I actually started performing back in 5th grade (1980) when I recruited to
play string bass for the middle school orchestra. I got my first electric
guitar, a Univox, for Christmas in 1983 and gave up orchestra (and thus, bass)
soon after that. I got pretty serious about it in high school, forming a band
with a few friends. We practiced a lot, but only had a few actual gigs.
my junior year of high school, I got my first 4-track recorder. It was a
Tascam Porta-One 4-track cassette recorder and I think it cost $600. I've
acquired more instruments and equipment over the years. I currently have a
small (10 x 6) studio in my basement with the following in it:
- Electric Guitars
- Fender Stratocaster Standard, 2nd Edition (replaced
stock tremolo with a Kahler, replaced bridge pickup with a Seymour
Duncan mini-humbucker) - 1983 - Cream
- Fender Telecaster, G.E. Smith Signature Edition - 2008
- Honey Blonde
- Gibson ES-335 - 2008 - Cherry Red Satin
- Gibson Les Paul Standard - 2007 - Sunburst
- Gibson SG '61 Reissue - 2008 - Heritage Cherry
- Gibson SG Standard (beat up...used as dedicated
synthesizer guitar with Roland GK-3 added on) - 1978 - Natural
- Gretsch Jet Firebird, Malcolm Young Signature Edition -
2008 - Cherry Red
- Gretsch G6120SSU Brian Setzer Signature Nashville -
1999 - Orange Flame
- Rickenbacker 360 - 2008 - Midnight Blue
- Rickenbacker 360/12 - 2000 - Mapleglo
- Acoustic Guitars
- Alvarez AD60CK Cutaway Dreadnought 6-string acoustic/electric
- Ovation 12-string acoustic/electric roundback (collector's
edition) - 1986
- Bass Guitars
- Warwick Corvette Standard 4-string fretless bass - 2007
- Gibson SG reissue bass - 2007 - Heritage Cherry
- Guitar/Bass Effects and Amplification
- Boss GT-6 multi-effects processor
- Boss GT-6B multi-effects processor
- Boss ME-8 multi-effects processor
- Rocktron Banshee 2 Talkbox
- Digitech Whammy
- Peavey Road Master 160-watt tube guitar head + 4x12 speaker cabinet
- Ampeg BA115 bass combo amplifier
- Fender SKX 35r amplifier
- Epiphone EP-1 mini-tweed amplifier
- Yamaha DX-7 II synthesizer (used by
itself, plus as a controller for the rack-mount synths below...)
- Korg SG piano rack module
- E-mu Proteus 1 Pop/Rock rack module
- E-mu Mo'Phatt rack module
- Roland GI-20 guitar synthesizer
- Midiman Thru 2x8 MIDI switcher
- Midiman Merge 2x2 MIDI merger (2)
- Rhythm and Taste
- Boss DR-880 drum machine
- Yamaha RX-7 drum machine
- Diablo cowbell
- Softshake shakers
- One-shot shakers
- Grenadilla wood clave
- Cyclops tambourine
- 12u home-made studio racks (3)
- Tascam 2488neo 24-track recording studio
- M-Audio BX8A studio monitors
- M-Audio BX5A studio monitors
- Presonus HP-4 headphone amplifier
- Furman M-8Dx power conditioner (2)
- Furman M-8X2 power conditioner
- Nady SDP-20 stereo effects processor
- Neutrik patch bay (2)
- AKG Perception 420 condenser microphone
- Sennheiser e835 dynamic microphone
- Sennheiser e609 Silver dynamic microphone
- Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones
- Ultimate Support MC-125 studio boom stand
- sE Electronics SERF Reflexion filter 3.5
- Mackie VLZ 1202 Mixer
- Mackie Big Knob
- ART Voice Channel preamplifier (2)
- VoiceWorks Harmonizer
Recording studio for this phase was the Tascam Porta-One 4-track cassette
recorder. All of these were done while I was in high school.
- Chin (1985
demo) - Just about the first thing I ever recorded. A hand clapper on
one track and two guitars. Just making it up as I go along.
- Hellbound (1986
demo) - Based on a song my high school band wrote. Just playing
with the recorder again. Yes, there is backmasking on this track.
- May (1986
demo) - Something I wrote...first time using the recorder to try and
develop an idea. It was hard keeping time by laying down the hand clapper
first and THEN the guitar next.
- For Your Love (1986
demo) - I song I was writing for the band...just getting the chords
down. This actually turned out to be a nice a song in the end...wish I
had a recording of it.
- Unnamed01 (1986
demo) - Just an idea...actually about 10 ideas mashed together.
- Unnamed02 (1986
demo) - Another idea.
- Twelve (1986)
- My friend Cory and I wondered what the old Sesame Street classic would
sound like if Metallica did it.
