After a two year hiatus, I have picked up my guitar again. I’m in a mellow mood, and in the interest of informing the void of the internet about myself, I’d like to talk about the three guys that got me into playing guitar.


The first is a guy named Rafael Moreira, who played lead guitar for the house band on the TV show “Rockstar.” Rockstar was kind of like a rock version of American Idol, and it had two seasons, one for INXS, and one for Supernova, where the winner of each season got to be the lead singer of that season’s band. It was a well done show, and it was cool to have a singing competition centered around rock music as opposed to pop and old songs that no one in our generation had ever listened to. My favorite part of the show was the house band. I was 15 back when this show got started, and at the time, I thought it was really impressive that these guys were able to pick up a bunch of different rock songs each week and play them. Rafael, being the lead guitarist, was of course the guy who caught my attention. I owned one of the standard Squier guitars that every high schooler has, but I had never really felt the desire to play it in any meaningful way until I got to see Rafael each week playing all these songs. He made me realize that playing guitar didn’t have to be about reading some sheet music out of an instruction book – I could play any song I heard if I wanted to. I’ve kept that mentality for better or for worse since that time. One the one hand, I can’t read music. On the other, I haven’t come across any song that I wasn’t able to figure out on my own. I thank Rafael for that.


The next guy is Jerry Horton, the lead guitarist of Papa Roach. Admittedly, Papa Roach has fallen out of favor with me in the past years – I think they sold out in 2006, and nothing I’ve heard from them since has convinced me otherwise. That doesn’t stop me from remembering that Jerry is the guy behind all the riffs I wanted to learn when I really got into playing guitar through Rockstar: INXS. Last Resort, Infest, Take Me, and especially Between Angels and Insects were among the first songs I took a crack at as I was getting started. One of the reasons I upgraded to a Schecter guitar when I was done with the Squier was because Jerry Horton used Schecter guitars. And that, my friends, is the influence that nu-metal can have on a developing teenager.


As anyone that knows me can say, last but not least is Tom Morello. Rage Against the Machine will probably always be my favorite band, and I expect that Tom Morello will always be my favorite guitarist. Through RATM, Audioslave, his solo projects, and Street Sweeper Social Club, I have been listening to all of Morello’s work, and his stylistic mix of funk, hard rock, and digital effects are both instantly recognizable and thoroughly entertaining to me. If Jerry Horton is the reason I bought a Schecter, Tom Morello is the reason I invested in a wah pedal. Anytime I hear that familiar crunch on the radio, I turn the volume up. Here’s to you Tom, and here’s to all three of these guys – the foundation behind me as a guitar player.


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