Magazine article Guitar Player

Soundhole Peeling Back the Years

Magazine article Guitar Player

Soundhole Peeling Back the Years

Article excerpt

My personal history holds little fascination for me. I don't surround myself with old photos, awards, or other remembrances of things past. I've nothing against nostalgia, it's just that I prefer to live for today. I do hate reviewing anything I've completed, however, as the experience only betrays mistakes that overwhelm the comfort of any creative merit. But while cleaning out my storage space, I found a box of ancient rehearsal tapes, demos, and master recordings, and a morbid sense of intrigue prompted me to actually listen to a few selections.

As anticipated, I didn't escape the horrors of my youthful exuberance, unsteady chops, and dunderheaded compositional ideas. But something unexpected happened: I rediscovered the balls-out fearlessness that hasn't guided my playing and songwriting for years. And while the tapes proved that my impassioned overreaching unearthed more clams than pearls, the good bits were inspiring. In fact, I found myself captivated by this young buckeroo who didn't seem to be me. Did I really play that hard? (I'd almost forgotten the vicious cacophony produced by plugging a Les Paul into a cranked Marshall half-stack and a Rat pedal, and then punishing the guitar strings at a 185 bpm clip.) And what was up with the Townshendesque mini epics? My previous view of my 1977 punk self was that I just knocked around a couple of barre chords, but here I was mixing up those power chords with three-part vocal harmonies, big-ass riffs, jazz-influenced fuzz solos, and fast arpeggio lines--all in the space of a single, three-minute song. …

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