IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS…NEVER QUIT DREAMING The Story of Anthony Baumann by Chicago Portrait Photographer Shawn Kinney

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Say hello to Anthony C Baumann (facebook) as he opens up about his life journey to play music. He showed up by his favorite mode of transportation, on his 2015 Ultra Harley Davidson. Here are the two bands he is currently playing in St. Stephen’s Whiskey and Phat Kiss

Chicago Portrait Photographer
Don’t give up on your dream. Its never to late to take the 1st step”

So this is where you grow up, how old were you when you left? I was 9 when I left. I moved to Florida with my mother and 2 bothers. She just wanted a better life away from the city for us kids. I lasted 2-3 years and I had to come back, I truly missed the city. Eventually all the kids gravitated back to the city and my mother ended staying in Florida.


As a kid what did you dream about becoming when you grew up? A Musician. All my life from day one! I guess it started from the effluence of the cartoons. I grew up in 70’s and all the cartoons had bands in them, they were all rock stars. Thats the first thing we did as kids, my dad bought us all instruments. One brother played electric guitar, the other played bass and I played drums.


Did your parents encourage you to be creative? Oh ya. I guess our grandparents were also musicians. They passed away when I was young, so I guess it was just in our blood. Our dad was like go for it and bought us all instruments. My brothers and I joined every band in school and still to this day my brother and I play in a band together. Nothing better then rocking out with your brother.

At this point in your life, are you happy where you are at? Yes. Music has taken me everywhere. I have been all over the world. I have played Carnage Hall, Chicago Theater, Ground Zero memorial (911 site in NY) and on several cd’s. I have meet so many amazing people and without music no of it would have ever happened.


If there is one significant thing in your life right now you could change, what would it be? I would love be in a professional touring band and I will never give that dream up. I am still hoping that I’ll find the right spot for myself in a band that can take it to the next level.


Can you share one of your most vivid childhood memories? The house was always haunted. We were defiantly afraid of this place. We lived here with our grandparents and they passed away when I was 7. Not sure if it was just a kids imagination but we would hear people walking up and down the stairs all the time. There was a secret room in the basement. It was a small storage area were my grandfather would keep all his stuff and I was defiantly afraid to go back there.


What accomplishment are you most proud of? That I was able to touch some many different people through my music.

Who are your Music Idols/First concert? Bonham, Moon, Neil Purt and of course Dave Grohl(hew just knocked out of the park). I saw Iron Maiden in 1982 at Navy Pier when they played ChicagoFest and they played it for free. I found out thy were playing from a couple kids talking in school. I didn’t really know anyone so I went by myself.


What has been the biggest obstacle in pursuing music? I would have to say finding the right people in life. Finding people with similar likes and similar goals. Thats why it is so hard to keep bands together. Everyone is their own artist and they have their own goals in mind.


Do you have any advice for those people struggling with the dreaded 9 to 5? Don’t give up on your dream. You got to make yourself happy first. If your not happy then move on. You don’t have to be stuck, go out and find something you like to do. I know its a scaring thing and the first step is the hardest thing to do. But you have to do it! Its never to late to take the first step.


If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Practice, practice and more practice. I took a hiatus when I was a kid. I bounced around lot in between different things of interest when I was younger. There was a period of about 20 years of when I didn’t pick up the sticks. I was a semi professional hockey player for a while. I actually didn’t get real job until I was 30. After high school I got a part time job and started skating again, that landed me a job teaching at Addison park district teaching the kids how to play hockey. From there I got a tryout with a semipro team and eventually got signed by LA and went to minor leagues. After the season I came and continued coaching the kids. That lasted about 10 years and man did I love it. So I would say to my younger self practice, practice and focus more on music. If you have that one dream don’t let the distraction of life derail you.


Thanks for sharing Anthony and I hope this shows everyone that its never to late to live the life you deserve. More of my work can be view  at


The Short: I am commercial portrait photographer, a native Chicagoan and an avid dog lover. When not behind the camera, you can me find out creating new experiences with my fiancé Renea and our Border Collie Cooper. The Long: After working construction for nearly 10 years, I felt I needed more, so I left Chicago in 2000 to explore the West Coast. I spent a decade in the Nevada Desert and four years in the Pacific Northwest discovering a love for photography while roaming breath taking sand dunes and scaling mountain ranges. That love is now my passion. I’ve finally come back home to Chicago and my Cubs, but I carry with me experiences that have shaped me into the person and photographer that I am today. I met many wonderful and amazing people during my travels, some of whom I love to call friends and my journey has allowed me to connect with people on every level, adapt to any situation. “Your ability to thrive in any environment and any situation rests not primarily on what you do, but who you are as a person, an individual; a human being”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *