I Love Dweezil Zappa

I started listening to Frank Zappa when I was 14 or 15, maybe even younger. My sister’s husband Dave was a massive Zappa head and had all his albums. Anytime I’d visit Lynda, I’d grab some headphones, some Zappa albums, and get to it. I found the album covers, lyrics, and music wacky and awesome. I knew about Steve Vai from Zappa, probably the stunt guitar off You Are What You Is.

I’m 9 months older than The Dweez, but I didn’t really know about him until I was 13 or so, when Dr Demento played Dweezil’s song “My Mom’s a Space Cadet” on his radio show. I heard Dweez’s solo and I was amazed and jealous, ha ha. “That fucker!” I thought. “He’s probably being taught by EVH and Vai and whoever else pops around Dad’s house!” I wanted Frank to be my dad!

Check out the solo. Massive Vai and VH influences. I was nowhere near that and just in awe a kid my age was busting that shit out.

So a few years back I heard Dweezil was putting together ZPZ, and I gotta be honest, I thought he was going to fuck that right into the ground. My brother in law bought me the DVD for Xmas, and we watched it then and there. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. And when I heard Dweezil soloing, I damn near shat myself. WOW!! That motherfucker went back to the woodshed and sorted himself out. Like, hardcore. That takes serous dedication and time. Lots of time.


Buy this DVD now, and thank me later. With beer. If you don’t like it, then you’re a psychopath. 

I know who I like more

There’s only TWO guys I have heard vastly improve throughout their career (most get that first royalty check and go the opposite way – I won’t name names, I don’t have to – use your fuckin’ ears), but Greg Howe and Dweezil are great examples of continuing to improve..

The day before I got married, I went with four friends to ZPZ at The Art Centre in Melbourne, Australia in 2007. We had great seats. I think Ray White was guest vocalist. Anyways, they were going to write a song on the spot and asked if anyone had a title for it. I stood up and yelled, “I’m getting married tomorrow!” Dweezil asked if that were in fact, true, and I confirmed that indeed it was. We had a nice little chat in front of everybody. They did a 12 bar thing that was just awesome. Sooo fucking cool.

I’ll stop now, but Dweezil? You are a fucking gun, man. A serious bad ass musician and guitarist. You went from full on EVH rip off with hints of Vai to a serious calibre guitarist up there with the likes of Howe and Garsed, for sure. Frank would be beyond proud. Thanks for doing the ZPZ as well. I’d love to come to a ZPZ camp, we’ll see how we go. Shit ain’t cheap, ha ha. But yes, I love telling other guitarists that you’re a bad ass and vastly underrated, which is a fucking travesty.

But yeah, I love you lots.


I love Testament

Let’s see. It was probably ’88 or ’89 when I heard The New Order.

I had a friend in high school named Shawn Washabaugh. He was amazing. He would buy every single release from cock rock to thrash, jazz to experimental. And this was pre Internet and a lot of times, you’d go to Tower Records on the weekend and buy cassettes or CD’s. Shawn had it all, and he’d crank it in his car, and we’d love it. In South San Jose, we were the metalhead kids. Massive metal clique. Parties, friends, everything and everyone loved metal.

Back to Testament. Finally, a thrash band with a MAD lead guitarist! And no disrespect to the Exodus guys or the Forbidden guys (Twisted Into Form hadn’t come out yet). Usually you get a band with great rhythms and shit leads, or vice versa. What I really wanted was George Lynch in Anthrax. What I got was Alex Skolnick in Testament, and I was totally cool with that.


I love about 80% of the album. Eerie Inhabitants has that mad ass arpeggiated thing that is (for me), still mind blowing. The chorused clean tone was fucking mesmerising. Totally dug it. Sounded like bridge pick up straight a lovely Roland Jazz Chorus. I enjoyed the cleans as much as the dirties.

Sinister Sam used to play The New Order title track with our then drummer, Dave Shuster. I think he drums for Ed to Shred now.

I saw TNO tour at The Omni in Oakland. Primus were supporting. I was more interested in talking to two girls than watching the band. But I was smart enough to excuse myself for the mad bit in The New Order. Girls were pretty important to a 19 year old guy. Both are now Facebook friends whom I haven’t seen in 20 plus years.

I’ve spoken to Alex Skolnick at a Lääz Rockit show at The Stone in San Francisco 200 years ago. He wouldn’t remember me or my dumb ass questions if he wanted to. All the thrash metal royalty at the time were easily approachable at gigs, and pretty happy to chat.

Am I rambling? I feel like I am. Anyways, I’ll stop. I will say that out of the Testament catalog that TNO was my favourite album, and when Testament were out here for Soundwave, I had the privilege of chatting with Chuck Billy.

I love Andy Larocque

And King Diamond, for that matter.

Watch the above clip, I pretty much tell the story about KD and Andy after my two solo.

Fave albums: Abigail, Them.


Some people can’t handle King’s falsetto vocals. I happen to think it’s perfect for the music. I seriously suggest you check out the album Abigail and give it a proper listen. If you can’t hang, then KD is definitely not for you. I’m still kicking myself for not checking out Abigail in ’87. Better late than never.

I’m into anything scary, be it ghosts, music, movies, whatever. I love it. I’m a tad macabre.


“Is that so, Douglas?!”

I dig Andy’s playing. the solos he did on Death’s Individual Thought Patterns was MAD ASS. His vibrato is sooooo nice. His harmony solos are outta this world. I just love the guy. And you should too. And if you don’t, you’re an idiot. For reals. You can’t fault that dude.


“I have to agree.”

Full album

I Love George Lynch

Great news!! I’m doing Lynch videos for the best George Lynch Fansite


In guitarland, I have a Big Four. These are Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker. This is how I got to know George. 


