Hi. I am this site's host, Dinosaur David B., the proverbial Dinosaur loose in the theme park! This is the place where I get to toot my own horn and expound some loud, primitive and opinionated Dinosaur thinking.
Dinosaur David B. The the proverbial Dinosaur loose in the theme park!
More than anything else, this name came from going to jams and being looked at like I was a freak because I wanted to play loud, primitive rock-metal. I'd find guys with Stevie-Ray hats, using these bluesy sweet tones wanting to play endless 1-4-5 blues progressions and Hey Joe, and I'd show up with my T-Rex Driving a Steamroller tone, wondering if anyone knew 16th Century Greensleeves or Electric Funeral — and they never did. They didn't dislike me or my playing, but they sure didn't "get" me either. I sounded too loud when my amp was on 2! Some guys were even ex-Dinosaurs — they knew where I was coming from, but they told me, they don't play that way anymore. I'd come home frustrated. My best friend said to me: Man, you can't jam with normal people. You're a Dinosaur! They'll run screaming from you! It was true. More importantly, it was a philosophy I could embrace. If you can't beat 'em, EAT 'em! Heavy boots of led, fills his victims full of dread, running as fast as they can, Iron Man lives again. I started using the name on web forums. Top
I became a musician in 1980, and I say musician because I started on bass and was a bassist when I played professionally (hard rock and metal). At the same time, I dablled with guitar — playing anytime I could get my hands on one. If memory serves, I bought my own first electric guitar around 1983. I was always into guitar and guitar players even as a bass player.
My band days ended (for quite a while) back in 86. I've been playing guitar exclusively since, but not regularly. I had laid off serious playing for roughly 12 years. I'd pick it up every once in a while, but I'd go through long periods — sometimes more than a year — without playing. So when people ask me how long I've been playing guitar, I don't have a easy answer for that question.
I had really burned out on playing music and everything that went with it. For me, the 90s was largely devoted growing up and getting my life in order — going back to school, getting a degree, finding a real career, getting married, buying a house. It wasn't until I'd done all of these things and felt settled down that I got the itch to play again.
And I hadn't played regularly for a long time. So when I came back, I rededicated myself and set a simple goal: all I wanted to do was improve as a player. I set limitations on my re-involvement with guitar: I did NOT want the headaches of being in a band. I did not want to gig. I didn't want any of the frustrations involved in being a working musician again. I wanted to have fun! Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?
To address the first part — improving — I took some lessons to attack my weaknesses and started practicing. I'd always considered myself a hacker and I wanted the get beyond that level I'd been stuck at for a long time. I wasn't bad, but I wasn't all that good either — though my tone was always good! My best friend is fantastic player and teacher. He gave me lots of great stuff to work on to improve my playing. It was good. My playing improved.
Having fun proved MUCH harder. I would have been totally content to just jam with people, and that's what I initially set out to do. It turned out to be rather difficult. I found jams, but most of them have been unsatisfying. I was meeting nice people, but I was not meeting stimulating players. I was meeting LOTS of beginners. I discovered that very few players these days know how to jam in the traditional sense of the word (i.e. making up a song on the spur of the moment and taking it for a ride). If it's not a song they know, or a 1-4-5 blues progression, they're largely lost. Worse, despite the promised attendance, many times I'd go to these things and there'd be no drummer and only 3 guitar players there including me. It was that old frustration again. I put up ads to try and organize my own jams. Never got enough response. Finally, I bought a drum machine to jam with. It really helped me improve my playing. Perhaps more importantly, it was an enormous kick in my creativity. Songs started pouring out of me. So many, in fact that I decided to pursue Home Recording and make a CD of my own music. Funny, really. Something I basically tripped over accidentally became the creative outlet I'd been seeking. Recording my own songs had been the most rewarding musical experience I have had to date. Top
Well, things were cruising along like that for a while. I lived in a three bedroom house in the suburbs of Boston. I had all my expensive gear, and my home studio and I was recording my music. But the rest of my life was destructing. So after several unhappy years, I finally decided to stop trying to save a marriage that had gone bad, and I pulled the plug. I changed everything about my life. And I do mean everything.
DRG has given me many positive experiences over the years. I've made many friends, I've interviewed some of my favorite players, and discussed lots of subjects with lots of people and learned a lot about guitar from some great players. The one thing I never expected, however, is that a guitar web site would bring me the most amazing woman I ever met, and that she would become my wife! Amy showed up at DRG right around the time I began divorcing my first wife. When we figured out that we were meant to be together, I left my life in Boston behind and moved to NYC to be with her. We were married in 2005 and lived happily ever after in a small NYC apartment until 2009. Those days, my guitar playing consists of bringing a gig bag and some pedals to some jams in the city. Most of my gear (other than a few guitars) was in storage. My recording project was on-hold indefinitely. And while I missed some of those things, they had never made me truly happy when I had them. They had just provided temporary distractions from my unhappiness. So the tradeoff was a no-brainer. With Amy, I was happy, and enjoying my life in NYC tremendously.
In 2009 Amy and I moved back to the Boston area. We live in a larger home now. I got my gear out of storage, and we resurrected and vastly improved what is now our home studio. Now we both make music in our home. Originally, than meant Amy did sessions and projects, and I made my own music.
Then the unthinkable happened. In 2012, Amy and I threw caution to the wind. We ignored all the Fleetwood Mac and other band relationship horror stories, and started making music together! It was a bit bumpy at first but we found our groove, and what started as a recording project, has turned into a band: Feints. Being in a band was something I swore I would never do again. But the truth is, this project has forced me get off the bench and get back into the game. I'm playing more guitar than ever, and working with Amy has been the most musically creative period of my life — as a player, songwriter, and as a producer. The songs we are writing and recording have been incredibly rewarding. We started gigging in fall 2013. So it seems I have just about come full circle. I find the whole thing hilarious.
My Guitar Influences
Mostly 70s hard rock and early 80s pre-Yngwie metal. Zeppelin, Purple/ Rainbow, Sabbath, Rush, Thin Lizzy. My favorite players and influences (for one reason or another) are Gary Moore (circa 1978-90), Michael Schenker, John Sykes, Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck, and Wolf Hoffmann. Tony Iommi is a huge influence on my songwriting. Top