Great words of advice from John Mellencamp’s song “Play Guitar.” That’s just what I did….
It can be said that my life was saved by Rock & Roll. Indeed, if it had not been for the great
American invention of R&R I wouldn't have been what I am now. Done the things Ive done, meet
the people Ive met and seen some of the greatest rock artist in the world. My social status
improved greatly as well. From a kid in the 50’s with no Father and a Mother with a drinking
issue music was my way out and up. I had nothing, worked for every penny but a guitar and rock
and roll set me apart. I could do what others only said they could do. This is a short Bio of me… I
own the domain name so why not?
Left and above; 17, 1957. First
real solid body electric guitar.
Beautiful Magnatone. Mahogany
body, one piece design with a
small Magnatone amp.
Sold the Magnatone because of a neck
warping issue that couldn’t be resolved
while in Germany and purchased a beautiful
Framus Hollywood solid body. Sounded like
a Strat but felt like a Les Paul. Red with a
gold sunburst. Used it with ny band the
Klicks. This was my Buddy Holly era.
Left, first of four Fender Strats that I’ve
owned. This one a 56 with a maple neck.
Played it the first year with the Twiliters.
Second Strat, 1962 with
rosewood neck. Had a heavy
sound. I painted it myself. Used
this one for recording Rollerland,
Shakin all over, Move it and the
Girl from Liverpool.
The one guitar I wished I had kept all these
years. A beautiful Rickenbacker 360 six
string. Blond finish. Remarkable action.
Various sounds. Completely different from
a Strat but not as challenging as a Les Paul.
This was my last guitar I played with the
Twiliters. When we lost our bass player to
Viet Nam service, there were no bass
players of equal expertise that we could
find. So I switched to bass. By that time the
band had become a trio. I heard later that
the kid who had purchased the 360 from
the music store that I had traded it in had
dropped it and broke the neck. It couldn’t be
reliably repaired so it was scrapped. Broke
My first foray as a bass player was a joke. I bought a
Danelectro Long Horn Bass because it was neat looking and
apparently easy to play. Tried it one night; No bottom. The
small strings even with two Bassman Amps provided no balls
whatsoever. Gave it back to the store and borrowed a Fender
Jazz bass that belonged to our manager Peter Guibord. It was
the same on that had been used all along since the beginning
of the Twiliters. I liked it and it did give the band a lot of bottom
so I bought it from him. Also purchased a Fender Showman
Amp with two Lansing D140 speakers. Later I bought a white
pick guard for the Jazz bass. Before I sold it for my EB3 I had it
stripped to bare wood and finished. It was beautiful.
The Jazz Bass is and always has been a great instrument.
Back in the late 60’s I saw the Grateful Dead perform on the back of a flatbed truck at the Dorval Shopping center in Quebec. Except for their starting
number “Dancing in the streets” I wasn’t all that impressed except for Phil Lesh, the bass player. He had a Gibson EB3 that had been modified. The small
bridge pick-up had been replaced by a clone of the massive humbucker at the neck and the selector switch had been replaced by a toggle switch. It had
a huge sound with lots of string action. The way he played made it stand out even more. Back in Plattsburgh Nelsons music center had just received a
new dark red EB3 so I traded in the jazz bass, ask my old friend Bruce Danville to modify it just like Phil Lesh’s bass. Through a Traynor YB3 500 watt amp
and two Showman enclosures with for Lansing D140 speakers, this thing roared. When I retired from touring I sold it to one of our road managers Ray
Bushey who used it for several years. One day while in a music store in Albany, NY I found it. It had been stripped of all its paint and varnish but it was in-
tack and playable. They wanted a fortune for it so I said goodbye to it again for the last time.
Guitars I have known and Loved...
Who the Hell is Uncle Bill?
“You got your eyes on a
cheer leading queen and you’
re walking her home from
You know that she’s only 17
and she’d going to make you
Now you know you can’t
touch that stuff without
money or a brand new car.
Let me give you some advice
learn how to play guitar”…..