How It All Started

Rich Gootee, also known as GBO (Great Bearded One), is an American songwriter, singer, and musician from Indiana. His musical trek began at the age of 11 in front of a black and white TV in February of 1964. While watching the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, his life was changed forever. Realizing his newfound passion, he was all in. He cut yards, raked leaves, and delivered newspapers until finally saving $50 to buy his first electric guitar. The local music store became his second home where he sought to learn all he could about playing Rock & Roll.

It wasn’t long before Rich and three friends from the neighborhood came together to form their first rock band, The Four Fifths, which included classmate John Hiatt (recognized today as one of America’s most respected and influential singer-songwriters).

From his early garage band years in the 60’s, he progressed to the night club and concert scene with the formation of the band Good Seed, a popular and influential country-rock act in the Midwest. Good Seed released four albums and multiple singles while touring throughout North America during the 70’s and 80’s. In addition to writing songs for Good Seed (and other artists including The Wright Brothers 1982 Warner Brothers album), he wrote produced and sang commercial music spots for local and major companies including Sherwin-Williams, Mitsubishi, Delta/Peerless, and the John Deere Corporation.


In 1984, Rich signed an Artist Management contract with Jerry Weintraub’s industry-leading company Concerts West/Management III, and moved his family from Indiana to Southern California. Showcases and recording sessions in Malibu were part of a new adventure, but the needs of a young family became more than a struggling singer/songwriter could provide. Choosing family over fame and fortune, Rich began a successful career in the corporate world, working his way up from an entry-level sales position to multiple leadership positions in the telecommunications industry.

Though thankful for the blessings his new career afforded his family, Rich never gave up on his first love. He continued to faithfully write and record songs in his spare time (including the number one song “JUST REACH OUT” for the rock group PETRA, featured on their 1994 and 2000 Grammy award-winning albums).

Back to The Future
His Third Career Is His First Love

Now retired from his season in the business world, GBO has returned his full attention to his first love: singing and songwriting. Not only is it his lifelong passion and joy, but songwriting has provided a place of healing and respite from the indescribable grief of unexpectedly losing his youngest child and only son on Christmas of 2015.

GBO writes from a place of deep empathy and a simple desire to connect with hearts, encourage others, and bring joy. He is keeping his dreams alive with his eyes set on finishing strong.