Featured LEISURE

Steve Wolff continues to rock

Steve Wolff

Steve Wolff continues to rock

By Jill Alexander

Scripps Ranch musician Steve Wolff, 66, is proof that Rock ’n’ Roll will never fade.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Wolff has been making music since he was a teen in London, and he hasn’t stopped.

He is known to play solo as well as with other musicians in two groups: “Duo” and “Wolff,” which is a trio that plays iconic pop/rock from the 1960s through the present.

No stranger to playing music, Wolff began solo in 2006, added the duo act in 2010, and the trio in 2015.

“I played – and continue to play – at local San Diego bars and clubs all over the county, most recently solo, with my band, Wolff (www.wolff.rocks), and with a couple of other bands where I play bass for more variety,” he said.

Why become a musician?

“I got an education when I was in my late teens from my neighbor in London, a professional drummer who played with Roger Daltrey of The Who, The Kinks, The Zombies, and loads of tracks in the early rock era,” he said. “You’d be surprised who he played for … I was intrigued, and my brother was interested, too, in becoming a professional drummer, but he never did.”

Wolff said his neighbor also told him, “It’s a brutal job, and there are two things you need to know as a musician: You’re better off having music as a hobby and a real job rather than trying to make music a real job; and do realize the amount of practice you need daily.”

These tips didn’t faze Wolff even when his neighborhood friend added, “Amateur musicians practice until they get it right and professional musicians practice until they cannot get it wrong.”

His parents thought the music was a temporary thing, and they weren’t worried about Wolff since he was attending boarding school and had good grades, he said.

“We had a room at home where we played. I don’t know how they put up with it, all the bashing about all the time,” Wolff said. “Any time my parents stopped me from playing music was when they wanted me to learn the violin, which lasted a week … Mom said ‘you need to choose a different instrument’ … they
were tolerant … But I was never going to be a concert violinist.”

Musically, Wolff remained dedicated.

Wolff grew up in London but has spent many years in California, and in 2000 he got into Stanford on a scholarship to work on a master’s degree. But things turned and, with no work permit and needing a way to supplement his living expenses, he formed a band and played at frat and dorm parties.

He enjoyed playing live and his bands “introduced” such sounds as New Wave and Alternative ’80s music to Stanford, Wolff said.

He continued to study and would later land a job in Silicon Valley as an engineer, project manager and in various VP roles in a startup company that “developed the first bomb-detection technologies for screening bags at airports.”

After 911, Wolff got pink-slipped after the Department of Homeland Security formed and he became a consultant for other Homeland Security technology companies worldwide. This gave him more time for his music.

During the COVID pandemic, he kept busy and got into live-streaming solo performances and writing and recording original songs (lyrically focused on various events that occurred during COVID-19).

“I also got into video editing, creating rock videos to go along with them, which are on my YouTube Channel (youtube.com/@WolffLive)” he said.

Fast forward, and other than some consulting on occasion, it’s all about the music now.

“I’d like to get to the point where I could make some CDs even though people aren’t listening to CDs much anymore,” he said. “I’m just one song short of another CD and I want to get back to the original music, and I want to release an online album.”