Why Do I Do This, Anyway?

Good question. But, I think the question needs a two part answer centered on Influences and values. Let's talk about influences first.

The Legendary Buddy Holly

Good old authentic guitar driven power pop has its roots in the blues. We should probably blame Elvis Presley for moving from Country and Blues into Rock'n'Roll and making it very popular with a predominately white audience. It's probably better to say Elivs was so influential because he embodied both black and white music in the 1950's. But no one person invented it. No one person started rock 'n' roll. It was a black and white alloy of Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Ike Turner, Hank Williams, Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly - and Elvis Presley. Presley himself never claimed to have invented rock 'n' roll. But he was no doubt the king. Elvis loved music, but could not read sheet music because he learned to play by ear at an early age in the projects.


In 1955, after Buddy Holly heard Elivs, he switched from country to Rock'n'Roll the next day. Buddy's influence as a guitar driven power pop artist really started in 1956, after he released "That'll Be The Day". You can hear Elvis's influence in Buddy's vocal approach. Even though Buddy tragically died in 1959 at the age of 22, his music didn't die, as proclaimed by Don McLain's, "American Pie." Actually, Buddy's music grew. I heard Buddy's "Peggy Sue" when I was a child on my mom's portable phonograph. And I couldn't tell you what Lubbock, Texas was. (We'll talk about Elvis's influence on ZZTop and how they broke out of the blues scene some other time.)


Today though, let's just suggest guitar was the staple instrument of Rock'n'Roll, with some piano thrown in. I say that because guitars and especially electric guitars were more portable than pianos. And with amplification coming out in the 1930's, guitar caught on quickly in the roughly twenty years that electric amplifiers where invented. And that, more or less, is where my journey to add a body of work to the art form began.