An Interview with LA Based Guitarist,
(Neil Zlozower shoot with Greg Back custom RN guitar)
that took place in April, 2011 at The Rainbow Bar & Grille, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Glenn: What was it like for you growing up in LA as a kid?
Ronny: It was amazing. I started playing the strip when I was 14 years old and I actually came to the Rainbow when I was 14 years old. To make matters even better, Gazzari bought me my 1st beer. I played Gazzaris when I was 14 years old, got on stage and went downstairs to the downstairs lounge and Bill Gazzari had 2 of these chick in bikinis on each arm and he went, “Hey great show there guy, you wanna beer?”, I went, “You’re the greatest guy ever”. I thought he was the most awesome guy ever to buy me a beer. I mean, I didn’t make that up – my 1st beer was bought by Bill Gazzari. I thought that was amazing.
Just an amazing time. I’d be walking down the clubs and I’d be playing the clubs at 14. You’d be walking past the billboards and like 'The Runaways' are playing – you know all these bands were still going when I was out playing so I was like… It was really weird because this one time when I was at Gazarris, I was walking the street and on The Roxy sign it said, ‘Tonight – The Runaways’ - like they were still playing. I'm like this is f*ckin crazy. I'm like 'Wow' - I thought 'Yeah'. I just saw that movie today and thought, 'Yeah I am old'. But to me at that point it seemed like I had made it then. You see I'm playing alongside all these really famous guys and like a year later Motley Crue starts playing and WASP and Guns 'n' Roses and we opened for all those guys - Warrant - the whole 80's Glam thing started up after that.
Glenn: What made you decide you wanted to play guitar originally?
Ronny: I got Kiss's 'Destroyer' and Kiss's 'Kiss' when I was 13 years old and then Kiss Alive II Tour came to town - 3 months later my dad took us and it was at the Forum with Cheap Trick opening. I though it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. I thought it was the most amazing thing ever and thought, 'I gotta do this' and once we saw the concert and once I realised you could get girls too, I was like 'Oh done! Where's the downside?' I literally got a guitar about a month later for my birthday and a year later I made a tape for Ozzy Osbourne after they lost Randy Rhoads. I was like 14 or 15 - I made a tape and they realised I was too young and I got eleiminated but you know, I was playing the strip. They liked it and I got a lot of auditions after that. So the strip was a magical time. It'll never be like that again. I mean, I used to sidestep into people all the time walking around and hanging out - you could just do the weekend here and now you could play. All these great bands came out of it and then it just died. (Laughs)
Glenn: How come as you are such an incredible guitarist that you are not in a band like Motley Crue or Ratt or GNR?
Ronny: Well I was in glam bands back in the time - we got took in by record companies but for whatever reason I just never ended up getting signed. I know the guys in Ratt, I know the guys in Poison - you know what I mean? I I still play golf with some of them to this day. I did some big auditions for some major people but I never seen, including Lita (Ford) but it never came into fruition - not that I've given up - hahaha. Rikki Rocket told me, "You're one of the most famous, unfamous people that I know'. I'm like, 'That's funny!' and he's like, "If I didn't know ya I'd be afraid to talk to you!' Laughs.
Glenn: That's incredible.
Ronny: It's great - yeah he's a great guy.
Glenn: And you are just friends - you don't all look at each as rock stars etc as you've grown up around each other.
Ronny: And I appreciate it that much. I ain't gonna give up. It's all I know so I'm gonna keep doing it till the day the cows come home. It's been a fun ride completely. I'm not done yet.
Glenn: What would you say have been the best shows you've played in your career so far and what highlights have there been so far? What made them hightlights?
