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Thread: What are your roots

  1. #71
    Member JackOnTable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    North Sydney
    My short story for inspiration.
    When I was 10 years old, I was sent to music school to study piano. I didn't like keyboard instruments right away, but strings were great. I started learning to play the guitar, and by the end of school I could play very well. But then I joined the army for 5 years and I gave up music. After I came back from the service, I got a job and got a bass guitar as a gift. It was new to me, as I had played acoustic before.
    I wouldn't say I'm very good at it, but I love the feeling the music gives me. I'm fascinated by the sound of the instrument, and I can rattle on for hours on end. Sometimes I play it for my girlfriend, she likes it
    Maybe when I have more time, I can get more into music.

  2. #72
    Member XP Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Western Utah
    I'm glad to see this thread reactivated. OK if I come from a totally different world?
    I grew up on the great old cowboy music, Sons of the Pioneers, Rex Allen, Gene Autry, etc. My parents' old 78 rpm's.
    Like Fender3X, my mother dearly wanted a piano player, but my heart was on the guitar from the start. A guy came out to our little town and taught lessons for about 3 months. He taught me basic chords, and how the fretboard works up the neck. From there, I am pretty much entirely self-taught. Listen and imitate. I never learned to read sheet music, but have a pretty good ear, and can pick up about any straight-forward stuff I can hear.
    Early 60's brought the folk crazy, Kingston Trio, Brothers Four, and I couldn't get enough. Later that decade came the British Invasion, and we saw a lot of bands in concert, including the Rolling Stones (tickets were $6 U.S. in 1966, y'all!). Still love the music from that era. The Beatles were OK, but couldn't touch the Beach Boys, I thought. I took the girl I was dating, now my wife, to Jethro Tull. She has forgiven my, but has not forgotten (I still like "em). All-time favorite is Steven Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Manassas, Crosby Stills and Nash).
    Now as a geezer, I still favor the '60s and '70s rock, real western and country (what passes for "country" music now is mindless drivel), and Texas songwriters like Guy Clark and Robert Earl Keene, modern Cowboy artists like Dave Stamey and Trinity Seely.
    I played in a band in High School, and another as a freshman in College. Always rhythm guitar. Then it was mostly campfire music for most of 50 years. I used to jam folk music with a co-worker 40 years ago, and on retirement, we got together with a drummer. Mostly just jamming, but one day John said to me, "You know, if we're going to do anything with this, we've got to have a lead guitar, and it's about got to be you." Gulp. But since then he has pushed me far beyond where I ever thought I could go, just listening to what plays in my head and working it out on the guitar. Still don't really consider myself more than about a B- grade guitarist, but I'm not embarrassed by what I do. Our band is Mustang Alley (facebook page MustangAlley302). We play mostly old rock-and-roll, but range from Soggy Bottom Boys to Iron Butterfly, Carl Perkins to Freddy Mercury. Whatever sounds like fun.
    Occasionally I also get a chance to do some Cowboy Music and Cowboy Poetry. I'm loving it all.

  3. #73
    Great thread! I didn't know it existed and really enjoyed reading everyone's stories. There's so much variety in everyone's journey to end up here on this little part of the internet.

    I am gladly feeling like a spring chicken (I just turned 40) with most of the stories starting in the 60's and 70's. Though I may have "missed rock and roll" I caught the bug listening to my mum and dad's records in the early 80s. It was The Beatles that really got me going and although a lot of my mums owned music perished when my uncle snapped her Abba records in half (not sure what he had against them but maybe I could thank him for sparing me) a few remained and I used to listen to my mum's Blondie records from a young age.

    When my parents divorced in the mid 80s my mum kept all of the Genesis albums and I think they split their Beatles collection. I remember at a very young age listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas albums. Maybe where I get my pop sensibilities from. Dad opened a lot more doors (pun intended) when we got our first CD player and he started buying albums by The Doors, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. The summer holidays where when I got the most influence from my dad as we'd often take long road trips up north. Bring on the driving albums mostly chock full of 1970s Australiana (I sang along to Skyhooks' Women in Uniform before I had any vague interest in girls).

    Things changed when dad got Sgt. Peppers on CD. I'd sit in the dark in the 'fancy lounge' listening to that album on repeat. Just lying on my back hearing things I've never heard in the 100 other listens.

    At the start of high school I found FM radio and guilty pleasures. I also discovered girls, and one in particular in the first week of Year 8 (1994) was an older woman (maybe year 10 or 11) who would draw on her folder on the bus on the way to school. What she was drawing? "NIRVANA" over and over. What did this word mean? What's this weird feeling I have never felt before? She told me about a band that would become an obsession. Imagine, discovering Kurt Cobain a month before he would die. Confusing times in more ways than one! My high school years were a diet of Nirvana, Green Day, The Offspring, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, Chili Peppers and later on Silverchair, Foo Fighters, and more Australian stuff like Grinspoon, Jebediah, The Living End, Regurgitator and You Am I. All the while my brother was WAY more angsty than me and could hear Metallica, AC/DC, Pennywise, Sepultura and Pantera blasting from his room. My poor parents.

