As far as guitar goes, I started playing the day I sawEric Claptonplaying Layla on a TV show. I decided that guitar was what I was supposed to be doing. After that I learnt to play almost every song every made byThe Shadows.
Then one day a friend played me a tape of a song called “Eruption” byVan Halen. That was the day I decided that the clean channel wasn’t for me! Armed with a Vester ‘Strat’ and a Peavey Rage amp, I embarked on my “tone quest”. Unfortunately all I got was a sound like an industrial machine in a small wooden box.
Skip forward a few years of learning and I heard the album “Surfing With The Alien” byJoe Satriani. Since then I’ve been a confirmed Satch nut, learning his songs, tricks and trying to incorporate his style into my own. It’s a work in progress… Around that time I also started listening toSteve Vai,George Lynch,Vinnie MooreandYngwie Malmsteen. I went into a confused neo-classical-rock-blues phase with lots of sweep picking, which was quite enjoyable!
Reading a lot of guitar magazines lead me to the incredible technique ofPaul Gilbert. 3-note-per-string alternate picking took away much of my childhood, in a good way.
Most recently I have been immersed in the wonder that isAndy Timmons. Amazing tone and although he has head-ripping chops, he often chooses melody over flash.
I am mostly self taught, but have had some great teachers in the past. Firstly was Rangi Hadfield who taught me a lot of Shadows songs. Later I had lessons with Grant Wills. Grant was also in a Malmsteen phase when I met him, and he taught me some incredible stuff about technique. He now makes the fineG2D pedals. Currently I am just trying to find some spare time in the day to actually play the guitar!
Outside of my guitar playing, I am a nerd, a geek, whatever you’d like to call it; I live in front of a computer. I started fixing computers back in 1988, the good olde days of DOS and even Windows 1 and 3.0 a little later on. I spent a lot of time building and maintaining Windows NT4 Servers for some decent sized organisations. I now work as a Senior Systems Engineer and web designer (I know, weird mix) in Napier for Neocom
I’ve even moved on from NT4 😉 Currently I spend most of my day running Citrix environments, VMWare ESX systems, web servers (Linux and Windows 2003 or 2008) and generally fiddling and tweaking with servers. When I get a break from that, I build websites and have fun with Photoshop.