Ronny: Wow. I did so many - it's hard trying to pick out a few. Opening for Guns 'N' Roses in the early days was always an adventure because they were just so volatile. You never knew what was gonna happen. You'd nearly get knocked down, dragged up fights on-stage - it was like awesome! Playing Japan was amazing. Playing all the clubs. Playing for Bill Gazzari was always cool. Nascar was a blast, playing for the troops - always great, never gets old. The special olympics that I'm about to do for my 11th year in a row - amazing. I mean I'm had some amazing opportunities for doing what I'm doing. I'm extremeley fortunate to be able to do what I'm doing for a living - for better or worse - hahaha. To do what I love - that's all I do and I'm just very fortunate to do this. A lot of people don't have it so good.
Glenn: What sort of things do you enjoy playing most? Are there vertain things you enjoy playing more than others?
Ronny: Wow - I play a lot of acoustic when I'm at home. I don't know -it's awkward. I like doing the stuff that I do - the shredding stuff - you can't do that all the time. I do a lot of classical acoustic guitar playing. I play piano when I'm off too. You've got to do a little bit of everything.
Glenn: Yeah. What got you into playing piano? Were you playing piano first and then went onto guitar?
Ronny: I started playing piano when I was five. I stopped taking lessons very quickly because I thought it was so boring. I pretty much self-taugh myself after that and I could play you my own stuff but I couldn't play you an Elton John song to save my life. My brother stuck with it and he can play like Beethoven and everything these days so we are both trained to play to be musicians so it's cool - it's fun.
Glenn: What would you say is the favourite guitar that you play and how many guitars have you got?
Ronny: I probably have between 80 and a hundred and something guitars - maybe more. I don't know - I have three on the way now. I got so many, you see that's the thing like back in the day. I dabbled with drugs really briefly when I was a kid and I stopped almost immediately. By the time I was driving I was already clean - I was done with it. I started so early and I did all that sh*t in th beginning and then I was clear. By the time I was in high school I wasn't even drinking anymore. I was done - I'd done it already. So instead of buying drugs, I bought guitars. So my friends went to rehab and I had a bunch of guitars. So I still have a lot - I've never sold anything. Now I get 'em in the mail. Now they come for free so that's even worse - it's way outta control. I just have so many. The good thing about it is - all those pictures you see of me in the 80's, I still have those guitars and I still have those stage outfits. I'll never wear those again but I still have all that sh*t. One of these days we're gonna do a thing where we're gonna do a show somewhere and we're gonna have the various stage outfits I wore. We still have 'em all - we could do like the whole museum if anybody cares - the different looks of what I went through all these years. A lot of people can't do that but I don't wanna get into that. Thank God I stayed skinny! (laughs)
Glenn: If you could pin-point any guitar out of your collection, what would that be and why would you choose that one?
Ronny: Wow - I don't know. Probably my future guitars like my green one because I designed it. I took all the parts of all of my favourite guitars and put 'em into 1 guitar. That being said, I'm talking with a guitar company now about making 'Ronny North Guitars' - we had a meeting about that today actually. Hopefully I'll be making an announcement soon about that. There's like my blue charvel I was playing on the strip. I got it after Van Halen 1 came out and I was, you know, I was playing guitar with Van Halen when it came out - who is to say that I'm very young right? (Laughs). Like the world changed, do you know what I mean? There was a pre-Van Halen and a Post Van Halen. Like the world was a whole different place when Van Halen 1 came out. So I immediately went out and got a real charvel strat which I still own - that's still a guitar that I cherish. We've been through it all. From backyard parties all the way through Gazarris to the Ozzy audition.
(Ed Roman custom RN guitar...pic by PKM Images)
Glenn: Who would you say you've been the most priviledged to work or play with apart from Eddie Van Halen?
Ronny: I don;t know, I've met so many people and played with so many great people. It's kinda hard to put my finger on that. I got to open for Yngwie (Malmsteen), I've got to hang out with (Joe) Satriani. I mean, I'm just very fortunate to be able to do what I do and to hang out with these people. I have a lot of great guitar player friends like Warren Martini (of Ratt) is a friend of mine.
Glenn: Yeah, I've met Warren.
Ronny: Yeah, you know I grew up with posters of him on my wall and know he's a friend - same with Rikki (Rocket, Drummer of Poison). I grew up with posters of them on my wall and now they are my friends. It's bizarre.