    I got my first (real) 6-string in 1997 and started playing Beatles, Nirvana and REM tunes. I'd learn whole albums, pushing play on a CD and playing right through to the end. Things have changed (though not all that much, I'm still obsessed with the Beatles and Nirvana) since then but those were my roots. People call the 60s and 70s the golden era of rock but I can't complain about growing up in the 90s and hearing all of that first hand. I started my first band in Year 11 with my brother's friend and his brother. We played at the school talent quest that year and got disqualified for having a member who didn't attend our school (we snuck someone in wearing a borrowed school uniform). All after I gave my best screams during Silverchair's No Association. Still got the girls interested though.

  4. #74
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Woonona by the sea
    Cool stories guys, thanks for giving us a window into your music.

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    West of Brisbane
    My story..

    The Beginnings:
    I started playing at the age of 14 after begging my parents to order me a Satellite Strat copy from the Kays Club book (a kind of mail order, pay by instalment thing that was common in Ireland in the 70's). When it arrived I was a little disappointed as it was only 3/4 size. But it was still and electric guitar!
    I had previously heard a school friend play electric guitar with a fuzzbox pedal and couldn't believe he wasn't tricking me and just had a radio in his amp. He showed me how to play a D chord and I occasionally walked the 45min to his house to ask him to tune my guitar and watch him play with his family band.
    From the D chord lesson and watching him I was soon playing by ear and learning (incorrectly - but my way) how to play the Status Quo Gold Bars Album. (It was the only 'rock' music at home at the time). I played though our home HiFi as an amp and that worked fine for my skill level.
    To the annoyance of my family I never put the guitar down and played with every advert on TV and any soundtrack in the movie we were watching. They never complained.. to be honest. But I was aware that playing unplugged got me less glances

    Two Years later:
    I now had a small 10w practice amp, one of those terrible ones with inbuilt tremolo, an Ibanez fuzz pedal and ElectroLabs Phaser. My guitar was still the Satellite and I had just heard Van Halen Eruption! That started me on the Heavy Rock path, but I also had a passion for classical guitar pieces, although I couldn't really play them, I just did my simplified version of pieces by Segovia and even organ classics like Bach Toccata in Dm.. but my real passion was rock music. I was most influenced by Tom Sholtz and the first two Boston Albums which I learned by ear.

    5 Years Later.
    My family had moved to South Africa, I contributed as a sound engineer for heavy metal band Tyrant, joined a metal band called Exocet but I didn't settle and so with only 250 GBP in my pocket I had returned on my own to Ireland.
    I brought with me an Ibanez Rocket Roll MKII V that my Dad had bought for me in SA. One day after arriving back in Ireland I went to the music shop and bought a souped up Marshall Plexi 100watt head and 4x12 Marshall Cab. They were very 'used' and cost 200 GBP.
    My Plexi was sooo loud that at even Vol level 2 it was louder that a JCM800 50watt head on full. I played in a metal band called Sidewinder and we proudly insisted on being the loudest Metal band around. At this stage I was influenced a lot by Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Loudness, Ozzy etc. Together with a bassist I later started a Hard Rock band called So What! and we played up and down the country and were quite successful, signing tracks to Now TV for their extreme sports videos and reaching number 2 in the chart and staying there for 8wks. etc.

    40 years since getting my first guitar and I now currently have 14 guitars, a full wall of Marshalls, my own studio and play every day. Im currently playing in original band MR THUD in Australia (we have released a couple of albums and an EP, but are not a success unless you count personal satisfaction.. and thankfully we do) Im also in process of kicking off a new tribute show covering early Van Halen (Roth), Thin Lizzy and Ozzy (Jake E Lee and Rhoads era). I still love the music of early Boston, but have to say I have been most influenced by White Lions Vitto Bratta and Van Halen and the late great Gary Moore during his Victims of the Future era.

    Well that's my story so far..