 Again, it was early 80’s San Jose rock radio that got me onto George Lynch. The station was playing stuff off that first Dokken album: Paris is Burning, Breaking The Chains, and Live to Rock. When I heard Paris is Burning, I was like, “Ahhh, shit, my precious Eddie!!” I thought that any time I heard a mad solo by anyone other than Eddie on the radio.


So I bought that first Dokken album. I think at least half the songs on there were pretty average, but George’s solos made them a little more palatable. For me, anways. It’s funny, on the back sleeve of that album, it shows all the band members. George is so tan I thought he was African American until Tooth N Nail came out.


There was something I liked more about George than I did Eddie, and I couldn’t really put my finger on it ‘til Tooth N Nail came out. By this time I was 16 or 17, and I was starting to get pretty serious about heavy music and guitar. I started figuring out the songs on that album, and then it hit me.

What separates George from Eddie (and everybody else) was finger vibrato (Ed’s vibrato is pretty tough, it’s just that George’s was a tad tougher). In my brain, Lynch vibrato was the key. A wide, slow deliberate massaging of the string. Consistent everywhere on the neck.  That is the key, man. Fast playing, slow playing, it didn’t matter. When you hit a note and apply Lynch vibrato, it screams, “I meant this!!” Even if you’re out of key but apply Lynch vibrato, it tells the listener that all that wacky shit was deliberate. It is the perfect punctuation to a whisper or a scream. And he was the first guy I ever heard apply vibrato to power chords, how rad is that?


From that day forward, I started applying Lynch vibrato to my style. Even now if I have a shit night playing live, I always go, “At least my vibrato rocked!” And that saves me from beating myself up. Cuz that ain’t gonna help.

At age 18, I remember thinking, “Well, now that I’ve found the definitive Metal finger vibrato, I guess everyone will catch on and follow suit.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s fairly apparent in the early 80’s as it is now; no one really gives a fuck about vibrato. How is that? Why is that?  It’s an easy technique to correct, and it falls under the ‘feel’ category. The judgmental asshole blues pricks will cut you a bit of slack. Everybody has a guitar pet peeve, and mine is vibrato. Friends know I can be harsh with this, and that’s why I get so down on Kirk Hammet at times. And trust me, I love Metallica’s early work. Ride the Lightning is thee shit! So is Master….

And I know a lot of people think I’m right into EVH, and I am, but really only the first four albums. I was more into George, actually. I thought he was a bit more aggressive. And while Eddie was doing Jump, George was guest soloing on a Tony MacAlpine album. And trying to become better. I think Ed was just coasting.


“Bitch, I got your coasting..”

The last Dokken album I bought was Back for the Attack. I do have Lynch Mob Wicked Sensation. And as you may or may not know, by the age of 20 I started moving from Cock Rock to Thrash.

George, I love you man. You fucking fixed my vibrato, and I told you this every time I saw you at NAMM. As a tenth grader, I even had the half and half bleach dye job as well. I got teased at school, but fuck those clowns. My dad hated it, and fuck him, too. Ha ha.


Dokken gigs I’ve seen that I remember: 87 with Loverboy at Marriott’s Great America, and ’89 supporting Aerosmith. Oh, and a Day on the Green, with Metallica, and Van Hagar were headlining. My friends and I were walking to the car as “There’s Only One Way to Rock” was playing.

George, do me a favor; fuck off the single coil strats, the shitty phaser pedal you’re now using, and burn the fucking black fingerless gloves. Play for an hour a day and show every mutherfucker you mean business!

Ah! It won’t happen, I’ve been told:

I do love you though. I’ll always have a soft spot for you. And EVH. And Gilbert. And Becker. You four, baby. You four.

Another vibrato rant can be found HERE

I love Vio-Lence A LOT

Especially Oppressing The Masses, which was brutal as all fuck.

My personal faves are all but the last two songs. Even then I listen to all of it. The first five songs in album order are THEE SHIT.


In 1991 I was 22 and a fairly angry young man. I was getting into Thrash Metal and living in San Jose, California. South Bay. By this stage my friends and I were going to Forbidden gigs regularly at The Omni and The Stone, and seeing as many Thrash bands as our wallets would permit. We had the clothes too; metal shirt, tight black pants, leather jacket, and cons.

I forget how I even heard of Vio-Lence, probably the other guitarist in Sinister Sam  (Scot Miller). He had both Eternal Nightmare and OTM. But I heard OTM and fell in love pretty instantly. Mad fast chugging rhythms, two good lead players, a scary looking vocalist (which is what you want if you’re playing metal), a cool/solid bass player, and last but certainly not least, a fucking MAD drummer. I really enjoy Perry Strickland’s drumming on OTM. I used to air drum to that shit all the time, especially in the car where I probably looked like a total asshole freak.

Sinister Sam played the Cactus Club probably every three weeks. We never really played anywhere else. We were fortunate enough to support both Forbidden and Vio-Lence. The night we supported Vio-Lence we were there for soundcheck, and Perry wasn’t in the building. Sean Killian (vocals) goes, “We need to get soundchecked, I can’t find Perry, anyone play drums?” I go, “Yeah, let’s do World in a World.” Now, I’m a good shit drummer, if you know what I mean. I don’t have a kit, it takes me 30 minutes to even sound remotely decent, and here I was, about to get up onstage and play World in  World with my favorite Thrash band!! I knew we wouldn’t get past the first few measures, so I was pretty safe. Robb or Phil goes, “Ummm, I don’t think it’s a good good idea for you to get on the kit, Perry will Pummel you..” Of course I heeded those words and it probably saved my eye from becoming black and swollen.

Anyways, Sam played well, and Vio-Lence killed it. I bought one of their shirts and wore the fuck out of it. I got to ask Sean exactly how many people were used on their gang vocals, which I absolutely LOVED. He said 18, 9 people twice. Phil Demmel was quite a nice character and we’d chat with him a bit when we saw him at other venues.  I had 3 tapes (eventually CD’s) in my car: Vio-Lence OTM, Forbidden Twisted Into Form, and Pantera VDOP. I blasted those incessantly for three years straight. Metal Heaven! Goddamn I felt so TOUGH, ha ha ha!

