Amory Kane was born Jack Daniel Kane jr. at St. Mary's Hospital, San Francisco, California. The month was March in 1946.
The Kane Family, with three small kids in tow, sailed to Great Britain in 1947, where Jack Daniel Kane sr. was posted in the capacity of military air attaché. Young Jack attended British schools in London- (Cannon Park Road School), and in Bath, Cornwall (Priory Park). Soccer and cricket were the games of choice and Jack jr., who was tall, became a fair goalie.
Young Jack was moved by the classic music played in the British Isles throughout the year but especially during England's most heartfelt holiday, Christmas. People sang all the old songs together. He began piano lessons. At English schools the kids learned French, English, Latin and Greek from the very first years of pre-school. Everyone was also, it seems, guided to a musical instrument.
The Kanes were returned stateside by the military powers that be when JD (now Jack Jr's family name) turned seven. The family was stationed in San Antonio, Texas and there was music everywhere. Jack soon discovered the electric steel guitar and, by the age of nine, he was appearing on the locally televised Sagebrush Shorty Show, a popular local kids show, and participating in musical reviews at the Civic Auditorium. Grace, Jack's mother, soon purchased him a Recording King lap steel guitar and a Gibson amplifier.
The Kane kids had been getting their religious instruction with Saturday catechism and the Sunday choir and services at the local charismatic Baptist Church. We kids were adopted warmly by the entirely African American congregation and introduced to the great gospel music of the Church. A love of the rich black culture rubbed off strongly on Jack for the rest of his musical life.
After three rich years in San Antonio, the family moved back to Hamilton Air Force Base, near Novato, California, when Jack was ten or eleven.
With the family living in Marin County, Jack discovered he was carrying a viable singing ability with him, much of which he had come by in the Baptist choir back in Texas. He wanted to switch over to the Spanish style guitar to comp behind his voice in singing the pop, blues and folk songs of the day. Jack also wanted to emulate the electric guitar blues that he was listening to nightly on his tiny battery powered transistor radio, tuned into distant Tijuana blues station XERB, with the Wolfman, which only came in at night.
Since he had been studying piano now for some years, Jack had developed a great love for the classical music his teachers had given him. And he had three years of lessons in learning the pedal steel guitar, playing the great country hits of the '50's. But that Wolfman Jack blues music, emanating from so far away over the night airwaves, was what would become Jack's most compelling interest, and the blues he heard most acutely was played on the electric Spanish guitar.
Young Jack soon acquired a guitar neck and some castoff pickups and he fashioned a body of wood to mate the neck to. A colorful paint job was applied and a castoff bridge was glued in place to accept the strings. Astonishingly, the mongrel guitar worked admirably with a radio that he turned into an amp of sorts.
Mama Grace eventually took notice of his initiative and, with her help he soon graduated to a Sears Silvertone guitar and amp combo, plus a Harmony twelve string. Grace played classical guitar and piano and always fostered her kids musical development. Jack says, "That's why I did those six or seven years at the piano lessons, ending only when the guitar became too irresistibly obsessive. My mom wanted me to."
Jack attended a couple of Bay Area Catholic schools, through ninth grade, St. Raphael's in San Rafael and St. Joseph's in Mountain View. Then he finished high school at Novato High School, where he did talent shows with Chris Clark, who was later to sign with Motown Records as their first white female artist.
During high school, Jack was being booked as a single act at hotels and venues around the Bay by well-known manager, Lucille Bliss. There were also gigs for his folk group, The Hearthside Singers, throughout high school. Jack led a surf band as well, called "The Chancellors" at hops and dances. "I just wanted to be making music all the time," he says. He was, however, mostly an "A" student, throughout school.
After a year of studying music at Kentfield Community College, the pull became just too strong from his future. Grades, for the first time in his educational history, were slipping. Jack would have to (and would) attain a college degree later in life.
While attending the momentous 1967 San Francisco Human Be-in with friends, it became clear to the young man that fate had another road in store for him. What others were seeking here in San Francisco, he would only find elsewhere. He sold his creampuff '57 Galaxie convertible and his extensive record collection and left the City By the Bay. He would hit the skyways with his readheaded Gibson guitar to play his way through Europe.
The number one single record at that time was, "Are You Going To San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair").
Jack couldn't know at the time, but they would very soon be calling him by an entirely new name in Europe, and that name was "Amory Kane."