Deadsplinter Up! All Night: Rocking Me Hard

High school in the 80’s in Hawaii made Fast Times at Ridgemont High seem tame.  Your very own LemmyKilmister attended my high school for a few years at the same time as myself and we shared many of the same friends and had the same guitar teacher.  During this time, Cliff Williams the AC/DC bassist had a condo across the street from our school and (I believe) was scamming on many of the hot girls we had in our school.  He also befriended a guitarist classmate of ours that took lessons from Randy Rhodes prior to his death.  Anyways, the metal heads at our school were constantly battling over who was the best guitarist around & our guitar teacher was still an unknown commodity but we knew he had more skills than any guitarist we had ever heard.  We could bring in any song to learn, he would listen once and could immediately play along.  Often times he would say “this is what he played & this is what he SHOULD have played” as he shredded out some riff.  More times than not he was exactly correct.  I once brought in a Van Halen song & he asked “why do you want to learn this?  This guy is really sloppy.” He had literally never listened to Van Halen and could play it note for note but changed a few things he thought Eddie did wrong.  Our teacher was Marty Friedman & his band at the time was named Hawaii (though some of the earlier stuff was under the band name Vixen).   During this time Ace Frehley left Kiss & Marty auditioned to replace him.  Although seriously over qualified, he didn’t get the job because he was too short!  One day during a lesson Marty asked me if he could borrow my guitar for a very small part on a new song (I had a Strat copy with a good whammy bar he liked) so I said sure, but let me clean out my case first (I hid my weed in there since my parents never looked in there).  He was not into drugs & gave me a very strange look but let me take any of his guitars for the week (I took his Flying V).  When myself or Lemmy went to lessons, Marty’s sister who was our classmate would always come to “check us out”.  We both thought she had a crush on us (Lemmy was probably right, I was probably delusional).  Marty didn’t get famous during the time of our lessons but we had no doubt that he was one of the greatest guitarists we would ever see & it was just a question of if the world would figure that out.  They eventually did!  I wish I paid more attention and practiced harder when he was my teacher but I was a burn-out, more into partying, chasing girls, and surfing. 

Side note 1.  – Lemmy & I stopped being friends in high school & I never heard from him again until a weird reconnect thru Deadspin’s DUAN.  I didn’t treat him very well at the end of our friendship & regret that, though it is a long story better not addressed here.  Lemmy was a good guitarist in high school & had a band with some of my best friends to this day.  I’m sure he got way more out of Marty’s lessons than me & is probably a ripping guitarist now.

Side note 2.  – Marty always had an obsession with Japan, Japanese girls, Japanese metal, and spoke fluent Japanese.  After he left Megadeath, he moved to Japan and became a huge TV star there.   Japanese TV is so much more fun that U.S. TV!

Search “Rock Fujiyama” on Youtube to follow the crazy rabbit hole of Japanese rock TV
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43 Comments

  1. In the spirit of legendary guitarists, here’s a track off Clapton’s Backless that I can’t turn off: “If I Don’t Be There By Morning. Written by Dylan and Helena Springs, the line “Sometimes I think about you girl / Is it true that you think of me too” slays me every time.

  2. That is a great story! What an unlikely reunion between old friends.
    A close friend of mine took guitar lessons from Arlen Roth when Roth was in art school in Philly. He was an excellent teacher even then as my friend is an amazing guitarist. Splinter RIP – Roth was the guitar player in the very first performance of The Blues Brothers.

    One of my favorite guitarists is Jorma Kaukonen. Jorma has a ranch in rural Ohio where you can take workshops from instructors like himself, Jack Casady, and GE Smith. It’s always been a dream of mine to attend one day.
    https://www.furpeaceranch.com
    Here’s Jorma a few years back doing Genesis at The Fur Peace Ranch

  3. …I tend to be a bit out of the loop about guitar-centric things these days but I was enamored enough of them in my day to appreciate that rather epic intro – so thank you for that

    …I have at least one acquaintance who is a bit more up to speed about these things though which is why after a bit of hunting about I managed to find something they showed me a while back which seems like some pretty serious guitar work to me?