Sinister Sam shows opened with us playing a song of another great band, then morphing it into one of our originals. We did that with Dio, Exodus, Theme from Halloween on Halloween, Mr. Bungle, Nirvana. We also did Vio-Lence I Profit. Here’s a rehearsal of us at the now defunct Rock Gardens in San Jose doing just that:

And on Sam’s second demo (which was recorded at Prairie Sun Studios), we put a TINY little bit of Officer Nice into one of our songs, at :34.

Vio-Lence? You are perfect music for an angry young man, and now an angry older man. I loved the songs and the live shows. Even the shirt. And the vids. I just saw the documentary on YouTube and I even love that. Especially the part when Robb said he wanted the guitars to sound like SOD. I even wrote you guys a letter as a 22 year old telling you how fuckin’ rad you guys are. Thanks for the music!!


I love Mykki Blanco

So, while I was visiting friends in San Jose, California, my wife was posting (on my Facebook wall) a music video a day until I got back. She posted a Mykki Blanco video (Wavvy), and at first, I didn’t think much of it. Until I got back and watched a few more MB vids. And then I fell in love with the music, the words, and the videos.

You see, Mykki Blanco is a gay rapper who sometimes wears women’s clothing.

Here, you check it out.


Mykki’s YouTube channel HERE

A week after I got back from the US, Alex tells me that MB is playing at the Hi Fi Bar in Melbourne. And what a ko-wink-a -dink, a friend of mine is doing sound and can get us in.

In a nutshell, the show was brilliant. The BASS was fucking HUGE. It was so bassy Alex got scared and grabbed my arm, ha ha. I fell in love with bass that night. I felt that shit move my chest. Mykki started out as a female (skirt, wig, not shirt), and halfway through, ended up male (jean cut offs, no shirt). Brilliant show. Went into the crowd more than once, had the crowd come up onstage, and then after the show, stayed in the crowd, declared the rest of the night “the afterparty”, and danced to the DJ music. Loved it.


The only pic I took of the whole night. He got all the people up onstage so he could go down in the crowd and perform there. Brilliant move. One of the best shows I have seen in a long ass time. REAL GOOD. See the cracker in the black shirt crouching on the right? That’s my buddy. 


Disclaimer: Gays do not offend me, but being a cunty asshsole does. And hipsters. It’s none of my business who does what in the privacy of their bedroom. Fuck furniture for all I care. I have gay friends and one gay sibling, it’s all good in the hood.

I love Anthrax


Let’s see here: mid June of 1987. I was graduating from Silver Creek High School in eastside San Jose, California in a few days. MY gf’s brother’s friend had Among the Living on casssette and we were hanging out in someone’s garage and someone popped in the tape. I heard the title track and blew my fuckin’ top, pretty much. I had never heard songs nor double bass drumming played at that speed before. The guitar was heavy and muted, the singer actually sang, and they were kinda silly dudes. I loved that. They’re from New York? RAD!!

During my graduation ceremony where you walk across the stage, I did my “walkin’ dude” strut. My dad was less than impressed. Killjoy.

At this point in time, Van Halen had disappointed me with 5150 and I was dying for a new favorite band. I was always in search of something heavier, but with a GOOD LEAD GUITARIST. Sometimes you settle for good leads, shit songs, or vice versa. Then, at some stage, you just end up liking the whole thing for what it is. But I always wanted to hear Paul Gilbert and Guthrie solo in Meshuggah. I went from Van Halen, AC/DC, Scorpions, Dokken, to Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeath, Testament, Exodus, etc. Anthrax is a good gateway Thrash band to get into. And I thank them for introducing me to a cool new musical direction (as well as making my picking hand tight as all hell!)

Muted power chords and serious downstrokes would become an integral part of my life thanks to Scott and Danny. Shit, that reminds me, I NEED an Among the Living shirt! Ratt first. Soo many good tracks on ATL. I like them all!!

Why I love Anthrax: Among the Living, first and foremost. My God I could not get enough of that album. And I really like Dan Spitz’s leadwork. He had chops and cool ideas. I love that guy!

I even saw the Among the Living tour, Anthrax and KISS played in SF. We spoke to Scott and Charlie out the back of the venue near their tour bus before the gig. I asked Scott, “How’s the wife?” as I recently found out that he got married. What I didn’t know was that the marriage was going to shit, so when he looked at me and answered “fine” through gritted teeth, I had no idea. I was 19 for fuck’s sake! Anthrax went on first and rushed the songs (I didn’t even know that was possible), and they killed it. Then KISS came on and we left after 4 songs, ha ha ha!!

Gene87.5Bitch please.

I also ADORED SOD Speak English or Die, although it took me awhile to get into it. But once I did, I would have no qualms playing Freddy Kruger in my friend Shaun’s car at peak volume with the windows rolled down. This was a weekend ritual for months. And if it wasn’t the car, it was blasted at the Round Table Pizza joint we all worked at. Good times!! I was even Billy Milano in an SOD tribute band, we played once at The Cactus Club (I have to post that on YouTube). 

I also thought Anthrax had a great sense of humor, and I liked that they liked Rap, as I did. And no, not the rank shit that so many NU Metal fuckheads churned out, real rap: NWA, UTFO, Slick Rick, etc.

Rock and Metal in California during the late 80’s was encouraged amongst younger folk, as far as I was concerned. All my friends were into metal, the people I worked with were into metal, it was  GREAT VIBE!!!

Anthrax, thank you for pulling me out of the cock rock area and gently throwing me overhand into the mosh pit! Thanks to you, I went into a totally different direction of music listening. I’ve seen SO MANY Thrash bands over the years, it’s incredible.

