Carl Grossman, an active participant in the Northern Virginia and D.C. music scene in the 1950’s and 60’s, died early in the morning Saturday, August 22, 2009, of respiratory failure. He was 60.
Born September 7, 1948, when Carl was six-years-old, he studied classical guitar with Sophocles Papas, a prominent figure in the Washington music scene for much of his life. Papas was a close friend to music legends Andres Segovia and Carlos Montoya and founded the Washington Guitar Society. After studying classical guitar for years, once rock ‘n roll came of age, and Carl came of age, at age 13, he played in his first band, the Jazzmasters, who played instrumentals a la The Ventures. From 1964 to 1966, he played in The Organic Cavemen, perhaps the most popular band in the McLean, area then. From 1967 to 1969, he played in The Mosaic Virus, one of the top bands in Georgetown around that time. At one time, they were the house band at the Ambassador Theater in D.C., opening for such acts as Jimi Hendrix, Moby Grape, among others. Carl both formed, and played lead guitar in, all these bands. He later played in a band with his brother Richard in West Chester, Pennsylvania in the early seventies. Carl never hit it big in the music business, but he had a big impact on the music scene in the early days of rock ‘n roll in the D.C. area.
For the remainder of Carl’s life, he had one career of about 15 years in publishing at a Houston based, Nasa-funded institute, and later had a career working in the IT department for Loudoun County, but still played music for friends, and began putting videos of his ingenious arrangements of popular songs on Youtube. In his later years, he spent a lot of time playing in the online gaming community, playing World of Warcraft, and made many friends in the virtual world, across the country, and even the world, who will miss him dearly, despite never having met him.
Carl Grossman was diagnosed for the first time, finally, at the age of 58 with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, which explained why his life had gone in so many strange and difficult directions. It also makes his many accomplishments that much more remarkable, that a man who struggled through his life with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome managed to have such a profound effect on all who knew him and loved him.