Glenn: It's like me being a fan of WASP and years later I'm buddies with Stet Howland and Chris Holmes.
Ronny: Yeah I tell Chris when I see him too that I posters of you on the wall and now we hang out. It's like bizarre but very cool. It's all good. Everybody's normal except some people aren't. And we'll just leave that for interpreting (laughs).
Glenn: What would you say some of your best road stories have been for bad or for worse?
Ronny: Groupies in Japan - very interesting. Taco Burgers at the McDonald's in IOWA - very interesting. Let's see - god there's just so many. 80's groupies are alive in the world in other places other than LA - how about that? (laughs).
Glenn: If you look around you in the Rainbow, it's like a timewarp and we're still there in the 80's.
Ronny: It is. It might be 2011 outside, you walk in that door and areeba - it's back to 1985.
Glenn: Yeah. (We laugh).
Ronny: A timemachine called 'The Rainbow'. Ask Rick Stallone over there - he'll tell ya.
Glenn: What do you like to do outside of playing guitar as well?
Ronny: I play golf - lots. Some day I'll be really, really good. Might grow up to be a PJ Pro but somehow the guitar thing keeps getting in the way of my golf game. I skateboard. When they let me because they wanna take my skateboard away in case I break my wrists or something. I water-ski, I snowboard, I surf - not just board stuff - I do alot of athletic stuff. I go bowling every once in a while - everybody sucks but we have fun. We have bowling afterparties so... you gotta keep it interesting and fun.
Glenn: What would you say the most bizarre moments you've had onstage or offstage?
Ronny: I've had so many. Once there was a certain member of the 'Buffy The Vampire' cast getting on me and wanting me to go to the car with her which shall remain nameless which I turned down because I was being a good boyfriend at the time and then the girlfriend said it would have been ok to do that because she was a famous person. "Yeah, now you tell me!" What a f*ck*n' chip! Hahahahaha - that could have been a highlight but you know - would I, could I, should I? (Laughs)
Glenn: What's it like for you when you go up in front of Nascar - describe what that's like?
Ronny: Nascar is a whole other world unto itself. It's still 1985 at Nascar always - those women are just nuts! The fans are great - they love me and playing to 50,000 people doesn't suck and those racetracks are crazy - it's just a non-stop party. Those women - they dress 1985 and they act 1985 and I was signing an autograph for this chick the last time we did it last year and I signed her head and she told me what she wanted me to do with her in her trailer. My sister was sitting right next to me and I'm like, "Did I hear that right?", and she's like, "Yep!" - Wow - and it was very graphic. She was very specific what she wanted to do. Is there anything left to interpretation? And I was like, 'Wow, oh my god, I'll take a raincheck on that'. But you know, and husband is just sitting right there drinking a beer. I'm like, "Okay!". I don't know if her husband knew what was going on or what but we didn't get that far so I don't know.
Glenn: So they don't just stand by the cars and look pretty then - they do other things?
Ronny: No they're...
Glenn: What you see is then what else you'll get?
Ronny: Yeah. But I mean she was very specific about what she wanted to do and where she wanted to do it. I was like 'Wow'.
Ronny: I probably was one of the few guys who turned her stuff down, I don't know but you know, you think that and you go, "Who else got that offer today?" or last week, you know what I mean? You never know. I still gotta behave and not do anything that's gonna kill me - I wanna keep on that track. Hahahahahaha - you know what I mean? I got very lucky on that one.
Glenn: So you've got self released albums yourself out?
Ronny: Yeah, yeah. I'm currently excited that my current album 'Light' is in 'Best Buy' right now - 'Best Buy' stores right now so that's a beautiful thing. I sell records worldwide on my website. I've been very lucky in that I have a great overseas on i-tunes. I have a great overseas market. I've sold way more there than in America - you know than in Iowa and Nebraska - I'm in Nebraska, Japan, Germany and Europe. I look at the statements right after my sales and you know, this many records sold in Europe, this many records sold in Japan, 2 I-tune sales in LA and 15 record sales in Nebraska. It's like really weird and really scattered. It's really funny.
