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I'm Not The NFL Football Player...

Been Strumming Since '64

I picked up my first guitar when the Beatles hit our shores and haven't put it down since. Back then it was a lot of folk stuff (Dylan, PPM), then I used to play Bluegrass with a couple of guys, one on a 5-string banjo, the other on a mandolin but rock and roll always hung in there. Mostly a solo player, I worked really hard on learning Travis style and flat-picking so I think that I'm somewhat accomplished.

I play in a reasonably good four piece band that performs at our church although I enjoy the Monday evening practices and beer even more! Since I can't make a living by playing guitar and drinking beer, here's what I do during day hours. click here.

My Equipment

Over the years, I've owned about 20 guitars and about a half dozen amps. In time, I blew out all the crappy amps. Some guitars were pitched (a $15 Stella, a warped 12 string, a department store electric), some were traded (including a '68 Aria Jap Strat-copy, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Gibson B-25 Natural Acoustic) and a couple have been keepers. There's a turn-of-the-century era half-moon shaped lute kicking around that used to sound pretty good, but now it's just an ornament.

THE GUITARS

Currently my gear consists of a Fender Standard Stratocaster (2000 - Corona, CA)... yup, I finally traded away my sweet-sounding dark sunburst Ibanez FG-100 archtop that I had owned for 20 years (since '84), a butterscotch Ibanez AS-80 (both Ibanez axes are reviewed in the Resources section), an extremely rare acoustic/electric all Brazilian rosewood Takamine EF-450S-B (identical to a Martin D-45 which I bought new in '81), a 1964 Guild Mark 1 all-mahogany classical which our family has had since new and a 1995 Godin 12 string Acousticaster (aka "A-12"). Shaped like a Fender Tele and one of the slickest sounding 12's on the market. Check out the review. My latest acquisition is a Yamaha APX-6NA (electro/acoustic nylon string classical). I'll post a review after Christmas 2004 -- that's when my wife will be giving it to me. As for the US Standard Strat, no review is necessary -- it's been reviewed more than any other axe on this site.

THE AMPS AND TOYS

The practice amp is a Roland Cube-40 - 10" speaker; performance amps are a Peavey Bandit 112 with a Scorpion 12" speaker and a Fender Deluxe Reverb, with a 12" Jensen. Both growl! I sometimes hook up both amps together through a Boss CE-3 Chorus and a Danelectro "Chicken Salad" Vibrato pedal to get a great stereo 60's effect. The combo is clean, crisp and loud. I use a Boss A-B Switch during performances when 2 guitars are wired up and the in-line Boss Chromatic TU-2 Tuner keeps them honest. I also use a Zoom 606 for more effects. My basement studio is getting quite jammed with all the gear. Now I've set it up with monitors, mics and new mixer loaded with special effects. "ROCK ON"!

THE STRINGS

I use D'Addario medium/lights (10/46) on the Strat and AS-80, Martin bronze lights (10/47) on the Tak and Augustine blue nylons on the Mark 1 and the Yamaha.

OTHER STUFF

For those unfamiliar with the older Ibanez lineup, I found a great site on these guitars. If you're interested, click here

My wife gave me a DigiTech GNX3 for Christmas (2003) and I'm still trying to figure how the friggin' thing works ("Christ, you know it ain't easy...") but I'll work at it. Any other GNX3 users out there? Any help would be very much appreciated. I finally picked up a few SmartMedia memory cards and reader so I am now laying down a few 3 and 4 track recordings.

Musical Influences

  • Influences have been everything from R&R to Segovia.
  • Bit of bluegrass, some jazz with a splash of Jobim
  • Chuck Berry, Merle Travis, Doc Watson & Billy Grammer, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Neil Young

Favorite Recordings

  • Chester and Lester (Chet Atkins and Les Paul) - the best!
  • Beatles '65 - lots of good old rock and roll with 3 part harmony!
  • Easy Rider soundtrack - it really gets your motor running!