JohnnyGuitar was a rootin' tootin' gunslinger in the 1954 film starring Joan Crawford. 

And for some reason, my Swiss aunt, on seeing me pickup a guitar aged 14, decided it was an apt name for me. I only actually saw the film for the first time last year. I have to say, he didn’t teach me any new riffs! 

To this day, I don't own any guns. But I do have a few guitars... 

My older brother introduced me to The Beatles (I could sing the whole of the red album), Itchycoo Park and John Lennon’s Dream - the main riff also used in a recording of ‘Many River to Cross’ with Harry Nilsson (a tragic story of a remarkable talent - the 4th Beatle) - 

He also introduced me to Fleetwood Mac, Alan Parsons Project, Manfred Mann and KISS! (Which my mates back in the UK found a bit strange) 

My first gig was Judas Priest (I’d play Breaking the Law at full volume on my headphones at home). Second gig - Iron Maiden - someone at school had taped a copy of Killers for me and I was hooked. 

My teenage years were spent listening to 80’s guitar-based rock. Van Halen of course; Def Leppard. More 70’s guitar based rock - Thin Lizzy, Rainbow and of course Led Zeppelin. 

I taught myself guitar from the age of about 15. There were no YouTube guitar lessons then (kids these days have it so easy lol) - so I made do with a couple of old books and riffs that friends would show me. I started on an old acoustic of my mother’s - not really sure why she had it, I never saw her play! Upgrading to an electric which was a gift for passing my ‘O’ Level exams aged 16. 

My 20s & 30s passed with very little musical activity - a side effect of building a career and distracting things like girlfriends! But in my late 30s a friend introduced me to an evening ‘class’ that grouped aspiring adult musicians together to forms groups with a promise of playing a gig in a pub at the end of the term. I dusted off my old 80s guitar and got stuck in. After 2 terms, I split off with a drummer on the course - we found a bass player, singer and the band ‘Almost Famous’ was born. Our band website is here:

And you must go see the critically acclaimed movie:

And one of the best movie/music scenes of all time:

(the part at 3:25 will always send a shiver down my spine)

"You are home"