Ya know... what really got me goin' on the muzic thang wuz back when my older brother brought two albumz home one day back in the cold climez of Ottawa, Ontario. Theze were KISS Destroyer and RUSH Fly By Night. To this day, theze are probably two of my favorite albumz of all time. The picture on the back of Fly By Night, however, through me for a loop. At the tender age of five, I thought that Alex Lifeson wuz a girl. Quickly got over that one though. Shit, "Making Memories" iz still one of my favorite songz. Goez through my head at least once a day.

Other wacky recordz followed suit yearz before I even thought about picking up an instrument. Shit that I enjoy to this day, and ain't afraid to admit it, are Star Warz and other Galactic Funk (one of the goddamn great drum rekidz let me tell y'all!), and anything that Freddy Fender recorded. And then came more rock....

Van-mofo-Halen...I knew I had to play the git-tar when I heard theze guyz. Hangin' out with a group O' people at school one day az a dirty young ten year old, I mentioned that, "yeah I'm learnin' to play some git-box." Got a laugh out of the gang when one of the dudez said, "well you aint nothin if you can't play Eruption!!!" That wuz my ticket. I wuz gonna show all them cats that I could kick some ass. So I did Black Sabbath / Ozzy... man oh man, this wuz everyone from my neighborhood'z bread n' butter n' meat n' potatoez everyday, anyway kind of muzic. You weren't normal if y'all didn't listen to this magick! Randy Rhoads? How many metal guitar soloz can you listen to that make ya feel like you're gonna cry, becuz it's too good and you think that you'll never get to that point in your playing. Love the man, love the music. Rest In Peace RR.

Santana... what other man can say "muzic is the sap running down the tree, giving life to all around it", and be taken seriously? The almighty Deva-Dip Carlos Santana. My first encounter with this gem of a guitar wizard and personal hero wuz around '89 when I watched and listened to the "Soul Sacrifice" performance at Woodstock '69 during a PBS broadcast of the Festival. I'm a sixteen year old metal guitar wizard wondering, "where the heck have you been all my life, Carlos?!?!" Hearing this tune made me completely change my outlook on muzic. And I thank whatever power made that happen, cuz that's what muzic/creativity/passion/love iz all about... that one flash of time where you think there'z no place left to go and boom! you find out that, thankfully, you're wrong. Santana iz the band that turned me on to so much new stuff that, shit, I went broke buying all the muzic that he gave props to. Robert Johnson (whoa, baby!! some of the finest guitar pickin'/singin' EVER!!! PERIOD!!!) "Hellhound On My Trail" still givez me the chillz every time I listen to it. Still tryin' to convince Johnny and Donnie to do a cover of "Last Fair Deal Gone Down". Ah well, I can dream, can't I?

Miles Davis, Coltrane, Charlie Christian and all the riverz and streamz that theze guyz branched out into, I wuz soaked in some of the finest muzic I had ever found. Then along came the reggae!! I realized right then, that I needed to play some mofo bass!!! So I picked one up.

That Rastaman Vibration (you know who!!) album just floorz the hell outta me! Toots and the Maytals? 5446, Broadway Jungle, Do the Reggae, that stuff is just magical! Wow, almost forgot about Jimi and Jimmy!! I wuz 10 yearz old when I first heard "Are You Experienced?" and y'know what part to this day floorz me about that song? It's at the end of the guitar solo when it busts in to drumz, bass and all that backwardz shit going on. That right there wuz the moment (az a guitar player), that I knew at some point in the future, I had to pick up the bass!

Ya know what? The thing I love the most is that there is a million recordz out there that I have yet to tap into. I love finding some hidden nugget that just makes me wanna play and write. That, to me, iz what it's all about!
See y'all on the road!

Never give up,
Tommy Black


Copyright © 2001 Zappnin Black. All Rights Reserved.