Cliff Adams

After teaching himself to play a guitar he received as a junior high graduation gift in 1963, Cliff Adams went on to play guitar and electric bass with a variety of rock bands in the 1960s, including Andrew Staples and the Beau Brummels. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area gave him a west coast jazz combo approach to rock and roll. After retiring from public performance in 1969, he sold his equipment except for a 1967 Gibson SG Special. An occasional visit with old musician friends in Austin, Texas in the early ‘70s kept the fingers agile. By the 1980s, he was performing in a classic rock band again. He currently plays bass and second lead guitar with a retro instrumental surf band, The VibroCounts, and U-Bass with the Na Aikane ukulele group.

 

Cliff Adams working out Over the Rainbow from the Iz book

Cliff Adams working out Over the Rainbow from the Iz book

By day, Cliff is a graphic designer, but his career(s) have been as varied as his taste in Hawaiian shirts. He has been a partner in an advertising agency, driven race cars, written for Road & Track magazine, edited a monthly arts journal, been disk jockey and music director for a college radio station (and a midnight-to-six dj in Buda, Texas), repaired avionics for the Air Force, sold stuff at Radio Shack, taught a 3-unit honors course on Comic Books at California State University Sacramento, directed amateur films, coached soccer, T-ball and rookie league fastpitch softball (1999 & 2000 league champs!), and had a high school painting displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

While taking a long vacation in Hawaii in July 2007, Cliff bought a Kamaka Standard ukulele at a furniture store while in Hilo. He has added a pineapple soprano, a pearl white Dolphin, a KoAloha concert, a John Gill traveler tenor (signed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain), a solid mahogany dropped-D baritone, and his fretless solid mahogany U-Bass… and all this may change at any moment. He teaches ukulele to elementary school children and senior citizens.