Some Things I’m Thankful For

As I celebrate  Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok-추석) this weekend, I am reminded of the good old days when everybody was asked to state what they were thankful for.  Well, my list for Korea Guitar is pretty long, so I beg your indulgence for a few moments.

I started this site as a little hobby to take my mind off of my Master’s degree studies.  I needed a break once in a while.  I thought it might be kind of fun to do some interviews with my guitar playing friends and put them on a blog.  I started with a couple rockin’ dudes who play in bands in my home away from home, Daejeon, South Korea.

Van Walker- Buzzard Luck
Van Walker- Buzzard Luck

Van Walker was the first player to answer my 20 Questions  and he laid the ground work for what was to come.

My friends Matt Ross, Dave Robinson, Ben Mays and the always entertaining Evan Mathews, from Guilt Kick, were my first live interview, sitting outside a coffee shop in Young Moon Dong near their practice studio. Ben and Evan have both moved on, from Daejeon to Singapore, but I truly enjoyed watching them, and jamming with Evan.

My good pal Brian P. Simms in Ottawa, Canada was my next interview.  He’s the most incredible unsigned musician I’ve ever met.  This dude has it all, and does it all.  I wish we could jam here in Korea.

thCA838GJ4
K.K. Downing

After these guys were featured on my little blog, I got the idea of trying to reach out to some international stars…people who have inspired me to play music, which in turn has inspired me to be the person I am today.  I must have sent out a hundred e-mails.  I got one response, and this man, while being a huge inspiration since I was 13 years old, will always have a special place in my heart.  On September 4, 2014, I published my first interview with a ‘legend’: K.K. Downing of Judas Priest.

Holy Crap!  This man is the reason I had my friend and master wood worker, Mark Morris, build me a red Flying V.1235411_10151572546351017_660616985_n  This interview was all I needed to kick my butt.  I sent out hundreds of e-mails.  When I mentioned that KK was already featured on the site, I started getting more replies.

Enough rambling!  Here’s my thank you list.

  • Thanks to the wonderful Jen at Rat Pak Records for
    Jeff LaBar-Cinderella
    Jeff LaBar-Cinderella

    Jeff LaBar (Cinderella) and Michael Wilton (Queensryche) and Dave Rude (Tesla).  Michael Wilton still holds the one day record for hits on Korea Guitar with 571. He was also Korea Guitar’s first giveaway: a signed copy of his Soulbender CD (won by Dodi Falcon).

  • ULTRA special thanks to Josee Stevens for my first Skype interview with one of my all time favorite players, Steve Stevens.  I’ve always loved this guy…from Billy Idol to solo to the Top Gun Theme.
    Steve with Billy Idol
    Steve with Billy Idol

    This was a magical moment.  I’ve never had so much fun being so nervous, but it turned out be a great interview and he was the coolest dude ever.

  • Doug Weber at New Ocean Media for many interviews including: Quor, Sunflower Dead, Ragdoll, Adelita’s Way, Seek Irony and the incredible Ron Bumblefoot Thal.
  • Dave Reffett.
    Dave Reffett
    Dave Reffett

    Great interview with a great guitarist who in turn introduced me to three other interviewees: 17 year old wonder kid Tyler Morris and the awesome Dylan Furr and Tom Kopyto.  Dave is a great guy with amazing chops who is now residing a stone’s throw away from Korea.  Hopefully we can meet up sometime in either Korea or China.  Best of luck with your new endeavors.  I’m sure they will rock!

  • Lance Reegan-Diehl.  The founder of the incredible HBC festival in Seoul.  Looking forward to the 10th anniversary of the fest in October.
  • Scott Norris, Hatch,  Fredrik Pihl, Nolan Riley, Shock.  It was an honor to feature you on the site.  I expect great things from all of you in the future.
  • Guitar legends Steve Lukather and Marty Friedman.  You guys are incredible.
  • Nancy Sayle for hooking up an interview with Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake…twice.  NRsmileModern technology does not always work, but Joel was kind enough to do the interview a second time.  This dude was great and I look forward to the release of his new album Dying to Meet You in October.
  • Ute Kromrey for not only the interview with Phil Campbell of Motorhead, Lemmy 1but also for going that extra step. Thanks so much for the gifts and the chance to get backstage at the Ansan Rock Festival in Korea for a once in a lifetime moment.  It was a fantastic experience and something I will cherish forever.
  • Thanks to my family.  Shinae, Hannah and Leah have listened to me talk way to much about rock stars in the past year, but it has paid off.  Every time my girls see the picture of me and Lemmy, they say “Hi Lemmy.”  Thanks also to my mom for not being too pissed off that I didn’t pick her up at the airport in Korea so I could instead to see Motorhead and the Foo Fighters.
  • 1975075_904898386235113_3472370924497191334_n
    The Man Wons

    My bandmates in Daejeon.  Brett, Colt, James, Jessica, Justin, Jude.  Always fun rockin’ with you guys.  I’ve learned so much from you all.

  • And finally, thanks to everyone who has ever clicked on Korea Guitar.

This site is not about the number of hits I get.  It’s not about how famous the players are.  It’s about a love of guitar music.  From the jam spaces to the clubs to the stadiums.  Soon, I hope to add interviews with singers, bassists and drummers.  Anyone who plays in a band with guitar music.

There are many more great things to come, including an interview soon with my favorite Korean band, a new band from California and our first two time interviewee.  Stay tuned and thanks again.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Ken

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/koreaguitar1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/korea_guitar

Gallery of Guests: (Check out who’s been featured on the site) https://koreaguitar1.wordpress.com/gallery-of-guests/

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