Frank Marino Interview – Transcript, DEEP CONVO, How LSD CHANGED HIS LIFE

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Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. And man, I’ve got a great guest today. He’s not only a brilliant guitar player, he’s a brilliant guy, really good conversation list, got a lot of stuff going on, great work ethic, been around forever. And he’s the man, Frank Marino, the one and only from Frank Marino Mahogany Rush. Before we get started, I just wanna say a shout out. Thank you to Mario Bifarali from Kodan for connecting us. Quick background on Frank, and then we’ll get right into this. Originally from Montreal, Canada. Half Italian, half Arabic, he’s one of five children. God bless your parents. His early experimentation with LSD led him to what was to become the definition of his life. He couldn’t really understand when it finally caught up with him, gave him such an incredibly vivid experience that was overwhelming. It was so overwhelming, it actually landed him in the psych ward of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. That is a good place, because that’s where he first picked up the guitar and it helped his recovery. Shortly after that, he formed Mahogany Rush, a trio playing rock, psychedelic, funky bluesy music of the late 60s and early 70s. Since then, Frank’s released seven solo records, 12 albums with Mahogany Rush, and he’s got a really cool brand new six hour, six hour DVD box set with tons of cool material in it. He’s also got a 180 page book personally curated and put together by Frank. If you’ve never seen Frank, this is the only chance you will get to see him. The DVD is called Frank Marino Live at the Agora. We’re going to talk about that. If you are not familiar with Frank’s playing, I would suggest you go listen to the album called Live by Frank Marino, Mahogany Rush, Crank It Up. And man, honestly, no blowing smoke up Frank’s ass, but listen to one of the most talented guitar players you’ll ever hear playing fun and yet very serious rock and roll. Frank, thanks so much for your time. I really appreciate you coming on. Nice to be here, Craig. Nice to talk to you. Likewise, man. Uh, your bio said that you left school like after seventh grade. Yeah, I was actually enrolled in high school, but I didn’t really go. I went 28 days or 26 or 28 days. And that was like in half day periods. And, um, so I was, I was like enrolled, but never really went. And, and then I got my mind blown on, uh, you know, on the acid and then I really never went. I really. never went to high school. So I never really had that experience. But, uh, you know, later on I, I got this thirst for learning stuff. So I just started teaching myself things. So maybe I didn’t need to go to the high school after all. No, well, you can always tell. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve always noticed you could always tell people that are really well read because they speak very well. I’ve noticed that anyway. And like, it’s the first time I talked to you, I had no idea. nor that I care about your educational background, but I just knew I said, man, this guy is really well read because just the way you spoke. So I think, look, point to this, everybody learns everything on authority, right? So that means like some author wrote something that you then read. I don’t think there’s anything, not that much that we’ve actually proven or experienced ourselves. It’s usually, you know, how did the Spanish Armada think? Well, we take their word for it. So we read stuff. And, you know, that’s, it’s always reading. So when you figure it out, really libraries have been around for a long time. So if you really want to learn anything, just go read books. You’ll find out. Absolutely. Alrighty. You first picked up the guitar when you were in the hospital recovering from a lot of LSD, how did you get good at guitar and when did you start writing your own stuff? Well, look, like what happens. What happened with me was I had played drums. I had been a kid who played drums. I was into drums. I liked music. I liked the Beatles. It was the 60s. And I was a little bit young to be experimenting with those kind of drugs. But of course, it was the 60s. And I had older brothers and sisters, or older brother and older sister and friends that were older than me. So I was kind of a kid mascot type of deal. You see, if you look at the Woodstock movie, you actually see that too. You see that these obvious people in their twenties that have little kid brothers and stuff with them that look like they’re eight years old. You know, you see that in the crowd. So I was like one of those guys. And, um, when you, when you, when you go as far as I did on, you know, unexpectedly, as far as I did on that particular drug, um, the way that it works out is it’s so, it’s so freaky. In my case, it was so just terribly freaky that you really need to focus on anything other than that. So being that I was going through that and being that the, let’s say distraction at that time happened to be that there was a guitar in that hospital, couldn’t obviously there’d been drums there, it would have been bashing on those, but I don’t think they put drums in a hospital. And so, you know, I just, I just stuck to it like glue. I just I just always always invented stuff on it. And the other thing that was very odd about it was when you’re in that state of mind, especially as deeply as I was in that state of mind, and for so long, you don’t really know the difference. At that time, you don’t really know the difference as to whether what you’re thinking about is something you heard, or something you thought up. Right. So I was thinking of all the music. that I had heard, you know, in our group of friends and stuff like that. And really thinking that I was going to, you know, oh, I think I’ll work on my songs. Like, totally crazy sort of, I’ll play my, I’ll play the guitar and do more songs. Like, that’s how you’re thinking. It’s almost like when, you know, when you dream, when you dream, you’re a character in that dream. You don’t really get to decide. Unless you’re having a very lucid dream, you don’t really get to decide what you think you might or might not do. The character decides, oh, the script is written in the dream. And your character follows that script. So you might be afraid of something in the dream that you’re never really actually afraid of in life, but in the dream, you’re cast as being afraid of it. Or you might like something in a dream that you wouldn’t normally like in life, but in that dream, you’re cast as that. Well, when you go into as deep an LSD experience that… that some people do. It’s not just about anymore about, wow, does this feel cool? Or, you know, wow, I feel high or ha ha ha. That’s the early stuff. But when you finally get deep, deeply into that type of, I guess, psychosis, you just you live out a dream. And the dream is the story that your mind or whatever is inventing. And you’re that character until you eventually begin to realize, wait a minute. I’m supposed to be in the other world. I’m like, where am I? And that’s roughly what took so long for me to come back from. And during that period, the guitar was really the only way, I didn’t really care about guitar. It wasn’t like, wow, I want to play a guitar or be in a band. It just happened to be the thing that I grabbed and latched onto. And I was so terrified in that script of everything else. in that dream, if you look at my early album covers, those are basically drawings of where I was. Oh, shit. An artist’s conception of where I was. That you just cling to whatever you can and you just imagine you were thrown overboard on a ship or something and there was a piece of wood. You just sort of cling to that piece of wood like wood never meant so much to you as it does in that situation. And so yeah, anybody, it’s not just me. It’s not really a talent thing. It’s more like a necessity that anybody who does anything that in that, with that much focus is going to naturally make it second nature to them. So there’s a lot of musicians out there who understand. Let, let, let me give an example. If I go and I give a guitar, if I go meet a guitar player in a music store, for instance, and I say, um, Hey, try this guitar and I hand it to them. The first thing he’s going to do, let’s say he’s a rock player, he’s going to grab the guitar and his hand is automatically played like an E major. It’s just natural. He’s going to go there and play that first position and go bang and he’s going to strum that chord. Now when he first played guitar, it was really hard for him to play that E major. It was probably even harder for him to play that D major in the first position, which is like, you have to sort of twist your fingers a little bit to do it. But now that it became second nature to him, he almost can’t hold an instrument without going to that position. It’s so second nature to him that it just goes there. And even if you take that guy and you say, now here’s the same guitar, you have all this knowledge, now you’ve developed all this second nature knowledge. You can play E, G, D, you can play lead solos, you can do all kinds of things that are all second nature to you. Now we’re gonna take the guitar, we’re gonna flip it around left-handed. and give it to you the same guy that knows the same things, all of a sudden he can’t play them. But he knows how to play them, but his hand doesn’t do it. But if he begins to practice that way, sooner or later, he becomes the same guitar player left-handed. So you focus on something, it’s the mind that’s really thinking this stuff up, and the body’s just sort of following. So if you focus on something so much, anything could be guitar, could be being a surgeon, whatever. you’re going to get pretty darn good at it because it’s going to become second nature. So the drug experience sort of causes or caused me to focus on nothing else but that every waking hour of my day. And when I finally got out of the hospital while I was in and out a few times, I came out with this like knowledge of this disability to sort of do these things at that point. And then of course my mother, my parents were… you know, old school parents who’d never even heard of drugs, you know? And so when they, you know, it was a shock for them to have to put me in a hospital and then go through all that. And so when I came out, of course, they wanted to do, my mother wanted to whatever she could to sort of make me not be screaming and freaking out and afraid. So she said, well, he seems to like the guitar. They didn’t let me take the guitar with me at the hospital. So she got me one. And she figured, okay, I’ll get you this guitar. This guy, this kid down the street is selling one happened to be an electric guitar. And it happened to be a Gibson SG Les Paul 61, which today is worth a lot of money, but then was worth 75 bucks. So she got that for me and I just sat with that guitar all the time. And if I would go out to a park, which I was afraid to do, I would take it with me. Wherever I’d go, I’d take it with me. Go to bed. I take it with me. And that’s how you eventually. it becomes second nature to you. So what does that mean? What does second nature mean in terms of playing a guitar or any instrument? What it means is this, when you are young, when you’re a child, you learn to talk before you learn to read. You learn that by osmosis. People around you talk, so you imitate, and then you talk, at first you talk funny, and then you talk better. And you learn how to talk and say things long before they show you how to read them or spell them or write them. So then you learn the technical side. So when you do want to talk, a thought comes to your head, your tongue forms it. You don’t have to think, I think I should form my W’s like this with my mouth. It’s second nature. Now when you do that with a musical instrument, that same thing happens. You get proficient, not to the point where you’re able to say, I’m choosing to do a, you know, a scale or play something by Rachmaninoff, but you want to say something mentally, it’s like a word, but your hand does what your tongue would do if you wanted to speak. So you’re not thinking about it. It’s just doing it because of the way you started. And that’s essentially how I approached the instrument. So to this day. So for instance, if you let me join your band, and you say, Frank, we’re covering a bunch of tunes by, I don’t know, we’re having fun, we’re gonna play some of these songs, and I’ve never, let’s say, played them before, I don’t have to take the song and say, okay, let’s see, I have to play this way, and then start figuring it out. I just have to listen to it enough times so that I can memorize it in my mind, and then just like you’d be able to memorize words, from a song and then your tongue will speak them. If I memorize music, my hand will do it. It’s the same kind of connection. Now, I believe that anybody can do that. Some people think it’s unique to me that I have that ability, but I don’t think it’s unique to me. I think everybody can do that. I just think most people don’t really want to bother. They’d rather read a tab or read sheet music or go to a guitar teacher or something. Consequently, my playing doesn’t really ever get any different than it needs to be at the moment. In other words, I don’t care whether or not I can play something amazing that someone else can. I happen to think there’s a lot of some pretty technically amazing players in the world, but I don’t bother saying I think I’d like to learn that so that I could be that good. I don’t care. If I play something, it’s just because I want to express thought and if it’s not fast enough or not good enough or not as good as the next guy, that’s okay. I don’t speak like him either. So you get what I’m saying? So it’s so natural. I’ve never practiced in my life. I could never understand ever. I could never understand how someone would say, well, I got to go practice now. Like get it faster with the metronome and all that stuff. I can’t understand that. Like I’m not… I’ve never done it. And even with a band, I’ve never had a band practice. I’ve had a lot of, you know, Mahogany Rush had a lot of, you know, sitting in a room and jamming, which we still do every sound check and every show, but that’s practice. But it’s not like, okay guys, you know, I’ve seen that happen with other bands, you know, let’s get the punches right and oh, this four bars to this before we do this. And oh no, that wasn’t tight enough, let’s do it again. I can’t live that way. So you’re playing. I’m just not that way. It’s just, you’re just playing. It’s like, you’re just talking. You’re having a conversation and no one practices a conversation. It’s like, that would be weird. Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, you’d be writing, if you were practicing a conversation, you’d be reading someone else’s script. It wouldn’t be your own conversation. It would be more like a monologue or something. So that’s the approach. And LSD, well, I guess what that did was it put me in such a… mental state that it was necessary to find that way back, to find the way home as I say, find the answer. I wrote a song about it. And eventually, you know, it doesn’t come overnight. It took me 10, 15 years to try to get back to a kind of semblance of reality. And you see it in the very early, early albums where some of the things I’m writing and saying are like so out there. You say, well, this guy’s got to be crazy or something. You know, I look back at the way I was expressing certain things and I understand why I said them, why I made, you know, I had words like maximum and hoggingy rush and some of the words I said in songs. I get it now, but at the time it was just natural for me to call them those things. Like in a dream, exactly like in the dream, you’re living a dream basically. So, so it took you a long time to get back to some sort of clarity. Well, clarity starts coming. It becomes, it becomes interspersed. Like the reality, if people who’ve gone through this, there are people listening to this who are nodding their heads and going, I went through that. I know what he means by that. It’s really hard to explain it to people that don’t know that. That’s why doctors really never have the ability to help people that are going through this and they try giving them drugs, you know, they’ll give them Thorazine or whatever, try to, you know, bring them back, but bring them back to what I mean, here’s the deal. Imagination is like a very, very powerful thing, you know, imagination. And let’s say I, let’s say I would take you, we’re going on a drive and we drive by this mountain every day on our way to work or whatever. And I happen to point out to you one day, it’s a mountain you’ve passed all the time. I happen to point out to you, I see the peak on that mountain. It looks like an elephant or a rocking horse. You go, I don’t know, I don’t see that, I don’t see that. And all of a sudden you see it. You go, oh wow, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it, I get it. It’s called a eureka moment, you know, you get that ah-ah moment. Now let me ask you if you can ever drive by that again and not see it. No, you’d always see it every time you drive by. But what you saw wasn’t really the elephant or the rocking horse, what you saw was the geometry that then made you see the geometry in a different way. So if you look around at reality, If you right now in the room you’re in, look at, point your head in one direction, there’s a lot of lines there. There’s the edge of the table and the wall and there’s pictures on the wall. There’s all kinds of geometry in front of your eyes at all times. If you take a photograph of that geometry, of that picture, and then you take a pen, you could probably draw with a pen using only the lines that are in that picture by connecting them in a different way. You could draw a different figure. Say well, I need an upright line. Here’s one. I need an angled line Here’s one you start connecting them and you end up drawing. I don’t know a dog or something So what LSD or any of these drugs is doing is it’s making your mind see the world That is the world but connecting things in a different way So your imagination begins to connect this is kind of like an interspersion of reality and unreality What I had to do was I had to learn without having any help. It was the 60s. I didn’t really know a lot about this then. One point, the drug was even legal. I had to sort of figure out what am I living? What am I seeing? What am I thinking