In 1992 Stephen and some friends, including his best friend, Emerson Forth, formed a metal band called SkilletHead, which performed the club circuit in and around Miami. That year Stephen also made occasional appearances as a guitarist backing the Bee Gees.
In February of 1997 Stephen joined one of South Florida's 'buzz bands', The Underbellys. (In the photo, Stephen is on the far left) This five piece band included Billy Velvet (lead vocals), Joel Dasilva (guitarist), Sean 'Evil' Gerovitz (bass), Randy Blitz (drums) and of course Stephen on guitar. The band played countless venues including the Viper Room in Los Angeles and Don Hills in Greenwich Village.
The Underbelly's, including Stephen , recorded for Columbia Records with Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens as their producer. Unfortunately this did not result in a record deal. Later the group would dissolve over 'creative differences'.
Three of it's members, Dasilva, Gerovitz and Blitz would later form the power trio now known as The Hep Cat Boo Daddies.
In November of 1997 Stephen performed live with his father and uncles for their 'One Night Only' concert in Las Vegas. Stephen also toured with the Smithereens in the late 1997/early 1998 timeframe.
On October 14, 1988, Stephen and 9 other students at The Lear School in Miami performed their first concert. This group was put together by Isaac Ersoff, a mathematics teacher at the school with a background in music. The students performed at lunchtimes and for special events at the school. (The photo on the right is from an article published in the Miami Herald at that time. Although it's not at all clear, Stephen is the individual to the right in the picture.)
Despite the fact that their high school closed its doors in early 1989, Stephen and friends, Mike Wolofsky and Matt Ackerman, maintained their friendship.
That same year Stephen and friends formed their own band which was indecisively christened NNY for 'No Name Yet'. Later they would settle on the name ZEX. (sounds like sex?)and in February of that year they landed a gig at 'Woody's' a Miami club owned by Rolling Stone, Ron Wood. Later in the year Stephen would work as a guitar technician on the Bee Gee's 'One For All' Tour.
In 1991, after being his dad's guitar tech for two years, Stephen enrolled in a music school in Miami where he studied, made some good friends and got his degree.
He began writing songs, the first of which was a solo effort entitled 'Whiskey Jam'. Other songs penned during this time were 'Shadow of Your Dreams' with Emerson Forth and Deniz Kose, 'Hole In My Soul' also with Kose, and 'Ren and Stevie' with Middle Ear Studio engineer, Scott Glasel and his girlfriend, Amanda Green. This song being a take off on the Gibb family dog, Ren, and the Nickelodean cartoon series 'Ren and Stimpy'.