Going Deeper.. The Real Me

My personal backstory, as far as music goes…

My passion for music stems from the desire to drown out the rest of our existence that weighs us down. We all have so much weight on our shoulders. Music is the release & it literally has a space in your life in just about every aspect of daily experiences, whatever activity you’re doing, music is there for you.

Me Now!

Why get into music? I think everyone who is a musician at some capacity has a reason and motive to becoming a musician. It’s the cool thing to do… no doubt! Whether you’re in a high school band, taking piano lessons or picking up drums or guitar to be in rock n roll, there is some reason that makes you want to see if you can do it. Then you realize the time & devotion it takes to get “good” and whether or not you have the talent needed to proceed to the next level.

 

Trailer life yo, raising troubled kids since 1966

In my case, I grew up in a music household. Now, no one played instruments.. but loud blaring music all hours of the day or night in the trailer park… yeah, I was surrounded by it. Yep, I said trailer park.. we can revisit that area of my life, I have thousands of trailer park stories!

 

 

 

 

I’m an 80’s baby. MTV raised me. I was by myself the majority of my childhood & luckily

Yeah, this was my first real image of Rockstardom

when we stole cable from the neighbors (a line from trailer to trailer) I had MTV. One particular day I saw a couple of guys, in a pretty famous band… Bon Jovi. (Of all bands to be inspired by as a Metal head) They were playing “Dead or Alive” on acoustic. They had the cool hair, ripped up jeans, bad boy looks & a serious deepness to them like they were the  definition of edgy Rock N Roll to my youthful impressionable mind. Astonished by this new revelation of coolness, I said to myself, that’s it, I need one of those guitar things so I can be a badass like them!

 

I was 13, finally got the guitar & had no idea what the hell to do next

 

So back then, I was very little like  6 or 7  years old,  Guns N Roses, Poison all that stuff was in heavy rotation on the radio… Now, fast forward to the 90’s & I’m a preteen & of course still want that guitar! Things have changed now though, MTV had an amazing show on called 120 minutes showcasing all the greatest Rock & Metal, Beavis and Butthead was on & the Grunge guys were on the music scene. So I finally get a guitar after begging for years (my parents couldn’t afford one).. I get this pawn shop special, Peavey guitar, no color, plain wood. My friends weren’t impressed so it sat under my bed for 6 months. I took the strings off too, for whatever reason.

Here’s where the journey begins.. this kid I go to middle school with says a guy who lived a few trailers down from him (I at this time no longer lived in the slum trailer park I grew up in, I’m now living in an apartment, next door to a drug dealer & above a stripper/prostitute) My school friend says this cool guy was awesome at guitar & allowed the neighborhood kids over to hang. So I hitch a ride to go & meet this dude, bring my guitar & he shows off his Van Halen solos, which he played very well. He taught me my first riff… The intro to Enter Sandman, by Metallica. I took it home & practiced non stop, religiously with those 6 notes. I went back to Crispy, (That was his name, total burnout, he earned the name too) and he was amazed at how I had perfected that riff! So he shows me some more stuff. Let’s fast forward two months… I visit Crispy & show him MY STUFF. Now I’m doing solos & able to actually jam…. just like that. He was amazed, as was I. I found it! The bug hit me & there I was, a guitar player. I was lucky, It only took a few visits to Crispies trailer & I was off! I bought this book called “The Guitar Bible”, read it front to back. I soared. Guitar became an outlet for me, an escape for sure. (Keep in mind those trailer park stories, I was traumatized the first half of my life)

The Maestro.. Mr. Yngwie!!!

Now I’m in high school… I am listening to Steve Vai, Joe Satriani & discover one of my all time favorite shredders.. Yngwie Malmsteen. I was floored. Next level guitar virtuosity. So I’m playing hours & hours a day. I was the hot shot guitarist in High School. I even landed my first “show” appearance through an acquaintance, an opening slot for Kenny Wayne Sheppard on the Peoria, IL Riverfront in front of 6 to 8 thousand people.

I was 16 & so nervous. But I go up on stage, did my stuff & got great applause. After that moment, I wanted to be a real deal Rockstar. Well, then I grew up and realized Rockstar, wasn’t what I was taught on MTV… That whole image was a fasad, hype and totally false. No, those lucky guys were in the heyday of Music & fortunate. Now in the present state of the music industry, you earn it the hard way & being a local star is the easiest way to go, way more realistic.

I grew up, wanted to have things in life & became a suburbanite. Remember that trailer park? Well I grew away from that, years of therapy later, I was determined just to be the best I could be at music & let go of any real dream to be some “music star” or serious pro. I had bills to pay, like I said, I wanted things… living on the road is not easy & it is very challenging to survive out there on music. We all face forks in the road with life decisions.

                                 BarStar in action!

So fast forward even more & we are here at present day! Of course, a lot of life has happened… skipping the mundane details here.. I have been a part of many music projects in my local area in the Midwest, performing mostly in bar bands. I’ve played in the neighborhood of 250+ shows for various size venues. I’ve met thousands of people & had some great experiences as well as some awful experiences. It comes with the territory though, good with the bad. You grow with this journey.

I was fortunate to have a great following in the Midwest!

Since the beginning I have been creative with music. I have many songs that have just went unheard & I’ve always wanted to bring it out to the world, to find the audience who will enjoy it and relate to the music. That’s what Joyride Anthem is. Life is a Joyride, my music is the Anthem of my life, hopefully some of it can be yours as well!