I’m hearing? And how is it connecting with the real world? So what happens is your dream begins to become interconnected with the actual world you live in. And that’s when you say, you know what? I need to get back to the actual world. I don’t like this way of looking at the geometry, scaring the shit out of me really. You begin to say, okay, and you’re trying to drag yourself back to the other way of, let’s say, not seeing that rocking horse anymore or that Elven. That’s the hard part. That’s the really hard part because you want so much to get back to what you know is some form of sanity. that you’re automatically assuming you must be insane to not be able to do it. And that’s even more scary than the things you seem to think you’re imagining, your feeling or seeing. It’s the, it’s the wish to survive. So anything that gets you there, whether it’s reading books, playing instruments, learning about new things that you didn’t learn before, whether I learned electronics and I learned physics and I learned car mechanics and I went racing and they did all kinds of things. It was always the same thing. Occupy your mind with something else and then find out how that something else is sort of fitting. And then sooner or later, what happens is that other world goes away, but doesn’t ever really go away. You can always sort of see it again if you want to, but you really don’t want to. So you focus on the other experience, the other side of it. And that’s how I live today. It’s been 50 years ago. that this happened to me. Well, 51 now. And I can still see it and I can still feel it and I can still hear it, but I choose not to. And the long journey that got me here, all the stuff I learned, whether it was technical stuff or spiritual stuff, I’m a religious guy, that was all started out of necessity. Necessity is truly the mother of invention. Yeah. I agree with you 100%. Though now you understand the whole LSD relationship because people think, oh, Frank Marino, man, was a crazy drug user, dude. And he just was like, you know, really now he’s sober. And I hear that word all the time. Not sober. I haven’t done anything since I was 14 years old. I haven’t had a drink and I haven’t had a drug. But it doesn’t mean I wasn’t high from the experience. So let me ask you this. We’ll move on after this, but what good, because how did this help you? Because I get the sense that in some way it really did help me. What are the good things that came out of that for you? Well, everything, everything that I am. But you see, there’s a danger in saying that because now people think Oh gee, I think I’ll just go take magic drugs. All this good stuff’s gonna happen. Yeah, let me tell you something. This is, I would tell everybody who might be listening to me, it’s really not good. Okay? You don’t, you really don’t need to do that. Like I know people say, oh, you don’t need to do that. You can get high on music, man. You can get high on people. You can get high on life. Well, that’s kind of an oversimplification. but it’s really not the way to do it. I got lucky because I could have just very, very as easily and many friends I know stayed in that hospital. Yeah. Slipped in there and not come back and not had something to hang on to that was a branch between the worlds. Yeah. Yeah. It’s only by the grace of God that I was able to come back. Like I didn’t come back. I didn’t make myself come back. You know, there’s a, I believe in the higher power and sometimes that helps you. And this is what I think happened. And I don’t know why that higher power, which I call God, I’m not one of these, you know, I worship the creation instead of the creator guys. The universe, the universe, as if the universe is thinking, you know, no, I’m not that, I’m not an animist. You know, Frank, listen, don’t hold back. Don’t hold back. That thing, that thing for me, is extremely real. It’s not an invention of LSD. It was here before I was. It’s as real as the multiplication table. It’s an objective truth. An objective truth. The ratio of a circle is an objective truth. It’s an objective truth whether you like it or you’re not or you’re dead or you’re alive. The ratio of a circle is the ratio of a circle. Mathematics to me is like objectively true. And so is God. So is the present. You know, that is objectively true. So in some people’s lives, and I don’t know why you get helped. And in some people’s lives, tragically, we see they don’t. No one is to blame for some reason that we don’t understand. I was kidnapped as a baby and they caught me at the end of the street, caught the guy. Are you serious? Right out of my high chair. Yeah. I was pulled out of my high chair. A man ran away with me down to the end of the street. And if not for the women. saying to my mother, Dolly, my mother’s name was Dolly, Dolly, someone just stole your kid. And they all ran after him at the end of the street, they grabbed him and beat him up and he wouldn’t let go of the baby and they finally did and he ran away. So what happens if the lady doesn’t see that man? Yeah, right. Am I talking to you today? No, probably not. So these events, for some reason in people’s lives, they change everything. They change everything. Now. I think that’s God. I think there’s a plan for that. I don’t know the plan. It’s not like I know the plans. A lot of Christians will tell you, yes, God and Lord and this and they give you this sweet kind of Ned Flanders Christianity and give you slogans. And they think they know it all, but they don’t. Sometimes you just have to be able to say that I don’t know what I don’t know and I’ll wait to find out. sort of my life. And that’s what it’s been for all my life, even before the drugs. So let me ask you this, cause I, I, if you, if you’re okay talking about it, cause I’m interested in this right now as a matter of fact. So because you should be good for you. Yeah. And I’m trying to figure out all these things and where they sit for me. Do you think you made a comment a few minutes ago? And again, if you don’t want to talk about this, that’s cool. Listen, if you’re going into theology, that’s something I prefer to talk about more than anything. So I know listeners don’t like to hear it, but that’s my whole life. Not theology. No, more spirituality. Do you- No, no, no, no. Don’t do that, Craig. Don’t do that. I don’t know theology. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t make that mistake. I don’t know theology. Spirituality. People say that. Spirituality without actually figuring out what does that mean? Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. What does that mean? I don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I’m just being totally, truly honest with you. Let me give you a logical conclusion. Let me use logic because we don’t have to use just, you know, just believe. Okay? You can use logic for that. Okay? You can actually use a logical way of approaching it. You’re right, man. No, seriously. So if we say spirituality, are we not then sort of saying to ourselves, there’s something called the spirit? Yeah. That we don’t know, right? Yeah, of course. So now we’re automatically saying that there’s a… Now, obviously that spirit’s not us. Of course. We can’t be focusing on something if it’s already there, if it’s not already there. So mathematicians will tell you, and they will tell you, they never invent a principle mathematical formula. They discover mathematical formulas. Correct. So discovering mathematical formulas implies that that formula was there before they discovered it. Something can’t be discovered unless it was already there. Just using the word discover, okay, means it was there, I found it. I go into the woods, I see rocks, I see trees, I expect to, all of a sudden I see a Coke can, I say, hey, a person was here because it’s a Coke can. That thing didn’t grow out of the ground. So when people say, well, you know… I’m not really into the God thing, but I’m spiritual. Now all of a sudden they’re saying there’s a spirit. No, I’m not saying that. So we have to go down that road and say, okay, what is that spirit? What does that mean when we talk about that? We sense a spirit. Now we need to go down that road because we said so. And all we need to find out about that is whether or not it’s imaginary or objectively true. If it’s imaginary, we can like my acid trip is just another way of looking at geometry, we can say, okay, put it aside. Just another way of looking at geometry. But if we find out that it’s objectively true, it becomes the most important thing in the world. Okay. So let me ask you this. You mentioned the word help a few minutes back. Do you think that wanting help or asking for help is what led you to discover God for you? Absolutely, 100%. 100%, not just me. You see, here’s the problem with help. People are so proud. It’s inherent, we’re proud. Let’s face it, we’re proud of everything. We’re proud when our kids do something nice. That it’s almost like humbling. to ask something that one doesn’t see for help. It’s admitting weakness. Now here’s the deal about that. If goodness is actually a thing, right? And badness, for lack of a better word, is actually a thing, right? We all want goodness. Everybody seems to want goodness. Even bad people want goodness. Okay, they want good things, right? So people aspire to that, right? They really want that. They know that from the time they’re children. There’s no such thing as an evil baby. Right. Evil infants don’t exist. Correct. So what evil is, is not what is something, but what people do. People do evil things. People are not evil inherently. They’re inherently good. Because they’re born inherently good. Every infant is born inherently good. And the Bible says every time God does something, He says, and God saw that it was good. And God saw that it was good every time He does something. So goodness is inherent in what we are, whether you believe in God or not. We see that just by looking at the world. Okay, look at go, go in a hospital. Look at all the newborn babies. You see they’re inherently good. Yeah. There’s no evil there. But yet we know that every evil, every person we can, you know, conclude is evil today, whether it’s Hitler or Stalin or whatever. At some point they were saying, mommy, ice cream, mommy, cookie. They were little babies. They were inherently good. Can’t imagine Adolf Hitler saying mommy, cookie, mommy and smiling and being cute. Right? But it’s true. We don’t need to believe that it’s true. It’s objectively true. Sure. So once you start from that point. Let’s say you accept that point without saying, let’s argue for the sake of arguing, then you begin to have to ask a different set of questions. Because if that is true, that means that when you were ostensibly good, you didn’t have the pride. You didn’t have the ego. You didn’t have all of the things that make you think you’re so self-important. So any goodness you did, couldn’t have been of your own accord. You didn’t have the mind to say, I think I’ll go out and do this good stuff today. When you were that good infant. So any good that you did do had to have come from another source. Cause you did do good and yet you didn’t know it. So what was the source? Everything has a source. It’s just cause and effect. So what was the source of that goodness? As we get older, we begin to say, we are the source. We’re not actually the source because he could, if we were, we’d have known what we were doing when we did good before we knew what we were doing. Right. I understand. So mathematically that doesn’t work. So what was the source? Now here’s why it’s important to ask for help. A person who asks automatically puts himself in the position where he is admitting he’s more humble than he was. He’s humiliating himself. And the more you know not terribly but he is in effect humiliating himself making himself humble by doing that the source whatever that source you want to call it it can act through you the way it acted through you before so the good that you do is not you giving anything to god but god giving something to you The reward you receive is the goodness you do. It’s not like you do goodness and then get a reward for it. The goodness itself is the reward. Okay. Say that one more time because I just want to absorb that. I’m saying that the goodness a person does is the reward for having asked for goodness. That’s God doing it through you because God. is the source of good. That source that had the good baby do good things before it knew. That’s a source. So then the good you do all your life comes from that same source will begin to believe that we’re the ones making it happen, but we’re not. I got you. You see what I’m saying? So that’s why asking, the word pray actually means ask. The definition of the word is to ask for something. That’s why they said pray, tell. in Old English. So the word pray is derived from the word ask. The word obey is derived from the word hear or listen. To listen, to obey God is to listen to him, to hear him. It’s not to, you know, flagolate yourself. You know what I’m saying? People make it out to be what it isn’t. And so then people turn on it. They go, oh, why should I believe in this big thing that wants to cast everybody into hell? But that’s just a lie. That’s not true. So if you don’t approach it with an open mind from the beginning and say, okay, I’ve said there’s a spirit, so let’s find out. I said I want goodness. Why do I want that? Where does that come from? What’s the source? And here, think about this. When people quarrel, let’s say you’re quarreling with a friend, right? Yep. That’s different than if you’re fighting. Okay, if you’re fighting and two people are fighting, they’re beating each other and one might kill the other, right? But let’s say you’re quarreling. What is quarreling? Quarrel seems to be when two people are arguing over a point that they expect they’re appealing to a higher purpose that they expect the other person should know about. Yeah. It’s like, you know, hey, I was here. Yeah, I was here first. It’s not right to do that. They expect the other person to know about that higher purpose. And then the other person says back to them, no, no, it was me because you should know this, right? It’s always about the expect the other guy knows about the higher purpose that they’re referring to, but they don’t really know what that purpose is. They know it’s some kind of standard. They’re, they’re comparing the person’s actions or word. to a standard that they expect the other person should know about and they see that he doesn’t and it turns into a quarrel. So what is that standard? How come we suspect inherently that there’s a standard that no one has told us about that’s always better? How do we know that the word better is better? How do we know the direction good is compared to bad? We all know that. We say, oh, that’s good. And then we go, oh, that’s even better. So how do we know there’s a direction towards good? We are suspecting there is because inherently our spirit, which you mentioned before, that’s sort of saying, call it our conscience, that’s sort of saying, oh gee, if there’s good, there must be better. If there wasn’t actually goodness, you wouldn’t know when something was better than another because you’d have no standard to compare it to. So push that standard to the nth degree. to a degree that you can’t even understand. And that’s what we’re always trying to get to. The word religion is derived from the Latin term Relligare, which means to retie, to rebind. So we specifically feel we need to get connected to something we might’ve been connected to at some time before. So we’re trying to get back there. That’s all it means. So a guy who says, I really wanna understand about spiritual things. Why the question really becomes, well, why do you? It’s because something inside of you knows it’s real and you want to find it. And so you go seeking right now along the lines, you’re going to meet a lot of people, but the one advice you seem to come up against the lot, not against, but for a lot was, uh, ask, pray, be humble. You seem to be hearing this a lot. Why? Okay, so think about this. In the story of Saint Paul when he’s converted on the road to Damascus, he’s this enemy of Christians, he’s killing them, he’s murdering them, okay? And then all of a sudden he sees Jesus and Jesus says, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It hurts to kick against the goats. What does that mean? The goats were spikes, wooden spikes that the farmer would till the ground with his oxen and he’d push the… the stick into the animal to make it go left or make it go right to try to drive it, to do the work. And sometimes the animal would kick back against it and say, I don’t want that. And he’d kick and it only hurt himself because he’d kick into the spike and it would hurt him. And he’s telling him, if you keep kicking back against where you’re guiding, where you’re being guided, all you’re doing is hurting yourself. And guess what? The ground’s not getting tilled either. Not doing yourself any good to fight back like that. Relax, calm down. He also said, not in that instance, but there’s also scripture that says, I am made perfect in your weakness. People don’t understand that. But think about this. If good is truly done through a person by a source, doesn’t more good able to happen the weaker that source is so that it can completely occupy that person and not just 50 percent? If a person kicks back 50 percent, the goodness can’t come out as much. If a person is weaker and weaker and weaker and more humble, the goodness can come out even more. It’s like turning on a tap, 50% are full. So that is what is meant by that. And that’s how I live my life. When I talk about theology, I’m not talking about knowledge, because listen, if it took knowledge for salvation, every baby would be doomed because they can’t read. I don’t believe in knowledge. That’s gnosis. That’s the Gnostics that taught that. This is what I mean about it having helped me greatly by understanding that I had to basically… Humble yourself. Yeah. Ongoing. And people mistake that, Greg. They think humbling yourself means you’ve got to go, oh, I’m so terrible and I’m a worm and I’m this. No, that’s not what it means. And that’s what they use to attack us when we say that. They think we’re telling them that you have to be some kind of… slathering slobbering person crawling on the ground and saying that you’re no good. God didn’t create no good, He created good. So it’s a lie that humility is somehow being some kind of, you know, loser. That’s not true. Humility is just the ability to say, I’m not the highest thing around. I don’t know everything. I’m ready to learn when I have to. And if I can’t find God to talk to him directly, cause you know, I’m not one of those people that thinks God speaks to you from the ceiling. If I can’t, if I can’t do that, um, then you know what? I’ll do it with people. I got 8 billion practice dummies in the world to work with. Oh man. That’s the way I see it. Wow. That was intense, man. Thank you. That was, um, Thanks. I didn’t mean to turn this into a theological discussion, but what I’m telling you is actually theology. No, I appreciate it. And I prompted you so you didn’t turn it into anything. I was just curious because I’m going down this path now and the message that various parts of the message that you just discussed are very similar to things I am hearing. often, you know, it’s very consistent in what I’m hearing. So I’m just trying to figure out where I stand. No doubt if you were in a mathematics class and you took five classes in it, you’d be hearing some consistent things from class to class. Right. Well, that’s right. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. But for me personally, this is all brand spank at 55. This is brand spanking new. So this is just, it’s like, man, it’s just no different. I’ve only been… Bless you, I’ve only been playing guitar four years. It’s no different than that. I pick up this instrument like, oh, how the hell does this work? It’s literally the same learning process of, okay, you know, but actually tougher learning this stuff, um, because, because of all the things like you talked about, like, you know, well, if you want to have a relationship with God, you’ve got a, you know, really, uh, slather as you, you know, cause there’s a lot of that out there too. And I never bought onto any. And in fact, that pushed me away, quite frankly. Of course, and that’s why I’m what you call an Orthodox Christian. So I follow Orthodox Christianity, which is Eastern and it’s ancient. Right. So, so, and it’s from Antioch, okay. From the original Antiochian people with my mother. Okay. So when you, when you look at it that way, it’s more of an actual practical apostolic idea that doesn’t really subscribe to what the rules are, what the revenge is, or what all this other stuff that we’re, you know, some people are mistakenly taught. It’s very misunderstood that this is actually, I mean, let’s say people that don’t even like the whole Jesus thing were to meet this guy Jesus, like at a cafe, okay, like as he was, right? They probably like the guy. I love your practical. Yeah, they probably like the guy a lot, man. They probably say, hey, I like this guy. I love your practical. You bring them home and say, hey, I met this new friend. Yeah. You’re great with this, man. I once wrote a paper, because I write a lot of theological papers, but I once wrote one was called, Why Do They Hate Them So Much? And at the top of the page, I basically divided this long piece of foolscout paper, you know, these long legal pages. I divided it vertically and I had two columns. And in the left column, I wrote down all these things that Jesus advised and taught and did. Now that’s not actually the point of Christianity. The point of Christianity is actually resurrection, but forget that for a minute. I wrote down all the teachings. Okay? So there’s the teachings. And then on the right side of the column, I wrote down all the ways that people raise their kids. And it was remarkably the same. You know, don’t fight with your brother, shake his hand, you know, all this kind of, hey, hey, don’t say that, be nice, okay, all the way they raise their kids. And I’m talking about non-believers, okay, non-believers who raise their kids. And the columns were identical. I mean, this is very, and so I said, so why do they hate him so much? What’s going on here? Who’s making them think they hate him? And what was your conclusion? But they don’t. What was your conclusion on that? Well, qui bono, it’s an Italian expression for who benefits. So if ever I see something going on, I want to know, well, who benefits? Right? That’s a typical expression, qui bono. Now I think if I believe in a God and I believe in a good, I can’t negate. that there’s also the opposite of that. Because that’s what the religion tells me anyway, whether I can prove it or not. So that’s who benefits. Okay, so you look at who has the agenda and what the agenda is. Exactly. Yeah, okay, I get you. I’ll give you an example. The Bible says at one point, there’s a proverb that says, perfect love casts out fear. What does that mean? Perfect love casts out fear. It occurred to me. long time ago that I was thinking that the opposite of love was hate. But then it occurred to me that the opposite of love was fear. And that’s why love casts it out. Now why do I say this? I say this because it also occurred to me that this omnipotent God that I’m trying to understand, that no one can by the way, can’t do everything. They say, well of course, you know, God could do anything. Well, he can’t be God can’t be afraid. Right. God can’t envy. Right. Gee, I wish I could have that. The idea of a God envying is not possible. Okay. So this is just logical impossibilities. Okay. So and then on the same people that say, you know, there’s a God, he could do everything, but okay, I agree. He can’t be afraid. And okay, I agree. Can’t end you. But he’s still everything. Right. Well, then if he’s everything, how come those things exist? So that means that they, they do exist because we feel fear, we feel envy. Sure. We feel those things. Okay. They’re real. We feel them. Or are they? They’re illusions from the God point of view. They’re not real. They’re illusions. Now you say, well, they’re illusions. How come I feel them? Well, how come when you go in your room and you look in the mirror, you see yourself in there and you think it’s real, but it’s an illusion, you know, it’s an illusion. But. It even moves like you, but it’s an illusion. So illusions don’t have to be smoky. It can be very realistic. Say that again, when you look in the mirror, it’s an illusion? Well, when you look in a mirror and you see Craig in the mirror, that’s an illusion of Craig. That’s not Craig. Right, it’s a reflection. Right, magicians use that all the time. They create themselves in mirrors so you think they’re there so they can disappear, okay? So… Illusions, my point is that an illusion doesn’t always have to be what we think the word illusion means. It’s some smoky weird thing that you have to be stupid to see. It can actually be something we think is real. So fear, we think fear is real. So we feel it. But actually it isn’t. Because if it was real and if God is reality, he would have fear too. Right. Okay. So whatever God are this omnipotent, we make into this omnipotent, God can’t do is obviously not real. If we want to ascribe reality to that, to that being. So logically speaking, we live on our side of the fence. We live in a mixture of reality. and unreality, like I did with the LSD. Right, because fear isn’t real. It’s something you create and conjure in your head. It’s not something that you can touch, feel, take. And envy is not real. Right, correct. All of the things, but did you ever notice something? All of the things that we are told, don’t do this, don’t do that. Right? They’re all the things God can’t to do. Don’t covet, don’t envy. All those things, it’s basically advice. It’s basically, hey, if you do that, you’re chasing a chimera, you’re chasing something unreal, you’re giving credence to something that’s not doing you any good or anybody else. So who benefits? Who benefits? Nobody on that one. The adversary benefits. The other guy or force. that’s the benefit. So if you cast out, if a person says, I, you know, I don’t want this God thing in my life, guess what God does? He goes, okay, God doesn’t compel, He persuades. So if you say, go away, God is like the proverbial boyfriend who will go away if the girl says, I don’t want to know you. Okay. It’s like, okay, I’ll go away. Okay. He goes away until you say, come back. And then he comes back. So let’s say a person casts it off. I don’t want this anymore. It interferes with my business life or it interferes with my love life or it interferes with whatever life I want to have. Yeah. It puts guilt on my head or whatever they think. They cast it off. Guess what? It’s like, okay. But now what happens? Now you’re a void of that immune system. It’s like a patient casting off his immune system, begins to get all kinds of sicknesses. What does it mean the sicknesses said, hey, look, there’s a guy over there. Let’s go attack him. Those sicknesses are attacking you right now. Cancers, all kinds of things, but your immune system is dutifully keeping them away. You don’t know that. It’s working all day. 24-7. Now if you throw it away, all of a sudden, opportunistically, all the sicknesses take root. So, a person who casts off the idea of spiritual goodness, let’s say God, okay, they’re throwing away the only thing that makes them immune to becoming evil. And so the only thing left is all the sicknesses take root. So the sins that a person does, it’s not like people are teaching, you do the sin and God leaves you. No, no, no, no, no. It’s you leave God and then the sins are there. The cart goes before the horse. The person who’s sinning is sinning as a result of having gotten away from that immune system. He doesn’t do it first and have it done to him in reverse, like some kind of revenge. Right. I understand what you’re saying. You see where I’m going with that? So when you look at it that way, you think you wanted to look at it as a spirit. That’s fine. You know, you want to call the spirituality, that’s fine, but let’s look at how it implies and impacts your actual life in a practical sense. Cause let’s say we live practically, we could sit around and philosophize all day. Doesn’t do anything for us. Cause we’ve got to get up tomorrow and live practically. We’ve got to get on the bus and meet people and pay our bills and say hello and wave and drive our cars. This is our life. This is our reality. So how do we take that idea and say, it’s not so all fired important that we have to be on our knees flagolating ourselves. We just have to get up every day, interact with human beings that God created, just like He created us. You know, the most poignant statement I’ve ever read was at one time when I was angry. my brother, my actual brother, not a human my brother type of thing. And I read this thing that said in the Bible that said You are denigrating your brother. You are denigrating your mother’s son. That came home to root with me. Wow. I’m attacking my own mother’s son. It just made sense to me. So if we, if we extrapolate that to a world in a worldly sort of sense, kind of everybody else is like when you do it to them, kind of doing it to your father’s son or your mother’s son, it’s the same thing, but we don’t look at it that way. We look at it as that guy did this to me. And therefore. He doesn’t deserve me to like him. And no one’s telling us that we have to be fond of people who act like jerks. That’s not what love your neighbor means. Love is an action, not a feeling. It’s a verb. So love your neighbor just means do for people and cut them the same slack you’d cut yourself when you screw up. Because when you screw up, you don’t look in the mirror and say, boy, do I hate myself. I’m not going to talk to me anymore. You’re a self. It just means cutting people the same slack. That is the message. If you want to look at Christianity as a message thing, that’s the message. Mercy. Mercy is the heart of the law. Now it’s more than that because it deals with other things, you know, resurrection, stuff like that. Afterworlds, afterlives. But I’m saying if you only want to deal with the message, the message is simply mercy. That’s the real truth about it. And if you look at all the good things you’re told to do and all the bad things you’re told not to do, it always comes down to being merciful. And you can choose. It’s not a rule. It’s not a rule. You can choose. You can say, no, I’m not going to be merciful. I wish that people who do the bad stuff, I wish they would just own it. I’m doing it. I know it’s wrong, but I don’t care. I like it. And they know I know a lot of junkies that say that. Okay. But most people, most people feel so bad about what they’re doing that they have to make it right. No, no, I’m doing it because it’s right. and they want to find all these reasons to kind of justify what’s wrong. That’s the wrong way to go about it. In my opinion. Now they can do that if they like. I just think you’re fooling yourself. You do the, if you do the crap, own it. Say, I know it’s bad, but I own it. Own it. Because if you keep on owning it, you’ll get so sick of it. You won’t want to do it anymore. You will. Just like junkies. Sooner or later they say, I can’t be a junkie anymore. Just like alcoholics, sooner or later they say, I can’t be enough. They justified their drinking for so long and then sooner or later they go, I can’t do this. I was fooling myself. They begin to say, I need to be healthy. Um, sorry, it went to this direction, Craig. Oh, you’re not going to shut me up when it comes to this subject. I noticed. Well, I know that let’s, uh, let’s shift. First of all, no, in all seriousness, in all seriousness, thank you. I appreciate that was really heartfelt and genuine and thanks. That was really kind of you to share all that. Um, that being said. Let’s shift gears and I’m not in any way minimizing or like, I know I get it. Don’t worry. Discounting anything you said. I just wanna remotely get back on topic. Even though I’m the one who probably got us out of topic. So I’ll own it. I got no problem owning anything I do. Maxoom, speaking of which you mentioned, comes out, you’re 18. And I read somewhere you started working on, were you like 16 or something like that? I did, I recorded half the record or parts of the record when I was still 16. Finished it when I was 17. And it was done by the time I was 17. I wasn’t 18 yet. And then it came out. What was that, what did you learn from that experience? Cause that had to be pretty like eye-opening. Well, I can’t say I learned something then. the time, like I wasn’t thinking about learning anything. But now you say what, what have I, what can I take from that experience now, now that I know what I know, right? Well, single biggest, single biggest thing I know now about that, about that experience is that I never should have signed with a record company. Ah, it was a bad deal. No. But it was, it’s not something that should have been done. It was a stat it Yes, it started the good part of this has started me on a career that made records and got people to know my music. The bad part of it was you’re dealing with people who are not, you know, very usually not all the time, but very usually not the best people to deal with. And they will usually treat artists, music and work and humanity in the worst of ways. It’s it’s it didn’t have to be so I guess at the time it had to be so. So I’m not going to argue with that. But. You know, that’s what I think now. Right. Like, but at the time, what did I think? Well, at the time I didn’t want to sign with a record company. And so the only reason we did Maxoom was because they promised me gear. They tried for months, let’s get this kid to record. This kid, we can make money with this kid. Let’s promise him anything. And I kept saying, no, no, no, I’m anti-establishment. I don’t wanna do it. I was a hippie, right? So. and I’m recovering from LSD. So they were like the enemy, you know, and no, no, no. And then it was like, I tell you what, we’ll put you in this place. We’ll give you a key. We won’t come there at all. We’ll let you do it yourself. We’ll let you produce it yourself. And we’ll give you all this gear to play with. I said, gear? We didn’t call it gear, but it was equipment, right? There’s all this equipment in there. Equipment? Oh, really? Squirrel, you know, like the dog. And so yeah, so we go in there. They never came there once. We just did whatever we wanted. They let me be the producer, right? Right. And they, as long as I signed, they gave me whatever that, you know, esoteric stuff was, and I did sign and it was like, okay, as a matter of fact, my parents had to sign, too young. And I still have that contract, my parents’ signature on it. That’s funny, man. And, and so that’s what started it. What ended up coming out of it that was really good was this. When those people in their greed wanted to make more money, instead of just letting me go as an artist, they literally sold my contract to another record company for money. So I simply became the property of the next record company. Right, right. And when the next record company wanted to do that again, they sold my contract again to another record company. In that case was Columbia. So what happened was the conditions that were in the first one that let me produce and leave me alone type of thing artistically transferred from one company to the next. So by the time I got to the majors, if you want to put it this way, 20th century in Columbia, they couldn’t change that. But there’s no way in hell they would have let a 16 year old kid produce his own record in 1970. Right, right. Wow. But they had to because that was part of the original deal. So what ended up happening that became good about it is I got a career in production and I produced every album I ever did and I learned how to do that stuff. I learned how to be a genuine engineer and a genuine producer from a very early age. No other artist had that allowed to him ever. Maybe today they might, but back then it was impossible. They wouldn’t take some kid and let him produce records that they were spending. half a million dollars on. Yeah, not at all. But in my case, they had to because they bought the contract. And so that was the good that came out of it. I got to do my music, my way without having to compromise it. I could say what I wanted, play what I wanted. They were always trying to talk me out of it. That’s for sure. Every day, every record. What do they want you to do different? No, I’m doing what I want. What do they want you to do different? Shorter songs, pop tunes, harmony vocals, no guitar solos. Get on the radio, dress a certain way, do sexy shit, include more females in terms of the advertisements and the whole cars and females thing. Drugs and sex and all that. I wasn’t, no, for me it’s like, what are you nuts? I’m not into that