How long have you been playing?
I remember being about 6 or 7, and my brother and I were driving with my Dad through Montreal.....and Purple haze came on the radio....and I was floored...My brother told me it was acid rock. All I know is that I had never heard an electric guitar like that....and I was hooked....I always wanted a guitar....my parents bought me a cheap ukelele (and it wasn't very good either)...I hated it and it didn't sound like what I heard on the radio. But, I always wanted to play.....Then I bought a drum set under her orders not to (with my $$$)....she made me return them. Then I asked if I could buy an electric guitar......she agreed, and then she had to put up with those years of awful playing.....I was twelve. My first guitar was a '62 Gibson Les Paul which I bought at a vintage guitar shop in 1979. It was a bit beat up and it was $350.00 all in. This left me $50 for a really cheap cheesy amp....but the axe was cool. After purchasing the guitar, I found out that it was previously owned by no other than Frank Marino fof Mahogany Rush fame. I was truly honoured, but I was also afraid because the guitar had been stolen at one of his shows....and he he always said he would get his baby back. So in 1982 on his Juggernaut tour (my flying V was on this tour btw), my friend went and told a roadie that he knew where Frank's beloved guitar was.....I had it. Long story short, Frank and I met up and we traded.....the '62 Lespaul for the "V". and now it is mine....but to know that I teethed myself on playing guitar with such a magnificent guitar and history behind it. This inspired me even more.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first concert was at The Montreal Forum to see Styx and the opening act was Streetheart and I believe the ticket was $7.00. I was mesmorized....I was 13 and I wanted to be part of that action.
What gear do you use?
I own a 1976 Gibson Custom Shop Flying "V", A 1982 Gibson Explorer (given to me by Chip Gall of SYRE), A 2007 Gibson Les Paul, A 2010 Gibson Melody Maker, A 1976 Epihone Seraton II, A Garrison Acoustic. My fave is "Dirty Gerty", my LP. That guitar is my main stay and I love recording with it. It has a P-90 at he neck and a Zebra burstbucker at the bridge and you get awesome tone and sustain out of it. and the new Melody Maker is just a sweetheart of an axe....totally cool. Real attitude and drive from a single coil p/up. Just finished recording with it and the sounds are so vibrant and exact....love it for that punkiness. The Sheraton II is amazing and really kick ass through the stacks. Amazing sustain and tone......just oscilates at the right frquency and you are in heaven. I don't play the "V" much. Love the sound and tone but it is a pain to just sit and play with. It is a stage guitar for sure. Chip Gall, who is an amazing friend, gave me the guitar back in the 90's.....and told me I could have it (because I fell in love with it when I did FOH for them back in the '80's), as long as I never changed the guitar or got it refinished....It is the soul of rock'n'roll and if it could talk.....well the book would make millions. Just a really cool explorer with the fin cut off (that's another story). It is sweet and to be honest it is a great sounding blues guitar...and just cool to play.....I love them all and I want more....end of story!
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
I would have to say that Frank Marino was very inspirational to me, but once I discovered Anvil....Steve "Lips" Kudlow just blew me away. He wasn't a speed demon....he was so tasteful in his leads and they were from the heart. He was very influential in my playing and my playing style. I love his playing and his style. But I would also have to say that I loved Fast Eddie Clarke from Motorhead...."Ace of Spades" & "Love Me Like A Reptile" just simply kicked me back and all it was, was fast fast blues and really tight....it sounded incredible and very powerful....I wanted that sound! Then Phil Campbell replaced him...and I wasn't happy....but man that guy plays and hard....so I love his appraoch and groove as well. Others are Jeff Beck....Wow that man plays a guitar like no other. He plays sounds and that really inspired my song "Groovy Groovy"...It's about those funky sounds and tones....really playing the guitar as an instrument for all that it is worth. And how can I not mention Gary Hoey....what a God! You can definitely hear his style influencing me, just as Satriani has inspired my melodies and tones. The there is Steve Stevens ....he just rocks out and what a sense of timing! He is a true rocker! Simply said I love Rock'n'Roll!
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I played in a few bar bands when I was in my teens Widow, KAOS (None of which did anything btw).....and these bands were Heavy Metal bands and that was "In" back then....and I loved it. Then my father had a little chat with me.....I had gone to college for computer programming and didn't finish my last sememster....I wanted to play guitar and earn my keep by playing music.....so hence the chat. My parents had always put money away for our education....and he wanted me to do something with my life and have a back-up plan (this was good advice). So I decided that I wanted to go do Audio Engineering and get a dgree in that. He agreed and away I went and graduated with very high grades and began a career in audio engineering by touring with bands doing Front Of House Sound Reinforcement (Yeah The Soundman). I loved it and really excelled at it working with incredible acts and making a good living at it....but the road takes its' toll on you and I got burnt out working 50 wks a year. So I gave it up to get married and begin a new life as a civilian. SO to get back on track, after my last divorce, I picked up the guitar again and put on new strings and have been wailing ever since....and loving my musical journey!
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Lips, Gary Hoey, Frank Marino, Joe Satriani, Fast Eddie Clarke, Phil Campbell, Rick Mead, Steve Stevens, Rany Rhoads, BB King, Buddy Guy.....These guys are my idols....my inspiration.....part of who I am and the way I play!
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
My biggest show was mixing at the Janes Addiction show in Toronto back in the early 90's, maybe even '89. It was pure craziness and I was mixing the opening act "Rusty - AKA"One Free Fall"...They were amazing as was the evening....spectacular show with an amazing sound system.....but that was as a sound guy....as a performer I played 2000-400 seat clubs......(nothing to brag about there)....but it was fun!
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Motorhead - "The Ace Of Spades".......Changed my life....My attitude.....My being....Nuff said!
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