Ok, at this point Mike and I had nice guitars and amps. Therefore, we need to start a band. Right?
Well, we did.
Somehow my friend Mike DeLaFleur ended up with a bass - I really don't remember how that came about. I think our first drummer was Kevin Dehaven who went to the church I did and was friends with Mike D.
...this is where the flashback visual effect goes...
Wait. I just remembered. Before I had my own electric, I played Al's electric guitar at the end of year party/celebration for 7th grade. Of course I didn't really know any songs at this point so it was not good.
So this first band formed when I was about in the 8th grade I believe. We learned the usual garage band tunes - Purple Haze, My Generation, etc. I remember having much fun.
One day, Al Quinlan brought over Al DiMeola's Elegant Gypsy album. Holy crap! How was somebody supposed to play that stuff? No f**kin' way! That was my first taste of so-called fusion. Al DiMeola's music and guitar playing was beyond anything I'd heard to that point. It was this amazing blend of styles. It had the fire of rock with the rhythmic and harmonic sensibilities of jazz and latin music. This remains one of my favorite albums of all time.
Once I started high school I found out that another kid on the block played guitar. I met Brian Causey at the bus stop. As it turns out he was in a band called Mobius. Through Brian I met Donald Davis (drums), Pat Beltran (bass/vocals), and Phil Hurd (guitar). Phil was amazing. That guy got into playing more than anyone I had met. And he could play!
Phil was a total Rolling Stones nut. It didn't take me long to become one as well. The turning point was hearing the live version of "Sympathy for the Devil" on "Get Yer Ya-ya's Out". The guitar on that was magic. Keith Richards was brilliant on that and Mick Taylor's playing was lyrical, challenging, and absolutely beautiful. I hung around Phil and co. as much as I could. I learned a lot of Stones tunes too. Needless to say the band with the two Mike's played a lot of Stones tunes :)
During this period I was exposed to a lot of music. Phil got me into Hendrix, The Beattles, Cream, Chuck Berry, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and so much more. Yep, I was going backwards through rock music history - this was 1979/80 after all and most of these folks made their mark in the 60's. This was a great time for me. I really opened my eyes to a lot of stuff and began exploring ways to play this stuff myself. Phil taught me a lot of stuff which helped a lot. I definitely credit him with a lot of my early development as a player.
All this typing and I'm still not in the 10th grade yet. I guess that will be next.