stuff. I’m into what I’m doing, that’s it. I’m doing it my, I’m like Frank Sinatra, I’m doing it my way. No, I hear you. I hear you, I like that. So that’s the good, that’s the good that came out of it. The good that came, but what was the bad that came out of me doing it my way was that I did, it did not translate into multi-million sales and you know, your picture all over the newspapers and everything like, like other people, but I was okay with that. I, you know, I was hardly ever on the radio and when they would play my songs, they’d play my cover tunes. I only ever covered nine tunes in my whole career and yet that’s all they’d play. Yeah, that is weird. You know, they’d play my Hendrix cover or they’d play. you know, my Dylan cover, you know, like, or my doors cover. Yeah, I covered four or five tunes. That was it. But that’s what radio would play because it was safe. Oh, well, we got to play this Marino guy. Let’s play something safe. Everybody knows purple haze. Let’s play that. You know, so that was the bad that came out of that. Me doing it my way, but had I played the game. And I said, oh yeah, okay guys, yeah, what do you want me to wear? Where should I stand? You know, yeah, okay, let’s do this this way and that way. Maybe they would have played ball a little more and said, don’t worry, we’re gonna make you a star. But I didn’t wanna be a star, I was embarrassed by it. I didn’t like it. I don’t like applause. You couldn’t have made music that, I mean, sincerely made music. Sincerely, yeah. Yeah, but here’s the thing, I don’t like applause. Really? Literally. Yeah, I don’t like it. Why? Still? It’s embarrassing. Yes. It’s embarrassing, man. Why? Well, think about it. You walk into a room and everyone stands up and claps for you. Why? I mean, I think it’s just that- I’ve said this before. On the one hand, they’re telling me I’m talented, right? Right. Right? So why would you clap for a talented person if that’s not the person? That’s a gift to the person. So it’s like kind of like clapping for a handsome person or a good looking girl. It’s a gift, a good looking. Clap for that. The clapping, you know, the clapping should be, well, look, it’s like someone gave you a Ferrari, they’re gonna clap for you. It’s like, you know, it’s a gift. You have a gift. That’s your gift. Other people have gifts. Look at, there’s very gifted people, but they’re not in the arts. So there’s gifted mathematicians, there’s gifted artists, there’s gifted all, there’s gifted. people that are really gifted at carrying boxes from one warehouse to another. Yeah, but I think it’s just an acknowledgement. We don’t clap for enough gifts at people. I think it’s just an acknowledgement of that you’re making them happy. I mean, like when I clap for someone, if I’m in the audience, it’s because they made me feel good. I understand. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not denigrating their motives. I’m not saying that they have bad motives. They have great motives. And I appreciate that they do it. It’s just embarrassing for me. Yeah. It’s like, You know when bands would get in and out of limousines? Yeah, not personally. I would see bands get in and out of limousines and I would think, what a jerk. What are you doing? Why are you in a limousine? Why are you hiding from the crowd? They’d have their security guys all around them and, no, don’t look at him. He’s going in the building now. It’s really weird. Yeah, but I think that’s why. But if that guy hadn’t sold a bunch of records, if he hadn’t sold a bunch of records, they wouldn’t be saying he’s going in the building now. Yeah, but I think don’t look away. I think it’s what you said. It’s they have some guy telling them. So if you have a whole, if you have a whole squadron of people saying, Hey, you got to go in this limousine and do here. Not many people are going to say, no, man, you know, I’m just going to, um, get in my friend’s. No, Craig, I’ll tell you the truth of the matter. Okay. I, I, I heard that way too much in the business for too many years. Okay. Oh yeah, my manager won’t let me do it or the record company told me I need to do this or that. Well, that’s not true. First of all, it’s a lie. And I’ll tell you why. Sicilians have an expression, the fish stinks from the head down. Sounds like I’m listening to an episode of The Godfather. Yeah, but well, my father was Sicilian, so he’d say things like that. But look. Nobody in any band unless they’re unless they’re like the back member. Okay, I agree with that like some guy They’ve got the plays rhythm or whatever is behind the curtain fine. I agree with that. They’re told what to do They do what they’re told but the star what are you kidding me? You think the manager tells the star what to do? Star that tells the manager what he wants to do and the manager tells the world I’m telling the star what to do so he takes the heat Let’s be honest here. There’s never been a single star that was told by his manager, you need to do this. And he’d go, okay, sir. No, but doesn’t- It’s the other way around. They hire the manager. The manager doesn’t hire them. Okay, right. So the artist can sit anytime and say, you know what, Bob, I don’t really wanna go in a limousine. I’m doing this. Yeah, which is what I did. Okay, I get it. I understand what you’re saying. So when you see them- blaming their manager for whatever it doesn’t have to be just the limousine many things they blame their managers for okay, it’s really them They’re lying to you gotcha Now here’s how you know When they were on the up escalator you couldn’t even get to meet them or whatever now that they’re on the down escalator They have meet-and-greets These same people that wouldn’t meet you before are all too happy to meet you and say, thank you very much for buying my record and coming to my concert. And by the way, give me the $600 for the ticket that you paid to meet me. Right, right, right. Okay, this is ridiculous. Charging people money to meet you. That’s insane. That’s insane. That’s like the height of sociopaths. Like it’s crazy. Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. You’re a pretty fashionista. We’re gonna charge you $600. So you could come and stand at a rope line and then come and sit on my lap like Santa Claus and say, thank you very much. And then we’re going to get the next person that comes from the rope line to sit on my lap. All these Hollywood people that freak out because photographers follow them everywhere. You know what? Go out of your house every day, give everybody pictures of yourself. It’ll be so devalued. They won’t follow you anymore. Yeah. But Frank, you’re such a maverick. Most people are not like you. I’m not a maverick, I’m a normal guy. No, but you’re a maverick. When normalcy becomes being a maverick, there’s something wrong. Yes, yes and yes. And I’m saying that in a good way. That’s not a criticism behind it. You’re different like that. You are like, fuck it, I’m doing what I want to do. I’m marching to the beat of my own drum. That’s more of a scarcity than a commodity in general with anything. musicians or fucking baking cakes or being a parent or whatever, you know, that’s not the norm. I like that. And I’m attracted to people that are like that. And I, and I think I’ve, I’ve been like that. And sometimes I’ve been like that only because I want to be like that, not even because I’m necessarily given credence to what I’m doing, it’s just that I don’t want to do what everybody else wants to do. But well, I will say this about that. I will agree with you and say it this way. What I, the way I am is not common. but it’s normal. Yeah, I’m not saying it’s not normal. Okay, so commonality is not necessarily normal. Normal, right, okay, right, same thing. Normal for you, but it’s not, right, okay. Whatever, you know, whatever you wanna say, but that’s just the way it is, Frank. You’re just a super maverick and you don’t, you want to do your thing and fuck it, good for you. You know, and you should. It just happens to be, I’m in the arts, I happen to be in the arts, but I do a lot of other things. I race cars, you know, I do all other things, so. It’s like, I like to say, I’m not a hyphenated person. Nobody should be a hyphenated person, like Frank the guitarist, Frank the drummer, Frank the race car, Frank the guy that does, I’m not hyphenated, I’m Frank, you know, happen to play guitar, happen to play drums too, I play keyboards, I like to cook pizza, I’m not Frank the pizza maker. I know you’re preaching to the choir, but you, okay. But here’s, I would bet this is you went through something that was, and I don’t know if it was your acid trip or something, something happened to you that was very difficult, you got through it and it gave you a different vantage point on what is important in life that other people don’t have. I mean, I’m willing to bet that, right? True, I’ll modify your last part of your statement that other people don’t know they have. Um, or that maybe they haven’t gone through. Right. But they don’t know it, but they’ve got it. I’m saying to you this, and I mean this in all sincerity, not false humility. Anybody. I mean, I’m not saying a guy that has no arms or legs. Okay. But anybody can do what anybody else can do. I agree. A hundred percent. There’s no fucking thing is can’t. I agree with you a hundred percent. But what I’m saying is there’s some. You went through something that at a young age, probably, that gave you a sense of what the fuck is really important. And, and it’s not limousine ride to you. It’s not limousine rides. It’s not some other bullshit. It’s, and, and you also got a sense of man here today gone tomorrow, but for the grace of God, and you know what? I don’t. need these other trappings because I want to enjoy the here today and try to make the most of it. Sure. But other at the end of the day, that’s all you’ve got, right? 100%. But at the but a lot but most people but a lot of people haven’t gone through that stuff or they went through it and they didn’t have that as a conclusion. Okay, that’s fair. Right. So that’s why and I’m like that and that’s why I get you, which is scary, Frank, as I’m listening to you saying I get you. But that, you know, I mean that in a positive way, of course. You know, but that’s I think a lot of people haven’t gotten to that conclusion. Either they don’t have the internal strength or coping skills or, you know, they’re not as in touch with the things that maybe they should be. I don’t know. It’s not really my… Well, I believe that it’s It would be really nice if people who understand that, like you or me or many more, we’re not that unique, if they would somehow get their other people and their other friends to understand that too. That’s how I raised my kids. I have three daughters that turned out like me in the sense that they don’t think they’re limited and they think they can do whatever they are able to put their mind to. They really do think that. It’s not like they… wake up every day going, wow, I’m so great. I can do anything I put my mind to. It’s just common. It just sort of impermeates who you are, right? I mean, really think about the miracle we perform when we just get up in the beginning of the day and go up and cook food. Yeah. Like it’s, you don’t think that it’s such an amazing thing to do it because it’s second nature. You go and you play a guitar or you do this or you mow the lawn or you’re good at gardening. You know, these are the things everybody is just is okay. But what happens is people around us try to make us think we’re not. We either need their help or we need to buy the latest greatest thing or you know there’s always some kind of agenda going on somewhere. And that’s what makes a lot of people not reach that potential you’re talking about. Because they think well I can’t really do that. Well why not? If you really want to you can. Now I’ll agree. there’s a difference between someone saying, I would like to do that and I want to do that. Many people would like to do things that they can’t do because they would only like to do them. When a person wants to do them, okay. That’s hilarious. It’s so true, but it’s hilarious. Yeah, but when the person, that same person decides that it’s no longer I would like to, but I want to, all of a sudden he finds a way. Right, I would like to, I’m not gonna fucking do it, but I’d like to, I’d like to if I didn’t have to do it, but I’d like to do it, yeah. Yeah, you get what I’m saying? So, and so what did I wanna do? I wanted to play a guitar for various reasons, not because I wanted to be good at it, because I wanted to save my life. So I wanted to play the guitar, I did. Okay, so I want to do songs, I did. Right. Now there’s a lot of things I would have, I wanted to race cars. I did. So I needed to know how to build engines and cars. So I wanted to do that. So I learned all about it. I wanted to build my own amplifiers, my own pedals, my own sounds. So now I need to, well, in order to do that, you need to know electronics. So then I went and learned electronics. There’s books, you read them, you learn, you try and you go, okay, now I know. So you have to do the first steps to anything, right? If you want to do something, it’s not going to come by magic. But now it’s so easy because everything’s online. My God, the world is literally at your fingertips. Right, anybody wants to do it, they have the ability, they have the libraries. You know, Einstein once said, the only thing he has to ever remember is where the library is. Right, right. Right, so he’s basically saying what I’m saying. If you really wanna do something, the information is available, you go, and then you might find out. When you find the information, okay, the information is telling you it requires that you do this, this, this, and this first before you do the thing you want to do. Well, if you really want to, you’ll go through the preliminaries, which is what I did. I didn’t say I want to build amplifiers and pedals and poof, I read one article and built a pedal. Yeah, yeah, of course. I have to learn what are atoms, how do they work, what is electricity, how does it work, why does it do this? And you know, and you go through all the stuff and eventually you’re building better and better pedals and better and better amplifiers. The result? People listen to my amplifier on the DVD, for instance, and they go, wow, your tone is amazing. How did you do it? Which amp did you buy? I said, I didn’t buy it, I made it. Well, hold on a minute. I wanna shift gears again. Thank God you’re talking about amplifiers. I wanna talk about a couple of your songs that I really love, and I just have some questions on them. You have a song, Ain’t Dead Yet, in the power of rock and roll. That is… some of the most amazing guitar playing I’ve ever heard. Did you know, was something going on that day? Was there something in your water or did you know when you walked out of there that, holy shit, I just crushed this thing? Because that is really amazing. No, no, no. It’s just that that particular way of playing that particular, we called it a solo or an outro or whatever you’re talking about, fits that song. had the song been three chords different, there would have been a different approach. So it was just another day in the office that happened to work. Yeah. Well, it has to work. So Juggernaut, for instance, is another one similar to that. It’s got the same sort of feel, but in a darker way. And so it’s got a more appropriate version of how you would play guitar to that. But if I do a blues, like my version of Red House, for instance, It’s a 16 bar blues, not even the original, right? Just happens to use those lyrics. So it’s a totally different approach. And some people say, well, who the heck is this Frank guy? Like, is he a jazz player? Is he a blues player? Is he ain’t dead yet guy? Is he, which guy is he? How come he’s so different from song to song? And that was the problem the record companies had. They said, we don’t know how to sell your stuff because we don’t know what you are. On every single album, you got four styles or five. He says, when we sell ACDC, we know what we’re selling. When we sell Frank Sinatra, we know what we’re selling. We don’t have a Frank Sinatra record. We’re all of a sudden he’s doing a metal tune. Right. I get it. I know their, their points were valid. I’m not saying they’re idiots. They’re right. From purely selling point of view, it’s ridiculous to have five styles. But that’s just me. That’s what I do. And maybe if I cared more about selling, then I would have said, okay, you’re right. Yeah, I’ll do only rock. Right. But why should I limit myself if I don’t care? No, you shouldn’t. Like if I just wanna do the art, I want to do this picture. I wanna do Ain’t Dead Yet. There’s a message in Ain’t Dead Yet. It’s actually a message to those people. Cause they were all telling me, ah, it’s over. You’re finished this and that. No one will ever come and see you again. There you go. Right? So it’s like, oh, you think so? I’m still here. I’m still here. It’s 50 years later. I’m still here. And I guess I wasn’t kidding because I still do the same music. I still look the same. You do look the same, man. You do look the same. That’s pretty amazing. What the hell are you doing? I’m still here. What’s your anti-aging regime? That’s what we should be talking about here, Frank. What is your anti-aging regime? You look really good, man. In the last five to 10 years, it caught up with me. I lost some hair, but it’s thinned out. Yeah. It’s just getting up, you know, I don’t know. It’s like every day is the same for me. It’s, I don’t think of Frank Marino in the seventies as like a long time ago. I think of it as like, Oh yeah, I did that last week. Yeah. You know what? That’s interesting. That’s really interesting because, um, I mean, you only ever live one day. Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting. Right. That’s the only day you ever know is today. