Musical [Influences]

Paul:  I’d have to say that the first influence I had was my father, who played all these old Dixieland jazz records of folks like Louis Armstrong. He would put them on and I was about 5 or 6 and I would immediately would feel happy. That was a felling I couldn't explain and still have a hard time trying to convey that feeling to some folks.  If it gets your good feeling feeling good, that’s just the ticket.

As far as playing the guitar, I think my first real influence was Mississippi John Hurt.  I remember I was around 13 and was into folk music and he was recommended to me so I went out and bought a LP of his work.  His fingerpicking style and the little slide runs he would play were classic, and from hearing him I got into Muddy Waters, and soon after Robert Johnson.

Last but certainly not least, was Jimi Hendrix.  He blew the roof off of my soul.  His style was something else, so melodic, and yet so forceful.  Over the years, more and more musicians caught my ear, Miles Davis, john McLaughlin, Charlie Mingus, Leroy Vinegar, the list goes on and on... 

I would be missing one of the folks who really turned me on with his music and that was Little Richard.  His songs and that shuffle beat.... all I can say is once I heard Tutti Fruiti I had to have it, so at the tender age of 11, I took the bus down to Wallach’s Music City, at the corner of Sunset and Vine, and bought the 78.  Took it home, got a verbal lashing for adventuring out like that on my own, but then went to my brothers room where the record player was and wore it out, the B side was Slipping and a Sliding, just unbelievable

Roger:  One of the musicians that influenced me was Victor Borgia, because he was a fully accomplished piano player and never lost his sense of humor about it.  He was hilarious - I mean, how many other classical players guested on the Muppets?!

James Brown is another because no matter what he did in his entire career, it was always 100 - everything was always completely stylin’ all the time.

Then there’s Randy Rhodes, because no matter how famous or how much notoriety he got for his ability to play, he always spent his spare time trying to improve and learn more about the instrument itself, having nothing to do with the glitz and glamour of fame.