Glenn: Who would you say your influences are as a guitarist - do you have particular favourites?
Ronny: Yeah, yeah - Ace Frehley - my 1st guitar hero by far. I think Ace is the greatest thing ever. I told him that when I met him. The Van Halen came out - Eddie. Like old school Eddie - still you can't beat it. Michael Schenker - I love Michael Schenker, Adrian Vandenberg, Joe Perry - I'm old school. Neil Giraldro from Pat Benatar's band. I am big on the European guys. European guys have better vibrato like Gary Moore, John Sykes - I like that wide singing vibrato, George Lynch - who always borrows a lot from the European guys but you know, I love that whole European flavour of the playing. It's a beatiful thing. A lot more tasteful than the American player guys.
Glenn: So if you had a chance to play with anyone at all on stage or in the studio, who would that be and why?
Ronny: It'd be fun to jam with Eddie - I've never jammed with Eddie. It'd be fun to jam with him.
Glenn: Why Eddie?
Ronny: Just because it's just so - just to see him do what he does and see the vibe - I mean, just the whole thing. Because he's my hero but I have jammed with some of my heroes and even then I still don't get what they are doing - it's a lot harder than it looks. On that note, I'm gonna jam with Ritchie Kotzen and George Lynch in a couple of weeks - I'm doing the 'Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp' thing so I get to... that'll be fun. So that'll be interesting. I don't know, it'd be fun to jam with Schenker and see what he does if you know what I mean. It would have been fun to jam with Gary Moore but that's not gonna happen now. Slash - that could be good. Maybe Satriani - that'd be fun - well yeah - those guys - I just got to do it right for those guys anyway. I am gonna jam with Stacey - Stacey Steele.
Glenn: What countries have had the biggest effect on you that you have played in so far?
Ronny: Japan was a really big effect on me just because they knew who I was which was really bizarre. Nothing like getting recognised on the bullet train station ramp where some people know who you are and you're in a completely different country. That must have been 3 or 4 of my facebook friends in Tokyo - I'm like, 'What the f*ck?' hahahaha. Like, I'm your facebook friend - WOW!
Glenn: There's so many people that recognise you?
Ronny: Oh my god - everywhere I go out of the country man, people tell me they're my facebook friends. But some are in other states - it's surreal. The internet's been a beautiful thing for me. I think it helps independent artists. I think it helped me but it hurts the big guys but little guys that aren't known normally - it helps us. I've been places where I normally wouldn't be - so worldwide - worldwide web. Not LA only Web - worldwide web - www - hahahahaha. Depite what Lars Ulrich thinks - www. Hahahahaha.
Glenn: What's the most bizarre gig you've ever played?
Ronny: Wow - I don't know, I've played lots of crazy shit. I don't know. We did this club one time in Vegas and there was chicken wire around the stage. It was like 'The Blues Brothers' almost. I don't know - we all have those stories of those sh*tty little clubs that are real tiny - we've all been through that. We just laugh about it even when it happens now but it doesn't happen very often now but when it does you just laugh about it and you deal with it. I mean, you can waste all the energy complaining about it, like I was talking about sh*tty clubs, like, you know, we all run into those where you get booked into these places where you shouldn't even be in the 1st place like that. But you just laugh about it, you just get it over with and deal with it like make the best of it and go. You know with the little rickety Radioshack PA system - you just deal with it, get on and you do it.Sometimes its a good show, sometimes it's a disaster - as long as nobody dies it's all good.
Glenn: That makes sense.
Ronny: Yeah. It wasted energy. Just get it over with. They wanna see a show - give 'em a show.
Glenn: What material of your own are you most proud of?