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So, and then tomorrow comes and oh, it’s today again. You know, it’s like, you don’t live tomorrow and you don’t live in the past. What’s the difference? If I get up today and I had a dream, oh my God, I had this dream and this happened and that happened and thank God it was a dream, right? That happens a lot to people. Oh, thank God it was a dream. Well, so was yesterday’s actual events. You get up, you could easily say, oh, thank God it was a dream. Right. Right. Beat me up yesterday. Oh, thank God it was a dream. Right? It’s got the same value. Sure. Right. It’s a dream because it’s a memory at this point, right? Correct. So I sort of like look at things that way. Think, you know, here I am today again, today is the same. You know, Groundhog Day, that movie. Yep. Yep. That’s how my life is. I get you. That’s it, truly. No, I get you. I totally get you. I’m- But everyone’s life is like that. It’s not unique. Right. They just don’t notice it. Yeah, but a lot of people are in- looking in the rear view mirror or worrying about tomorrow. And that’s a hard thing to not do. I know myself, I worked really, really, really hard. I mean, I worked really hard and then I just reached the decision I wasn’t going to do it and it was over that quick because I was just done with it. But it’s some, I think you got to get to a point or maybe like you were at a point earlier and you’re just there, but I think you got to get to a point where you say, I’m done with this shit. I’m just being right here right now. Well, let me ask you a question, Craig. If you go, you yourself, cause you obviously have a circle of friends, you know, a lot of people. So if you pick out, I don’t know, four or five people from your circle of friends or people that you know, or family members, and you ask them to quantify the percentage of good and bad in their life, what do you think the numbers will come back at in terms of percent? Oh, what do you think they’ll, what do you think they’ll tell you? Well, I know most of them pretty high percentage of good. pretty low percentage of bad. Right. And what do you think the numbers will be? Uh, quantify it. Uh, probably 90, 10, 90, 90, good, 10, bad. But there are people who say, ah, 50, 50, metz emets, you know, half, half get good days and bad days. They almost talking as if it’s a 50, 50 thing. Right? Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, truth of the matter is, truth of the matter is, if you have a normal, yeah, truth of the matter is if you have a normal life like everybody else, I’m not saying if you’re, you know, Stephen Hawking in a wheelchair, okay? But if you have a normal life like everybody else or most people that you know, you can quantify it by simply looking at one day and then extrapolating it by multiplying it by 365 and however many years you live. So how many bad things happened to you today and how long did they take out of your 16 hours awake? So whatever that percentage is, that’s what it is in your life. So if one thing happened to you today and it took two minutes that you didn’t like, out of the hours you were awake, whatever percentage that is, that’s the percentage you’re bad in your life. Multiply it. Some days there’ll be 10 minutes of crap, but some days there’ll be none. There’ll be days with nothing wrong. And most days nothing bad happens, most days. So if you quantify it that way, it’s going to come out to something like 0.0001%. And extrapolate that, that means your whole life is about that. But most people see more of the bad, they notice the bad, they don’t notice the good. So now we understand why the Bible teaches that the key to contentment and happiness is gratitude. Yeah, yeah. If a person is grateful, it’s because they’re looking at the good, you can’t be grateful unless you’re noticing good things. Right. So if you’re looking at good, you’re going to be happy. Yeah, I would agree with that. Corollary to that, if you’re looking at bad, you’re not going to be happy. If you want to buy a Volkswagen, all of a sudden you see millions around the street when you drive. Not like they suddenly jumped out there. You’re interested in a new Volkswagen and you suddenly start seeing Volkswagens everywhere. It’s not like they said, hey, Craig, interested in Volkswagen, let’s appear. They were there, you just didn’t notice them. Right? Oh my. Frank, your voice is so cool. The way you, just the tone of your voice. I’m like an auditory as well. as probably most people are that are into music. Your voice is awesome, man. You could do anything. You could voice over anything. I know that’s totally irrelevant, but your voice is great in the conversation. You can hear me narrate hockey games. I have another question about another song. The Answer on Mahogany Rush 4. There’s some really trippy lyrics in there, to say the least. I always thought that was like, kind of like an acid trip, but is there something? It is. Okay, okay. That’s it. Remember I told you I was looking for a way out. So by Mahogany Rush 4, that’s many years after my acid trip, I was still looking. Look at the words I’m writing. Yeah, it’s pretty trippy. You know? I’m standing in a silver room and a sound inside my head like a sonic boom, a preacher with a dagger purple and black is drawing sacred pictures in my naked back. These are actual experiences. In your trip. That’s right. These aren’t like I’m making them up because they sound cool. Oh yeah, of course. That’s what I thought. It had to be like some drug trip that you were on or something like that. Don’t forget, I hadn’t done any drugs since I began playing guitar. So all of this was during my life as a not drug user. It’s the remnants of that that started me off in music. It didn’t go away. a week later or a year later, even 10 years later. Dude, that’s probably one of the things why you’re, you have gratitude because you came back, because you came back, because you could have easily like, not have come back having all this shit so intense for that many years afterwards. I bet you that gives you a hell of a lot of fucking gratitude. Of course. I, my, you know, I, my daughters used to think I was nuts, like when they were smaller, cause I’d say, come here, come here, I want to show you something. And they. They’d come out to the backyard and I’d say, look at those trees the way they look against the blue sky. And they’d go, yeah, so? Yeah, so? Yeah. It’s like, dad, what’s wrong with you? Right. I’d go, but look at them. You haven’t actually looked at the two colors together. Like, look at them. And then sooner or later they’ll go, you know what? That’s true. Kind of shiny. You know? There’s a lot of good stuff going on, man. That’s a lot of good stuff going on. You don’t have to be in music or even have money or whatever. I grew up, we didn’t grow up with money. We live in very poor circumstances. I mean, but nobody was like upset about it. It was like, okay, hey, look, mom made this tonight. Yeah. And there’s extra. Let me ask you this. Is there, if there was any, if you could go back, which I know is contrary to how you think, It was, is there any advice that you would have given younger Frank, assuming you would have listened that would have made your life easier? Yeah, of course. Yeah, of course. First of all, yeah, I would have told them, look, even though these drugs are going to turn you into what you’re going to be, let’s forget that. You’ll be something else. Don’t do that. And don’t smoke cigarettes. You smoke down. That was, that was the worst thing I ever did was become a cigarette smoker because believe me, it’s very hard to get off of it. And it’s not, you know, Makes you, nevermind what it might do to you life and death wise. That’s obvious. I’m talking about the way you feel, okay? From day to day. So I’d say that, don’t smoke cigarettes. But you know what? If you want to smoke cigarettes, go ahead. I’m not like a smoke Nazi. But I would say don’t. And I would say don’t do these drugs. You’ll find, well, let’s say old Frank, young Frank would tell old time machine Frank, you Yeah, but time machine Frank if I don’t do the drugs, I won’t become you you’ll disappear. I say that’s good Let me disappear. You’ll find another place Wow Man, that’s really um candid of you. That was very cool of you So you still smoke now cigarettes? I just quit good for you, man Yeah, about four or five weeks ago. How’s it going? It’s all right. Not a problem. Yeah, even though I smoked for 50 years Well, it’s tough. I smoked when I was a kid. I didn’t smoke for 50 years. And the only thing that saved me is I started working out right after that. Yeah. I mean, I stopped because I stopped because of that. I stopped because it was like, I have a beautiful dog, Australian shepherd. I like to take him for a walk. I couldn’t get five minutes. Sure. You know, it’s like, okay, now it didn’t affect me that much when I was 50, 55, you know, but now believe me, go up the stairs. And it was like, Hey, what the heck? You know, Good for you, man. I hope you’re comfortable. Not like I couldn’t do it.

It was just uncomfortable. I’m saying, I don’t feel very comfortable. So I got to figure out how to stop doing this. So I got these little candies, you know, the whatever, Nicorette candies and put them under my tongue and yeah, it works fine. Not as hard as, not as hard. I, you know, not as hard as people think it is. And I hope, I hope you, you, uh, hope that lasts within your ability to do that. That’d be really great. Yeah. So that’s what I did by young Frank, you know, but, but If I was to say, let’s say not go that far as to erase me, because advising young Frank about that would erase me. See, I’d be talking to you now and it would go back and you’d be talking to an empty phone. But there are certain things that now that Frank went in that direction, you know, music, let’s talk the music business. Sure. Okay. Yeah, there’s things that would tell them not to do. Come on, man. don’t sign this away and that away and, you know, get someone to look at the paper. Yeah. You know? Like million things like that. Sure. But I was always even in the scene, you know, when we were touring and doing all the outdoor shows and all that stuff with all the other bands, the festivals things, I was almost kind of like the outcast guy, you know, like not really part of the party, you know, looking at it from the distance. What did I have in common? I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t taking any drugs. I wasn’t screwing around with million girls. I’m 40 years with my wife. That’s all, congratulations, that’s really cool. I’m that kind of guy. That doesn’t make me better. I’m just that kind of guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I like being that kind of guy. Sure. It’s okay. Yeah. So what was I supposed to do in that business? Well, where do I fit into the parties? Where do I fit into the, the yakking and the, you know, I don’t really fit in. So I was a wallflower. It’s like, you know, Hey, hi, how are you? Hi, how are you? Oh, can I sit there? You know, that’s what I would come into rooms like that, you know? Which is interesting because, um, I don’t know you well, but you seem like you could pretty much talk to anybody now. Oh, I can. You know, one thing you don’t want, look, you’re talking to me, you’re asking me questions. I’m going to always tell the truth and I’m going to tell it the way I see it. But I’m not going to walk into a room and say, Hey everybody, listen to me. I have something to say. This is an interview. I’ll never do that. I will never do that. I hope most normal people wouldn’t. Most of the people have been on this show. There’s a lot of musicians that do that. No, no, you kidding? There’s a lot of musicians that do that. Oh really? Like here I am. Let me tell you how it is kind of. Yeah, yeah, sure. Sure. Sure. Many, many more than there aren’t. More than there aren’t. You ever notice when these interviews happen with a lot of these guys, actors, musicians, it’s a lot of I, I, I, me, me, me. It’s usually what it is. Yeah, but I think- Not that it’s bad necessarily. In all fairness, that’s like, my interviews aren’t like that because they’re more like, I wanna learn something. And so I’m okay. You know, like I’ve learned a lot here, to be honest with you. And I always try to learn no matter who I’m talking to. That’s like what I really enjoy about this. Good thing to do. Yeah, I mean, you know, there’s no downside to learning, you know, as you said, the libraries is a really important address. So to me, my library is inside of people’s heads and what they’re willing to share with me. But I guess, I guess so. But isn’t that the point of most of these like on TV kind of interviews? Isn’t like that’s the point of them? It may be the point, but I think that the artists could somehow interject them selves. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. I know they’re there to be, you know, what are you doing these days? What are you, you know, well, I just am working on this album or I just bought this car or whatever. I get it. They’re there to interview the person and there’s a lot of vicarious listeners who want to live through that person’s experience. That’s the problem. That’s yeah, that’s the problem. But what I’m saying is, what I’m saying is we always have the opportunity for instance, to talk about ourselves, which I’m doing, I’m talking about myself too, you know. But maybe we can show how it might help others do this or that. Or find this or that. Maybe just plant a seed, you know? I’m not saying you’re gonna come there with the answers to their questions, I mean, nobody has all the answers. But I’m saying, hey, you know, we’re gonna talk about music, maybe I talk about how to build an app, you know? Like maybe I tell some guy, Oh, you know, when I string my guitar, I do it this way because this does this. Now he learned something out of that. Yes, I’m talking about me, but he gets something out of it. Yeah. But it’s not about you like, well, I eat toast, tea, you know, whatever, Oh, quaker oatmeal for breakfast. Yeah. And, you know, and of course I look good because I do, you know, here’s my, you know, my, uh, lotion. I, yeah, I get what you’re saying. Yeah. Yeah. I know it’s just, we’re having a real conversation here and I’m learning about you. Well, that’s scary. Don’t think I won’t go away from this. Not knowing a hell of a lot more, you know, you mentioned guitars, man. Another good segue. I want to ask you, you’ve always played SGs and now I know the reason why, because your mom got you that guitar in various formats and a lot of times you’re playing that one with, with three single coils. Yeah. And that’s because look, SGs with PAF, original PAF pickups, you know, those everyone says they’re worth a lot of money and while they’re actually shit, okay, those pickups, you can’t play low notes on those guitars. It’s mud. You can’t play low notes. The Stratocasters sound real good on low notes, you know, the bass strings. So I said to myself, look son, I can’t play Stratocasters. They have 21 frets. You can’t play behind the bridge, which is a technique I invented. So I wouldn’t have that. The guitar sits funny on you. It’s got a big heel, so you can’t reach the high notes. It’s a bolt on neck. It sits over to the right on your body, forcing your left arm into your body. It’s everything I don’t like. So I can’t play them standing up, sitting down not so bad. So what am I gonna do? I like that strat sound, because of the low strings, what it does. But I play SGs. I’m gonna try to put those pickups in SGs. Well, it’s a downside to doing that. It breaks the neck. So you have to be really careful because you have to route the pickup hole differently and all of a sudden you’re eating away a heck of a lot of wood that was holding the neck to the body. Oh, yeah. I’m looking at… So when you have those two extra ears on the side of the strap pickup, they’re longer, and then you got to cut wood all the way around and deeper. It’s like, whoops, now nothing’s holding that neck anymore. So I had to be real careful about that. And even till today, if I didn’t use such light strings, say I use tens or something, which a lot of guys do, that probably break the neck right off. So you have to use like an inch of wood, literally an eighth of an inch of wood holding the neck on. Oh, so you, your strings are really light. So there’s less pressure, less tension and that can treat. So are those literally strat pickups? Yeah. Well, they’re Demarzio, they’re Demarzio’s version of them. Yeah. But they’re standard, not, you know, hot rail or extra this or that. It’s standard. I said to, to this guy, Bluechert Demarzio, when I finally decided to try Demarzio, cause originally I put real strat pickups in, didn’t like the single coil hum. single coil pickups hum. So someone said, try Demarzio’s, they have a single coil version that is noiseless because it’s got two stacked coils. I went, okay, I’ll give it a try. So this is the guy I called. I said, I’d like, he says, I says, what do you have that’s just, I don’t want anything fancy. I want it to be a strap pickup. Okay. Nothing special. I don’t like the idea of someone saying special. Okay. We have these vintage, whatever. So I got those and put them in. That’s what it is. And that’s noiseless versions of my, of my strat pickups in my SG. And then you had to modify the knobs. Well, that’s because I needed to have three, three volume controls, right. Three knob controls. Cause I wanted it wired the same. I didn’t want special wiring, but then it was so, um, let’s say weak. Cause they’re weaker. You know, the high strings are weaker. Right. That I said, well, let’s put a little preamplifier in the guitar right at the jack. Okay. Right. And I put a battery in the back of the guitar and then I can turn that switch on us to the fourth knob is simply the volume of how much I’m boosting. But that I stopped using that way, way long ago because I started using wireless in 1976, 77. So once I used wireless, I can’t drive the wireless transmitter with that booster, it’ll oversaturate the transmitter. So I never used that extra fourth knob again. I just didn’t bother to take it out. Wow. And you did all these mods yourself. Of course. Talk about the amps that you make. Okay. And just like, uh, because there’s a lot of gear nerds listening to this. Yeah. Okay. That’s a good, good place to go. What most people don’t know. Everyone talks to me about the black live album, 77, you know, Johnny B good King B all that stuff, right? Wow. Love your sound for the entire seventies. Until the 80s, my sound was an acoustic 270 transistor amplifier. Now people say, that’s not possible. How you didn’t use tubes? No, I didn’t use tubes. Why? Because my sound was created on my pedal board. I had a very big pedal board in those days. That was my sound. So once I created my sound on my pedal board, I needed an amplifier that would simply make my pedal board louder. I didn’t want the amp to add its own distortion or make its own sound. I wanted it to be neutral and just be able to be louder. So my sound is built on the pedal board, which that’s my preamp effectively, the pedal board. And