I’m a lucky man. I was raised in a big family, with older sisters and an older brother. Because of them, I was able to watch the birth of rock and roll – Bill Haley, Buddy Holley and, of course, Elvis. I listened a lot to folk music and fell in love with harmonies and the sound of the guitar. I didn’t start playing guitar until after that historic night in February of 1964, when the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. I, like every kid I knew then, started to learn the guitar. I switched to bass when I joined the first of several neighborhood garage bands. Play lists included the Beatles, the Byrds, Rolling Stones, Lovin’ Spoonful, the Yardbirds and the Who.
In high school I joined the marching and concert bands, where I was a tuba player, and had lots of fun, while being exposed to some great music, learning about performance strategies, and music theory. After beating around in a few bands after high school, I met the love of my life. My wife Shelley and I have been married 41 years, and I will go to my grave loving this woman. She has always been my biggest supporter on anything I have tried. After we were married and had our two sons, I “retired” from playing out, and my guitar playing was done in the living room or on the front porch, with an occasional fill in performance with a band that needed some help. When my boys were growing up, they were my number one hobby, and I enjoyed those years immensely. After our youngest went to OSU, I started playing in a band with my lifelong best friend, Rick Hartley. We have been playing rock and roll together for, well, a very long time. On March 10th, 2004, we lost our younger son Garrett in a bicycle / car accident while on a solo training ride for the Olympic Trials as a cyclist. Now, I am playing alone, just me and my acoustic guitar. Doing this, I will be raising funds for my son’s memorial fund. The Garrett Wonders Memorial Fund gives two one thousand dollar Scholarships to The Ohio State University for cyclists, and a two thousand dollar scholarship to a graduating senior form the Warren G. Harding Band. We have given out over thirty Three thousand dollars in scholarships. I hope you will come and see me soon – it should be fun!
Thanks for stopping by – Jay