    • Jimi was my first guitar love, when I was 3 or 4 my bro would play Hendrix & I would sing Foxy Lady to my Mom’s military wife friends. Didn’t work out well for my bro or me!!!

      • There used to be a place in Nashville called The Musicians’ Hall of Fame. It was privately owned and eventually went out of business. But, I was there at the grand opening and the crown jewel of the collection was the room that Jimi used to play in when he was stationed at Fort Campbell. He’d come down to Nashville on weekends and play in this seedy dive on Printer’s Alley. When the guy who put together the HOF heard that the dive bar was getting leveled, he got the contractor to agree to hold off for 24 hours so he could completely dismantle the room and then put it back together again at the HOF–which itself was under construction at the time. The whole room was probably no more than 20 x 30, and the “stage” was a platform about a foot high that could only hold a trio.

  4. Can I just say that I really appreciate L’s mea culpa, but he’s being a little hard on himself. I’ve always chalked it up to high school kids doing high school stuff, and if we’re being honest we mostly just disagreed on which substances to abuse.

    Marty could play just about anything after a listen or two. He kept a cassette player on the floor and would push the Play and Rewind buttons with his toe. I posted this solo the other night:

    and it would have been anathema for him to play this at the time. Marty was a shredder before “shredding” was a thing. What made him different was that he claimed all these Eastern and Middle-Eastern influences rather than going in the neo-classical direction that Malmsteen and MacAlpine and the others took. Maybe I can take a little bit of credit for the bluesy thing, because when I brought him the solo from “Flirtin’ With Disaster” to teach me, he stopped a couple of times to say this or that lick was really cool. Nah, I’m not going to take credit, but he did say that.

    Anyway, I did wind up a pretty good player, and gave lessons for a while. It got screwed up when I started packing lobsters to work my way through college, and that fucked up my hands, being wet and punctured with lobster spines all the time. I always say that fame skipped a generation, because Marty was my teacher and the kid in this band was my student when he was in middle school. They were a regional thing for a while, and they eventually got a record contract, which didn’t work out because the label folded:

    • For the record, I can tell you the story about L’s guitar, straight from Marty. He used it for exactly one note, at 3:00. He tuned the guitar chromactically, and hit all 6 harmonics at the 5th fret. The reason he needed a Strat was obviously for the tremolo bar:

        • He gave me a chance to buy that red BC Rich Bitch one time and I passed it up, because it was filthy and the setup was all wrong. Kicking myself in the ass now. What I bought instead was the sunburst Les Paul that I posted about awhile ago, from a shop down in the red light district. My buddy bought an original Grover Jackson from the same guy and the name on the headstock was obviously hand-painted by Grover himself. Marty never even wiped down his fretboards it seemed.

  5. some of you might be noticing some changes…please don’t worry…it is merely me working on making this site better for all of you…and panicking…but no need for you to panic because i am just trying to make changes without ruining your experience at the same time which is a lot harder than just making changes…

    no clue what the theme is…

  6. I don’t know much about Megadeth nor do I know if this song has anything to do with the OP, but my oldest brother was a huge Megadeth fan and this is the song I remember liking (and it is cool you and Lemmy hooked back up even though I’m not ready to let him off the hook evil grin)

    Jokes aside, Trust by Megadeth:

  7. The magnificent Five Keys out of Newport News, VA are rocking me hard with this politically incorrect tune with a coronavirus connection. Don’t give me that look. I didn’t write it.

  8. for rocking hard im going to have to go with focus

    partially coz i love that their solution for only getting 4 minutes tv time to play a 7 minute song was to just play the whole thing faster
    and partially coz jan akkerman was one of the best guitarists of the time (that said the whole band was pretty good at what they do…. also from the looks of things…plenty speed was used in the making of that performance..lol)

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