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     I started playing guitar at age 7, played my first gig at age 10. I was a member of the famous Asbury Park, NJ scene, playing my first circuit gig when I was 15. My parents had to sign a permission paper with the Alcohol Beverage Commission so I could play in establishments that served alcohol.

 TD-9M    I was living in Middletown, NJ back in those days, and my neighborhood was overflowing with some pretty awesome guitarists, my age and older. Being in bands with three or more lead guitarists was out, so I decided to learn how to play slide. Inspired by the likes of Duane Allman, I grabbed an Allman Brothers album, stuck it on my parents’ turntable and slowed the speed so I could learn all the licks. Eventually I got good enough to start playing slide in bands, doubling on rhythm and lead when necessary.

     I played in bands all over Monmouth County, which borders the Raritan River on the North, the Manasquan Inlet on the South, and 3/4 of the way to the NJ border with Pennsylvania. Mostly, though, we centered around the Asbury Park area. If you want to know which bands, go to my Discography page. In 1990 the Society of Associated Performers named me Best Jersey Shore Guitarist.

     In 2001 we moved from coastal New Jersey to the remote mountains of North Carolina, about an hour and small change North of ultra cool Asheville and an hour and small change SE of Bristol, TN (Birthplace of Country Music).  I played in Asheville bands for several years, then decided to retire from clubbing, and began playing a local private festival with musicians from all over North Carolina. At first we were known as Slide Glide, a name given to us by the landowner, but after a couple of years we renamed the band Barn Owls. After ten years of that, I decided to dedicate myself to full time recording, making rare appearances at the occasional Asheville jam, where I’m usually asked to sit in all night. However, it’s a long dark ride late at night, and Suzi, who does all the driving, prefers to be awake behind the wheel. You never know when deer, coyotes, wolves, cougars, cows, goats, sheep, and many different kinds of animal life, domestic or wild, might be standing in the road on a dark stretch or around a blind curve (all have happened), so we try to get home at a reasonable hour. 

     In 1998 I was asked to play at the first National Slide Guitar Festival in Brevard, NC, and was asked back for the next several years, even entering and then winning the title of Best Electric Slide Guitarist one year when it was held in Gray, TN.  When it ceased to be a challenge in 2004, I stopped attending.

    Do I have any guitar heros? Plenty... and some of them are still alive and kicking at the Jersey Shore right now, such as “Stuie” Lee Gollin, Mario Frasca, Stan Steele Jankowski, Bruce Wacker,  Billy Hector, and a crapload more, all world class, all good people.

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Above Photo by Mary Vogel