Dr. Mike Wilson began playing piano at age 4. After 10 years of classical training, he was swept up into rock and roll whDr. Mike Wilson began playing piano at age 4. After 10 years of classical training, he was swept up into rock and roll when the Beatles hit in 1963. He learned guitar from his best friend at age 14 and has played in a variety of ensembles since then. Rock, Bluegrass, Americana and more rock.
Mike grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, home of the University of Iowa. He went from Kindergarten through medical school in his hometown. After medical school, he did his orthopedic training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. After six years in private practice, most of his career was in academic orthopedic surgery, training others to be orthopedic surgeons. In his 30-year career in surgery, he trained over 100 young men and women doctors to be orthopedic surgeons.
Retired for 10 years, Mike is a US Air Force veteran (Lieutenant Colonel) and past President of the Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons. For 10 years he was an examiner for the Orthopedic Oral Board Exam. Through all the training and the moving he was sitting in with bands. He’s played piano in the French Quarter in New Orleans and his piano has appeared on Nashville demos.
Mike accidentally met the Beach Boys in 1977 at the Caribou Ranch recording studio in Nederland, CO. They were recording there when Mike was invited to audition for another band. They thought it was cool to meet another Wilson. He thought it was cooler than cool to meet them and have that story to share for the next 40 years.
But he never imagined he’d be keyboardist for the Southwest Surfers.