Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Rob DeSantis was born in Saratoga Springs, NY on July 4, 1965. Rob was a 1983 graduate of Saratoga High and a 1985 graduate of Schenectady Community College where he majored in classical bass guitar. Rob feeling Upstate NY was too small for his big dreams headed to New York City to become a blues musician like his hero Ry Cooder. Rob quickly gained work as bassist standing in with legends such as Magic Sam, Magic Slim, and Otis Rush. Rob was quickly gaining a reputation as a rising star in the local blues scene. Rob had a day job at the Billy Newman Minimum Security Hospital in New York City. Rob's duties as an orderly brought him in contact with various patients. One day Rob was to deliver a patient to physical therapy, the patient was one Rob had never met before. Rob recognized the man and asked the man if he was his hero Ry Cooder, the man denied he was. For weeks Rob asked the man again and again if he was Ry Cooder but the man kept denying he was. Rob made one last ditch effort and played the man some blues, the man after hearing Rob play relented and admitted he was Ry Cooder. Ry began to tell Rob of a blues legend about a "missing song" that has been forever lost to the world. And hinted that there is also a legend surrounding him and how he became so talented. Rob having heard of the legend of the "missing song" wanted Ry to teach it to him. Ry tells Rob that he will give him the "missing song" if he busts him out and takes him to Mississippi where he has unfinished business to settle. Rob decided to take the man up on his offer. Rob busted Ry out by stowing him away in the laundry. Rob and Ry headed south, Rob with his bass guitar and pignose amp along with Ry and his harmonica. The men ran minor scams to buy bus tickets and food. Along the way they ran into a hitchhiker named Deborah Conway, a wannabe female blues singer from Australia. She too was headed south to Mississippi. Along the way Rob and Deborah fell in love. Rob wrote a song and sang it to Deborah called "Do-Re'-Mi", the song brought Deborah to tears. Deborah did want to accompany Rob and Ry on their mission and left them, for the first time in his life Rob felt the blues. Rob and Ry finally reached their destination where Ry tells Rob he has lied and there is no "missing song" and that he made a deal with the Devil for his musical talent. Ry also tells Rob that he only brought Rob there to play the Devil to regain his soul. Rob felt very confident and welcomed the challenge. The Devil shows up in a helicopter with Stevie Ray Vaughn. The Devil tells Rob he must enter into a head-cutting duel for Ry's soul. Rob and Vaughn begin a blistering duel, Rob feeling he was losing falls back into his classical training that Vaughn could not match. Rob won the duel and Ry's soul. The next day Ry and Rob parted ways, Ry went back to Oregon and Rob headed back to New York City. While on a bus back to New York Rob reads in a newspaper that Deborah has become a hit on the blues scene with a band named Do-Re'-Mi and that Stevie Ray Vaughn in a fit of rage over losing to Rob crashed the helicopter into a mountain in Wisconsin. Once back in New York Rob had trouble finding work as the New York blues scene was dying out. Rob answered an ad in a newspaper for a man with good communication skills. When Rob showed up for the interview he was greeted by a man named James Papa. Papa told Rob of an ongoing opportunity in Panama running a radio station sponsored by Radio Swan, a long rumored CIA front organization. Rob was badly in need of work and accepted the position. For a year Rob was excelling at his job as a disc-jockey playing rock from the 50's, 60', and 70's. In 1987 Manuel Noriega began to tighten his grip on the country, Noriega had one of the radio stations burned down and one of Rob's friends was killed. Vowing to restore free speech Rob and his friends built an underground radio station called The Voice of Liberty. The radio station also served as a intelligence gathering site for the CIA. For nearly a year Rob and his friends played a deadly cat and mouse game with Noriega's soldiers. Noriega was driven to the edge and brought in Cuban counterintelligence personnel to track down Rob and his friends. Rob was eventually captured and held in solitary confinement for 9 months in Panama's infamous Modelo Prison. Intelligence gathered by Rob led the U.S. to determine the situation was deteriorating in Panama and that the U.S. should intervene to stop Noriega. Just prior to the U.S. invasion the CIA launched Operation Acid Gambit, it was Rob's rescue mission. 23 Delta Force operators stormed the prison and rescued Rob. Once back in the U.S. Rob was presented the Presidents Medal of Freedom, and President George Bush called Rob "a great American". After his ordeal Rob wanted to drift back into society and lead a normal life, he headed to Los Angeles and got job selling high end automobiles. Rob fell into being a car salesman like a natural, he was the dealership's #1 salesman time and time again. Hearing of his success the TV station A&E decided to feature Rob on their show Take This Job. The episode was a hit and Rob received an offer to do his own TV show for the network. When the show aired Rob had opened up Alembic Dodge in Thousand Oaks, Ca. The show featured Rob and his sales team along with the day to day behind the scenes operations of the dealership. The show aired from 1999-2002. The show was cancelled after allegations of dishonest sales and the sale of false warranties. One allegation was that Rob would use his cousins All0-Pro and Doc to beat customers with tack hammers if they tried to leave. All charges were dropped after an undisclosed settlement. Once more in the limelight Rob decided to sell his dealership and move back to Saratoga Springs for a much more quiet life. These days Rob is a bass guitarist for a Morris Day & The Time tribute band. An innovator, pioneer, and a great citizen Rob DeSantis is a proud White Street native.