over a quarter century, I have been known in the
classical music world as a concert guitarist,
following the tradition of the great Spanish
guitarist Andrés Segovia. However, there was a time
in my life when I stopped concertizing and recording,
and even gave up practicing the instrument. Apart
from a small amount of teaching at Montana State
University, I quit the guitar completely. This is the
story of why I decided to perform once again.
I grew up in Los Angeles and started
playing the guitar at the age of 11, inspired by my
cousin, Jack Marshall, who was staff guitarist at MGM
Studios. I loved the way he played the guitar, and I
asked him about studying the instrument. He
recommended that I learn classical technique first to
establish solid technical skills. He also suggested I
purchase the recordings of Andrés
Segovia, the greatest guitarist in the world. I
was so impressed with Segovias playing that I
started classical, loved it, and stayed with
Even before I began playing the
guitar, I had a great love of the outdoors, in
particular, fly-fishing for trout. My dad taught me
the art of dry fly-fishing when I was six years old.
The most enjoyable times of my life were spent on a
trout stream in the High Sierras of Northern
California. My goal in life was to some day own my
own ranch with my own private trout stream.
As I grew up, I became convinced that
my aim should be to make a lot of money, retire early
and enjoy the good life. Since my father had retired
at 47, I decided that 30 would be a good retirement
age for me. And as I became more proficient with the
guitar, I wondered if my musical ability might
somehow help me achieve that goal.
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