Hey guys, Neal here. Here’s my overview of The L.A. Amp Show last weekend.
I met with JP Cervoni, he had our Rockready Volo on display. I tried out the amps he was using there, Mezzabarba (big Italian name) and they rock, def a big rock tone. I got to play a ’61 Strat that Jeff Beck wanted to buy for $70k but was turned down (so they say).
I ran into Larry Mitchell there too and introduced myself, took some picks, super nice and cool dude.
Something The L.A. Amp Show did new this year is that Guitar Center rented out all 3 banquet rooms and basically made a mini GC with high end boutique amps and some vintage guitars on hand. The stage was loaded with Freidman Amps.
Robbie Kreiger jammed on Sunday – Love Me Two Times and Riders on the Storm – with a full band in the GC room. They gave away a Kemper Amp (they’re around $2k) and everybody wanted one, the funny thing is the winning name drawn was Bob Bradshaw (rack systems) but he wasn’t in the room so he didn’t win. Everybody was like “awww, c’mon!!” Everytime they drew a new name everyone shouted “he’s not here!”
1) Tell us about your musical background?
I am self taught on guitar. Although I sometimes say community taught. I used to hang out with some great guitar players and all around musicians. I understand music theory well. Reading charts , not so well. :0). I grew up in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway Queens. Steve Stevens from Billy Idol’s band grew up in the Rockaways as well. He was the local rock hero and left a lasting impression on me. So was Jeff Thall from Bryan Ferry. In high school years I got in to Prince, Nile Rogers, and a few other great guitar players. I didn’t start thinking about tones until I played in a rock trio cover band called Currier. We did Rush and The Police songs. I had two big pedalboards to cover the wide variety of tones and special effects. Magic times for me when look back on it.
2) What are you working on now?
I produce other artists. Earlier this year I produced country gospel artist Jeanette Clarke new singles and singer songwriter Cynthia Becker’s 6 song soon to be release. But just now I’m wrapping up 5 songs I did for singer songwriter Randi Driscoll. I’ve done 3 other records and a few singles with Randi before. She’s great and I love working with her. Also I’m tracking Guitars for a new band project I’m in that I’m really excited about. It has Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy and Stewart Copeland from The Police in it. We tracked some stuff back in March and I’m adding to that now. Other than that I’m enjoying my time off the road but also gearing up to get back on the road with my trio And head across the USA ;0)
3) What is the role of education in music?
Education is extremely Important. There’s so many things involved. It’s good to learn not only how to play but finances, business, web design and marketing are almost as important as scales and chord clusters. But learn the scales and cord clusters first. Keeping music on any level in schools is a big thing with me. I sometimes work with a org called “Guitars in the Classroom” please google them and see if you can help join or contribute in any way.
4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’?
It’s a great time and a hard time to be in music right now. Technology is moving so fast. It’s amazing. The possibilities are staggering. Figuring out how to make a living and stand out in this time period can be intimidating. But it’s great that you can write a song and multitrack record it on your tablet and video that on your smart phone. Master it on your laptop and up load it to the iTunes Store and YouTube, all in a day. But then how do you get people to listen and view it. And then to …… Pay for it (buy it)?
5) Why do you use or what do you like about the MxD pedal?
I love pedals I have quite a few still. It’s great to have a pedal that I can plug right into a small Fender-ish type amp and at the click of a button go from that Fender clean to a full on Plexi style tone. It excels at getting that narly British crunch out if a small clean amp. Works pretty great with a plexi as well.