And , like always, if Jon Donais don’t work out, call me. Here’s my audition vid:

I love Seymour Duncan pick ups


Sept 24, 2013: Scott Olson from Seymour Duncan is hooking me up with pick ups to both of my Ibanez guitars (RG1570 AND 3120). I’m not sure it’s an actual endorsement, but I am in love with SO and SD. We’re having a baby in June.

It’s pretty cool, James Ryan is also hooked up. And Dean Wells from Teramaze (who lives right down the street from me) is also hooked up. WILD!!

Nov 13, 2013: Today my black RG1570 was outfitted with Seymour Duncan pickups; JB Trembucker, Classic Stack Plus for Strat, and Custom 5.

I love my Ampeg SS140C – late 80’s pre djent radness


 In 1989 these amp heads were $500 from Guitar Center, and worth every penny. Footswitch controlled clean – dirty, reverb, and chorus.



SINISTER SAM: Scot and I had the exact set up: Ibanez guitars, EMG 81 pick ups in bridge AND neck, plugged straight into the Ampeg SS140C half stack.  This was just after Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell came out, and we were looking for a sound that could cater to muted rhythms (a la mesa boogie) and which also had enough gain for leads, and this amp had both. It also had cleans (with chorus) that were extremely close to the Roland Jazz Chorus.

We were using the Marshall Artist 30 watt head, which we bought together (we were still in high school). As soon as these Ampegs came out, we were hooked. We ended up owning two each. Amp colors came in blue, then black.

Wanna hear what it sounded like recorded? Well, hear ya go (recorded at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, California. The lead tones in the beginning were played through the amp with Scot’s intellifex lead patch, chorus, delay, and reverb. Rhythm tracks were one each, panned hard left and right, played live through halfs stacks).  

Same song live: (our rigs were the same as the recorded version – Scot had intellifex, I used head’s reverb for solos)

Live, our singer Gary was hellbent that we put some mids in there, so onstage it was always a battle; he’d walk over and put our mids at 11 o’clock, we’d walk over and put therm back to zero. This went on at every gig  (along with the sermons on how important mids were). I can appreciate mids and tube amps now, back then? Not a chance. This was djent before djent was around.

And lastly, at rehearsal (pre intellifex)

I still own mine, I think. It’s at Luke Walton’s joint, I should ask..

More info on Sinister Sam HERE

And to the Ampeg people responsible for making this 130 watt gem; I love you!! Never had a problem with the amp, could drop it out of a plane and the fucker would still work. We used it for years and years with no complaints, and Scott and I loved our metal tone and were extremely content.

I Love Warren DeMartini

How can you not? He’s bad ass!!


Thanks to California radio in the 80’s, I was introduced to quite a few dudes who burned; Lynch, EVH, Rhoads, Yngwie, DeVille (JK), The Nightranger guys, Gary Moore, Vivian Campbell, etc. (Yes, the list is bigger than this, but I’m not going to spend 46 minutes typing every fucker’s name out.)

To me I always kind of thought of Warren as Lynch’s little brother. I acknowledged long ago that Warren was probably the better player (Frank Zappa LOVED Warren), but I looooove first four albums Lynch. The heart wants what the ears want. I think if Lynch were in the Robin Crosby position my fucking head would’ve exploded. Matching vibrato and harmony leads? Kill me now.

But then of course I heard Racer X and Cacophony and I was off again!!

Why I love Warren: Legato madness, VIBRATO, cool blues vibe, the Lynch-isms, the Japanese art Charvel, LA hot shot guitar flash, give it to me!! Dude looked young as fuck, too. That’s always inspiring. Makes you want to pick up your guitar and follow suit.


“This guitar weighs more than me!”

I was about 15 and my buddy Dave Hull had the Rock Palace Ratt performance on VHS. We’d watch those 4 songs for hours, get inspired, then go into the other room and jam our asses off. We’d get our other guitar playing buddy Eric Fraser in on the action as well. Dave may move over to bass, we switched it up. This was actually (for me anyways) one of the first experiences I had of watching a guy burn on guitar via televised recording. I’d rewind and watch and watch and watch. It was absolutely mesmerizing. I didn’t know what was going on, but I was going to learn how to do that fast finger shit if it killed me. Ed lit the fire, Warren and the others kept that shit burnin’.

The Morning After guitar duel was especially mind blowing. Left hand going wild, right hand (which was that Lynch fan picking technique – AVOID) dipping in every now and then to keep the notes flowing…Hell, you check it out!

I owned Out of the Cellar, and that was about it. This was another one of those albums where I liked pretty much every song. Warren’s solo on In Your Direction was quite frightening and definitely a highlight for me. I learned a bunch of their songs and will most likely post how-to lessons on YouTube at some stage. Like this one I did last night:

Warren? You’re a fucking gun. I’m a tad annoyed I never saw you guys live, you are such an inspiration and an ass kicker. I’d love to know about your time being roommates with Jake and George. If Carlos ever leaves, call my ass.

I Love Randy Rhoads


In 1985, Eric Fraser (high school friend a year older than me) showed me my first three note per string scale. It was D Minor scale starting on the A sharp note, and it was from Mr Crowley.

Why I love Randy: Randy introduced me to the classical side of things. The diminished stuff. Loved it. I was in 7th or 8th grade in the very early 80’s. I lived in a house with three other boys (my step bros), and if you wanted an album but were a broke ass teen, you’d suggest your parents buy it for your brother’s birthday knowing full well you’d hear that album cranked (when the parents weren’t home). So I got Troy (who also played bass in many of the teenage bands I was in) Diary of a Madman. I LOVED IT. Over the Mountain was my song. I played that song into the ground. And that solo? BAD ASS!! When you hear those opening tritones, you know you’re in for a treat. Triple tracking solos? Crazy shit.

