In chronological order...


Johnny Cash. For me, it all starts here - thereís a good chance I wouldnít be a guitarist if not for him. Special nod to Luther Perkins - Iíve long said that Iím not chasing any one tone, but Lutherís tone is one that Iíve always wanted to get. Not to be my one and only, but just to be able to do it.



Ace Frehley. My entry into hard rock. Say what you will about the merch and stuff, but I was a big Kiss fan from about 1978 until Gene and Paul finally wore me down trashing their past. I saw his solo tour about a year and a half ago, and he was playing Kiss songs that Kiss wonít play, including a couple they added after he and Peter left - and quickly dropped.



Randy Rhoads. Yeah, I know - Eddie Van Halen. But Eddie struck me as one of those guys you just couldnít emulate. When Randy came along, I realized you could take some of Eddieís stuff and use it differently. Probably the guy I tried hardest to emulate. I mean, I worked on a lot of Aceís stuff, but I really wanted to be able to play like Randy.





Frank Zappa. Wow - what an eye-opener. When Frankís stuff finally kicked in for me, it opened up a whole new world. Very much overlooked as a guitarist because of the humor he brought. Among others, he led me to Steve Vai and...





Mike Keneally. Possibly the best musician Iíve ever met in my life. One of those guys you watch and think is there anything he canít do? First exposed to him in Zappaís 1988 band, lost touch with his stuff in the mid-90s, and have been solidly back in touch since about 2000. Zappa to Vai to solo to Dethklok - and plays keyboards for Satriani and occasionally Chickenfoot. Iíve seen and heard him do things that just make me shake my head. The only celebrity-owned guitar I ever bought - a Hamer Duo-Tone that I finally found video of him using (not in this clip).




To be continued...