Ezra Idlet

I was born in San Antonio TX. Our family lived in inner city Baltimore MD till 1964 and then we moved to Houston TX. My sister, Susan, and I were raised by our single mother. We had plenty of time to roam our neighborhood and get into the things that kids our age got into. For me, the coolest thing to get into as a kid was a band. In 7th grade I talked my way into the junior high band even though I couldn’t read music. I played in the drum section. Learning the bass drum parts for marches was pretty easy and eventually I got to play snare drum! During junior high school several of us in the band formed a combo called the Spanish Fleas. We played Tijuana Brass covers. The band played wedding receptions and even got to play in night clubs. I played drums for that band as well. I borrowed a cymbal and a snare drum from a buddy and I was in heaven!

In high school, I landed a job at the Windmill Dinner Theater in Houston. I got paid $5 an hour, tips, and all I could eat after the gig. The job was strolling from table to table singing songs to patrons that were having dinner before the show. I knew about four or five tunes. By the time I got to the last song I knew I started over. There was something about getting paid to play music that was intoxicating. I started imagining myself as a professional musician. I had taken an aptitude test in school that told me I could be either a hair dresser or a turret lathe operator. I remember crying when I read that assessment. No offense to hair dressers or turret lathe operators but I just didn’t want to do either of those things.

Basketball was inevitable. At 6’9”, coaches were all over me to play. I played on the high school team and landed a scholarship to McClennan Community College in Waco TX. During the one year I went to college and played ball I got a job at Papa Rollo’s Pizza playing music for tips and pizza. It gave me spending money and I loved it. My friend and writing partner, Craig Calvert, came up from Houston occasionally to play with me at Papa Rollo’s. We decided we were going to form a band and in the summer of ’73. we formed the band Wheatfield with our friend Connie Mims. Initially we did a lot of other people’s music but pretty early on we performed songs that we wrote. Wheatfield went on to do pretty well for itself regionally. We appeared on the first season of Austin City Limits and were also engaged to write the music for a ballet for the Houston Ballet company.

The majority of my history as a musician comes from the partnership with Keith Grimwood. We’ve played as Trout Fishing in America for forty years now. We’ve been to all 50 states and over to Europe and Canada as well. Writing and playing music has been my passion. It’s hard to imagine my life without music.