|Updated: July 15, 2004|
|Paul Brandon Gilbert|
Name: Paul Brandon Gilbert
1966: Born on November 6th in Carbondale Illinois.
1969: Moved to rural Pennsylvania.
1971: Received my first guitar: a Sears "Deluxe" all-metal guitar with suction-cup cable and battery powered cardboard amp. I wanted to be a Beatle.
1972: Received my first guitar that worked: a Stella acoustic guitar. My parents bought "Are You Experienced" by Jimi Hendrix for me at a flea market
1973: Took guitar lessons. The teacher used the "Mel Bay" method. I gave up after a few lessons because reading music was boring and it didn't sound my
favorite bands which were: The Beatles, The Osmonds, The Jackson 5, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin.
1976: My 4th grade music teacher showed the class the steps of the major scale on the blackboard. I went home and figured out the scale on one string of my guitar. Suddenly the guitar started making sense to me. I started teach myself by ear.
1977: I played my first electric guitar: My uncle Jimi's Ibanez Destroyer. I was blown away because it was so easy to play!
1978: I got a used Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Vibro Champ of my own. The woman in the music store told me "If you turn the amp up past 3 it will BREAK!". I was on 10 within a week. It didn't break.
1979: I joined my first rock band. We were called PARADIZ. It was supposed to be PARADISE, but the drummer ran out of room when he was painting the logo on his bass drum. We played "Hold the Line" by Toto, and "Renegade" by Styx. I played guitar, but I also sang lead vocals on "Rain" by The Beatles, and "Take the Money and Run" by The Steve Miller Band. There was a bass player and a rhythm guitarist in the band too. All three of us plugged into my Vibro Champ.
1981: I formed my first band that sounded good. We were called "The Atomic Basement Band" and later became "Missing Lynx". We did lots of RUSH, Van Halen, UFO, and our own songs. I got an Ampeg V-4 amp.
1982: I sent a tape of my band to record producer Mike Varney and he featured me in GUITAR PLAYER magazine's Spotlight column. I continued to play in local rock bands in Pennsylvania. My dad bought a big chunk of
maple and made me a custom Flying V.
1984: I moved to Hollywood, CA to attend G.I.T. I met bassist John Alderete, and drummer Harry Gschoesser who were also students. We rehearsed every morning at 7am at the school because no one else was crazy enough to get up that early to use the rooms. Mike Varney helped me find Jeff Martin who was singing in Phoenix's biggest local metal band "Surgical Steel". RACER X had begun! I kept a Lee Jackson modified 50-watt Marshall in my locker at school.
1985: I graduated from G.I.T. and became a teacher. Jeff, John, Harry, and I went to northern California to record the first RACER X album "Street Lethal". I used a borrowed Squier Strat and a custom made Wayne Charvel guitar to record the album.
1986: I continued to teach at M.I. Bruce Bouillet was one of my students. He was already a great guitarist and he learned the things I showed him almost instantly. We started trying things in harmony and it sounded amazing so I asked him to join RACER X. He did! Harry Gschoesser's visa ran out, so he returned to his native Austria. Scott Travis joined the band. I bought an old 60's Epiphone Olympic guitar and hot-rodded it with new pickups and a Kahler tremolo.
1987: RACER X started playing the local L.A. clubs. Within a few months, we were selling out the Troubadour and The Roxy. Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan were often in the audience to see us. We recorded our second album "Second Heat".
1988: RACER X was selling out L.A.'s biggest and best clubs. We recorded "Extreme Volume" live at The Country Club. I met some guys from Ibanez guitars. I loved the guitars and liked them. Plus it reminded me of my uncle's Jimi's amazing guitar. So I began to endorse Ibanez. I got a call from Billy Sheehan. At first he wanted to jam, but the next day he asked me
if I wanted to form a band with him.
1989: I did! That band became MR. BIG. We wrote and recorded our first album very quickly and were on the road in a TOUR BUS right away. My rockstar dreams were coming true! We toured all over America and also went
to Japan where I was given a Godzilla electric shaver as a gift. I asked Ibanez to put fake F-holes on an "RG" model, and the PGM model was born!
