There's always been music in my life. From the time I could talk, I
sang along with that big black Philco radio in the pantry. There were times
as a kid I couldn't remember what I had for lunch; but I knew all the words
to Ball of Confusion and Incense and Peppermints. If my mom didn't have
the radio on, she was playing records. By the time I was 8, my older brother
Terry was playing drums in what would become some of Rochester's hottest
bands, and would go on to be a successful studio musician. Now in his 50's
and living in central Florida, Terry still plays out a couple of nights
My younger brother Glenn also pursued the drum thing...and co-founded Uncle
Sam; an Iggy Pop/Alice Cooperesque Glamour Thrash band that after conquering
the East coast and releasing their first album, Heaven or Hollywood, ended
up touring the UK only to disband by 1990.
I would probably have ended up playing drums myself, had I not heard the
Yardbirds' Heart Full of Soul. That fuzzy, bleeding Jeff Beck guitar riff
grabbed me by the short hairs, and I wanted to play guitar. Today, I have
a pretty respectable home recording studio, a great collection of guitars
(about 2 dozen of 'em), and I play every day. I'm still recording analog
(to tape...and mastering down to a big old Grundig two track), but am looking
at turning digital in the very near future; the possibilities are just too
limitless with digital.
My older brother, Terry has been playing drums professionally for
nearly 40 years.
Younger brother Glenn (second from left) was a founding member of
the band "Uncle Sam"in the 1980s
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW
To watch a couple of Uncle Sam Videos with Glenn Briskie on
"Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty
is not not love. Love is not not music. Music is the best"
-Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
Left: A portion of my guitar collection
What I listen to varies from day to day. I've been influenced by so
much music, from such diverse sources, that I can't play favorites.
I have my "A" list of course; Jeff Beck, Adrian Belew, Frank Zappa,
Joe Strummer, Dr. John... but there are times that nothing but some Les
Paul, or Reverend Horton Heat will do.
I have much more respect for innovation, in musicianship, composition and
production than I do for technical virtuousity. I'm amazed when I listen
to Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Eddie Van Halen run the fretboard with unrivaled
speed and fervor...but the emotion that Jeff Beck, B.B. King or Carlos Santana
can evoke from a single note is what really blows me away. I'm also big
percussion fan...can't get enough of it. That's what attracted me to bands
like Bow Wow Wow and Adam and the Ants in the early 80s. It was that beat.
Who can not start moving when they hear Bow Wow Wow's remake of the
Strangelove's classic I Want Candy? I challenge anyone to stand still
during The Dixie Cups Iko, Iko or the Belle Stars remake of that
same song or The Clapping Song. Finally, I really admire production
values and engineering. I think The Beach Boys Pet Sounds and Emerson, Lake
and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery albums opened my eyes to what could be
done at the control board. Good engineering and production can pick up any
slack in terms of big sounds or a broad spectrum of musicians; as evidenced
by bands like Yello and Art Of Noise.
|Zappa/King Crimson/Solo |
|Mothers of Invention/Solo|
|The Ants/Bow Wow Wow|
|Derek & the Dominos/Session|
|Return To Forever/Solo|
|King Crimson/Session/Stick Men|