Ronny: That's a good question. It's really funny. Like I record my stuff and I never really listen to it again. There's nothing worse - it makes me cringe. I've been in those situations where I know the places. We just did some shows in Palm Springs a few months ago and they were playing my stuff on the pop city radio station - it breaks me up - okay, change it because you're only gonna hear something that you could have done better. No matter what, when you hear yourself back, you always think there's always something you think you could have done better. Like I change it immediately - I don't even wanna hear it. I just read a single piece a new guitarist said in the guitar player magazine, he said, "I never listen to my own stuff because there's always something I feel like I could have done better". I'm like, 'I'm not the only one who thinks that so it's ok, we're ok'. So yeah - I hate listening to my stuff - I'll change it instantly. But that thing said, the title track for our new record is pretty cool - I kinda like that. I'm not that tired of that but I just hate to judge my own stuff. I don't listen to it enough. I record it, get over it, move onto the next record - done. Type right here and move onto the next one - hahaha. Right?
Glenn: Yeah. What do you most enjoy? Being in the studio or being on stage?
Ronny: I go in there and try and do the best I can for the particlular situation so. You have to be kind of a chameleon a little bit and kind of adjust - aclimate to your surroundings. There's nothing worse than playing the country track and your tapping - doing an Yngwie on it! So you gotta be care what you do. You gotta know when to do the shred thing and when to back off and be tasteful. That's how I judge a good guitar player - like constantly shredding in different situations - you gotta aclimate. A lot of people can't and don't do that. I've listened to all kinds of music - I just don't listen too... and I tell the the irony is, is that I listen to lots of pop music. I love the Britney Spear's and Lady Gaga's - I think it sounds great. I wouldn't wanna play it but it's entertaining to listen to. You know what I mean?
Ronny: You gotta have and open mind - a shred guy that always listens to shred music or a Metallica guy who plays nothing but all the stuff of Metallica and there's nothing wrong with all those bands - I love 'em all but I mean, you gotta open your mind.
Glenn: I suppose if I looked on some albums of some of these well-known pop acts, now or in the future I'd probably find your name somewhere?
Ronny: You think?
Glenn: You never know.
Ronny: You never know. That'd be a beautiful thing. Hey my picture's on the wall over there so you know - hahaha.I never thought that would happen so.. it's a beautiful thing hahaha. It's definately a sign of getting somewhere. When your picture's on the wall in the Rainbow you're got in somewhere.
Glenn: Tell us all about playing NAMM.
Ronny: Oh I've been attending NAMM since 1983. I've been playem 'em forever and it's just amazing - it's really fun. But I mean thing said, it's work. You see I'm sponsored by 57 companies at this place.
Ronny: So yeah - I'm talking about a lot of companies. So they'll pull me in 57 different directions. So it's work but I love every minute of it - so you know, work doesn't suck.
(Winter NAMM 2011 shot by One Mind Creations)
Glenn: How the hell do you schedule it all?
Ronny: You don't. You end up having like a nervous breakdown for about 2 weeks after. (We Laugh). So if there's lots of avenues, I'm spent. Completely after there - just gone - it's exhausting.
Glenn: So your designing your own guitars?
Ronny: I designed and figured the guitar. I'm playing the prototype now. We were with a company very briefly - they were gonna put 'em out but it just didn't work out for whatever reason. So I left on good terms and there's no drama but it just wasn't... We got pretty far along and it just wasn't meant to be and I had to pull the plug. But you know, I'd rather wait and have it done right than put out a crappy product because I only have one name and once you put out one bad product my name goes down with it. I'm not an Yngwie or an Eddie Van Halen or something where I can bounce back and I'm still a millionaire. So I pulled the plug. So everybody told me that was the wrong thing to do but I'd rather do it right.
So it's been a couple of years since that happened and now we're talking to another company that's probably going to happen. So it was definately the right decision. But you know, I do it a lot. I'm not into it for the quick bucks because I'd probably much to my dismay because I probably would be a millioniare twice. You gotta keep doing it right. You can call it integrity - you can call it just wanting to do it right - it's just what I do so... There's nothing worse than doing it half-ass. You only have once chance to do it right. Once chance for a 1st impression to do it right. I mean, you f*ck that up, you're never gonna get over that so why not just wait and just do it the right way the best you can possibly do at that time. So hopefully it'll pan out.
