Last Saturday Night

I had the most tremendous privilege of attending George Ochoa’s Christmas party last Saturday night. I haven’t had that much fun at a party in more years than I can remember.

The best part was meeting all sorts of amazing people. It was the first time I had actually met George in person, and He couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming. I met members of some of my very favorite Christian metal bands of the ’80s and early ’90s, including Recon, Deliverance, Vengeance Rising and Barren Cross, as well as members of the contemporary band Worldview.

George’s family and friends couldn’t have been nicer and more welcoming to me. They made me feel like I had been their close friend from the very beginning of the Christian metal days in the greater Los Angeles area. I truly felt like I, “fit right in”.

All in all, from the great food and drink to the awesome Scorpions jam session, it was definitely the best Christmas party I have ever attended!

Ronnie & Mike

Here’s a little story about a good friend of mine by the name of Ronnie Hunter.

Back in 1990 I read an ad in Heaven’s Metal magazine posted by Mike Lee of Barren Cross fame. He had recently left BC and was auditioning musicians for a new band. I immediately alerted my buddy Ronnie, who is quite the shredder (A LA Yngwie Malmsteen). He was very interested and I agreed to help him put the submission package together.

I took some professional looking photos of him and helped him record some riff ideas. I even wrote his bio for him. When the package was finished, I mailed it off to Mike. A few weeks later, Ronnie got a call from Mike. Out of over 200 guitar players that had applied, Mike chose Ronnie as his number one guy. Ronnie was ecstatic, to say the least.

Mike wanted Ronnie to come and audition in person. But there was a problem — Ronnie didn’t own a car. Mike lived more than seven hours north of Ventura, so I agreed to rent a car and drive Ronnie up.

The day came to travel and Ronnie and I set out on our way. After a grueling drive, we rolled up to Mike’s house. We parked right in front and got out of the car. Mike had a somewhat bewildered look on his face. Turns out that Ronnie didn’t bother to tell Mike that I was coming along. AWKWARD. Let’s just say it led to a very uncomfortable 3-day weekend.

At the end of the visit, Ronnie and I headed back to Ventura. So why didn’t we see a KILLER album from Ronnie and Mike? I don’t know the full answer, but it appears that Mike figured out that Ronnie wasn’t a Christian and decided it wouldn’t be consistent with his vision for a Christian band to bring Ronnie on board.

Long story short — don’t say you’re a Christian if you’re really not (or, some other claim that just isn’t true).

Have a great weekend and KEEP IT METAL!