile hoodlums and told to shout out bike lock combinations to their prized stingrays while standing knee-deep in water like shivering poodles.


That winter, while sledding at Theodore Wirth Park, Jeff is mowed down by giant toboggan

carrying several rambunctious teenagers, and treated for concussion and cauliflower ear.

Sports or Music?

Reaching his athletic peak in Little Leauge, the young power hitter is obsessed with Harmon Killebrew, bowling, piano and Putt-Putt miniature golf. Wishing to combine two greatest passions,

he enters sixth grade daring to play both violin and football in same school year.

Coach calls violin “sissy instrument”, and defensive end is told to run laps around gopher-hole-laden France Field for duration of practice. As result of shame spiral, he switches to snare drum, and is chosen to perform coveted tom-tom solo in “Cherokee People” at Fern Hill Elementary Spring Concert. 

Adding another patch to his grade school letter jacket, he serves as power forward

for the Electric Caskets. 


Still dreaming of a life in baseball, Jeff is drafted into Babe Ruth League by St. Louis Park coaching legend Murray Whipple. Instead, mother Teresa signs him up for dismal summer at religious camp,

where he bonds with cousin Peter Himmelman, fellow musician and artist.

Challenging Teen Years

A Ping-Pong champion at Central Junior High, he excels in anonymity until thrown against locker and punched by explosive eighth grade math teacher in crowded school hallway after standing up for fellow student.


Throughout adolescence, he develops impressive repertoire of facial tics.

Very much a people-pleaser at heart, he waits until third hypnosis session to confess to psychiatrist that he has been faking trance.

While recovering from mono and wisdom teeth removal, he joins Minneapolis R&B band with cousin Peterwhere he is rebuked by Alexander O'Neal for lack of funkiness, as singer extinguishes cigarette

into pristine middle F key of Jeff's brand new Fender Rhodes electric piano, amidst smell of burning plastic.

He takes break from R&B and joins cover band specializing in Styx, Kansas and Foreigner.

Before earning high school diploma, he adds Guillain-Barre' Syndrome to diverse medical portfolio,

learning to walk and play piano again.

Post High School

In over his head using sophisticated synthesizer technology during white-knuckle audition,

Jeff is politely thanked and asked to leave by Prince, after the over-anxious young musician,

fumbling clumsily with synth knobs, nearly blows up amplifier with deafening sine wave blast.

Undeterred by rejection, he again combines forces with cousin Peter and high school friends to form Sussman Lawrence, whose instant following and shiny equipment earn scorn of less fortunate Minneapolis groups whose parents don't own music store. The New Wave outfit tours throughout Midwestreleasing two LPs on their own label, proving their mettle over the next few years.

Himmelman appears on stage nude or semi-nude on at least three occasions, and is asked to leave premises without pay at St. Cloud college hotspot where band is wildly popular. 

Almost Famous


With risque' bubble gum pop single Torture Me gaining regional popularity on radio, they head to Big Apple to compete in  1983 Miller High Life Rock To Riches  . Poised to face off against then unknown Jon Bon Jovi. relief comes when the polished New Jersey rocker signs record deal at eleventh hour, disqualifying him. Certain that victory is sealed, Minneapolis band loses to mediocre Detroit group in what appears to be rigged competition. Crestfallen, they return home to Minnesota.


later that year

Band drives eight hours through blizzard to Brookings, South Dakota for one night engagement, 

discovering nightclub has been shut down for weeks. On long ride home, still dressed for show that never happened, Himmelman tosses Hong Kong-made silk suit out car window. 

Down to only underwear and eager for fresh swipe at elusive fame, the fearless visionary pulls over and steps out of car in sub-zero conditions and flips coin to determine which city they will

move to: New York or L.A. Within one month, band leaves St. Louis Park and heads East on Interstate 94 in their wood-paneled Vista Cruiser station wagon, aka The Monkeymobile.


Ending up in suburban New Jersey rambler. furnished with just one tree stump found in back yard,

band members take turns sitting on makeshift chair, while others lean against the wall or simply mill about. Sole form of entertainment is Montgomery Ward boombox, a bon voyage gift given to Jeff by father, Irving, which features two inch black and white screen. Upon turning it on for first time in sparse new surroundings,  band watches as Ed McMahon awards $100K to former warm up act ,

Limited Warranty, winners of 1985 Starsearch competition for best musical group.

Money is tight. One band member takes job buttering rolls at 7-Eleven. Jeff and drummer

Andy Kamman join wedding band in feckless attempt to generate extra income

as band continues to persevere.

With frequent engagements at Ritz, CBGB's and other iconic rock clubs, transplanted Minnesotans

find themselves surrounded by Warhol-esque charactersfrom New York City art scene, attracting legendary Belgian hairdresser Christophe. Backstage at Ritz, he graces Jeff's head with

daring reverse mohawk,  applying final brush stroke of crimson lipstick to two inch wide track down center of scull. On anxiety filled train ride to visit girlfriend in D.C., Jeff applies

two-sided Scotch Tape to cranium, and folds over re-purposed hair in vain attempt to camouflage cosmetology-experiment-gone-wrong. 

During brief stint at Parsons School of Design, Jeff joins bandmates to tour U.S. as opening act for

Gregg Allman, Squeeze and Joe Cocker, after Himmelman is signed as solo artist to Island Records.

As Peter's new back-up band, members adjust to ego blow. Himmelman becomes increasingly religious as half open cans of kosher kipper snacks and late night Torah study permeate cabin from back of bus,

climaxing with brazen decision to turn down opening slot for Sting's Dream Of The Blue Turtles

World Tourdue to Jewish rocker's refusal to perform on Friday nights.

International Intrigue

During tour of Soviet Union, Jeff is detained by KGB for purchasing matryoshka doll with foreign currency from shady black marketeer. During two hour vodka soaked interrogation in cold war style bunker beneath Kremlin,Victor entertains long tableful of comrades as they toast Ronald Reagan,

Billy Joel, Mary Tyler Moore and the Vikings.


Then, in get-rich-quick scheme lacking common sense, manager sells band's stage equipment for Russian Rubles and purchases mass amounts of cow manure with funds, intending to sell fertilizer to Chinese with hopes of converting cow dung to Dollars.

Life Goes On

Band members return home empty-handed and eventually move to L.A. to explore other side of 

coin flip, as Jeff returns to beloved Minneapolis. Hired by Wow and Flutter Music, he cuts his teeth composing hard-hitting news themes for stations across country, embracing world of commercial music.


Sidelining as house organist for Minnesota Twins, accompanying Harmon Killebrew during seventh-inning stretch, he inadvertently plays Evil Ways instead of Take Me Out To The Ballgame,

due to clumsy mishandling of computer equipment. Further imperiling his sports organ career, he plays Three Blind Mice at Minnesota Timberwolves game following bad call by referees,

and franchise is warned by NBA to "keep an eye" on rogue organist, threatened with 10K fine.

Not Just Another Bad Hair Day

On very day he prepares to sing tribute to hero, Harmon Killebrew at 65th birthday bash,

Jeff meets love of his life at Aveda store, purchasing styling gel in frantic attempt to correct bad haircut. Harmon is featured as modern saint in couple's wedding program.

Many years later, he sings for Harmon once again, this time at Harmon's Target Field memorial,

as baseball legend Hank Aaron looks on with tear in eye.

Jeff now lives with his family in St. Louis Park, where he grew up.

He has not worked a day in his life.

There you have it. 

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