- Rock and Roll Overkill
(1986) - This is my band recorded on the mixer. Wayne Ojala on
drums, Kevin Aho on bass and vocal, Jeff Halland (Hal Scanlon to some) on
one lead guitar and me on the other lead guitar. I remember Jeff and I
arguing over who would get to solo over which parts of the song. First time
I really used "mixdown"...a scary endeavor on a tape-based
- Sweet (1986
demo) - Another song I was developing for the band. More to come on this
one in 1988.
- May (1986) -
Probably first complete song, although it's a bit messy. I've done a few
versions of this one over the years.
Still using the Porta-One, but the ideas are firming up a bit. This is
college and beyond.
- May (1987) -
First recording with my synthesizer and drum machine. I still really like
this one, even if I overdid the drums a little bit. I believe this is also
the first recording with the 12-string. Also, the lead is recorded twice
(Randy Rhodes style!)
- Beck (1987
demo) - An idea for something
(1987) - Trying a rendition of a song my band wrote and played. Does
that sound like Bon Jovi at the beginning? Eeeek.
- Beck (1987) -
Perhaps listening to a little too much of Led Zep's "Thank You"?
- Sweet (1988) -
Another one that's a rendition of a song my band did. This is the first one
with the new drum machine I got in the summer of '88 (Yamaha RX-7)...and the
solo is dueling guitars...ooo. This is a good example of things
starting to get too muddy with all the stuff I'm adding and mixing down on
- Unnamed03 (1987
demo) - This never turned into anything.
- Jo (1989) -
Wrote this while home for Christmas vacation from college.
- Unnamed04 (1992
demo) - Noodling
- Mode (1992
demo) - Trying something heavier. The keyboard sounded weird.
- Mode (1992) -
Another version of the above without keyboard. Monotonous.
- Get Ready
(1992) - Another one that's a rendition of a song my high school band
wrote. Tempo changes!
- Run (1992
demo) - An idea I couldn't get out of my head since 1989. Good Loverboy
- Unnamed05 (1992
demo) - More noodling
- Was It Real (1992
demo) - Dinking around with a song my high school band did.
- TV Theme (1992
demo) - I don't know what this is.
- TV Theme
(1992) - The thing I don't know what it is...with guitar!
- Unnamed06 (1995
demo) - Still more noodling
Recording studio for this phase was the Sony MiniDisc 4-track record.
Tremendous improvement in sound quality, but still limited to four tracks. I'd
taken some time off from playing, but the new mixer and my new ME-8 pedalboard
got me interested again.
Recording studio for this phase is the Tascam 2488neo 24-track
(2008) - My version of the background music from some game my kids place
called "CheeseQuest". That's Luke, Jake and Kate chanting.
Message (2009) - I bought my goddaughter a guitar for her birthday in
2008. Later in 2009, it hit me that I bought a right-handed guitar for a
lefthander...which actually turns out to be a good thing (generally), but I
still felt stupid. So I wrote a song about it.
Time Is Here (2009) - My interpretation of the Guaraldi classic. Played
on the ES-335 and the Warwick fretless.
The C/ALM Web (2009) - Named after stuff at work, but inspired by seeing
The Ventures at a recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
ceremony. Instruments, in order of appearance: Boss drum machine,
Gibson SG Bass (pick), Fender Strat (main "surf" guitar), Gibson
ES-355 (chorus guitar) and the Gibson SG '61 reissue (solo guitar)
(2009) - Conceived and recorded in the week after Christmas of 2009
while I had strep throat. Finally burned to CD on January 1st, 2010.
Probably the most complete work I've done to date. What's in it:
- Two acoustic guitars (one on left and
one on right). Each recorded with a condenser mic rather than via the pickup. Much
- ES-335 (center). Using the JC-120 patch.
- Piano (Korg)
- Wurlitzer (backing the solo, from the Korg)
- Gibson SG - distorted guitar on chorus and also the guitar on the
- SG bass
- Dan (2010) - A musical tribute to
Dan Wilson's power over the audience. Music played by me, but based on a
song from Dan's college band.
- Luke (2010) - First song with the
talkbox that JoAnn got me for my birthday. Was playing around saying
funny stuff to the kids through it and it turned into this.
- Left channel: Les Paul Standard (rhythm)
- Right channel: Overdriving SG bass
- Center: SG played through Rocktron Banshee 2 Talkbox.
- L/R: Drum machine
The heart of the home studio
2007 Gibson SG bass
2007 Warwick Corvette Standard 4-string fretless bass
2007 Gretsch Jet Firebird Malcolm Young Signature Edition
2000 Alvarez AD60CK Cutaway Dreadnought 6-string acoustic/electric
2008 Gibson ES-335
2007 Gibson Les Paul Standard
2008 Gibson SG '61 reissue
1978 Gibson SG Standard (+ Roland GK-3 divided pickup)
1983 Fender Stratocaster Standard, 2nd Edition (+ Kahler tremolo
& Seymour Duncan mini-humbucker)
1986 Ovation 12-string acoustic/electric roundback