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Private Messages

Gary Barnhart

I was born on St. Patricks day of 1962 and about 11 years later I got my first guitar. I began my formal training under the guidence of Harold Weaver in Monongahala and about 2 years later was given the best advice of my life by Bob Crafton. " You play like a bass player. You should take lessons on the bass. If you are good enough , you'll never be without a job in a band . " I had no idea !

I spent the rest of the late 70s and early 80s in a number of local bands , the best around '81 called Watcher that gained a strong local following until it imploded ( as most bands of that nature eventually do ) about a year later. Around 1985 I got a call from a keyboard player friend that he had an audition for a band from Connelsville and they were looking for a bass player. I got the job , he did not , and started what can only be called an extreme roller coaster ride all the way to Golddust-MCA records .

This band was the " Zippers " ! We cut an album, toured the east coast, were nominated for 3 awards at the Pittsburgh Music Awards (that we didn't win ), and after the smoke cleared and our buzz wore off, realized that the ride was over by 1991.

During that time I was introduced to what very hard work and dedication can do for your music. I also got to preform a couple of tunes with the late Joey Ramone at a club called the best sound system I ever heard in a toilet.

I formed a band shortly after the Zippers were over called Loose Change with some friends I grew up with and we had some mild success working the local bar scene. After that band self destructed, I worked on a project that, to put it mildly, was like being tortured by a good time. Three years, four gigs, about 15 different members and a lot af rehearsals. I did manage to hone my songwriting skills during this time and wrote some of my favorite material.

I hooked up with a guitar player named Nick Nicolette around 95 and we put together several projects, raided a couple more, and played a ton of gigs. One band, Flower Child, had a very strong following of Dead Heads and other groovy people and still remains one of my favorite bands.

It was around '97 that I was introduced to Matt at a gig on some farm with Fungus called Flowers and Fungus. After asking me several times to come and sit in with his band , I was asked to join. I think it is one of the best things that has happened to me in my colorful career in music , and I hope it continues until I stop breathing.

Now for the vital stats. I'm 40 years young , married to the best woman on earth , my musical influences are all over the place , but Frank Zappa is #1 over anybody. I like rock, county, punk rock, reggae, bluegrass, classical, jazz, techno, rap, you name it, I dig it. I currently play a 6 string Washburn bass guitar through a Fender Bassman 400 and it kicks . At the present I am working on some recording of my own songs and at the present pace, should be done around 2020.

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