His look also played a part. For a kid in high school whose main dream in life was to have long hair (which I did have for a number of years), and to see a dude with long hair and black clothes kicking much ass on the guitar, that is the Metal dream right there!! The polka dot V didn’t hurt either. I love me a painted up guitar!!

In High School my band Knights (which Troy was apart of) played Believer after school, and I sang it!! There’s even a pic of that:


“I’m a Believer….!!” Still two or three years off from mastering Lynch vibrato. Glad there’s no audio!!

I had and loved both albums, but for some reason I gravitated more toward Diary. I like every single song, which is pretty rare for me. Troy was so captivated by the inner sleeve witch alphabet (or whatever the fuck) that he deciphered it. Pretty cluey guy. And of course, Kerslake and Daisley gave stellar performances on rhythm section, even though Aldridge and Sarzo were in the band pic.

I remember hearing on the radio that Randy died. That was 8th grade. I was on a bus going to school and had my Walkman on. I thought that sucked. My friend Eric Fraser looked a lot like Randy in high school, I’m sure he was devastated. I didn’t really get emotional about it until I was in my 30’s. I cried a few times. Beer did play a part.

I really liked Brad Gillis as a temporary replacement for Randy. He did a great job. That would have been a very difficult time. Hats off to him. I love the tone off Speak of the Devil. Surely Mesa Boogie.

Says Eric: Ha!! Thanks for the mention. You’d have to show me the scale now. I remember seeing that concert with Brad Gillis and being bummed it wasn’t Randy. Also remembered that our friend Anthony Sanchez had a bootleg VHS of those rehearsal videos. Pretty rad in 1982!

I did hear that George Lynch did a few shows using Brad’s gear, yet have never seen any pictures or audio to prove this. Could it be bullshit? Am I straight trippin’? I know Lynch auditioned for Ozzy and Jake E got the gig. But I would have loved to have heard Lynch in Ozzy. I think that would have been a great combo.

I greatly respect Randy as a musician. He gave a cool dark / gothic vibe to Metal. I know he wanted to quit metal and go down the acoustic /classical path..

I wonder what he would have come up with next?

RIP Randy.

Nice YouTube comment

I got this YouTube comment the other day, thought I’d share it: 

This probably sounds silly, but I’m 45, and people take technology for granted and use it in ways that I’m not even aware of. I’ve been playing guitar since 1991, and used to buy tablature at first on a friend’s recommendation because I don’t read music. It was very tedious to learn Van Halen solos this way and I didn’t get very far. They just don’t sound right picked out note by note, and I couldn’t make much sense of it. I gave up on tab and settled for just playing by ear and improvising, and after a couple of decades, I got to be a pretty competent guitarist.

I stumbled across your “And the Cradle Will Rock” solo dissection here purely by accident a few months ago. I just never thought about people posting something for free on YouTube that I used to pay for, and with a video demonstration to boot! I watched a couple of your other video demos that day. The bag of tricks you showed me opened up a whole new world. I feel like I’ve been riding my guitar with training wheels all these years, and I’m finally learning how to pop wheelies! I can actually play a lot like Eddie now, something I always wished I could do, so incredibly cool!

So, I wanted to come back and say thanks for posting such helpful videos. Rock on!

My reply: Thanks sir!! It’s pretty immersed in common sense once someone shows you. That’s part of Ed’s mystique; make weird sounding shit that baffles the ear, but once you can SEE what’s going on, it’s all quite easy to grasp. And that’s why I hate TAB, unless it’s written by the dude who played the part. Trust YOUR ears, not some 15 year old kid in Texas who shat out a crappy TAB.

I do notice some clowns coming out of the woodwork charging for EVH solo and song lessons, but Daddy Doug kicks down info for free, pretty much. Stick with me, I try and do it right..Ahhh!!  Make sure you watch my fix vids as well. After I post a video, I’ll sometimes hear the solo again, watch another guy on YouTube play it, or an VH isolated track will pop up, and it’ll bother me that my way is slightly off.  So I fixy.

I also suggest you watch a couple of guys play the same part. I recommend YoBroMan.

I love Jason and Marty


I heard Cacophony around ’87 or ’88. The Shrapnel record label that catered to all these shred bands was located in Cotati, Ca. (I’ve been to Mike Varney’s house. He had a room full of VHS tapes of dudes burning; guitarists, drummers, etc. He also had all the pre CFH Pantera albums on vinyl. Pretty cool!!) Sinister Sam also recorded two demos at Prairie Sun Studios, where all Shrapnel bands recorded. I’ll save that story for another time. Actually wait, there is no story. We recorded two demos out of Prairie Sun and Mooka (studio owner) was awesome.

So yeah, I heard Speed Metal Symphony and HATED it. But I also hated Metallica in the beginning as well. My friend Rod used to bag on the lyrics to Desert Island: I want to spend my life at the beach!! I was fine with that. Hell, I want to spend MY life at the beach; Gold Coast, to be exact. Australia’s Florida. Read on!!


I hated Cacophony until I heard the solo to Desert Island. And then, in true John Sanders fashion, I shat my pants. I really dug the first dirty solo just after the little harmonized bit. The part just after the floyd warble-cricket noise is just INSANE!! I had no idea which guy played it. So in my mind, I thought it was Marty. There was no internet, so I basically just took a guess, “Yep, the guy with the curly hair looks more metal and older, he played it. I’ll go see them play live and stand right in front of him, like the 19 year old jack ass that I am. Hand on chin (when my arms are not crossed, mind you), mentally taking notes on every move, scale, power chord, etc. Because “I’m a guitarist and this is what I DO.” That’s what we all did.


