MY PATH TO HEAVY METAL: I was born and raised in a very Roman Catholic household, very sheltered from the world around me. I was instilled with a profound sense of music and rythym at a very young age. (Late 60's to early 70's) But, the music I was exposed to was very strictly regulated by my mother and thus only the most squeaky clean music music ever entered my ears. Lots of Disney Movie soundtracks and eventually Donny & Marie Osmond music.
But all along the way, I always desired to hear stronger music. My favorite songs always seemed to be those which were stronger than the others. One song in particular was a song called Carzy Horses by The Osmond's which I played over and over because it was the strongest sounding song I could find. My musicall attention would continuously shift acording to wherever I discovered harder, stronger music being played.
Then, as I got older (late 70's) and was able to get my hands on portable radios, I found myself scanning the dial for stations that played stronger music than what I had heard previously. I remember hearing bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Pink Floyd. My mom put up a lot of resistance but the first record I ever bought was DESTROYER by KISS and Kiss became my favorite band during the late 70's.
My sheltered life continued and my favorite band in the 1980's was Twisted Sister and I loved all the big hair bands of the 80's. Keep in mind that my only source of hard rock was whatever they played on the mainstream rock radio stations. Unknown to me at the time, harder rock music was available but only through underground sources which I didn't know existed. Oddly enough, it was also during this same time frame that I tried and failed numerous times to start a christian rock band.
Finally, at some point in the late 80's, a band whose name I had known for many years, a band who was said to play such hard rock music that no radio station would play their music, and also a band whose music I had never even heard so much as one of their songs, actually got one of their songs played on the mainstream radio station I listed to. That was the day I heard the song "ONE" by METALLICA and became a Metallica fan on the spot.
In the 1990's I found myself in the Army and continued to find myself living near the Appalachian mountains and still largely sheltered from the world to a certain degree. It was during that time where I was exposed to Country music and discovered that I like that too. In the late 1990's, I found myself working at a very small and very old radio station that specialized in really old Country music, Bluegrass and Gospel. That experience and exposure to a group called The Schankman Twins made me a fan of Bluegrass as well as hard rock.
Now, in the 21st Century, I am no longer restricted to the mainstream radio stations and I have easy access to all sorts of music. I now find myself trying to play catch-up to discover and experience as much Heavy Metal music as I can. Not the big hair band stuff from the 80's but instead, all the good stuff I never had an opportunity to discover previously. To illustrate how much music I need to get caught up on, as of 2011 I am discovering bands like As I Lay Dying and Slayer at the same time. How crazy is that?
HOW I BECAME A FAN OF MEGADETH: In the late 1990's I had heard some Megadeth here and there and eventually decided to buy a Megadeth CD to "check them out". I bought Cryptic Writings and it put me to sleep... in a good way. The sound of that record resonated with me so well that I found myself going to sleep while it was playing. The sound of Cryptic Writings sounded exactly like what the noise in my head sounded like and I found it to be a very enjoyable and peaceful experience to listen to a record that harmonized so well with the inside of my head. So, I listened to that CD non-stop, while I was awake and while I slept. Since then, Megadeth has become one of the very few bands where I endeavor to own every record that they have ever released. It is very difficult to try and choose my al time favorite band, but if there were such a thing, I think Megadeth might be that band.
MY HISTORY AS A MUSICIAN: Even though I don't own a drum set and I don't really play much any more, I still consider myself to be a drummer because when I did play, I was pretty good. As in, the kind of good where everyone who hears you play comes up to you and tells you how good you are, almost to the point of it being creepy. I never thought I was as good as everyone told me that I was.
I started playing drums as a teenager after hearing one of the guys in the neighborhood (Guyle Tabor) playing drums and jammin' with a guitarist. I was blown away because at the time, I didn't know regular, everyday people could play rock music like the people I heard on the radio. I know it sounds silly but I at the time, I thought only famous rock star people could do that. So with this new epiphany, I thought that if he could do it, then so could I, and I began petitioning my mother to buy me a drum set.
I feel a real sense of accomplishment because I was eventyally able to sit in with other bands in various night clubs and do just fine. I could have gone PRO but I'm allergic to smoke and I really don't like smokey bars, so I never did. I do occasionally get the opportunity to play other people's drum sets and I have taught at least a couple of other people how to play.
Since the days that I did play drums, I have owned guitars off and on. When I was in high school, I had plenty of time to practice the drums and that is how I was able to get good. But as a guitar owner, I've always had to make a living and never really dedicated the time to get equally good at playing the guitar.
These days, I never tell people that I am a guitar player because I don't want to set any expectations in their mind for my ability to play. I just tell people that I am a collector and that I don't really know how to play. Especially since the guitars that I currently own are pretty nice. Some people have even said, "Oh, if you've got a guitar like this, you've got to be really good.".
My guitar playing ability is similar to what they say about Molly Hatchet. "If you can't play good, play really, really loud!". Well, I'm comfortable in saying that I can play guitar REALLY, REALLY LOUD. hahaha
MY GUITAR COLLECTION has evolved over the years. At first, I started off with the cheapest guitars I could find in the local music stores or in pawn shops, but ever since, my taste in insruments has steadilly climbed up the food chain. When I first made a consience decision to buy the best quality of guitars that I could afford, I started out with top of the line Epiphone Les Paul guitar. Eventually what I could afford increased and I found myself buying Gibson and Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitars. Then, I moved up to botique quality guitars made under the name of The Heritage. I still have at least one PRS guitar as of this writing.
SONGS I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY: The list that follows is for my beneft, so that I can easilly find it, but I don't mind if you see it too. These are the songs that I want to learn how to play on the guitar.
You really got me - The Van Halen version
Demise of Sanity - Zakk Wylde, BLS
Glycerine - Bush
Animal I Have Become- Three Days Grace
Crackerman - Stone Temple Pilots
Rock & Roll - Led Zeppelin
Never Again - Nickelback
Someday - Nickelback
How You Remind Me - Nickelback
Cat Scratched Fever - Ted Nugent
Fred Bear - Ted Nugent
What You're Doing - Rush
Jenny - Tommy Tutone
Another Thing Commin' - Judas Priest
Livin' After Midnight - Judas Priest
Breakin' The Law - Judas Priest
Symphony of Destruction - Megadeth
Seek and Destroy - Metalica
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You - Spinal Tap
Wasted - Def Leppard
Whole Lot Of Rosie - AC/DC
Cold Blood - Kix
Firehouse - KISS
I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
Surfing with the Alien - Joe Satriani