Choosing to play the guitar..
I think the guitar chose me in some odd way. I came from a broken home, my mom divorced my dad when I was 6 months old and it left me growing up to be very shy, a loner with lots of low self-esteem. A total wall flower. But early on music seemed to bring it all together and bring a light into the darkness. First it was Elvis and the Everly Brothers and the British Invasion that got me as a fan to want to pick up the guitar.
Early on it was The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Who – it was the songs that got me hooked. But after that it was the guitarists that had a vibe and distinct attitude, a la Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, early Jeff Beck and Chuck Berry. Being raised around the Detroit area it was Wayne Kramer and Fred Smith of the MC5 that pushed me over the top, to really want to seriously pick up the guitar and start a band. Ron Ashton and James Willamson of the The Stooges were also huge influences. I can’t forget to mention Jimi Hendrix for just changing the world of guitar as we knew it…
My successes and failures..
Because I never played the guitar to actually make it, it was an obsession of something I did because I didn’t have a choice, I had to play guitar to stay sane…
- Being from Detroit gave me the roots of hard edged Detroit a la The MC5 and the Stooges
- With my band The DoGs we lived in many cities that after the fact always had us being at the forefront of the early NY Punk Scene with Television, The Dictators and Blondie. The early LA/SF New Wave/punk Scene playing with AC/DC, The Ramones, Van Halen, The Weirdo’s, The Skulls
- Mid 80’s LA Hard Rock Scene with Little Caesar signing with Geffen Records.
- Biggest success still wanting to play guitar in a rock and roll band with no payoff other than playing with like minded band members and not having a jaded attitude.
Giving up on the dream for a bit because of the record business and losing sight of what and why I played rock and roll.
Funny how art imitates life – in 1977 The DoGs had the opening slot for the US debut of AC/DC. We were told by the booker to dress more punk rock and he could get us a record deal. Well that was the wrong thing to tell us, because we did the opposite and dressed like bums on the Bowery with mud on our faces to prove a point. Well the LA press panned us put Iggy showed up that night with mud on his face too – see inserted pic
Recommendations and worldly advice..
Never give up on your dreams, don’t expect to be making any money for your art. Align yourself with like-minded musicians who have the same goals and dreams. Stay open minded to all kinds of music, understand who you are and where your music fits in and who is your audience is…
Looking forward to coming to the UK in early August to play with Glitter Trash at Rebellion Festival and returning in 2019 for a full UK Glitter Trash Tour.
Good starter instrument..
Guitar wise Fender Squires and the new lower priced Gretch’s are great under $500 guitars, Blackstar HT CLUB 40 MkII combos are a great amp.
Gibson SG Standard and Gordon Smith GS1000 with Blackstar Artisan 30w head and 2 x 12 cab
2 Blackstar Artisan 30w heads and two 2 x 12 cabs!