the amp was serving as a power amp. Acoustic 270 happened to be a very clean transistor amp that was very loud. So that’s what I used. So later on, I had to have four roadies to walk my pedal board around. It was ridiculous, it was six feet long. Three feet wide and sometimes two tiers high. It was ridiculous. I literally, the case that it went in would look like a coffin. So it was like, I can’t keep doing this. It’s one of those, here’s the good news and here’s the bad news about this. Yeah, and it was getting bigger all the time. There’s 22 pedals at one point on it. So I said, you know what? I can’t do this. So I’m going to have to build an amp that sounds like my pedalboard. Right? So how am I going to build it? Transistor amps, very hard to make them sound that way. So I’m going to build a tube preamp based on a Fender Twin, but modified, but based on a Twin. And it’s going to sound like my pedalboard. And I worked on that for a long time. That there was a guy in Montreal that was already modifying twins. I started with what he did and I didn’t like it so much. It was okay for some things, not for others. So I started modifying it and then I learned how to do it differently. And then I learned how to design it. And so gradually I have developed my own version of my preamp and what it is. It’s basically a fender topology, like a typical fender topology with. slight differences in the second and third channels which are overdrive channels. And that’s my sound. So now I just plug that preamp into any clean power amp which I still use a transistor power amp to this day. Except instead of an acoustic which has its own preamp built in, I use a crown or a QSC or any power amp that is simply clean and loud. So now my sound is all was and my pedal board is now less pedals than was necessary and it’s smaller. How many pedals are you down to from 22? Well, I have a lot of functions on the board, but let’s give you an example. The board’s only three feet long, not even maybe 28 inches long and a foot and a half wide. So what have I got? A wah-wah volume pedals. I’ve got a pedal that I built to create my backwards effect that I do live. I play backwards, forwards, you know? Mm-hmm. Then I’ve got delay, a chorus, octave, what else? Echo, lots of delay, and overdrive. That’s it. So it’s pretty conventional. There’s a lot of switches on it still. Like, there’s one part that has a lot of switches, two, four, six, eight, 10, 12 switches in one box. Good. But that’s because the switch is simply to turn my pedals on in different orders. Okay, I get it. You put a booster before a wah, wah or after and it’s a different thing, right? Yeah, totally. So it’s just variations of let’s face it on pedals. What have we got? We got distortion or not. Right. And modulation or not. Right. Delay or not. And octave or not. What else is there? Yeah. There is really nothing else, it’s all variable on that. In the case of my reverse pedal, that’s different, but I have to work that pedal, I have to create the effect as I play. Okay, it’s not just to plug in and sounds reverse. So that’s another version of a pedal, you know? Have you ever thought of like going into your… not going into the pedal business, but selling pedals or licensing them or your amps. I’m asked about that all the time. I’m sure. I really don’t want to do it. And the reason I don’t want to do it is because I don’t want to be an app maker or a pedal maker sitting around doing that. And so then some friends of mine who do this for a living, they said, well, we just have to get them made here, get the boards made here. But then I go, wait a minute. Everything I build is one-on-one. Like no two sound alike. If I built two preamps, they’re slightly the same, but they’re not exactly the same. If I built two distortion boxes, they’re slightly the same. They’re not exactly the same. Cause I literally listened to them as I’m building them. I have an idea for a design. I say, okay, I’m going to use 10 K over 200 K, whatever here for a voltage divider. Uh, let’s see what it sounds like and all that was better if it was 12 K, you know, and then I change it, you know, but my ear is the judge. I get that. Going into a business, all of a sudden, Frank hyphenated the pedal maker. I got enough hyphens. Good to see you answering the phone, Frank Reno Pedals, can I help you? Yeah, just not going to happen. I have no problem against doing it. It’s not like, no, I won’t do it. Yeah, it’s just not your thing, man. Yeah, you know, I’d like to do it Yeah, there you go. Perfect to say that was good. That was good. No, I hear it You can’t that’s the kind of thing you can’t do 50% That’s the problem with that, you know Yeah, if it’s not something that you really enjoy Don’t you know it’s like do it’s like being a part-time accountant or a part-time surgeon It’s not really something you could do like that. Yeah, I used to race I built race cars, you know dragsters and I loved it But sometimes we have to make tools because we were running types of cars that didn’t have a tool for that. There’s no tool for this, there’s no tool for that. So you have to make the tool, get on a lathe, make the tool, you know? It’ll do the job. So this is akin to making the tools. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass unless you’re 100% like. You do it, then the tool is great, you’re glad you have it. Use the right tool for the job. I don’t use my preamp for everything I do. Right. If somebody says to me, Frank, I want you to play on my country record. I don’t use my preamp. I might get myself a Gibson, you know, combo lamp and Mike it, cause it’s got to be authentically that country sound from the fifties, you know, but the tool, right tool for the job and for what Frank does blues, rock jazz, psychedelic. Um, my, my preamp does that. So that’s great. I have Marshall. Do I use them? Meh, once in a while when you want that Marshall-y sound. I even built one that’s a Fender and Marshall, it’s basically a twin and a Plexi. And you flick one switch and the amp changes from a twin to a Plexi. See now that’s the million dollar ticket right there, except it would probably take you four months to put one of those together. No, it’s not that, it’s that it’s super expensive. That’s why it would never sell because. You’re basically building both amplifiers and then you’re building a way of making it rewire itself with the flick of a switch. Wow. Because it’s not just a question of changing a couple of components. But that’s the nirvana for tone junkies. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I do because I like to invent things and I like to see if they’ll work. So I invent things to see if they’ll work and then when they work, I never do anything with them. I’ve done that with a lot of stuff. Okay. And they have nothing, a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with music. So I once invented a little, I liked the game of hockey and that before video games came along, I thought, what were, what if we had a radio controlled hockey player that kids could play with it with skate and shoot the puck, you know, cause they had radio control cars and airplanes, right? So I built one of these things and saw that it worked and great, it works. And that was the end of that. I put it in a closet. Like I never did anything with it. So I do that a lot. I do, I invent a lot of things, build them to see if they’ll work, find out that they do or don’t, and then say, okay, next. Yeah, but you’re a tinkerer. This is a great story. This is a great story. My kids in grade six or seven, when they were in elementary, they had a science fair at their elementary school and they said, dad, you know, We have to build something for the science fair, for the science fair, you know? I said, okay, I got an idea. Why don’t we build a levitation device? They said, wow, really? So, yeah, so I built this thing that basically levitates a ball in midair. And it’s really cool when you see this ball sitting in midair spinning. Okay? So they took it to school. This is the funny part of it. They took it to school. And all the teacher judges, they walked by judging the science fair stuff that the kids have brought in. They were walking by this thing like they didn’t care. It was like, oh yeah, a ball. They didn’t even realize they were looking at magnetic levitation in real time. And I think the prize went to the kids who made makeup or something. Made makeup out of plants. It was just really something. And I thought, this is so amazing. And I still have this device. And like when friends come over, they’ll say, hey, I want to show you something real cool. And I bring out this device and then put the ball in the middle and all of a sudden it floats and starts spinning in the air. Now people that see that at the house, they go, holy mackerel, that’s amazing. It’s really an electronic principle. It’s not that amazing. It’s basically the ball is trying to fall and the magnet’s pulling it up before it can fall. And then the magnet’s letting go before it can come up. That’s pretty cool. Something levitating, man. That’s a pretty cool thing. Yeah, because think about it. If something wants to fall, but a magnet wants to pull it up, if you turn a magnet on and off fast enough, it will never have time to fall or move. It’ll want to go in both directions. So it’s a question of building a circuit that electronically makes the magnet smoothly flip its polarity or turn on ball will sit there. It’s not magic, just electronics. So I thought, Hey, the kids would get a great kick out of this. Cause I’m sure they’ve never seen a ball floating, right? Yeah. Well, they didn’t get it. Teachers didn’t get it. The kids liked it. The teachers were like, Oh yeah, isn’t that cute? And then they’d move on to the next table. It’s like so weird. And they gave it to the exploding volcano. Baking soda. Well, it was, I think, yeah, exactly. I think the kids that won it or something, we got the prize where the kids that had built makeup made out of plants or something, eye makeup made out of, I don’t know what, vegetables. So that’s science, man. I love science. It’s great. I invent things. So the amps are just another thing. I invent the pedals. I just like to invent things. What’s the best guitar? This is a kind of a what if question. What’s the best guitar or best amp you’ve ever played? Well, mine. Okay. Not because it’s mine because I built it to be that. But let’s say I have to tell you not mine. Yeah, sure. Let’s say it’s coming to your house and I wasn’t bringing my amp. And you said, Frank, we’re going to jam. We’re going to have fun at my house because I love that. I like that more than a gig. If you said to me, Frank, come over, we’re going to jam. I say, I’m there. Awesome. If you said, Frank, come over, we’re going to gig. I might say, nah. But Frank come over, we’re gonna play in my basement. I’m there, what time? Awesome. I’m still like that kid, okay? That’s great. So if you said, but Frank, I’ll get you an app. What should I get you? I’d say get me a twin. Fender Twin. And make sure it’s a 65, 66, 67, old twin. That’s the best thing. Blackface. Yeah, Blackface. Okay. So listen, anyone out there has got a blackface to sell me. If it’s cheap, I’ll buy it. There you go. Frank Merino. Yeah. But listen, these guys that have it, it’s like, I want a thousand dollars. No, thanks. Not interested. I can build it for way less. But if you’ve got a fair price and you want to sell your blackface, I’ll buy it. And will you give them a copy of the DVD? Sure. Yeah, I’ll throw that in. There you go. And let me tell you, this is… We’re making magic. I’ll teach him how to play ain’t dead. I’ll teach him how to play ain’t dead yet. Whoa. Personally. This is like, if you have a Fender blackface twin, 65 through 67, this is a rare opportunity. Imagine that. Ain’t gonna happen though. That’s a great offer. And what about guitars? What guitar would you want me to be? When I tell you, man, like I like a lot of guitars. Guitars for me are not what they are for a lot of guys. This is my baby. No, it’s not my baby. It’s a piece of wood with strings on it. As long as the neck feels small enough. Has the right arc to it. You know, easy to play, easy to play. That’s the key. Yeah. Okay. I’ll play that. It’s doesn’t, people think I have a love affair with SGs because they’re SGs. I have a love affair with SGs because I like the feel of the neck, but if someone built an SG and some guys have, they’ve built me SGs. I play those two. Doesn’t have to say Gibson on it. I don’t care if it says Fisher Price on it. I’ll play it if I like to feel. Right. Um, I, I like, I have an SG and I actually love it the way it feels. Um, but I’m not a really big guy tall. Like I’ve got, I’m an average, I’m five nine. My hands are five eight. Yeah. Okay. So yeah, that neck is really perfect, man. I mean, I love that. And as a matter of fact, the SG you’re playing Craig probably has a fatter neck than mine. Cause the old ones that I have from 61, they’re really small. Well, guess what? Those necks are thin, man. The one I have, it’s like a 2011, 12 or 13, and it’s a reissue of a 61. So yeah, but they’re not right. Oh, they’re not right. Gibson came to my house. They were going to do a Frank Marino guitar. Yeah. Why don’t they have it? And, and, and they came all the way from Nashville to my house. Cause I said, I have original 61 Les Paul SG’s. Come and see them. come and see how different yours is, your reissue. So they literally came from Nashville to my house, spent two days with me, measuring my guitar and looking at the one they were selling. And I said, how did, you know, the guy said to his partner at the time, how did we get it so wrong? Wow, what is, it’s the one they did is thicker? Or it’s wider? The one you have, and I made sure the day they came, I told my nephew Mike, who happens to work for Ibanez and music stores, I said, get me one of those SG Reissue 61s because when these guys come over, I want to show them the difference, not just tell them the difference. So we had one here and they came in and they looked at us and said, this is what you’re offering right now. This is what I play. Now take a look at the difference. The body on yours is thicker. The weight is heavier. The heel is bigger. The neck is wider. The neck is thinner front to back at the bottom and at the first fret. They’re completely a different feel. My guitar is lighter, thinner, thinner at the neck, not as wide. Everything about it is like a thinner version, like a formula car version of what they’re selling. Yeah, sure. But I said to them, and I’m saying if there’s anyone from Gibson, because I know they got taken over now by a cool guy, because the guy that was running it before was a real idiot. Yeah. They got taken over and this new guy says that he wants to take the company back in the direction they used to be. Instrument maker. Okay. Because at one point it looked like they were selling Apple iPhones. Okay. Had nothing to do with instruments anymore. I was told that a guy went to NAMM and he saw the booth and he couldn’t even see guitars in their booth. You have to go in the back room to see them. They were selling, you know, white iPhone, Genius Bar shit. You know? Anyway, I’m telling them now. I have the actual blueprints of my guitar because I blueprinted it with micrometers and I drew an entire blueprint of it. Like angle, everything, everything. Like as much as I used to do racing engines. So the guy from Gibson is listening and he wants to really build the proper 61 reissue. I’ve got the good. Come and see me. We’ll do it. This is a rare Frank Marino’s like giving away everything here. Someone’s got to take advantage of this. There’s no secrets. Bring them a Fender Twin, make a 61. That’s amazing that there’s so many differences though on the reissue than from the- Look, I’m not saying the reissue isn’t good. You never saw the other one. So you’re gonna say, wow, I love it. It’s great. I’m not saying you don’t love it. You do love it, but it’s not the same. Yeah, it’s just amazing. So it’s just not the same. And it’s like, you know, we make a certain kind of Italian sauce here for our spaghetti. It’s not the same as what you’re gonna get in the store. It doesn’t mean the store’s bad. Yeah, the store’s bad. It means ours is better. Their story’s bad. But this is it. There’s no secrets here. Frank doesn’t keep secrets and, oh, that’s my secret sauce. And I can’t tell you what’s in that pedal. And a lot of guys do that. It’s like, hey, go for it, man. If it helps musicians. Look, I have friends in the business that sell what you call boutique gear. Sure. Right? You’ve seen those. Of course. $500 Fuzz Tones and Wah-Wahs and all this stuff. apps, what are they? Bogner, what are those app, boutique apps? They got named Bogner is one of them. There’s another one there. So I say to my friends that sell these things, I said, why are you doing that? They say, why are we doing one? I says, why are you charging so much money for something that is not worth it? Why you calling it boutique? Is it really any different than the $50 fuzz tone just made, you know, more carefully. I knew you were charging $400 to a kid. I said, who do you think’s making the next generation of music? It ain’t blues lawyers. Okay, you’re selling these things to blues lawyers. You’re selling these things to guys with, you know, all kinds of extra money that they can play blues on the weekend with their band and say, I have a Wagner and I have the $400 fuzz and I have this, but they’re not making any good new music. So you’re killing the entire industry by not providing the good equipment to the next generation of people which are young kids from 16 to 21. They’re the ones that should be getting the Bogners. They’re the ones that should be getting the great boutique fuzzies, the great guitars, because they’re going to do something with it. And what have you done? You’ve sold them these things to blues lawyers and all these kids are doing now is they’re turning to their iPads and their iPhones and they’re trying to make music that way. You’re killing music with this because you want to make an extra two. or $300. I’m not telling you sell it for $50. But don’t sell it for $450, this pedal. Sell it for $150. You’re still going to make money and you’re going to sell more of them. And then 16 year olds will buy them. They won’t have to be mortgaging their next year’s work at the grocery store to get the latest, greatest pedal. And they’re going to make great music and music will get better and better instead of worse and worse, which is