Archive for the ‘Randy Rhoads’ Category

I didn’t know that I wanted to play the guitar until one was literally placed into my hands.  When my older brother Todd decided to learn how to play the drums, the rules of brotherhood decree that I too must learn a musical instrument.  That image of our father walking through the front door with a snare drum in one hand and an acoustic guitar in the other is forever etched in my memory.  However, simply handing the instrument to me at eight years of age wasn’t enough to set me on a life-long path.  The desire, dedication, and determination had to have been prevalent.  When I first placed my left hand on the fret-board and held the pick in my right hand, I knew that playing the guitar was something I would do for the rest of my life.  Unfortunately, there were a few people who felt the contrary.

One guitar teacher after another professed to my parents that they were wasting their money.  They were convinced that I didn’t have the ability to play the guitar and therefore refused to continue trying to teach me.  The problem was, not one teacher bothered to ask if I was right-handed or left-handed.  I am a lefty who was given a right-handed instrument.  Innocently, I had no knowledge of the fact that lefties played the guitar “backwards.”  Subsequently, I took the guitar upstairs to my bedroom and taught myself how to play.  In the process, unbeknownst to me at the time, I became ambidextrous as well.  Necessity truly is the mother of all invention.

Early idols of mine were Styx’ Tommy Shaw and Rush’ Alex Lifeson.  Edward Van Halen’s emergence had a similar impact on me as he had on many guitarists.  His style, which incorporated finger tapping, forever changed the way the instrument would be played.  Soon thereafter, another guitar player gained recognition for his classical-rock based style.  Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist, Randy Rhoads changed my life.  Although I loved Randy’s playing, I was equally inspired by his devotion to the instrument.  He was always striving to improve and I loved that about him. (more…)