Knights of the Fable Table
Dr. John Mills
Dr. Mills is the master mind behind the music of Starcrost and now TIMES TEN. He is currently a professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He continues to compose and perform both live and in the studio. Read more….
Arturo L. Garza, originally from Kingsville, Texas, started playing music at age nine. He studied music at Texas A&I University and moved to Austin in 1970. He toured with Conjunto Bernal, then he joined “Beto and the Fairlanes” in 1977. With Beto (Robert Skiles), he has recorded several CDs and continues to play a high energy and tasteful blend of latin and jazz drums and percussion. He produced Beto’s Mongoose Island and Eye of the Hurricane albums.
Scott met Michael while he was the top ranked high school trumpet player in Austin. Beto’s trumpet player, Steve Zirkel, had switched to the bass chair on a whim and left the band in an 11th hour need of a replacement in the trumpet chair. As fate would have it for the Fable clan, Scott appeared, face pressed against the window of The Blue Parrot where they were about to start a gig. “Michael saw him, went to the door and, having heard him play before, said, “go and get your horn. You’re in the band!” Today Scott is the principal trumpet for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera and has a masters from Juilliard School.Read more….
Nik Phelps was more than just a mutli-instrumentalist affectionately known as Fable’s Pide Piper, he also played a key role on the business side of Fable Records in its infancy. Read more….
Paul Ostermayer was Fable’s Lancelot. His quest for the musical grail lead him on adventurous stents with Austin’s famed Jazz group, Passenger, a world tour with Leonard Cohen and eventually a full career as a jazz saxophonist in New York City and all over the east coast. Read more….
Tomas Ramirez, aka the Jazzmanian Devil, was in the Fable circle more of a wizard of enchantment. His dedication to the goddess of music lead him to play with every one from Beto and the Fairlanes to Jerry Jeff Walker to Carole King. He played sax for many years with Fable friends The Texana Dames before moving to Atlanta, GA. Read more….
Ron Brown had a vision and a dream that permeated his playing and a spirit that drew people to him. He, like many of the other Fable knights, went all the way back to the UT Jazz Ensemble with Michael. Eventually Ron’s dream lead him to Los Angeles where he became first call for Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and others. Read more….
John “Mambo” Treanor
The Warrior! A free spirit, a wild man. He was the beat of many bands in many genres of Austin’s music scene. Another of the knights dating back to the 1973 UT jazz ensemble, Mambo, had a rhythm “warrior beat” that artists loved to build on. He co-founded the jazz fusion group 47 Times Its Own Weight with fellow knights Robert Skiles, Paul Ostermayer and Spencer Starnes. He was the driving groove behind Beto and the Fairlanes, The Resentments, Abra Moore, Toni Price, his own band Mambo-Combo and even the Vanguards. He was a steward of Barton Springs swimming and soaking in its natural power and beauty every day he could. We lost Mambo to cancer on August 20, 2001 at the age of 48. His full story has yet to be written down but his legend lives.
Spencer Starnes is the rock. Steadfast and steady. Meticulous and relentless especially in the music but also in life. Co-founder/bass player of 47 Times Its Own Weight, Beto and the Fairlanes, grammy award winning Asleep at the Wheel and numerous others musical endeavors. He parked his trailor in the hills of western Travis County in the early 80′s and lives there on the rocks to this day. Read more….
Sparky was the name dubbed Stephen Zirkel. He was the igniter to the Fairlanes. There is no doubt that Beto and the Fairlanes would not exist had it not been for Stephen. The youngest member, then 18, Stephen finagled and hustled his way in willing to play any instrument, and did. Originally the trumpet player he migrated over to bass when the chair came empty and is one of the few to ever take the keyboard chair subbing for Beto. He transcribed and arranged music and would even roady the PA if it meant making sure the gig would happen. “Zirkel is Zirkel” and his seat at the Fable Table is irrefutable.
Chicago born jazz cat, Bob Meyer rode into town via Miami on an impressive list of credentials. Bob brought the concept of professional polish to the Fable mindset just as Beto and the Fairlanes prepared for their third and most ambitious album, Mongoose Island.