So we find out that Cacophony are playing at The Stone in San Francisco, and a few of us go up. The band comes on and I immediately high tail it to Marty’s side. They play Desert Island, I’m standing right in front of Marty, and to my utter shock, Jason’s playing the first solo!! So there I am, scrambling to get to Jason’s side. Ha ha ha!! The second Stone gig I saw them at they had just come back from a tour of Japan. In between songs I’m trying to talk to Jason about the Japanese tour!! “So, how was it, man?” I’m sure there was  a strong urge on his part to kick me in my teeth. Glad he didn’t.


I think I’ve seen Cacophony three times; twice at The Stone, once at The Omni in Oakland. Loved it. Saw Jason do the yo-yo thing right in front of my face. Ahh, the joys of living in California!! My only complaint with Cacophony was their rhythm section. I wanted all bad asses like Racer X and got something a little more comparable to Faster Pussycat. Not a nice thing to say, I know, but I was also a teenager and wanted fucking shred from every motherfucker in the group, dig? I wanted to see Dean Castronovo or Atma Anur and got clowned. I’ve relaxed a touch now. Not by much though.

What I love about Jason. Pretty much everything. The songs and solos off the two Cacophony albums are thee shit. Perpetual Burn is a fucking masterpiece. Live, his stage presence was pretty tough. You can’t just stand there, people. The crowd can stand there packed together. Give them their money’s worth (not to mention you have fuckloads of room up onstage) and shake dat ass.  I also tripped out on how tall Jason was when I saw him after one of the gigs. He’s like 6’2″ or 6’3″.

I got all my sweep ideas off Jason and Bruce Bouillet. I bought that Jason Becker VHS tape which features the clinic where he shows the Serrana Arpeggios, and I took notes. That totally opened my mind to new ideas, which I’m grateful for.

I called that Jason would get the Roth gig. That was pure common sense. Anyone who saw Cacophony play would have easily made the connection. There was no other choice than Jason. He, at that time, was the best guitarist in the world hands down. I fully believe that. He was the Guthrie of the late 80’s. Here, check out Jason’s 4 track demo of the Roth stuff

His shit swaggers!! He’s the only guy I love doing the blues/shred thing. Him and Kotzen.

I saw him at NAMM one year, he was on crutches, I remember asking what happened. I think he said he fell or some shit. I had a pic of that somewhere. He was talking to Atma Anur at the time, so I didn’t stick around and bailed pretty quick-like. Let fellow band dudes catch up.

When I heard the news about Jason and ALS, I knew there was no God and the world was truly fucked. I’ve cried about it a few times. Even now he inspires. Matter of fact, he’s written more songs with his eyes than I’ve fucking written with a guitar in my lap! So there’s no excuse. You wanna do something, do it. Jason Becker is the shining example of that. Even his body won’t get in the way of what his mind wants to do. And it gets done. I’m sure there are down times, but you just keep going. Great message from a fuckin’ rad dude.

Jason, you are thee shit!! Your playing inspires people, you continue to inspire!

Interested in what Jason’s doing these days? Go HERE



What I love about Marty. Lots. All the exotic stuff. Bending from a note out of key to a note in key. Make the ears fire right up, ha ha!!  The cool phrasing, so many cool ideas. I love the shred more on Perpetual Burn, but I love Marty’s songwriting. I feel he’s the more metal of the two as far as riffs go. That last riff in Anvils is thee shit!! I love the Megadeth / Marty years. Great solos, so good that you’d want to play them live note for note. Hitting a high G on Holy Wars? Get the fuck outta here! The perfect Yin to Jason’s Yang, for sure.

Both inspire and leave great legacies for us to dig right into and go, “Yeah, these dudes are the fuckin’ REAL DEAL..”


Tell me that isn’t the raddest hair!! I’d grow that business to my ass!!

I love Paul Gilbert

Paul (as well as Bruce Bouillet), Jason Becker, George Lynch, Mark McGee and EVH had the biggest impact on me in my formative years.

paul and bruce

One of thee most terrifying guitar duos in Metal. And I saw that shit LIVE!!  I’d like to have a 7 string in that shape as well. RAD!! Ibanez!! Get fuckin’ crackin’!!

It’s 1986. A friend of mine, John Marks from Silver Creek High School had Street Lethal on album. He handed said album to me and goes, “Remember, this kid is only 19..” I’m like, “Just gimme!!” And I grabbed it straight out of his hands. I was at my drummer’s house at the time, and we slapped Racer X on the turntable and cranked the volume. I didn’t love it immediately, I thought that guitar tone was the weirdest fuckin’ thing I have ever heard, and not in a good way. The Marshall amp used was hot rodded by this company called Metaltronix. A friend of mine Brian Sutherland had a Metaltronix head, and that shit was MAD ASS!! So I’ll blame this aural error I’m now hearing on the engineer at Prairie Sound, whoever that was.

I also heard a pretty big Yngwie influence on there as well, which isn’t a bad thing, but why do Yngwie if there’s already a fucking Yngwie, right? I think I was a tad jealous in the beginning, so I was looking for ANY excuse. I was 17, Paul was 19. It happens.

This album was pre Bruce Bouillet, but that didn’t matter, I really liked a lot of the songs on here. Favorites include Blowing Up the Radio, Loud and Clear, Getaway, Into the Night, Street Lethal. Check it out.

Why do I love Paul? Many many reasons. Second Heat, the album after Street Lethal, was one of them. I seriously thought Shred Pop was going to be The Next Big Thing. Then Nirvana came out and fucked up that dream hard. I’m still annoyed about that, but I love Alice in Chains, so I guess it all worked out. But seriously? Fuck Grunge. Back to Paul.

Another reason why I owe so much to this man is because he took my guitar playing to the next level with his Intense Rock 1 video. There’s STILL shit on there I can’t do, and this was ’87!!!

Master this whole video, then move on to other shit. See you in 25 years.