  6. Liked by: dave.king1

  7. #76
    My story isn't all that complex. As a kid I was into the Beatles. When I got older it just wasn't doing it for me...but Suzi Quatro was....but it just wasn't enough ... and I discovered ACDC. I dug it, but still not quite what I was looking for. Towards the end of high school a scoolmate gave me a mix tape. On it was some Queen, some ACDC, some Sex Pistols, a little Iron Maiden and Mettalica. I dug it all, but my happy place was with Metallica. Later I discoverd Anthrax and Mortal Sin. Just didn't dig Slayer or Megadeath. I had tried to learn guitar, but due to an injury to my wrist when I was a kid (I jumped out of a tree)., couldn't contort my wrist to play chords. I picked up a bass and found comfort in the instrument. I turned my back on Mettalica after napster, and only just recently re-connected thanx to the research I had been doing on Cliff. I no longer have the urge to throw a brick through the screen any time I see Lars Ulrich show up....well mostly anyways.I guess doing research for some of these builds has kinda opened me up to music I hadn't realy paid too much attention to... I knew should but didn't. Well that's about it .

  8. Liked by: dave.king1

  9. #77
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Wollongong, NSW
    Growing up as a PK (Pastor's kid) & youngest of 4 boys, music has always been in my family. Mum was quite accomplished on piano and organ & Dad had a beautiful tenor voice. They were quite the inspiration. Mum even went onto to teaching piano and organ, & in her 60s & 70s learned pipe organ on the Wollongong Town Hall organ under the tutelage of Robert Ampt who was principal organist (or some title like that) of the Sydney Opera House organ at the time. She gained much enjoyment into her 80s on the roster of pipe organists around various cathedrals around Wollongong. When I was in primary school, Mum organised piano lessons for all 4 of us & I continued those until after we moved in 4th Grade, having progressed as far as 3rd Grade on Piano. Taught me enough about reading music & the basics of sight reading, which I've always appreciated. Church music over the years has meant choirs, musicals (both as performer & later in the pit) & many years of playing bass in various worship teams.

    There's a big hole in my musical influences after the early 80's, since I was married @ 20 in '82 & kids (x3) began when we were both 21. Prior to that I guess Countdown through the 70s formed a secular foundation. The biggest influence was from the early Jesus music era with the likes of Barry McGuire, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Chuck Girard, Phil Keaggy & Keith Green. It was when my group of high school friends discovered Keith Green, & one of our crew was a wiz on piano & keyboard, that my previous dabbling on acoustic guitar gravitated towards bass because inspired keyboard musicianship & music was also driven by bass lines that just couldn't be overlooked. I stuck my hand up & got my first bass guitar, an Aria solid bodied violin bass that a mutual school friend was trying to offload. That was in '77 & it's been bass ever since. There were a couple gospel oriented bands, one in high school already mentioned, Cornerstone, & then I joined my brother Vic's band after high school & they rebranded with the name Homebrew. When marriage &, soon after, family arrived my regular gigging days were over by end of '82. It's just been church worship teams since with the occasional helping out friends with their own album releases & adhoc concerts here & there over the years. Work in IT has also meant a couple of overseas contract stints (in US), '94-95 in Dallas, TX, & '14-15 in Dubuque IA. On each of these occasions I've been blessed to be welcomed into the local church worship team & do what I love best - glorifying God with the gifts he's given me & playing a part literally in leading others into His presence. Lockdown has brought about the longest hiatus from regular music I've known, & thankfully now that has afforded some time to explore the mysterious world of luthiery as I begin to work through my HB-4 Hobbit Bass build :-)

    A timeline:
    1968 Ukelele in 1st Grade, Warialda NSW
    1969 Piano lessons begin
    1970 1st acoustic guitar
    1972 Piano lessons end (3rd grade ACMS), Laurieton NSW
    1977 1st bass, Aria solid body violin bass, joined Cornerstone Corrimal High, Wollongong NSW
    1980 Ibanez Musician, joined Homebrew
    1980-82 besides a few gigs around Illawarra & southern Sydney, Homebrew got involved with prison ministry Broken Chains & performed numerous concerts inside gaols from min to max security, including Berrima, Silverwater, Norma Parker, Long Bay, Goulburn, Parramatta
    2003 Ashton AB-1505 5-string became my goto instrument. I love playing it detuned A-D-G-C-F
    2014 Godin A5 Ultra SA purchased while we were in Iowa for couple of years. Got it defretted & since then I rarely touch the Ashton 5. I love fretless!
    2016 Built fEARful 15/6/1-tube bass cab with True3way x-over. Awesome FRFR cab, I chose the 'tube profile over the standard simply because I'd like to one day also build a 12/6/1 which can be stacked (sideways) on top for an ultimately over-the-top combination to use in every possible situation: 12/6/1, or 15/6/1, or both. I'll most likely never even drive the 15 to its limits, but who doesn't dream of the ultimate rig!
    2022 8mths after my 60th b'day received HB-4 kit as 60th birthday gift from my brothers. Currently working slowly towards completing the Hobbit Bass (isn't that what HB stands for?)!

    Last edited by bassdude; 23-06-2022 at 07:04 AM.

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