"My parents have always been supportive," says the pianist, who's now been in music for more than 20 years. "I would never have made it here without their support."
The here Gold is referencing is actually more like everywhere, and could just as easily be a major city in Europe or Japan or Madison Square Garden — where Gold recently helped British classic-rock gods The Who wrap up the final set of their "Quadrophenia" tour.
"This is the biggest tour I've ever been a part of," Gold says. "It was definitely special."
These days, Gold lives in Los Angeles, where he moved to be closer to the music industry. But before he was rocking sold-out stadiums, he was just another Peninsula kid.
Gold was born and raised in Palo Alto. It was here that he learned to play piano — in music classes at his alma mater, Gunn High School, and from a local tutor who still gives lessons. According to Gold's former tutor, Paul Fink, it was quite clear from the outset that Gold would become a professional musician.
"He was very talented," Fink says. "Very quick to learn pieces. He had a real affinity for the keyboard. It just seemed like a natural extension of himself." But it was more than that. "He just sort of had the aura of someone who was already settling in to being a musician."
Indeed, Gold started his career as a professional musician when he was still in high school, in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. Like many young musicians, Gold played in a series of local bands, playing Top 40 covers at house parties and gigging around the Bay Area.
While Fink encourages his students to explore pop music, Gold's high school band wasn't what impressed him. Fink was wowed when Gold, while still attending Gunn, landed a gig playing piano at a fancy restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. (The restaurant was called La Tour and is long since gone.)
"It was quite an impressive thing," Fink says, adding that such a job is often filled by someone much older. "It was quite a feather in his cap at the time."
Still, looking back at his musical career, Gold says nothing ever really made him feel as if he had "made it" like sharing the stage with Who lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend — whom he will join this summer for The Who's tour of Europe.
"It definitely makes me feel like all that hard work paid off — and is continuing to pay off," he says. And it's a good thing that it has paid off. Gold says he's never considered working in any kind of conventional job.
Though Gold says that The Who gig is by far his largest and most prestigious, he has worked as a keyboardist for a variety of artists, including Hilary Duff, Melissa Etheridge and Kenny Loggins — the last artist he played with before landing the gig that would ultimately secure him a spot on The Who's tour bus.
A friend of Gold's knew the man who was helping Roger Daltrey put a band together for a recent solo tour. Gold got a call and auditioned for the part. He said he was a bit nervous upon walking into the studio, but the feeling soon melted away as he and Daltrey played some songs off "Tommy," The Who's classic concept album about a deaf, mute and blind pinball master.
The two clicked, and so Gold toured the world with Daltrey starting in 2010. When it came time to pick a keyboardist for The Who's "Quadrophenia" tour, Gold was tapped again.
For someone who has played with some of music's biggest acts, Gold is incredibly unassuming — a trait he seems to have possessed for all of his life, according to Fink.
When Gold came through the Bay Area on Daltrey's solo tour, he invited Fink to the show. The two have kept in touch over the years, and Fink, who still teaches in Palo Alto, can't say enough about his former student and his family. Fink says he is doubly impressed now with the ability of Gold's son — who has taken after his father's love of the piano.
Info: For more about Loren Gold, go to lorengold.com.