This page may seem self-indulgent to the max, but I finally figured that any website sector purporting to cast light on the question "Who is this guy?" had better include the people who, more than any others, make him who he is.
(This is my daughter Caitlin Willow, whose task is to watch over this page. Her sister Eliza took the picture.)
This is my Dad and Mom, Leland Payne and Maxine Herrick, at the time of their marriage in 1933. They are no longer with us, but made it through with grace and integrity, and unwavering faith. The piano belonged to Walt Disney, for whom my dad worked. My dad observed. My mom felt. On hikes with me, Dad would find fossils I had stumbled over. Mom would cry at certain TV commercials (usually during black-and-white "Bonanza" episodes on Sunday evenings with popcorn--this was not considered Sabbath violation, owing to the rumor of Lorne Green being a bishop). "Observe" and "feel" genes are useful to an aspiring artist. Where genetics failed, they gave me example, which is pretty useful, too.
This is my wife, Laurie, who was Laurie Koralewski, daughter of a musician and a dancer, her father being something of a towering intellect and her mother having been an illegal alien, here without papers, from an enchanted wood (where nobody has papers, only leaves). Laurie is an actress, singer, dancer, teacher, best mom and best friend.
From the top, clockwise: John Riley, Caitlin Willow, and busted Adwed Lea, Mom at the heart (of course). Yellowstone Lake.
This is my oldest son, Sam, who is an actor, writer, jazz singer, and maker of great songs.
These are my grandsons Skyler (R) and Caleb (C), and Seth (L) with their parents Sam (L) and Kris (R).
Mother of grandsons, who is a photographer and flies powered parachutes. Here with the new kid on the block, little Samuel Omari.
This is my second son, Joe, who is a professional theatrical sound designer. He also designs sets, writes great songs, and creates huge bold paintings.
This is Joe and his lovely wife Shelly, who is an Equity card-carrying stage manager.
The granddaughter! Amelia Jay Payne, courtesy of Joe and Shelly. And below, the amazing Max!
This is my third son, David, who plays several instruments with several bands. He is a magical painter and songwriter. In his youth he listened to the stars, and played Tchaikovsky on my banjo without asking.
This is David, a torch in the wilderness of alternative music.
David with the beautiful Leena, who married him. These two give me grandchildren in groups! Sofia and Helena.
This is my fourth son, Joshua, who plays jazz with a gift that can only be described as miraculous.
This is Joshua and Sam in concert. I got this picture from a magazine.
This is my daughter Eliza. Her friends call her "Elightza."
Eliza, the actress, angelic singer, magical dancer, photographer, maker of surreal collages. Daddy's girl.
Eliza, somewhere in France, with Gavin McDermott, the wonderful Irishman she married!
Some visitors to this page will want to remember Niki, my former wife and the mother of my older children. She is married to a great guy, a mathematician, and is herself an architect.
Email me and I'll help you get in touch with her, if you wish.