So, he completely got my picking up to scratch. Remember, I was into Lynch (probably more than VH at this stage), and Gilbert had all the shred rock techniques covered. It didn’t hurt that his hand was huge as fuck, but take advantage of whatever you can. At this stage he was in his most Metal form, he had the Lynch vibrato as well.

A year later, we piled everyone into my ’66 Chrysler New Yorker (that I bought for $50), and we headed to the Stone in San Francisco to see Racer X and another crazy Shrapnel band I had never heard of, Vicious Rumors. Racer X were on fire that night. I was able to see Paul’s hands close up, and I understood what was going on, even though I couldn’t do it. Fuck they were bad ass. My friend John was there, and he took GREAT pics. I still have a few somewhere. I had seen Racer X a few times, even once without Paul and just Bruce.

I was fucking THERE, man!!! And yes, I am aware that’s it The Omni in Oakland, but I went to that gig as well.

I had also seen one of the first incarnations of Mr Big. It was Paul, Eric, and a few dudes from Tesla. Good show, Paul still had fire, but I was getting pretty sick of the blues element in rock. I can probably handle it more-so in Pantera, but I don’t want my favorite shredders playing blues.

And that’s where he lost me. Mr Big, blues, weird, thin lead tone, etc. If it was a perfect world, Racer X would have gotten heavier, may have busted out the ole’ 7 strings, and fucked everyone’s ears and asses right into the ground. I still love Paul Gilbert.  I owe him!! That first video did wonders for me. Paul, If you ever read this, I love you. You are thee shit. I totally ripped off your right hand picking technique. Yeah, not a huge fan of your blues shit, but that’s life. You have made me a better player. I got to witness Racer X in a club environment. I’ve met you at NAMM and you were way nice. I even think we did the hand size comparison, ha ha. His hands are fuckin’ HUGE.

Paul Gilbert was part of this!!

I love Icon

This story takes place in 1984. I was a teenager then. These blogs are basically a thank you letter to all the bands / guitarists who shaped me into the bitter mean old cocksucker I am today. Kidding, you fools, I is lovely!!


Let’s see, I believe it was a Sunday night, and I had school the next day. There was a metal show on KSJO or KOME, I don’t remember which. These FM stations were thee big rock stations in San Jose California at the time. And they were just as good as each other. You just had to decide what DJ’s you liked. KOME MAY have been a bit more risque at the time.

So I’m listening to this metal show, and they play a blurb of a band called Icon, the solo section to On Your Feet.

 Which, of course, they’d be featuring on next week’s show. I listened the week after, like the rabid metal dog that I was, and was very impressed by what I heard. And the week following I bought that first album. And turned my friend Dave Hull onto it. He got more into them than I did, and bought the other albums.

My criteria with anything metal is, gotta have a rad guitarist. I admit, I’m shallow and I don’t give a fuck. Rhythms gotta be sweet, but the lead player has got to BURN. It helps immensely if they have that wide, George Lynch style vibrato. If they don’t, I’ll overlook it..(Songs over solos, at the end of the day). I like Dan Wexler and John Aquilano for sure. Their call and response solos in the clean intro on Out For Blood is RAD!! Rad I tells ya!

Second criteria, bad ass singer. Stephen Clifford had gruff AND range. He could hit a high E note easily. His voice is very signature. I would have killed to see them live. I was also 14 at the time, so that wasn’t gonna happen. My family was far from cool in that aspect. I think I would have prospered more with hippie parents (tear falls, cue emotional piano theme).

Here’s what I know; they’re from Arizona. They made a few more albums, I think  Night of the Crime was probably TOO cock rock for me, but I still had a listen when I was at Dave’s house. And as soon as Stephen Clifford left, I wrote them off. I heard the new singer and wasn’t interested.

UPDATE: I listened to night of the crime on YouTube and lost my shit! Bought album on iTunes. Yes, it’s that good. Great rock radio tunes.

Want more Icon general info? Go HERE

In depth Dan Wexler interview HERE


My fave tracks aside from On Your Feet were World War, Under my Gun, ah look, they’re all pretty cool, even the ballad. But yes, I fucking LOVE this album.

Get both albums from iTunes now:

Self titled HERE

Night of the Crime HERE



I love Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley got me into lead guitar. It didn’t hurt that he looked bad ass!! (yes, I know you don’t hear with your eyes, but I was TEN!!)

I believe I bought Double Platinum and Love Gun on the same day. I’m a bit bummed that I showed up to the party late, but at least I got there.


ace 4

The first time I heard two handed tapping on guitar wasn’t Eruption, oh no. It was Ace’s solo on Alive II. In the 70’s KISS were absolutely at their zenith in terms of everything. Yeah, Gene may have fucked up the brand by putting their name on every single thing under the sun, but what can you do? I owned about roughly 15 of their albums, bought the KISS dolls (well, mom did as a XMas gift back in the day), and one year I was Peter Criss for Halloween. Yeah, Peter. But that was my drum phase. As a ten year old, I didn’t know they were average players. I was more into enjoying music and not worrying about what technical level these dudes were at as players. I even taped Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park on audio tape!! We didn’t even have a fucking VCR in ’78!!

My favorite albums would be Hotter Than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Destroyer, and Rock and Roll Over. That artwork is straight up bad ass. I think I was totally done after Animalize. I do, however like The Oath off of Music from The Elder. What a putrid time for them.

Obviously I love the Ace solo album, just like most people with ears. I’m glad Ace cranked that out, as I see Gene being a bit of a dick. Gene’s solo album was pretty shit, if you ask me. My wife screams whenever she hears When You Wish Upon a Star. I laugh my ass off. I will say, as much of a douche as Gene is, I do like his bass playing. I think he writes good bass lines that are pretty musical, so hats off to him there.


