Roger Runjavac


I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. My Yugoslav father loved polkas so accordion lessons started when I was 5 or 6 years old. In High School, my desire to play rock and roll was overwhelming, but it seemed no one needed an accordion to play “Walk Don’t Run” or “Misirlou.” After careful observation I noted that there weren’t too many real bass guitars around so I decided to take a chance. I went to Fresno and bought a brand new 1962 Fender Precision bass for $325 on time with payments of $25 a month and was lucky enough to join a local Dinuba band “The Impacts” to make the payments. The band lasted until a bit after high school when the Army got in the way (those were the days when you didn’t have a choice).

After 3 years in the military, my brother and I, along with another brother duo opened a teen age night club in Fresno. After a year of watching enormous amounts of money come in and equally enormous amounts of money go out with not much for us, I decided on State employment (a check once a month where you can actually buy food, what a novel concept) where I spent the next 32 years.

When I retired from the State in 2000, one of the first things I did was to treat myself to a Fender Precision bass (to this day I still wonder where the 62′ P bass I had in high school is now) and small amp so I could plug in a CD and play along with some of the best musicians in the world.

Some time ago, I met Jim at a mutual friend’s party. We struck up a conversation and discovered that we had music in common.  Jim invited me to play with him and Tom and they have put up with me ever since.