Four Piece Suit Bailey

by Kenny Kerner

Once upon a time, in another galaxy, far, far away, I wanted to be a doctor. How great it would be to help others; To cure them. But as I stood in my room in front of my mirror, watching myself imitate Elvis Presley's every move, the thought passed.

This month's TAXI passenger, Milt Reder, decided to go for it all. He is a doctor--specializing in internal medicine. Milt grew up in New York area but later moved to the Boston area because of the schools and the burgeoning music scene in the Seventies. "You were able to get a band going and almost make a living at it," he recalls, "rather than the New York style which was a series of one showcase after another until the band broke up."

At the tender age of eight, while at a sleep-away camp, Milt heard the strains of Ray Charles' classic tune, "What'd I Say," and was forever bitten by the music bug. "The cook at my camp had this record he was playing in his bunk building and I would hide in the bushes and listen to it. I just had to find out what record that was. The great thing about growing up in New York City was that I was able to go to a lot of great R&B shows at the Apollo. I saw Ray Charles and Otis Redding and a lot of incredible artists."

Name: Milt Reder
Residence: Brookline, Mass.
Age: 47
Occupation: Medical Doctor,
Joined TAXI: 1996
Songs Forwarded: 25
Deals: 1
A little later on, Reder began taking piano lessons but soon discovered that he could listen to records and "plunk out the songs" without actually having to learn them. "From that point on, it was the end of Beethoven and all I did was try to copy what I heard on records. When I got a little older and the Beatles came along, that's when I started playing guitar--along with millions of other kids."

The burning desire to write and play music stuck with Milt-even through the tough, grueling years in medical school: "It was always something I wanted to do. I just continued to do it; It just could not be stopped. In fact, in the middle of medical school, I took a year off and came up to Boston to work on my music and get some grounding in theory. I liked it here and moved. That allowed me to practice and play some gigs, as well."

Milt would continue to write original songs and record them. Whenever possible, he would play out. But his fate would change right after he finished his residency. "About a week or two after finishing up my residency, I got a phone call telling me that a band was looking for a guitarist. The band was called Barrence Whitfield & the Savages. Within a month of putting that band together, we found ourselves playing in London, England, and touring much of Europe. I was with that band for 12-13 years and got to write a lot of songs for them."

After trying to figure out how Milt was able to balance both careers--medicine, which in itself is relentless, and music, which demands focus, I learned that he made a conscious decision to devote his career to writing, recording and performing while working as a part-time doctor. This new schedule opened up plenty of time to both earn a living and follow his life's dream. "As an independent practitioner, I was able to make up my own patient schedule and earn a living."

Like most TAXI members, Milt saw a couple of ads in music magazines over the years and figured that if they were still around, they must be an established company. "I think I reached the stage where I was writing music and recording music but not getting the music out there. Joining TAXI seemed like the way to do that. That was around 1996-97 when I started with the band Four Piece Suit. We kept being told by our audiences that our songs sounded like they belonged in films and TV shows. Now, we're getting a lot of independent film placements and cable made for TV movies.

The upcoming Showtime production, Rats, starring Kathy Bates, has some of my music in it. Doug [Minnick, TAXI Vice President], has been great at telling people about our music if he thinks it's what a company is looking for."

Most of the material Milt sends out is instrumental and the artist is very sure about the production and the TAXI listings. "We have a 24-track studio called Rear Window. It was on the cover of Mix Magazine in 1996. So we're very compulsive about the music we send out. The studio affords us the opportunity of dong things quickly and cheaply."

Though he is now making as much money in music ans he is in medicing, Milt's goals for the future are lofty ones. "What we're really trying to do now is land a full film score. We've been getting lots of music into different films but we'd like toget that full soundtrack."

With two careers going full-tilt, Milt Reder is not the kind of guy that takes no for an answer. With a medical degree, a recording studio and TAXI, Reder certainly knows how to operate!


See How TAXI Works

Search TAXI

"Listen to what the critiquer is saying . . . they're usually on the money. Most important of all: don't give up."
— Jimmy Clark,
TAXI Member

"Atlantic records is keeping my tape for further consideration . . . others have claimed to have 'connections,' you are the only ones to deliver."
— Rob Goodman,
TAXI Member