what it’s becoming. It’s a reason for that. Nothing happens for nothing. So we’re not putting the best equipment in the hands of the most creative people because everybody is most creative in their teenage years to their mid twenties. Yeah. That’s one thing. Good instruments were much more accessible back in the day. No kidding. $75 for my guitar. And it’s because inflation adjusted it’s it’s way it’s yeah. I know what you’re saying. I have 44 guitars collected over the years, not just SGs. I’ve never paid more than three or 400 bucks for one. Good for you, man. So you obviously collected most of them quite a while ago. Even as recently as the 90s, my strat I got for, what was it, $450, $500 or something like that. It was in the window of a store. I went to a store, my second strat, I got a 62, but I also have this 93. So. I went to a store, hey, I think I’ll look at Stratocaster. I only have the one and let’s see what they’re like, blah, blah, blah, you know? Do you still get the bug to do that, by the way? Yeah, once in a while. So I go in the store, I say to the guy, show me the Stratocaster. He starts bringing me down that Stevie Ray this and this and that boutique, this and that. I’m playing them again, I don’t like it. Gives me another one, nah, I don’t like it. Nah, I don’t like it. I just didn’t like it and I’m leaving. I’m leaving, okay? It’s like. I must have gone through 25, 30 guitars. I’m leaving the store. I look to the left and in the window, there’s this purple Stratocaster literally standing there with like a price tag on it on sale. New kind of American standard. I go, oh, hey, I didn’t try that one. The guy says, oh no, you don’t want that, Frank. You don’t want that. That’s nothing. I said, no, well, I’m here now. Let me try it. So I go back in the store, take my coat off. It was winter. Plug it in. And it was amazing. That’s like, wow, why didn’t you tell me this one was here? He goes, yeah, but Frank, it’s just a cheap, I’ll buy it. And I walked out with it and that album I have, Eye of the Storm, it’s the first time I ever did an entire album with a Stratocaster and that’s the Stratocaster I used. There’s only one song on that record where I used my SG for a solo and that’s just for one solo. Everything else was done with that purple strat right out of the store with the strings I had on the guitar. That’s a really cool story, man. So yeah, you can find them, but people are always trying to direct people away. to the more expensive stuff and the more expensive stuff is not necessarily the best. You know that. Yeah. Price is not always an indicator of value. Most of the time it is good if you pay more, you get better, but sometimes you’re paying more than the more because it’s better. Right. Well, sometimes you get like, I mean, to make it like a real simple, like I enjoy cigars, right? Yeah. And you know, once you get over like eight, nine… $10. It does you know, there are $40 cigars out there. I mean, they’re really not better. So in my opinion, anyway, it’s just like throwing good money after bad, you know, so and I think instruments or everything, there’s a threshold sort of simple. I mean, we have to, Craig, do you care about music? Yeah, of course, very much. Then we have to get the kids doing more music. Yeah, that’s true. If we really want it to survive, it has to get into their hands. They are the generation that will take it to better, better places. But now they’re being diverted by Facebook and this. and that and all this other stuff not even talking to each other anymore. Guy asked me the other day, he says, what did you find is the most different thing today compared to when you were young? I said, you know what it is? When I open the window today, I don’t hear anyone outside playing. It’s like a mausoleum out there. That is very true. That is really true. I don’t hear anyone saying, Johnny, Bobby, come on over, ba ba ba ba ba, and they’re hearing the baseball crack or whatever. I heard that all the time, you just have to close the window. Yeah, that is really true. Today? Go ahead, go open your window. What do you hear? Nothing, man, no it’s just. If you’re in a quiet neighborhood, you hear quiet, and if you’re in a non-quiet neighborhood, you hear cars. But you don’t hear anybody playing or interacting, and then. They come over to the house, kids and whatever, friends of friends, and they’re talking to each other on the phone while they’re in the same room texting. So there’s no personal thing going on anymore. Nobody’s personal. Nobody’s looking at each other’s eyes. Nobody’s talking to each other. Is there any wonder they’re not coming up with any good ideas? Because ideas don’t come from one person. They come from the culmination of people working together. There’s a prompt. Yeah, there’s a prompt that they get from somewhere and then that takes them in a direction. That’s why bands are called bands and not me’s. They’re bands. Tough question. Maybe not a tough question. You’re really very introspective, man, and I appreciate that about you. What do you like most about yourself, Frank? like about myself? Maybe I said that too soon. Yeah, it doesn’t occur to me, okay. I’ll think about it. Let me think about it here. What do I like most about myself? I don’t know. I used to say my hair. No, I’m just kidding. You do have good hair, man. No, I did, you know, but I’m older now. So, Hey man, you’ve, but, uh, you’ve seen a picture of me. What do I like most about myself? I don’t know. Craig. I’d have to ask my wife that. No, no, no, no. Denise, what, what, what do I like most about myself? No, man, you know, I’ll tell you one. There’s one thing I like about myself. Yes. I do like this about myself. I like that I can see the good things in bad things. So you’re an optimist. Well, I I’ve been accused of being a pessimist, but it’s not really pessimism in my case. When I’m here’s what I tell people. I tell people, look, doubt is it doubt is a, is a terrible thing, right? So doubt sort of makes things worse, you know, but doubt is a funny thing. It’s something that people feel they have to express, like in other words, it’s rather like if you saw UFO. It wouldn’t be good enough to say, I saw a UFO to yourself. You’ve got to go tell people, Hey, I saw a UFO. It’s something you have to express. You feel you have to tell people, right? And doubt is the same way. Doubt is no good. If you just feel it, doubt is the kind of thing people want to say. I won’t win. I bought a lottery ticket, but I don’t have a chance. They feel they need to express it. And that’s valid. It’s okay. I don’t say people shouldn’t express their doubts. They should, because it’s a way of feeling better. But there’s a way to express doubt and get the same feeling that you let it out of your system without actually saying you doubt. And all you have to do is instead of doubting something, just hope for the opposite. So it’s like you’re expressing a doubt that you don’t believe the opposite will happen, but you’re framing it as hope. So don’t say, I bought a lottery ticket, but I’ll never win. Just say, I bought a lottery ticket. I hope I win. So hold on a minute. People say, oh, I’ll never, you know, there’s no heaven. I doubt there’s a heaven. But you could say, I hope there’s a heaven. You’re kind of saying you doubt it, but you’re expressing it as hope. So how does this relate to that you could see the good things and bad things, which is you said you like most about yourself. Because in every bad thing, I know that old expression, the silver lining, dark cloud, blah, blah, blah, sounds like a slogan, but it’s actually true. You know, God is very good at making lemonade out of lemons. If you think about the bad things that have happened in the world that have resulted in good things, I think the penultimate version of that is the crucifixion of Jesus. I mean, it’s a pretty bad thing. It turned into a pretty good thing. Okay. Life forever and all that stuff. So I like to try to practice that. And that’s why religion is called a practice. It’s not like you’re an expert. You gotta practice that. So how do I practice? I see something bad that happened. I hope for the better part. I’m hoping and I’m trying to feed hope into everything. I spent eight years fixing this DVD. eight years sitting in a chair, 12 hours a day. I didn’t do it in my spare time, but every day I hoped I could fix it. I didn’t say I’ll never do it. What happened with the DVD? You had to spend eight years fixing it. These guys came along. I never wanted to do a DVD. I never believed in video for music. I thought it kind of takes away from the music, but whatever. Everyone’s doing it. So they kept telling me for 10 years, 15 years, you’re the only guy that never did a video. You never did a video. You never did a video. Why don’t you do a video? I kind of don’t like it. So finally these guys who happen to be video makers through a weird series of events, there’s a book in my DVD that goes through the whole explanation. So I’m not going to give it all away. I hope people read the book. It’s 180 pages, this book. So put that together yourself too, right? Yeah, well, the journalist wrote the first bunch of chapters and I wrote the last 20 in the book. So, but the point is this, a weird series of events took place. Some very, you know, cool people came along and said, if you’re not going to do the video, we’ll do it for you. It only came about because of the weird series of events. So I said, okay, they did it for me as a gift. So I said, okay, if we’re going to do one, we’re going to do one all day, 12 hours long, we’ll play as many songs as we can. I’m not going to do one again. I’ll never do another video. I’m telling people this now. Never. This is it. And they said, okay, and they came and they did it and it was a gift. And I was so grateful that they did it. And then they handed it to me and it was like, wow, what a gift. And I began to thank God for this wonderful opportunity. And after I thank God for this wonderful opportunity for directing these people to do this, I found out it was damaged. So after all that had happened, I had this beautiful thing that was the audio on it at one point, for a certain point, the drums. were completely gone. It was unusable. Now there was really two choices. Fix it or throw it out. Now what would my gratitude mean that I had expressed if I just threw it out? Yeah, not much. Right. So now I said, I’m going to fix it to show gratitude. But I didn’t know it’d take eight years. How did you fix it? I thought it would take one year. How did you fix, for example, drum tracks? I began to figure out how to do it as I went through it. And I began to figure out exactly how bad it was and why all the experts told me don’t bother because it’s impossible. Because I did, I consulted people to see about resurrecting audio that’s damaged, it’s just nothing but crackles, okay? And they said, no, it can’t be done. I said, you mean to tell me in this age of computers, we’re doing stuff like that, but not to that degree. Okay. How do I fix it? I got to figure out a way because I said I’d fix it. What am I supposed to say? I’m sorry I didn’t mean it. The man makes a promise to God. He doesn’t turn around and say, ah, I was just kidding. So now I said, I’m going to fix it. So I said to myself, well, I’ll try one bar. I got a plan about how to do it. Made sounds, blah, blah, blah, editing. I’m a good editor. And I fixed one bar. That’s probably, in retrospect, the thing that made me finish because what if I hadn’t fixed the one bar, I would have known it was impossible. But if I fixed one bar of music, yeah, one bar. Oh my god. And I said, Hey, I just fixed one bar and it’s perfectly okay. I resurrected the bad audio. Holy shit. took a lot to do it took a month. But it did. So I said, well, now I got to do bar too. So that was your project. It was a 12 hour day. So I did. So what did it do? Winter came, summer came, winter came, summer came, winter came, summer. Yeah, man. And I just sat there, get up every day, stumble down to the chair. start again, stumbled down to the chair until I went to sleep that night, go back to sleep. No career, no gigs, no recordings, nothing. Saw my daughters grow up in the next room and finished it. And this was my give back. This was my, I said I’d do it. I love you. I mean it when I say that to him. And here it is. You don’t need it. But this is my way of saying thanks. So you said it was originally 12 hours and it broke down to six. It broke down to six in the end. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Six of solid music, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That’s amazing. That what? That’s the story behind it. It’s, it’s really a unique thing. Once in a lifetime thing. That’s why I’ll never do another one. I’ve got no reason to do another one. I’m not trying to sell. I’m not trying to create a career here. I’m trying to conclude one. Like how you said that. Yeah, it’s, it’s, I’m, I’m going to be 65 years old. I don’t agree in rock musicians in tight leather pants at 75. I think it’s unseemly. Go home. Man, you want to hear, this is a funny story. We, um, Obviously through the show, I meet a lot of nice people. And when guys come through town, they’re very kind and they give me tickets to come to shows. And most of the time we go backstage and we’re hanging out. So we went to this show. I don’t know if you know Dave Amato. He’s with REO Speedwagon, long time. Don’t know him, but I know of him. So we go, and my wife had never been backstage and I’m 55 and she’s like a year old. And she’s backstage and she’s looking out and there’s all these people which you know about. They’re all our age. But all these women are like throwing themselves at the stage and she said, and she couldn’t, she goes, what’s going on here? All these women, they’re wearing like, they’re our age and just cause they make it in a size two doesn’t mean you need to wear it in a size two kind of thing, right? Exactly, right. And it just reminded me of just what you said. But it’s true. Look, some of these musicians, look, I don’t wanna get them mad at me. They’re gonna get mad at me. I don’t mean all of them, but some of them. It reminds me of that old story of the kids down in the park having a party in the basement and the uncle comes down wears a lampshade and thinks he’s cool. Right, right. Try to get in with the hip kids, you know, and they’re all laughing and everything. Yeah, yeah. He’s so your uncle so cool. But believe me when he goes upstairs, it’s like, what an idiot. Okay, so it has to come to a point where you have to say to yourself, look, You want to keep making music by all means, keep making music. You’re never too old to do that. Sure. You’re never too old. You can do until you’re 100, 150 if you live that long. And it’s great. The music can be great, but at some point stop with the, you know, pretending you’re a 20 year old rock star. You’re not. Yeah. I understand what you’re saying. You know, you’re not, and it looks weird. It’s, it’s odd. Like it’s, to me, it’s, it’s comical and have some dignity. My god, and you and a lot of them, you know, you ever noticed this the ones that do that are actually the ones that don’t Need the money They’re all in 300 million dollars and 500 million doesn’t need the money. So what are you doing it for? What are you so afraid of being irrelevant that you got to go out and make a fool of yourself? Yeah, I mean So that’s the way I look at it it’s like you know what you want to do it do it They’re gonna get me to do it So if I go out and tour again The only way I’ll go out and tour again is if I earn enough money on the DVD to do it because I don’t have managers, I don’t have record companies, I don’t have agents. I have to do it myself. Let’s say I happen to sell enough DVDs that I can go out and do some gigs. I’ll go out and do some gigs, but not going to go out and do gigs acting like I’m 21 years old. The leather pants will not come with you. No. The clothes I wear on that DVD are what I wear every day. That’s me. That’s me. That’s Frank. It’s not a costume. I get you. Yeah, I totally get you. Yeah. But that’s just the way I am. And if you look at my closet, I wear clothes like that, you know? But, uh, but I’m not going to go out there, you know, Hey, how y’all doing? And Oh boy. And look at all the chicks and all that, that stuff, you know, it’s, it’s unseemly. Come on. Keith Richard needs to grow up. You know, really. At least he should learn to play guitar. Oh, Frank. You remember in the beginning you said, I’m not, I never felt at home in these big crowds of people. Yeah. There you go. No, I mean, I’ll get in a lot of trouble for saying what I say, but who cares? I mean, I’m not wrong. Look, there’s a hell of a lot more people, if I say this and you happen to put this on the radio or whatever, There’s a lot more people nodding their heads saying he’s right than the few who are saying, Oh, what did he say? Yeah, it’s just not a lot of true. It’s just obvious. A lot of people wouldn’t say that. It’s yeah, because they’re afraid to get something to lose. Right. So there’s this whole politically correct thing today. You can’t say this. You can’t, you don’t even know which words you can’t say. Got to subscribe to a newsletter. to see which words are now allowable. Yes, of course. And which words are not. It’s ridiculous. OK, come on. The word dog never bit anyone. You know, like it’s. But that’s the way it’s become. People have they want to live that way. Great. More power to you. I say live and let live. You want to live that way. You want to subscribe to that type of thinking. More power to you. God bless you. Do what you want. You want to limit your speech. You want to limit your thoughts. You want to join group think groups. Go ahead, have at it. That ain’t me. Okay. That ain’t me. It never was. If it was me, do you think I would have left the biggest record company in the world at the height of my career playing giant stadiums and walked away like I did in 83 and said, I’m not doing this anymore. What was behind that decision? The business. Yeah. You just couldn’t take it. Bullshit. It was like, what am I doing? You know when that old joke that somebody gets to Dorothy’s, oh, this is in Kansas? I mean, I got to the music industry thinking I was going to Woodstock, and I got there and it was anything but Woodstock. Right. You know, with the camaraderie and the peace and the love and all this stuff that I thought it was going to be, all it was was backbiting and people trying to be better than the next guy and saying expressions I’d never