1990: MR. BIG continued to tour. We spent many months as headliners and also supported my childhood heroes RUSH. I stared writing a column for GUITAR PLAYER magazine called "Terrifying Guitar 101".
1991: MR. BIG recorded our second album "Lean Into It". We went back on the road and went to Europe for the first time. We did more touring with RUSH in America.
1992: The MR. BIG song "To Be With You" exploded in the charts and went to #1 in America and 12 other countries. We played on the Tonight Show and David Letterman. We played the Budokan arena in Japan.
1993 - 1996: More MR. BIG albums and touring. I lived through the Northridge earthquake, got married, and moved to Las Vegas. I put a recording studio in my house and called it BATGIRL. I tried a new Laney amp and loved it. I started to endorse them.
1997: I left MR. BIG to start a solo career. Bruce Bouillet engineered and recorded my first solo album"King of Clubs". Bruce also joined me for anincredible 20-minute guitar jam featuring John Alderete on bass, and Jeff Martin on drums.
1998: I toured Japan as a solo artist and lead singer.I recorded my second solo CD "Flying Dog" and got a divorce.
1999: I recorded "Beehive Live" live in Japan, and joined up with RACER X again to record "Technical Difficulties".
2000: More solo albums. More RACER X albums. Ibanezclinic tours. Japanese magazine columns. More studiogear and reading the manuals. studying Japanese. It's fun to be a workaholic!
2001: I got an apartment in Tokyo to take a break for a few months. I traveled back to the states to record"Raw Blues Power" with my uncle Jimi, and "Snowball of Doom - Live" with RACER X, our first live concert since the '80s! Then back to Tokyo again to produce the Japanese band Mr. Orange.
2002 - 2003: More albums, more tours, more Japan living, I became the "Honorary Dean" of M.I. Japan and did an 8 city tour of their schools in Japan. Being a workaholic is becoming tiring. I noticed that I couldn't use my left ear for the phone or to understand anyone talking.
2004: I move back to Los Angeles, sell the house in Las Vegas, and decide to take a VACATION.
2006: I do an instrumental guitar record.
In the future: Medical researchers at U.C.L.A. discover a surgical process to cure hearing loss. I meet Catherine Zeta-Jones's younger sister and we start dating. RACER X music becomes fashionable in the states and we go on tour to promote our new million-selling single "Guys From Space Rock". The aliens who have been monitoring our planet for centuries hear our song and decide the human race is finally cool enough to meet. The aliens take over the world, elect Ringo Starr as President of Everything, and give him a Superbrain-helmet which allows him to be Super smart and end all world hunger and violence.
|Updated: January 20, 2006|
|Jeffery Louis Martin|
Name: Jeffery Louis Martin
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up in West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee. The seventh son with six older brothers and sisters, of which all either played or listened to many styles of music.
I started playing at the age of seven fashioning my own snare drum from a TV tray with some pennies and a chain on it and carving a set of drum sticks from a mop handle. Some years later opening the smallest box under the Christmas tree, revealed a picture of a drum set given to me by my mother, bought with money from my recent grandmothers death. I took only two lessons and found it too slow, so I self taught myself playing to the Beatles, Jimi hendrix, Grand Funk, Cream, Mountain, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and a ton of other bands. Most of which, were on eight track tapes left to me when my brother went off to fight in Vietnam. At the ages of 12 thru 15, I played in various bands throughout Wisconsin. most of the other members were in there 20’s. I grew up fast.
In 1973, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona when my father retired from the Allis Chalmers Factory. Throughout my remaining high school years I played in a number of bands, playing boondockers, bars and self-promoted concerts. One band being “Ghost Rose”, later renamed “Saint Michael” being that we played a lot of U.F.O. This is where I met bass player, Greg Chassion who later got me involved in the heavy metal band “Surgical Steel” and then much later “Badlands”. While in “ St.Michael”, I recorded my first song with Mike Varney on Shrapnel’s, “Metal Massacre one”. the song was “The Beauty The Power”. In these years, I started working more on my lead vocals, while still playing the drums. Inspired by Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, I practiced working on singing while riding my motorcycle. No doubt this is the reason for my loud voice, while singing over the pitch of the engine and the wind in my face.
