In the beginning... there was "Walk, Don't Run" by the Ventures. That was the summer of 1960 and I was 12 years old, and there was something about the way those notes were put together; it was an irresistable, powerful sound, pure electric guitars, no wimpy singing stuff... just pure guitars. By the time "Perfidia" and "Lullaby Of The Leaves" had become hits, I was hooked.

My best friend was Mike Collins and we used to listen to lots of the Ventures records together. I remember the day he called me on the phone and brought up the idea of maybe taking guitar lessons and learning how to play some "Spanish" music. I immediately mocked him, saying "Oh yeah... you want to be Elvis or something... you jerk! Get out... what a fool... what are you gonna do... sing, wiggle you hips with a guitar strapped around your neck? Ha-ha-ha... what a JERK, you FOOL!!!" I was really bad!

About 2 hours went by and I called Mike back. "You know, I've been thinking about that guitar playing idea, and maybe it WOULD be cool if we took lessons and learned to play. And I really love the way the Everly Brothers sing and we could learn to play "Walk, Don't Run" and... and... WOW guitar lessons, this could be fun!"

Mike's parents bought him an starter nylon string guitar at George's Music Store in Schenectady, and I borrowed a 3/4 size Gibson acoustic from my cousin Carolee. We started taking lessons from a very well respected guitar teacher, Virgina Fredrick. After 2 months my parents bought a used Gretsch electric hollowbody for me and Mike's parents got him a non-cutaway Harmony with DeArmond pickup, and we were on our way.