heard before. I didn’t know what they meant. you know, we’re gonna blow him off the stage. I thought, what does that mean? And why are these people in the industry not just happy enough to be good or to be accepted or to have their niche of fans, but they almost have to say that the other guy shouldn’t have any? Yeah, I don’t know why people are like that. Yeah, I don’t, that’s. You know how many times I did shows with multiple bands when the bands. that were on the show would go out of their dressing rooms and go stand behind beside the stage to hear how much of an encore the other band got. And if they didn’t get a good one, they’d come back smirking. Wow, really? Come on. That was standard fare in our industry. So you just got sick of all of this. Yeah, come on. First of all, I kind of expected to get it from the business people, from the bean counters, because let’s face it, they’re bean counters, right? And I kind of expected to get it from the writers who write in magazines because those who can’t do usually write about it. I kind of expected that. That’s not so bad. That’s what they do. It’s like I expect tigers to eat meat. Don’t go in their cage. But I didn’t expect it from a lot of the musicians because I thought they were thinking like I did. Like we’re all in this together. Some were, I’m not telling you they’re all like that. Believe me, they’re not all like that. Don’t get me wrong here. But there’s such a plethora of them that it’s like it seems like they’re all like that. You know what they say, empty barrels make the most noise. So I saw it everywhere and I was like, it’s like the Volkswagen thing. I began to see it everywhere and it was very negative. It’s turning me into a negative person. I don’t like to be negative, so I walked away. in your mind, you were more of the mindset of rising tide lifts all boats. We’re all in this together. Let’s support, let’s push. Absolutely. And I’m still like that. So if ever, when I was headlining shows, okay, when I got to the point where I could headline big shows and it was really only word of mouth because they never had the radio help. So when that finally happened and I started doing my own things, do you think I ever treated opening acts the way they treated us? And yet we’d have crew, you’d get to a gig and it seemed almost normal for the crew, you know, the IATSE guys or the crew to treat the other acts like they were crap. They pushed their gear to the front of the stage, they’d make sure they didn’t use all the sound system, they’d make sure they couldn’t use all the lights. There was always this limitation they were putting on the opening acts. They wanted the headliner to be louder and bigger and brasher and more amazing than the acts before. And I didn’t think that way because that happened to me all the time. Almost every, I did a lot of opening gigs. So when I would work with these other bands, it was like, use what you need, play what you want, use the lights, use my apps if you want. I don’t care. Use the sound. You want a sound check? I’ll get off stage so you can have one. You know, it’s interesting. I think this is just my exposure. I’m not in the business. I just hear things from other people I’m talking to, but I’ve talked to a lot, you know, 600 people over the last two years. I think it might be a little different now because I’m more often than not to hear so-and-so is so gracious to us. They let us do this. They got off. They let us do. Now, maybe I’m just hearing that. I hope that’s happening. I don’t know if it’s happening now. I don’t tour anymore, but I’m telling you what happened when I toured. Maybe it got better, but by the time I walked away, it wasn’t better. It was worse and and and then throughout the 80s I Started doing my own gigs at clubs in small places That way I didn’t have to deal with all that nonsense. They wasn’t on a label anymore. I didn’t have to deal with that nonsense You know and don’t forget when I walked away from Colombia a lot of people don’t know this There was it was the option for the next album was my option not the record company’s option. Oh I could have exercised it. I could have said, well, I’m going to do the last album and that’s it and taken the $250,000. And you didn’t? No, I walked away. You were just that disgusted. Yeah, that disgusted. And so what do you think happened? My crew got mad at me. My band members got mad at me. Everybody got mad at me. What are you doing, man? What are you doing? It’s great. We’re supposed to play this stadium. We’re supposed to do this. We’re supposed to have that tour. What are you doing? I don’t care. Go and do it, you guys. You want to go do it, go do it. And that’s when you find out who really just wants to make music. Who’s doing it for the music, for the fun. The most fun part of touring is the sound checks and the food after you eat, after you play, going out to Denny’s or something. Okay. That’s the fun. That was the fun. When I was a kid, when we played high school gigs. I played a lot of free gigs and you’d go play the high school and after you’d say, where are we going to eat with the, with the 50 bucks we made. And that was the fun. And I never changed that. I’m the same guy that I was then. I’m glad I am. Have you spoken to, you don’t have, I don’t, I’m not looking for names, just looking for discussion. Are there other people that were relevant like you were at that time that felt the same way? Yes. Did some of them leave as well? No. That’s fear. Yes, there was a few, quite a few. It’s a secret thing. Sure, sure. It’s that, you know, well, you know, I’d like to do that, but, you know, wow, that’s a big decision. And I’m thinking, well, it’s not that big a decision, but listen, I don’t fault them. I get it. Sure, yeah, yeah, of course. I totally get it. They’re still my friends, okay? But that’s just not me, man. It’s not me. I’m the reluctant. I’m a very reluctant rock musician and I always was because I come from the era, the time when there was a thing called the counterculture. Yeah. So the counterculture was like, okay, we are us and they are the man, you know, this whole thing with the government and all that stuff. They are the man and the corporations and all that. I come from that counterculture. So I figure, okay, now I’m joining a bunch of musicians in our, in our crusade. against the counterculture, right? And we’re going to do it with art, right? And then I find out that all these people have created a counterculture that’s a culture itself is worse than the one before. And they’re still hoarding the pennies and cheating their friends and doing unstealing and doing all kinds of things that are completely what we hated. But now they’re dressing it up in, you know, leather and laser light shows. And concerts used to be called concerts and then they became shows and then they became spectacle. No one went to a show in 1969. They went to a concert. And so this is what was I saw changing and it was really, it was making me upset to the point where I was beginning to see the bad, see the bad, see the bad. And I said, you know, one of my outlook is don’t look at this bad stuff, man, which got to be some good stuff going on here. So My outlook was that. So I say, well, you know, I’m not seeing too much good here, so I need to go where I can. I need to leave it. It’s like a bad relationship. Yeah. I believe it. I understand. I totally understand. Look, man, I give you a lot of credit for, um, sticking to what was important to you. And if something and for recognizing that something was draining you and doing something about it and not changing. to adapt to the environment, you know? And I have a lot of respect for you for doing that. And I know it wasn’t an easy, I mean, the decision was probably easy, but the execution probably wasn’t as easy. And so I really, I think- Well, it was harder, it was harder on, look, I care about the other people around me, right? Sure, of course. I mean, I really do. So it was a lot harder on everybody else, okay? Because I’m prepared to be broke. I’m okay with that, but I understand that not everyone is. So yes, it was hard on the other guys and it was hard on their girlfriends and my own, but I had met, at that point I’d met the person who became my wife for now the past 40 years and I was okay with that and she was okay with that. That’s the important thing. Craig, relationships are the currency of heaven. Dude, you don’t have to tell me that twice. That’s what you spend there. Yeah. That’s what you spend there. I know what you mean. Yeah. You don’t have to… I’m with you on that, man. That’s all you got. That’s what you have at the end of the day. Yeah, man. You’re not thinking about your… Let me tell you, man, I am so down on that. It’s not even funny. That’s… all that’s important to me, man. And as I’ve gotten older and as I on almost a daily basis, that becomes more important to me. Because you realize, talk about currency, time is not a currency that you have as much as you used to. And it’s really important to me to fill that up with as much good stuff. And good stuff is that what you just talked about. Those relationships, those connections. Time is a bank account that one has, but he doesn’t know the balance. Ain’t that the truth. So you better make sure it’s emotionally full as possible. Whenever you can. Yeah. You never know the balance. And so imagine you had a bank account, but no one told you your balance. You keep going and dragging some money out of it and say, Oh, I was able to buy something today. But one day you’re going to go there and they’re going to say you’re overdrawn. You didn’t know when that day was going to come because you never knew the balance. You didn’t know how much was there. So. You’re preaching to the choir, man, I get it. I always say you can make more money, you can’t make more time. Yeah, and I say this too. No matter what you do, no matter how great you are, no matter how smart you are, no matter how loved you are, when you go, the people that come to see you on that day, largely make their decision based on the weather. Okay. Oh my God. That’s true. That’s true. And here’s the thing. Let’s say you’re just such a great person and you’ve done such great things that they brave the weather, the inclement weather. They brave the hail and they brave the snow and they come. They don’t come next week but your family does. Oh yeah. And every week after. So wherever you had the relationships, that’s your value. Oh yeah. And that’s what you take with you. We’re going to tell God, I’m an architect, I can build bridges, I can cure cancer, I can do all these things. Well, we don’t need that here. But what we do need is relationships and the ability to get along. That’s good here. That’s what you need. And if you really are, whether you believe it or you don’t, if you really are slated to be a being that will live forever, which is the big promise in our religion, do you really want to live forever in a bad mood? Frank, you need a TV show, man. I don’t know what, you know, there’s a million themes, but you need like a a tea, some sort of a TV show, man, because people will listen to you. Hey, I’m going to ask you what, first of all, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on the show, but for being so open and sincere, man, I cannot thank you enough for, for that, honestly. And I mean that if I was looking at you in the eye, I’d shake your hand and give you a hug. I really appreciate that very much. It means a lot to me. So thank you. Um, I want to ask you one more question and then I tell people, uh, a little more about the DVD, because I want everybody to grab it. And that question is, what has been the biggest change in your personality over the last 10 years? And how much of that has been intentional, and how much is a natural part of aging? Patience. You become more patient, or less patient? Totally, totally more patient. Okay. Ridiculously patient. You must be, to listen to this, listen to me. talking to you for two and a half hours. No, no, really, truly. It’s a, it’s ridiculous. The patients, I was always a relatively patient cause I was always hoping for the best type of deal, you know, like trying to get out of the hospital and all that stuff. But over the last 10 years with this project, this gratitude project, the patients has become, I didn’t even know it was possible to have that much patient. I can literally wait and wait and wait and not be bored waiting. So you really took this to heart from a grad. So this sounds like you really learned a lot from this project, not just doing it. And now that you got a great DVD package here, but it sounds like you grew a lot from this, from a gratitude standpoint. Totally. Absolutely. I mean, if anything helped my hope, become more faithful because hope feeds faith and doubt destroys it. So if anything helped, it was this project. It was this, the idea that the real motivation behind it genuinely every day was gratitude. It wasn’t, there wasn’t a single time I looked at doing this project thinking, gee, people are going to like this. Yeah. Or, wow, that’s really good. Right, or, wow, I can fund my next vacation or something. Yeah, really, truly gratitude. As a matter of fact, you want to really freak? Yeah. I told my daughters when it was done, very close with my daughters and my wife, I said to them, now that it’s done, listen to this, I said, maybe I should just not ever put it out. was I really did this because I really did this for God out of gratitude, not necessarily for any other reason. And they went, No, what are you crazy? No, people have to see it. People have to see it. I said, Okay, okay, I’m just like, telling you my thoughts. I’m not telling you this my plan. But it occurred to me. That’s how I didn’t do it. The motivation behind doing it had nothing to do with whether people would like it or not like it or make money on it or whatever. And then actually it was them that told me, look, if you do it this way, dad, maybe we can go out and play some shows or something. You’ll have some money to do it. Because I don’t have any money. I don’t own a home. I don’t have anything like that. I rent and have a 15 year old car. So they thought… maybe you could make something happen with this and we get out there and you’ll play and you’ll be happy and musicians and I thought, okay, well, let’s see what happens. But as long as it doesn’t change me, okay, if it starts, if something starts to change me, my value system, my principles, then I don’t want to have anything to do with that. And that’s what the business had been doing. It had been making me pessimistic. It had been making me look at how valuable an album was or a gig. And I thought that’s not me. It never was me. So that’s why it’s out there now. And listen, I want people to like it and I do want people to buy it. And they certainly could use the money, but the, but the, the overriding concern is that when people do get it or buy it or whatever they do, that they actually think it is good, but not because it’s good because I play good, but it’s just good. You’ve been getting tons of good testimonials on it. You told Yeah, it’s just good stuff. You know, good stuff. Here it is. It’s good. This is what Frank did. You know, you want to see what he is. You want to hear what he is. This is it. This is the one he endorses. Not the YouTube crap that people take on their phones. I wish none of that was there. Well, man, let me summarize what we learned today. First of all, we learned that Frank would love to buy your Fender Twin 65, 67 Blackface if you give it to him at a good price in exchange. You will also get a private lesson for him where he’ll teach you how to play, ain’t dead yet, let me finish. And he’ll give you a box set of the Blu-ray and DVDs along with the 180 page book. We learned Frank’s been married 40 years. Congratulations. You quit smoking. Congratulations. I hope that continues and, um, why he quit the music business and walked away from Columbia and we also learned you are a very sincere, honest guy. And I really appreciate that, man. So thank you. And let me just tell people one more time. Don’t forget that I’m a Christian and he’s a Christian. He’s a Christian and he’s a good guy. Both of those things. Um, All right. The DVD is called Frank Marino Live at the Agora Theater. Go to check it out. Go to mahogany rush and that’s M A H O G A N Y rush dot net forward slash DVD. It’s mahogany rush dot net forward slash DVD. And check it out there. It’s one hundred and six. How it’s six hours, man, of blu ray and then three DVD. It’s a blu ray. And then three DVD set it’s 180 page book that chronicles Frank’s entire career. Most of it put together by him. The last 20 chapters put together by him 58 songs on this, many of which were rarely if ever played live and you can also get this on or go, uh, go to Frank’s, uh, Facebook official Frank Marino and you can find information about it on there. Again, it’s called Frank Marino live at the Agora theater. And did I miss anything? And too is our website. And Thanks. Anything I missed or anything else I missed? No, no, that about sums up the whole DVD thing. Any final words of wisdom? And you’re a good guy and I really appreciate your time. Any final words of wisdom? Yeah, it’s never as bad as you think it is. I love that. It’s never as bad as you think, and it’s true, man. I met this guy one time and he said, Craig, there’s this four-letter word has a way of fixing absolutely everything. It’s called time. And I agree with you. Frank, it’s been a pleasure. Hang on, let me wrap up and then you and I’ll, let me just say goodbye to everybody and you and I’ll wrap up. And really honestly, thank you very much for everything. I hope you do, Tor, because I’ll be in the seats listening and enjoying it. You’re very welcome. Everybody, thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this interview, please share it on your social media channels. We appreciate your support. Thanks very much to Frank Marino for spending time with us. I’d love everybody to check out and get Frank’s DVD. Again, it’s called Frank Marino. live at the Agora Theater and you can get it at forward slash DVD or or on Facebook official Frank Marino and there’s just tons of great stuff on there. Make sure you go to sign up to get on our newsletter list so you and I can connect and most important remember that happiness is a choice so choose wisely. Be nice, go play your guitar and have fun. Till next time, peace and love everybody. I am out. Thank you, Frank, for everything.

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