Favorite era costume? Probably Destroyer or Love Gun. Although with Love Gun, it’s like he had a touring suit and a photo op suit. I like the real silver suit. I’d like to know the story behind that. So yeah, most likely getting Ace Frehley solo album portrait as a tattoo at the end of  ’14. I was gonna get Zappa, but I know a mad ass tattooist that will knock it out in no time. And he loves KISS, so why not? I’ll most likely YouTube the experience as well. If it wasn’t on video, it didn’t happen, right?


I love Gary Moore


The first time I heard Gary Moore was 1983-ish. I would have been in 8th or 9th grade. It was on the radio, probably San Jose’s KOME 98.5.

The song was End of the World. That intro guitar solo was MADDENING! My first thought was, “Oh shit!! My precious Eddie!! There’s another freak out there as crazy as you are!!” Anyways, I heard the song and bought Corridors of Power not long after. I looove that album. It was great, my school friend Dave Hull (who was more of a blues guy) liked Gary Moore as well, so we’d swap records, listen and jam together, that kinda thing. Actually, Dave and I were into AC/DC, Ratt, VH, Ozzy, Icon, etc..It’s good to have a friend like that.

So where was I? Ahh, Gary Moore. Mad player. Those fast picked maj7 motiffs he does are awesome. John Sykes and Vivian Campbell totally ripped him off. As much as I harp on about EVH and Lynch, Gary Moore absolutely inspired me and shaped my playing. I owned Corridors of Power and Victims of the Future. Dave had We Want Moore, and I borrowed the fuck out of that. This was all pre CD times as well, ha ha.

I think the reason I liked Gary a lot was his playing was aggressive, but he was so fucking musical while doing it. And at that point in time, he was the guitarist’s guitarist, everybody was digging on him. Check out these clips. The songs and solos are VERY COOL.

Gary, you were extremely inspirational to many guitarists. You had followings in both metal and blues. And well, I love you. For reals.

The past few months


Feb 28, 2014: Melbourne Soundwave was great fun. Cassie, Damo Musclecar and myself interviewed  a lot of cool people and generally had a blast. We did this for Heavy TV, whom we love and adore. Was great to see Higgo (who was in the same tent as us) and just hang with workmates and musicians all there for one thing; HEAVY MUSIC!! Here’s some pics, if you don’t know who the artists are, tough titties.


Lots of stuff happening in December

Dec 7: Warped Tour with Heavy Mag


Cassie, Noodles, myself. I asked him a shitload of guitar questions. He liked that.

Sat Nov 16: I’m interviewing The Faceless (possibly Nile) at The Corner Hotel in Richmond. I’ve known Wes Hauch for a few years before he even joined The Faceless. So it’d be cool to meet him in person and have a chat to him and Michael Keene. Hopefully this happens.


Interview didn’t happen, but I hung out with him all night. I love that guy, he’s a beast!!


October 18th gig. I was sick as a dog. See? Headlining gig at The Tote.


WEEKEND OF OCT 12: Man oh man!! Interviewed bands at Brewtality put on by the good people at Heavy Magazine. It’s good, I get to meet new people and listen to metal! Total fuckin’ privilege. I is blessed!


That’s Steve and Phoebe from Heaven The Axe, and Dan from Frankenbok. Great pic. I also interviewed Hadal Maw, Scar the Surface, and maybe a few more? I started drinking at this point so yeah…lol.

Sunday, (with a pretty evil hangover) I got the chance to interview Devin Townsend for Heavy TV!! That’ll be posted as soon as it’s edited. The gig last night was awesome. He is a wonderful talent, that guy. And I got to tell him I love him to his face!! We talked about Meshuggah, his love for female vocalists, and the time he was going to let me sing a Strapping song at a soundcheck 15 years ago. Thanks to Century Media and Andrew Haug for teeing that up.


Tuesday June 18: I hung with Municipal Waste. Good guys, I even gave them a Hercules dual guitar stand to get it outta my house!


May 23: I interview Lita Ford today for HEAVY TV.

And that went real well. I love Lita Ford. I remember hearing Gotta Let Go on the radio and thinking, “rad voice”. Then I saw the music clip and went, “She plays guitar too? And does the solo? Yessah!!” So yeah, when I saw her today, I got to tell her that. The only thing hotter than a chick guitarist is TWO chick guitarists. Doing Jason Becker harmony sweeps and headbangin’ like Angus!!!!

lita 1

Wanna learn your favorite guitar solo? Want a new technique to check out? I’m doing EXCLUSIVE Unlisted YouTube clips. Go HERE

Cherryfest 2013

So, every year at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne is Cherryfest. A fuckton of Sleaze Rock/Blues and Stoner bands, pretty much. 14 bands, two stages. The Heavy TV film crew was there with Cassie and myself, and we interviewed lotsa lotsa bands! They’ll end up HERE. Check out my pics, yo:

blues pills ladies mercy kills bellrays

The bands are The Mercy Kills, Blues Pills (Swe), and Bellrays (USA). We had fun with all of them. And that’s the best part. And of course there’s that lovely pic with myself and Cassie and Sheri.

Tonight I go to the Northcote Social Club and interview German 70’s Stoner Gods Kadavar!!

Email from Jeff Duncan / Armored Saint

Hi Doug.
My name is Jeff Duncan.I play guitar for a band called Armored Saint.Ive been watching and learning Van Halen solos from your vids for a while now and just wanted to drop you a line and say thanx.Being a big Eddie freak for years I’ve found your vids helpful as well as enjoyable.Youre a great player and once again,thank you so much for sharing the info! –Jeff Duncan

jeff duncan—————————————————–

My reply:


 Hello!! What a great email to get on a day off. You and I are probably the same age, but yeah, I looooove Ed. I didn’t have a teacher so I’d just slap a record on the ole’ turntable and force myself to get that shit happenin’. Thanks for the feedback. I’m going to do a few more clips then start on Lynch and DeMartini, ha ha!!
Take care Jeff,