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My first decent sounding guitar was a Tanglewood cutaway. It was fairly modest by most standards, but I loved it. It had a rich, deep sound and thick strings that gave me callouses. I played it in my little attic bedroom, thrashing out the basics.  It must have done the job though, because my parents bought me a shiny new jet-black electric guitar for Christmas; it looked a little bit like the Gibson SG my boyhood idol, Angus Young, uses.  Back in ‘89, such a guitar seemed out of reach.  It was a golden age of music, but to my friends and me living near Birmingham, it just seemed normal. I look back now and realize how lucky I was to come of age in what I consider the perfect place and time.  The old classics weren’t so old, and the new crop of rock and metal bands electrified me.  At sixteen I joined my first band. I couldn’t put my guitars down.  I still haven’t.

My life changed in the mid-nineties when I first came to the United States.  My tastes became more diverse, less influenced by the opinions of others.  There seemed to be an inexhaustible pool of new music then.  I still loved the hard rock classics of the ‘80s and the heavy metal that still resonates with me so deeply, but now there was Radiohead, Beck, Alice in Chains, Porcupine Tree, The Orb…  I was spoiled for choice and relished learning different ways to play my guitar.  By the early 2000’s I was more established in my new life and ready to perform again.  It felt wonderful to be out there doing gigs.  I was a better musician and teamed up with talented people who helped me grow further. In 2002 I joined Doll House, a three piece rock outfit from New Jersey. I took a chance and played bass and sang. It was strange at first, but It opened my eyes to other ways of playing and I grew to love the bass’s deep and intense rhythms. Singing was even stranger but it led to me seriously writing songs for the first time.  

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I began writing my own music, and I recorded a lot in my home studio.  In 2007 I joined Dilly, a three piece band with two acoustic guitars and a very talented vocalist.  We played all over Central New Jersey and some venues in New York.  For a while we were the house band for little Orphan Annies, a local venue.  It felt successful.  However, my need to create music started to gain on my enjoyment of playing other people’s songs.  I have always felt that tension but I became ever more interested in writing and recording.  Eventually, I was finally able to get a Gibson SG of my own. It complimented my Fender Strat so well I became fascinated with finding the beauty in their contrasting sounds.  Along the way I collaborated with some excellent musicians, especially with my friend Mike Webber, a recording engineer. None of my music would exist without his guidance and patience.  Now it is the 2020’s and my studio is a haven of music and ethereal lighting. There I play, honing sounds and rhythms, never tiring of the patterns and symmetry.  It often reminds me of the early days in my attic bedroom, with dim lighting and music.  I still have that old Tanglewood; it’s beaten up now, and rests in semi-retirement in a place of honor in my studio.  It has been everywhere with me, and every dent and scratch marks a step on our journey.  It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come since that tiny room in the attic. 

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