The first musical collaboration I remember at Rocket was back in the early 1990s when I was visiting our IBM colleagues at their lab in San Jose. I would frequently fly cross-country to visit and meet with the IBM QMF team. Andrea Reid was the QMF brand manager at the time, and one day we started talking about music and guitars. She wanted me to meet her husband, Clay, a Bay-area musician. Andrea and Clay invited me to their house for dinner. They also invited Mike Biere, another member of the QMF team, and one of our QMF customers who was in town, Catalin Comsia (now an IBMer). After dinner, Clay showed us his music studio. It didn’t take long for us each to grab an instrument and start jamming.
I remember Andrea singing and Catalin playing various percussion instruments. What I remember most, though, was how seamlessly Clay, Mike, and I played together. It was a special night. We set up another jam session on one of my subsequent visits to San Jose. Then Mike, Clay, and I went to a four-day guitar camp called Fur Peace Ranch, run by legendary Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. It was at the ranch that people started referring to us as “The Three Amigos.” And I visited Clay a few years ago when he hosted a guitar camp of his own—led by Garth Webber, a guitar legend who has played with many artists including Miles Davis.