He didn’t know it back then, but simply hanging around the house and his neighborhood with his ears open eventually would serve Bryan Lammers well.
Lammers’ dad was a drummer who once played a gig with Count Basie. So, every weekend during his Bronx, N.Y., childhood, Lammers was, as he puts it, “spoon-fed Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald as my parents were getting ready for church.”
Then, outside of the house — and like any other kid growing up in the ’60s and ’70s — Lammers absorbed other music of the time, from The Temptations to The Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix.
Also like many other music-enraptured kids of his generation, it was seeing The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” — and his parents’ eventual gift of a Sears Silvertone electric guitar — that prompted Lammers to take up music.
He played during high school and, afterward, played regularly around the city. For a time, he also held down a day job in the mailroom of an ad agency.
It turned out to be a good break, because the agency’s creative department happened to be on the same floor as the mailroom. So, Lammers recalls, “I kind of gave them the hint that I played guitar, if they ever needed it.”
It turned out they did, and Lammers became their go-to music guy, playing on demo ads even as he continued to perform evenings and weekends around town.
Lammers’ long list of professional credits includes a tour with Grammy-nominated Heatwave and working as a session musician with such performers as Sarah Dash and The Cover Girls.
“I’ve always been kind of a team player,” Lammers says. “I’ve never been the guy (who says), ‘I’m gonna be the star.’ I just did what I did, and my friends used to tell me, ‘You know, you’re the worst publicist of yourself, ever. Nobody would know all the things you do.’ ”
In January 2005, Lammers and his wife, Nancy — they have two children Eric, 5, and Rae Lynn, 3 — moved to Las Vegas. After a career spent mostly working as part of an ensemble, Lammers now enjoys the freedom of working solo.
“I like all kinds of music, so I like to be able to turn on a dime when I need to, and to do it well,” he says.
“I tell people I go from Sublime to Sinatra and all that’s in between, and I like that. It works for me. People come to see me, and you can’t set your watch by my set because I never know what I’m going to do myself.”
Bryan Lammers plays at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays in the Hostile Grape at M Resort.
— By JOHN PRZYBYS