Let me wind down the day with thoughts of my past, the rocker days. At 15 years of age I thought it would be fun to play an instrument. Not sure where that thought came from; it just happened. Looking around my room I saw the flute / recorder from school. I knew that wasn’t too cool if I got good at it. I really wasn’t too sure what cool was since I had short hair and got mostly straight A’s in school. Never hung with the fast crowd and have yet to hear any Van Halen or heavy metal band…the year was 1988.
An old acoustic guitar my grandfather had given me years before, collected dust in the corner of my room. “What if I learned to play guitar?” Images of cowboys went through my head. I wasn’t sure I wanted to learn campfire songs. Little did I know, there was much more to it than that. Grabbing the guitar, I tried strumming, not knowing what I was doing. No clue. Later that night I caught the end of the movie “crossroads” with Ralph Macchio and Steve Vai. Steve Vai was the main driving inspirational force behind me wanting to learn guitar. He was the guitarist for Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth, before starting his solo career in the early 1990’s.
I never took lessons but wanted to. The money wasn’t there and I was more interested in learning from a couple neighborhood guys anyway. They played by ear and taught me the basics. I was amazed to learn about all the cool things you could do. It was Christmas morning and I was the little kid. TEACH ME MORE! I became obsessed with the instrument and all flashy guitarplayers. I wasn’t into bands as much as I was guitar players. Classical music was always a favorite (not the boring opera stuff, although I respect it and understand it.)
For some reason, a friend of mine had Yngwie Malmsteen’s first album, Rising Force, on cassette. Knowing I was trying to play guitar, he gave it to me. This cassette blew my mind! Yngwie (pronounced INGVAY) combined classical guitar with heavy metal perfectly. It wasn’t noise….it was perfectly executed intricate guitar runs set to classical music phrasing. My jaw hit the floor and I was now hooked for the long haul. I played and noodled around every chance I got. There was no you tube and no internet for that matter. The year was 1988 and I was progressing rapidly. Most guitar players were in bands or starting bands. I had no one to jam with and plus I was too shy and never felt I was good enough. I was too overwhelmed with the calibre of guitar players out there, even though most people said I was really good. I never believed them. I was the opposite of a vein guitar player.
Check out this video of Yngwie Malmsteen. You can hear how he blends classical phrasing with electric guitar. I LOVE THIS! This was filmed by me when I saw him live in 2017.
My love of photography and video production naturally sparked passion for audio and sound editing. This naturally allowed me to research on how to record your music at home. Everything was so expensive as far as equipment to record on. There were no computers doing recording yet, only computers for running basic samples in your studio. That’s a whole other discussion so I’ll skip that for now.
I formed a band with some people I met around 1993. The band’s name was PUSH and that ended around 1996. We were going no where and there were more and more discrepancies, just as there are in all relationships and band mates. I left and took all my music with me. I’ve played with bands on and off here and there for the next 10 years. I never had a place of belonging in any of them but had lots of fun most of the time, working with them all. I do miss those days but am happy playing in my home studio now. I also record bands here and there from time to time. It’s nice playing the producer and recording engineer for others. Seeing the art of other people is awesome!
I got an email around 1999 from someone who heard my cd and wanted me to tour with their band as lead guitar player in Europe. We were to open for whitesnake all over europe. I LOVE whitesnake. You can imagine how ecstatic I was. I couldn’t believe it. Well, I didn’t go. I didn’t feel I was ready or good enough. I also didn’t want to tour europe with people I didn’t know in a band I didn’t start. I know that sounds stupid, but that’s where I was.
For the record, I never tried any drugs and never got drunk. Not every heavy metal guy is an idiot or a pot – driven weirdo. I have come across many of those people during the band days and it made me feel uncomfortable. I just did my own thing and pushed through. I have a couple CDs for sale if you are interested. Check this site for links.
Order my cd (signed copy) MIME RIOT – FEAR
Also available on iTunes and Amazon music as digital download.
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