Reb Beach, rose to fame via '80s arena rockers Winger. Reb was born as Richard Earl Beach in Pittsburgh, and was a musical prodigy, learning to play piano and guitar at an early age with no training recieved. He was hugely influenced by the music of Aerosmith, Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Montrose and The Dixie Dregs esp. the virtuoso guitar playing of Steve Morse. Reb had attended two semesters at Boston's Berkelee Institute but left soon for New York City. There, making a name for himself as a hot session player (for the likes of Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey & Twisted Sister) he met former Alice Cooper bassist Kip Winger. They soon formed the band Winger alongwith dummer Rod Mogenstein & Paul Taylor on organ, and made three multi-platinum records, 'Winger', 'In the heart of the Young' & 'Pull'. Reb found himself on the cover of various guitar mags and voted 'Best New Artist'. He had also designed a line of guitars for Ibanez. The band split up in 1993 and for a while, Reb had moved in a jazz-fusion direction. He was invited to play with Alice Cooper and also put out an album under the name of The Reb Beach Project. Later he joined Dokken as replacement for George Lynch and has recorded a couple of albums with them. He is also looking forward to a Winger reunion, which could happen soon.
|Gary Hoey grew up in Boston, but found himself unable to afford the classes at Berkley Instritute. So he ended up taking classes from the students who attended the institute. He moved to Los Angeles and soon formed the band Heavy Bones with drummer Frankie Banali. Gary's solo debut 'Gary Hoey' was intinally only released in Europe, with songs along the style of Joe Satriani with a touch of surf music. The next release, 'Animal Instinct' had more success when released in the US in 1993. The songs had hard rock, jazz, fusion, blues & country influences and "Hocus Pocus" recieved much radio play. His next project was the soundtrack of 'Endless Summer II', which had a cover of "Lowrider" and the Peanuts Theme. 'Gary Hoey' was re-released in 1995 followed by the Christmas album 'Ho Ho Hoey' with a rocking version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". In 1996, 'Bug Alley', a CD of diverse instrumentals in the vien of 'Animal Instinct' was released, containing a surprise version of a Bach piece. Gary has also been heavily involved in the 3 MOM (Music for Our Mother Ocean) albums, whose proceeds goes to the Surfrider Foundation. He even produced a song by Jewel that appeares on MOM II. The albums 'Ho Ho Hoey II & III', 'Hocus Pocus Live' & the new one 'Money' have also been released recently. Frankie Banali, Greg Bissonette, Dick Dale & Brian Setzer have guested on his albums.|
|In 1987, Zakk Wylde was advised to try out for the guitarist spot in Ozzy Osbourne's band. Ozzy was looking for a hotshot guitar player to record and tour with after the departure of Jake E.Lee. The then 19 year old Zakk, flew into Los Angeles, auditioned with the band and joined up to record the albums 'No Rest for the Wicked' and 1991's classic 'No More Tears'. Zakk toured with Ozzy behind those albums and also played on Ozzy's 1995 album, 'Ozzmosis' but before it's release he had left to form Pride & Glory with Brian Tichy on drums and ex-White Lion bass player James Lomenzo. Their self-titled debut album was well recieved and critically acclaimed, Zakk showing a different side of his playing by adding some acoustic guitar and mandolin and dobro parts in songs. For a while it seemed that Zakk would join up with Guns n'Roses, as he jammed with them but nothing came out of those sessions. He also played a bit with The Allman Brothers band. Since then he has recorded 'Book of Shadows' & under the Black Label Society name two more albums - 'Black Label Society' and 'Stronger Than Death'. Not contend with just making records, he also acted as a British guitar hero in the movie "Metal God", starring Jennifer Anniston and Mark Wahlberg. He also created the soundtrack album of the film. There are talks of a new Ozzy album with Zakk co-writting and contributing guitar.|
MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS
|An unusual blend of rock, blues, country and hawaiian licks and harmonies constitute the music of Michael Lee Firkins. Playing almost exclusively without a pick, he creates some of the best and most emotional instrumentals in rock. His self-titled debut contained "Laughing Stacks"and "Cactus Cruz", two grreat upbeat rock tunes along with "Rain in the Tunnel and the ballad "Saragasso Sea" with their amazing melodies. 'Chapter Eleven' shows more of his country influenzes and is less hard than the first album with notable tracks like "Big Red", "RH Express" followed by a ballad "Trinity Road" and a funky blues number "Car-less Sonata". The album 'Cactuz Cruz' brings hard rock mixed with country tunes like "Grandma Dynomite" & "Freeway Lines", while "Midnight Surf" is a Spanish style song. Firkins has played with drummer James Kottak and Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson. At one time Guitar Magazine voted him as "one of the best guitarist you have never heard off" but he is one of the most original musicians around.|
|Vinnie Moore, who was one of the innovators of the neo-classical movement, first achieved acclaim with the release of his debut 'Mind's Eye' in 1986. The Delawarean native was voted 'Best New Talent' in both Guitar Player and Guitar World magazines. The next two albums 'Time Oddysey' cemented his place among the world's best guitarist, with his fast picking and dramatic melodies. 'Meltdown' had a more hard rock feel, abandoning keyboards and the ne-classical sound altogether. But it still impresses. He got to open for Rush for the North-East US part of their tour and also played on Alice Cooper's 'Hey Stoopid' and played in every major city in the US and Canada with Cooper's band. He has even made the music for a Pepsi commercial. His 4th CD 'Out of Nowhere' was released in 1996 features a more diverse rock sound than 'Meltdown' with "Thunderball", Echoes" and "Vinman's Brew". 1999 saw the release of "The Maze" which is a throwback to his first two albums. Each of his CDs have sold 100,000 copies and he has also conducted clinics worldwide.|