Glenn: What would you say you are most proud of?
Ronny: It was pretty cool getting 'Guitar Player Of The Year' a couple of years ago for 'Access Music Awards'. I mean I did not see that one coming at all and I always thought those shows were rigged and I was completely... I was at the awards show and I was completely flabbergasted that I even won. I mean when they are like calling the names out and we are actually physically walking out the door to come here to come and have dinner. We were walking out the door and then they said the names, I didn't hear it and I had my hand on the door to push it open and some girl who was standing next to the door just said, "You just won". I'm like, "What?", "You actually just won". I'm like "No" and they said the name again and it really was. I thought it was gonna be like, like I don't wanna be here to lose so I was already leaving - like "Let's get out of the god damn theatre - f*ck this!", and I actually won! I'm like, "What the hell". Next thing I'm like having a beer with these stars. I'm like 'What happened?' I'm meant to go to the Rainbow. But that was awesome. So I'm still stunned by that. Everytime I go to my studio I see that and I'm like 'Wow!'. I actually won - how did that happen? Who knows?
Glenn: You're either very, very glad or very, very humble.
Ronny: You gotta be - it takes twice the energy being all arrogant - there's enough of these people already. I'm not one of those people. See people forget where I came from. I mean without that and I see lots of big name rock stars and I won't name anybody. But you see how they treat their fans and stuff - they treat them like sh*t - you know what I mean and I mean, any of those people made them millionaires. They're the people that bought them their Ferraris, you know what I mean? You gotta see where you came from because if it wasn't for them, you wouldn't be where you are. So you wouldn't be there so you're very fortunate and they lose sight of that so.. I never will.. ever. For better or worse.
Glenn: If you had that chance of being in a certain band with certian people, who would you wanna be in a band with if you could or would you prefer to simply be known as being Ronny North?
Ronny: I love being a solo artist but it'd be great to be in one of those big bands. I don't know. I mean there's a lot of good bands getting out of LA - to be in Ratt or Warrant would have been awesome or to be in Poison. I love that kind of music - it's great music. It gets ragged on a lot but look - it's still around today. Now there making a movie about it with that 'Rock Of Ages' movie.
Glenn: You can't kill it.
Ronny: You can't replicate it - there's a time that it happened and now looking at it, it's back en-vogue again and all these bands that are around today, look at how much they are stealing from that. They rag on it but look at it - they are taking all their sh*t. Every band you see today, you can see where they got that from.
Glenn: This is where all the influences came from.
Ronny: Yeah. It's not original and the kids today don't know where it came from because they were too young. They weren't around when it happened the first time so they think it's all original but it's from the Poisons to the Ratts and the you know...
Glenn: So what's happening right now for you Ronny?
Ronny: I'm doing the 'Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp' in May. I was invited to do that so I get to be kind of an nofficial counsellor which will be really cool alongside Sammy Hagar, George Lynch and Kip Winger. So that's gonna be f*ck*n' amazing with all thosae guys so I'm looking forward to it. So that'll be f*ck*ng cool and Ritchie Kotzen - so I mean, that'll be awesome. I got some other big stuff coming up too. I'm doing some stuff in Nashville in July which will be awesome. We are talking about going to China so I had a meeting about that the other day. I know there's some talk about going on one of those festivals but I can't really say what festival it is right now.
Glenn: It's still to be confirmed?
Ronny: Yeah but it's a couple of spots - it might be just a couple of jumps on it - not the whole tour but a couple of jumps. I'm supposed to go back to Japan. I wanna go back to Japan - I was supposed tom go 2 weeks before the disaster happened so who knows when we are gonna reschedule that. Well I don't know if I wanna o back yet.
Glenn: Check the weather before you go?
Ronny: Exactly - they had another earthquake the other day. I wanna go to England - we gotta make that happen.
Glenn: Sounds good.