At this time I was playing in a bar band called “electra”, singing and playing the heavier tunes in the set. I was then contacted by Greg and given the opportunity to be front man and lead vocalist for “Surgical Steel”. We were a Judas Priest style band, but primarily wrote our own material. We quickly became the biggest band in the Valley of the Sun. I then recorded my second release on Shrapnel’s “Metal massacre two” with the song ”Rivet Head”. We rented out big halls and put on our own concerts, like Van Halen did in their early years. We then recorded our own album, which we sold at the shows. In 83 we landed a part in a Cannon film called “Thunder Alley” with Leif Garrett and Clancy Brown.
In 85, Mike Varney contacted me about a possible album project with an up and coming guitar player named Paul Gilbert. Mike sent me a tape and I immediately put some vocals on it and sent it back. I titled it ‘Don’t Change A Thing”. That song was rewritten nearly 18 years later with new vocals and put out on the last Racer X album “Getting Heavier” and retitled “Endless”. After sending Paul the tape, we hooked up weeks later at the then Guitar Institute in Hollywood. Racer X was formed. Still living in Phoenix, Paul and I wrote the first Racer X album by mail with cassette tapes and over the phone. Meanwhile Paul, John and Harry rehearsed them in Los Angeles. I then came to L.A for a week of rehearsal for the album. Paul traded his first guitar to Mike Varney for some cash to get a car and off we went to Prairie Sun Studio in Cotati Ca, to record “Street Lethal”. It would become the first of what is now eight Racer X albums. We quickly became one of the biggest bands in the L.A area, playing The Roxy, Troubadour and The Country Club, all running after the elusive brass ring and break out status. It was then that I moved to Los Angeles and jumped into the melting pot. Through 1988, we recorded one more studio and two live albums, where many more Rock and Roll stories could be told to fill pages.
In late 1988, I started my own band “Bad Dog” and did some demos funded by Atlantic Records. We also did shows at Musicians Institute (formerly GIT) with Paul Gilbert and “Bad Dog” guitarist Russ Parrish. We played a host of songs from the 60’s and 70’s and it got me back on my drumming horse, so to speak. Around that time, I was contacted by Greg Chassion and was told that “ Badlands”, a band on Atlantic Records, was looking for a new drummer and asked if I would like to audition for the spot. After a week of playing together, I got the gig and we started work on “Voodoo Highway”, Badlands second album. We toured for the next year and started work on the third album that would be later released as “Dusk”, after the band broke up and the passing of lead singer Ray Gillan.
Through 1991 to 1999, I played on many Shrapnel blues based albums, and did three albums as the “The blindside Blues band”. I also played drums on some of Paul Gilbert’s solo albums and tours, and an album and overseas tours, with “The Black Symphony”. Later I played drums on a tour of Europe and the U.K., with U.F.O.
From 1999 to 2003, Racer X reformed with a new label, Universal Records in Japan to record “Technical Difficulties” with all the original members. This first record after nearly 13 apart, received a Gold record in Japan. That was followed by “Superheros”, and “Snowball Of Doom”. The latter being a live show recorded at the Whisky A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, and released as a CD and DVD. In January 2002, Racer X toured Japan and Taiwan in support of prior two studio records. In October 2003, “Getting Heavier” was recorded in Las Vegas at Bat Girl Studios. During that time, I also played drums on a MSG album, “ Be aware of Scorpions in 2001, as well as a Pete Way solo project called “The Plot”. While in that same sessions, I recorded a project with Michael Schenker that will be released in 2006 called “The 25 Years of MSG”.
In 2003, I went on to do an album and tour with Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot and an album and tour with George Lynch of Dokken. In that same year, I started writing and planning for my solo record, fittingly titled, “The Fool”. By 2005, I completed recording it with Michael Schenker, Paul Gilbert and Russ Parrish on guitars, Rev Jones on Bass, and Emily, Kim and EM on strings. It’s a sonic collage of everything you have read from the above.
Why is it called “The Fool”? If you could read between all the lines in this bio, you would wonder why am I still here? Why am I playing on? Well this fool is here to stay and I’m sure more can be written before it’s all said and done.
|Updated: April 11, 2004|
|Updated: April 11, 2004|