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After learning piano as a child, Fiddler studied music at Oakland and Wayne State Universities, and with the jazz great Harold McKinney. He joined a do-wop outfit, The Enchantments, as a teen, and then in 1983 received his big break when a friend, Bernie Worrell the Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist passed a tape of his playing to George Clinton. Bernie was leaving the mothership, and Amp ended up replacing him, touring with Clinton and the P-Funk mob for more than a decade. He signed with Elektra and released an album with his brother, Mr. Fiddler, in 1990, but the record proved too eclectic for the label to work out how to sell.