John Norum is Norwegian born Swede, born on 23/2/1964 in Norway. After divorce, his mother took both John and his sister and moved to Stockholm. His band, Force, won a competition in Sweden - with the price being the chance to record an album in a professional studio. Force changed their name to Europe and released their debut album in 1983. 'Wings of Tomorrow' followed a year later, and at first the group were only famous in Sweden and Japan. "Aphasia", an instrumental song driven by John's guitar playing was a notable track. Iin 1986, they released the phenomenally successful 'The Final Countdown' LP, which made the band household names across the globe. The title song went to #1 in 12 countries and is still very popular. And at this point of time, with Europe at the height of their success, Norum decided that he no longer wanted to be with them - citing musical differences. He played on all the songs and appeared in the "Final Countdown" video but quit after a performance in Amsterdam. The next year, John released his debut solo album 'Total Control' with future Yngwie Malmsteen singer Goran Edman. He had a couple of minor hits from the album and it did quite well. Around 1988/89, John met singer Don Dokken for the first time and soon joined up for Don's solo album and tour. His collaboration with former Deep Purple bass player Glen Huges produced the albums 'L.A. Blues Authority' and 'Face The Truth' followed by massive tours. In 1992, Europe singer Joey Tempest and John reunited for some concerts. Norum released solo album # 2 'Another Destination' and toured the US and Sweden, as well as the rest of Europe. 'Worlds Away' was released in 1996. He also played on Joey Tempest's solo album 'Place To Call Home'. After the tour behind "Worlds Away" was over, John got a call from Don Dokken. Dokken guitarist George Lynch had left the band in the middle of a tour, and Norum joined up to finish the rest of the dates and plays on the live album 'Face It Live'. After a brief break, he toured with his own band and 'Slipped Into Tomorrow' was released in 2000. By now John had settled in well to the life of a solo artist, with tours or contributions to fellow musician's albums in between his own solo records and tours. He had moved to the US and is permanently residing near Los Angeles.
|A classically trained pianist, Tony MacAlpine moved to the guitar in his teens, with an ambition to mesh his classical influenses with hark rock. At the forefront of the neo-classical movement, Tony stepped into the rock world with his debut 'Evolution', and has since released the albums like 'Premonition', 'Freedom To Fly', 'Eyes Of The World', 'Madness', 'Edge of Insanity', 'Master of Paradise' and 'Maximum Security'. At times criticed by ignorant media critics for sounding too much like Yngwie Malmsteen, the multi-talented MacAlpine has nevertheless made a name as a guitar and keyboard master. His side projects include the Trio CAB, along with Denis Chambers & Brunel, who have released 2 albums, and Planet X - a progressive rock band with his friends Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theatre) on keyboards, drummer Virgil Donatti & Dave LaRue (Steve Morse Band, Dixie Dregs). Planet X have released the album 'Universe' and are touring behind it. He along with Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldrige & Robert Rock formed M.A.R.S., who released an album. Tony has also played keyboards on Vinnie Moore's 'The Maze' & 'Mind's Eye' and Joey Tafolla's 'Out of The Sun' and guitar on keyboard wiz Vitalij Kuprij's 'V3K'.|
ULI JON ROTH
|Uli Jon Roth, born in Dusseldorf, Germany, joined up as lead guitarist for German Rock legends The Scorpions in 1973 and has contributed lyrics and music to nearly half of their material released during his time with them. In five years, they put out five internationally successful albums, the last being the live 'Tokyo Tapes' and left on good terms with the band. In 1978, he formed Electric Sun, which produced three albums, including the critically acclaimed 'Beyond The Astral Skies' LP. His playing is influenced by Jimi Hendrix and classical music. In the late 1980's he produced four complete symphonies and a concerto for guitar and orchestra. He also developed his own legendary 7-string Sky guitar. "A Different Side Of Jimi Hendrix", was a tv show where he performed selected Hendrix material with a variety of international performers including Jack Bruce & Simon Philips. 1993 saw his first tv performance symphony with the Brussels Symphony Orchestra under the title of "Symphonic Rock For Europe", which Roth directed. There were about 90 performers on stage including a full classical choir, rock band, and four first class rock-tenors. The concert consisted of mainly original Roth compositions, but also included adaptations from classical masterpieces, which he arranged for the occasion. Uli Jon Roth has released 'Prologue To The Symphonic Legends'and 'Requiem For An Angel', both rock-meets-classical music albums. After a long break, he released 'Trancendal Sky Guitar' in 2000.|
|Michael Schenker was a member of the original line-up of The Scorpions along with his brother Rudolf and Klaus Meine. With Michael (then called Michel) The Scorpions released their debut album 'Lonesome Crow' in 1972. He left just after their tour supporting the album, to join British band UFO, one of the most successful bands in the '70's. Michael put out 6 albums, cinluding 'Light's Out' and the live favorite 'Strangers In The Night'. Due to personal differences, he left UFO in 1978. He joined his brother and the others in The Scorpions to record the album 'Lovedrive' in 1979 but left them soon to form his own band MSG - The Michael Schenker Group, which had even Bon Jovi opening for them at one time. MSG recorded 13 albums including the highly successful 'Unplugged' and 'Thank You' - the latter also an acoustic one intented to say tahnks to his fans for their support - before reuniting with UFO to record their comeback album 'Walk On Water'. However Michael was not happy with the band and left them after a tour. With a new lineup he again formed MSG and has since released two albums and 'The Michael Schenker Story' - a look back on the life and music of Michael with all the bands he has performed with.|