Rob began teaching himself guitar at the age of 13. His first band was called “the Things” “Sounds Unknown” and from the picture you can tell why. Harry Dietz on was on bass for a “short” time. Then his band mates in Brand X were three guys from Pike High School and they all four lived on the same side of the same street (79th St.) within two blocks on Indy’s suburban north side. Don Douglas was on rhythm guitar, Mike Couchman on bass and Jack Verstijnen on drums. They played on the same show with the legendary Indianapolis jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery at the age of 15. (Dec. 18, 1966). This show was a Christmas benefit at the Madame Walker Theater on "the Avenue" in Indy. This was one of the hippest jazz areas in the world at the time. Rob and his band were the only white people on the billing or in attendance for that matter.