Page 11 - ION Indie Magazine JulyAugust 2020
P. 11

RL: In the beginning, it was my brother Charlie showing me how to play songs. He had
               only been playing for 6 months when he started several of my brothers, myself, and some
               neighborhood kids on the guitar. It was a mystery to me how he could learn songs off a
               record, however, that changed as I practiced learning songs myself. Eventually, my ear
               developed  where  I  was  able  to  learn  songs  accurately.  That  had  a  lot  to  do  with  the
               popularity of Roc Lochner back in the day. Although we did write and record records, we
               covered a variety of music and people wanted to see how I was playing Van Halen, Randy
               Rhoads, Ritchie Blackmore, George Lynch, or whoever. It's actually how I started teaching.
               I was asked by a store in Tucson called L.A. Music to teach there because people were
               wanting to learn what I was doing. The uniqueness of my playing was inspired from when
               I had learned Van Halen's tapping. I knew I needed to do more with it. The logical thing for
               me was to use all the fingers of my right hand. It was an incredible moment for me when I
               first stumbled on to it. A whole new world opened up. It was quite exciting to explore. Jeff
               Watson's solo on ‘Rock in America’ was the first time I heard someone using more than
               one finger to tap. I ended up meeting Jeff and we jammed together at my friend Willie
               White's house after their concert at the TCC. He told me, ‘You are the first guy I've seen
               use more than one finger to tap.’ Which I replied, ‘You are the first one I've seen as well.’
               He was cool and he showed me how to play the solo to ‘Rock in America.’ My style of
               tapping was way different than his and what was interesting was that he kept trying to get
               me to put my pick down while I tapped. Part of my uniqueness is that I can move in and
               out of tapping and picking by sliding the pick up and down my first finger with my thumb. I
               did play left-handed on stage for a number of years. That started out because my younger
               brother played left-handed and it got me thinking how cool it would be to play both left and
               right-handed.  Also,  I  figure  it  would  help  develop my  right  hand  further.  Eventually,  I
               stopped using the left-handed stringing and ended up just flipping a right-handed guitar
               over so I would be playing upside down. What I discovered by doing that was what I call
               inverted licks. I would take any basic lick, like say, a three-note-climb, and play it left-
               handed with the same motion of movement and get an inverted sound. Eventually, I figured
               out every lick would have at least 16 variations, if not 32 or 64.

               MH: Speaking of 4th Avenue clubs, do you remember Choo Choo's, later to become
               The Night Train? I have great memories of the place…and not so great.

               RL:  I  do  remember  them  as  both.  I  went  there  a  few  times  when  I  was  underage  to
               see bands.  I  saw  Yesterday  &  Today  there. I  also  saw  Alien  with Ace  Baker and  Don
               Jamison. I did play there one time with Roc Lochner, but it was long after the heyday. They
               had closed down and opened for like a minute, and we played there during that minute.

               MH: Robby, correct me if I'm wrong, I have read in a couple other articles somewhere
               that you are related to the great Robert Schumann, music composer, pianist, and
               influential music critic from the early to mid-1800s. Yes? And if so, would you say
               you inherited some of his musical genius? I know you have a brother that is also a
               musician and has shared the stage with you in past band projects. Is there anyone
               else in your family that is musical?
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