What made him start playing guitar?
When I turned 10, I really started listening to music on the radio and paying more attention to what bands played what songs. I loved anything with an edge to it. Jane by Jefferson Starship, Hold the Line by Toto, Back in Black by AC/DC were among those first songs that sparked something inside me.
But it wasnt until I heard Terry Kaths solo on 25 or 6 to 4, which my 6th grade school band was learning to play, that it suddenly became very, very necessary to learn how to play guitar. My first guitar would still be a few years away, but it didnt stop me from using my little brothers plastic guitar to match what I heard on the radio.
In high school I saw a band called Free Reign and was completely and utterly blown away at one of the school dances. They performed Come Sail Away by Styx with a live stereo mix. They had all the bells and whistles in that song coming through loud and clear. It made me realize that if done correctly no song was out of reach. It also made me realize I had a whole lot of practicing to do!
First Songs Learned:
You Really Got Me-The Kinks
Living After Midnight -Judas Priest
Cocaine- Eric Clapton
Sweet Leaf -Black Sabbath
Instruments of choice:
Ovation 2011 Celebrity (Alma)
Ovation 2009 Celebrity (Jamie)
Ovation 2003 Celebrity (June)
Ovation 1985 Celebrity (Vanessa)
Gibson 1978 Les Paul Standard (Sylvia)
Fender 1967 Telecaster (Ginger)
Fender 1962 Jazz Master (Veronica)
Fender 1983 Stratocaster (Elsie)
Fender 1977 Stratocaster (Diane)
Harmony 1983 (Betsy) (First Guitar God Bless the Sears catalog!)
Although I can appreciate technological advances in digital recording and in recording techniques, I always shudder at the thought that songs are created by one producer sitting in front of a computer or a keyboard and hashing out sounds and electronic rhythms by touching buttons. I truly miss the days of the musician. Back in the days when what they played were songs that they wrote. No lip synching at live shows. No surprise that they wrote or co-wrote 3 of the 19 songs on their CD. Doesnt seem like bands have a whole lot to say for the most part nowadays.
Where have the guitar gods gone? Though there are too many to mention these are without question the ones that influenced me the most.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
That being said, Im a fan of all kinds of music. Constantly searching for new bands and new sounds to fuel that fire I have inside, FeFe Dobson tore me up with Take Me Away a couple of years ago. Love the crosspollination bands like Evanescence and Linkin Park fusing different styles into a new sound.
Other Bands Ive Played In:
DTour Apparently that French exchange student left more of an impression than I thought. Had a lot of fun with this group of guys; Tom Huesman on drums, Dave Jake Bridges on bass, Sean McCammon on vocals, and Ed on lead guitar. Our first gig we knew 6 songs and played them over and over and over. Rock You Like a Hurricane, Stairway to Heaven (yeah I know), Money for Nothing, You Really Got Me, Rock n Roll, and Message in a Bottle were the tunes.
Matrix Without a doubt the most talented group of musicians Id ever worked with up to that point. Tom Huesman was the drummer who taught lessons at age 16 with Buddy Rogers Music. Hes now touring with Spiderfoot. Richard Oberacher played keyboards and is now writing music for Broadway musicals. It was very humbling and made me work even harder at being a better musician.
Retrospect Yeah I dont know about the name either. But, I do know where it came from. There was a 96 ROCK radio show on the weekends called Retrospective and it featured a lot of the same songs we were playing at the time. So I thought hey I got a great idea for a band name. Unfortunately no one knew how to spell.
Plaid Short lived but what stage presence kilts would have been!
Black Swann Actually thought this was going to be my ticket but when the first single Jesus Never Ran for Cover didnt catch found myself back in Cincinnati. This was my very first all original band. Writing songs and struggling through arranging them as a group was a great learning experience. With record contract in tow we thought we had made it. This was made up of surviving members of Dennis The Menace. We practiced in the walk in closet at the drummers house in Mount Adams. Yeah. Good times. Good Times. I also learned an important lesson: never wear spurs on your cowboy boots when playing on shag carpet.
Trinity Yeah Im not sure this was a wise choice. But My Bible vacation school teacher, Mrs. Dickerson, would be so thrilled. Her son Scott STILL has my cassette tape with Bostons Dont Look Back album on one side and Rushs Hemispheres on the other. I want that back man.
Steel Breeze Probably the most successful band I had been in up to that point in time. Constantly working, we played out six nights a week with a strong and loyal following. The only downfall of that success was that what started off as a half original and half cover band turned into a 95% cover song band. We ended up falling prey to the Hey dude you should play this song syndrome. We ended up breaking up on stage in front of the IRS regional picnic, which explains why Im audited every year. We also had to cough up the $1,500 that we had been paid. Sniff. Sniff. Oh, the 80s!
Whipped Lasted all of three months with a drummer that drove his car with a pair of vice grips instead of a steering wheel. Yeah, dont ask.
Waking Jane Another all original band I was in. Wrote some great songs and had a great songwriting partner in Chris Reese. Golden Lives and Rattle the Cages still stand up after all this time. Made me realize that being all original was hard to sell but also much more rewarding. Broke up when Chris left for North Carolina and Glenn (The Lemur) left for Grant County.
Jumbo White Bread Its weird how sometimes things are right in front of you. Bob and I had been working on original material and had been auditioning over a dozen bass players over a course of 7 months. One night while out walking with the family a guy that lived 4 houses down from me asked if I played in a band. He had heard some music and wondered if it was us. Turned out he was a bass player looking for a band and was intrigued by the all original idea. Chuck turned out to be a huge asset in writing and shaping the sound. He had a wealth of experience and great ideas. We had written over 200 songs in 3 years which was impressive. Putting out 4 discs in that time was a blast.
Spare Change It started as a running joke from the previous band Jumbo White Bread. When an original song wasnt considered good enough it was thought of as a Spare Change song. Well, once Jumbo White Bread dissolved, Bob and I started talking about new project names and Spare Change was born. What started off as something wed do couple times a month has turned into something were doing 2 or 3 times a week. The song list that once merely had 35 songs on it now has over 150. The dates keep coming and keep coming too which is always good.
Other band names that were NOT chosen:
Towers of Power
The Paisley Spiders
The Dolphin Floggers