Red Carpet Interview
1997 Nominee – Lyrical Content of the Year – 7th annual LA Music Awards
Bernie Chiaravalle is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up just 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the town of San Rafael, which is the county seat of Marin County.
He started his music journey at the age of 9, starting out with piano lessons from his neighbor. His teacher was slightly annoyed with his habit of memorizing the sheet music and ignoring the notation. The teacher told Bernie’s parents that he was better at playing by ear, so those lessons came to an end.
Not long after that, Bernie witnessed what millions other had on that historic February 9th Sunday night broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show when The Beatles made their American debut. That moment changed his life forever. It wasn’t long before he was begging his parents for a guitar. They bought him a Knox acoustic from Montgomery Wards. His fingers were screaming with pain as he learned the instrument but he hardly ever put it down.
Bernie was soon getting together with other friends who were aspiring musicians and formed his first band, Logos. He made close ties with drummer Mitch Hinard and guitarist John Lovrien. Later joined by Don McCleod on bass and John Langford on keyboards they began playing the Bay Area clubs including The Lion’s Share, Sleeping Lady, The Orpheus, Keystone and many more. Other Logos members included Dave Obedio, Michael Byrnes, Greg Elmore, Ross Bell and Danny Bertoldi.
Logos stayed together for a little over 10 years when they changed their name to Allies before disbanding. Shortly after, Bernie and John Lovrien joined forces with bassist Flavia Paulsen and drummer Mike Morris to form Page One. In 1984 the band made the big move to Los Angeles, in pursuit of the big record deal. It wasn’t to be, and the band broke up in 1987.
In 1988 Chiaravalle had the chance to audition for Michael McDonald (formally of The Doobie Brothers). He got the gig and played his first show with one rehearsal. He continues to play in Michael’s band to this day. Michael and Bernie struck up a writing relationship and have written over 2 dozen songs together, which have appeared on Michael’s records. Bernie also co-produced McDonald’s Blue Obsession album.
In 1998 Bernie and his family moved to Nashville Tennessee. Since living there he has written with many songwriters including McDonald, Jon Vezner, Larry Carlton, John Goodwin, Amy Holland and many more. He also produced and co-wrote Amy’s record “Journey To Miracle River”.
He has released 6 solo albums with another one on the way. He has performed or recorded with Vince Gill, Billy Preston, Tommy Sims, Kenny Loggins, Jeff Bridges, David Pack, Hall & Oates, BB King, Robben Ford, Steve Lukather, Dan Needham, Drea Rhenee’, Pat Coil and many more…