Based on my upbringing, I’ve never been one to freak out over meeting someone with any kind of celebrity status. Gotta thank my parents and their friends for that. Cause they had some super famous friends and to my sister and I, they were just people.
When I first started living in LA, I was living with a singer that fans of the metal genre would worship. To me, he was Jeff. So yeah, I don’t really freak out. Jeff turned me on to a band called Jellyfish in a big way. He wasn’t the first to get me to listen to them, but he was the first to really insist that I pay attention to their music.
That’s how I became aware of a musician by the name of Eric Dover. Eric was a guitar player and background vocalist for some of Jellyfish’s tours. Any student of the Jellyfish knows you had to be a monster musician to be in that band.
There are stories of Eric going home from Jellyfish rehearsals in tears because they were so hard on him.
After Jellyfish, Eric went on to front Slash’s Snake Pit for a while. Fronted Imperial Drag and a band called Sextus. I admire Eric for his voice, and his tenacity. There’s a quality to his musicianship that I really think is special.
There’s the preamble…
My first gig as a solo artist in LA was at a place called The Gig. Located on Melrose Ave. Don’t bother looking it up, it’s closed down now.
The Gig was a super nice club. Good atmosphere and the people booking it were actually nice. The woman that booked me there liked me enough to give me a decent slot on a Friday night for my first chance. Which isn’t how it normally worked in LA.
My band had the second soundcheck as we were the second to last band on the bill, soundchecks always run reverse order of the lineup. Or at least they usually do. Anyway, we were in the process of loading our gear in and about to be called up to the stage when this guy walks by me, and I think to myself – damn he looks an awful lot like Eric Dover.
“Eric!” I say.
The guy stops and turns around.
“You’re Eric Dover!” I blurt out.
He got a look of being flattered that someone would recognize him and suddenly we’re chatting and geeking out about guitars and music. It was really cool to meet someone who’s musical talent I really respected and he was super cool.
As it happened, his band was the headliner for the night. They had just finished soundcheck and were leaving.
My band and I were getting shuffled on to the stage to do our soundcheck. We got setup, all set to play. The sound guy is dialing things in when all of a sudden thru the monitors we hear, hold up. Looking over to the sound guy he’s scratching his head and says “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but… Both of you guitar players can turn up!”
So Chris and I turn up and we finish the sound check.
As I’m getting off the stage Eric comes over to me and tells me how much he liked what he heard. I thanked him for sticking around cause in reality he didn’t have to do that. Usually the headliner takes off and goes to relax somewhere else before they come back for the show.
Inside I was jumping up and down in excitement that a musical hero of mine listened, enjoyed and complimented me. That really made my day. The gig itself was icing on the cake.
What an introduction to my solo career.