Chris is an Orange County native. He was born second of six siblings in Orange, grew up in Costa Mesa, lived in Westminster for sixteen years, and has lived in Orange since 2003. At nine years, Chris began learning the alto saxophone with his brother who was learning the clarinet. Although not a huge fan of playing musical instruments, and admittedly not a great sax player. At eleven, Chris did take an interest in the accordion and the piano. His father had an electric guitar in a case under the bed. Chris would look at it and became fascinated with it. At eighteen, he picked up the guitar and instinctively learned Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”. Shortly afterward, he was in a garage band playing bass guitar.
Chris was influenced by alternative rock and began playing and singing with a punk rock band. At eighteen, he began taking voice lessons and then sang for Out Of Order for two years beginning in 1981. He switched to bass guitar, the bass player switched to vocals, and that band became Turmoil who did well in Orange County and played the Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles in a huge Punk Festival with some other big bands such as The Angelic Upstarts from England, Circle Jerks, and T.S.O.L. With that taste of success, the band disintegrated after that gig in February of 1985. During this time of turmoil, Chris met his wife to be, Rebecca and they began dating in February of 1983.
After a few brushes with the law, God intervened and began diverting Chris from his music and drug environment. With friends deaths and extreme behaviors, in 1985, Chris “got religion” and bailed out of the scene. Coming from Mormon parents and enduring the drug and music culture, it was like finding an oasis in the desert.
He and his wife to be began attending Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and five bible study and church events a week. Chris and his wife have been Christians since 1985. A year later they were married and began attending Walter Martin’s bible study in 1986 through 1991. Christian Research Institute was also constructive by providing information about Mormon theology fallacies. Chris and Rebecca have two boys and two girls who are grown providing one granddaughter born in 2020. Looking forward to retirement, Chris still works as a land surveyor as he has since 1989. Chris and Rebecca have been diligently following our Lord Jesus since those daunting times in 1985. Chris has played weekly on his church’s worship teams since 1992.
Since 1981, he has been teaching guitar, bass guitar, voice, song writing, computer-based recording, and basic piano lessons. Chris started BlueHaven Productions, a music production business in 2010. He began taking college classes to learn music theory which he had been picking up innately but wanted to understand it better. In 2018, he joined the Christian punk rock band Good Luck, Ugly! The group toured from San Diego to Bakersfield. Of the band’s three albums, their first full length album Side Hugs and Back Stabs with the single “Coming Home (Tell the Saints)” went worldwide. With its international airplay, the band was invited to join the two day worldwide live streaming “Global Bandemic” with forty-two bands in May of 2020 which has been the band’s last performance to date. A final performance is scheduled for September 2022.
In March of 2020, a friend who owns a guitar company, Revved Guitars asked Chris what his ultimate bass guitar would look like. Having thirty-five guitars and bass guitars and not needing another one, Chris began giving his friend some design ideas by merging his two favorite bass guitars and adding some boutique embellishments. During the design process, Chris developed a “Bennerman” signature logo design to provide a name for their ultimate bass. Delightfully, the “Bennerman” model bass guitar was delivered in July. Within a year, Chris gave his friend some ideas for his ultimate guitar and Revved Guitars built the “Bennerman” model guitar. Astonishingly, Chris now has his own ultimate signature bass and regular guitars.
Donny Walker began attending a small group at Sovereign Grace Church of Orange in March 2022. Chris has attended Sovereign Grace and played on their worship team since 2011. With introductions in the small group, Donny said he was a musician and would be looking to join the worship team since he moved to Orange. Chris and Donny made contact and exchanged phone numbers and left the acquaintance at that.
In April, Donny texted Chris with an invite to play bass guitar in the band. Chris asked Donny to send him some of the band’s music to see what the group was about. Donny sent eight songs and Chris asked if that was everything. After receiving twenty-seven songs, Chris began learning the music all of which was new to him coming from punk rock. Some of the bass lines were complicated and foundational which is what makes us want to dance to Donny’s music. After an investment of two weeks of time, Chris felt he had sufficiently mastered the music to play the MoonGoat Coffee dance on April 23, 2022. At the time, Chris was reluctant to commit to Angel City on April 30, within a few minutes after completing the MoonGoat dance, Chris was enthralled and ready for another dance.
Not understanding that the MoonGoat dance was a singles event until near the date of the event, Chris did not make an issue of it or mention it to his wife who attends most of his gigs. Being a friendly group, she was made welcome but was not offended when she unexpectedly realized and hurried to inform Chris about the nature of the group. Hopefully, she will continue to get acquainted with us and with gentle encouragement perhaps dance to her husband’s great bass lines.