Ronny: I never been. I got in your hood - hahaha.We gotta bring it over there man. We should get like a little G3 - like a junior G3 - we'll get a couple and have a bunch of instrumental guys then you get like like Neil Sarzo to be the headliner - somebody like that. It'd be kinda cool.
Glenn: Or do a G3 with Joe Satriani etc?
Ronny: Oh I would love to be on the level of those guys. But yeah, that'd be great. It'd be great to share a stage ith Joe or Vai or Eric Johnson - that'd be amazing. That's great stuff. Those guys are in a league all to their own.
Glenn: It's amazing that some of these guys that you looked up to are now friends of yours.
Ronny: Yeah it's really bizarre. It's really bizarre that some of these people I had posters on the wall - I tell Warren that. I had Ratt posters on my wall when I was a kid and now here we are you know, sitting down having dinner.
Glenn: It's just weird to be hanging out with people who I saw on TV when I was ten years old.
Ronny: It's surreal. I told Rikki Rocket this. He played on one of records like years ago and we were tracking the drums at his house. I'm like, "Dude, I grew up watching you guys play on the strip and stuff and now here we are jamming together. It's bizarre. But you know - I've been lucky. I've been very lucky. Glenn: Is there anything else you'd like to say that I've not mentioned?
Ronny: Check out everything on me. Check out like RonnyNorth.com Keep an eye out when we do some more guitar clinics in the very near future for a major chain so definately keep an eye out for that. I would definatley like to come to Europe one of these days. We need to figure that one out.
Ronny: Definately. I'd like to thank everybody over in Europe for being supportive of me all these years. You guys are great to me. Better than the US has.
Glenn: How would you describe the guitar style of Ronny North in no more than 5 words without saying the word 'Shred'?
Ronny: Wow. Here's the thing with me - like when I say 'Shred', I use 'Shred' in a very open ended term - it's a reat terminology to me. It's like I say somebody shreds if they are really good at something. It's not really about playing to me. I kind of took a different direction because once you say you shred it's derogatory - you play like way too many notes and stuff. I say somebody shreds if they are really good at something. Like they are really good at Math or really good at skateboarding - I say they shred. But for me, if I say you shred, it means you are really good at whatever you're doing. Not that's necessarily playing 2000 notes but it can be used as that way as well so... When I say a guitar player shreds, it doesn't mean he's always the fastest guy ever. It just means he is really good at what he does. very tasteful and very good. Very proficient at what he does. That's how I use shred. But I get that term all the time - I get like, "You're one of those shredder guys". They usually have that derogatory term. I'm like, "Yeah, whatever' but I can do more than that.
Glenn: You got so many styles you can do and you can't be pigeon-holed into a particular style and some of the others are not really like that you know?
Ronny: Exactly. Yeah I mean, I did an Unplugged Tour a few years back and people were freaking out that I could play acoustic guitar and I'm like, "Why can't I play acoustic guitar?" and they are literally wild before I could pass that I could do that without having an amp antenna or whatever but I did it. I only agreed to it because I thought it would be easier and it was very hard and I'll never do it again. I mean I thought like 'Acoustic Guitar - how hard can it be? I'd not got no gear - it's gonna be easy - it's like totally hard like getting an acoustic guitar and volume and all that stuff - it's a whole of a nightmare and I'll never do it again. But I'm glad I did it but I'll never do it again.
Glenn: There's no safety net at all is there?
Ronny: Oh my God - it's way harder.
Glenn: What you like to be remembered for a a guitarist or as a person?
Ronny: I would like to be remembered as somebody who could play their instrument and who wrote great songs and who was a halfway decent person. Definately and treated everybody nice.
Ron Jeremy: Your a Professional Human Being.
Ronny: Good One.
Glenn: You can't go better than that can you?
Ronny: I'll have to steal that - 'A Professional Human Being'.
(Ronny, Me and Stacey Steele)
Thankyou to Ronny North, June Valentine, Stacey Steele, Friends and
Staff at The Rainbow