I began playing guitar when I was about 6 years old. My dad taught me the basics at that age and It has been my passion ever since. I grew up listening to Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Rick Nelson and of course the great Chuck Berry. I can still remember going out on Halloween dressed as Elvis and singing “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” . . . . and of course, that was when you actually had to perform a “trick” to get a “treat”. As a young boy, my biggest influence was Chet Atkins. I think my dad thought that if I were going to play guitar I should learn from his personal favorite and probably one of the best in his time. As a teenager, I was more influenced by artists like Eric Clapton (“Cream”), Chuck Berry and The Beatles. You’ll likely hear the ‘Clapton’ influence in many of my guitar solos.
Most of my first guitars were hand me downs or something dad would pick up at a pawn shop, however I can recall some of them like the early Gibsons, Guilds, Fenders, etc. and I wish I still had them today. Of course I had to settle for the cheap ones first; like Harmony and the “never popular” Sears Silvertone. Yes it’s true, Sears actually sold a guitar with their name on it back in the late 1950’s!
The first guitar I actually bought was a brand new 1968 Gibson Less Paul Deluxe. I still have that guitar, albeit in extremely poor condition. Then I discovered the Fender Stratocaster and immediately fell in love. I’ve been playing a “Strat” ever since. I’m currently using a 1984 “Strat”, blonde top played through a Behringer V-Tone Analog Modeling amp.
I played guitar with many St. Louis bands over my career, including Bob Kuban, Clique, Nugget, and Walter Scott. I also toured with the original “Up With People” show in 1970.
TOP TEN FAVORITE SONGS:
1. Cut The Cake – Average White Band
2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
3. Minute By Minute – Michael McDonald
4. If You Don’t Know Me By Now – Simply Red
5. Don’t Change Horses (In The Middle Of The Stream) – Tower Of Power
6. A Good Woman – Albert King
7. Clean Up Woman – Betty Wright
8. I Never Loved A Man – Aretha Franklin
9. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – (Stones), Aretha Franklin version
10. Alone – Susan Tedeschi
Butch Wax Highlight:
I began playing with Butch Wax & The Hollywoods in 2008. In that time, we’ve opened for Johnny Rivers at the Rickman Theatre and we were the feature performance at the “Salute To America” 4th of July celebration at the State Capital. But I must say the highlight for me was opening for “The Kentucky Headhunters” at the Warren County Fair. It was a real honor to be sharing the same stage with one of my idol groups!