Life In LC

Derek Z

BJ’s Where, When and Whats Happening ?

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BJ here!

Hello to you… hello to this weekend’s 3 W’s and hello to this week’s Awesome local musician.

Actually…this week’s Q & A is from Derek Zane.

Here we go…

Hello, what’s your name?

Derek. Whats yours?

Derek
Derek Zane | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

What bands have you been in?

Let’s see…P.E.L.T. (perverted egotistical love titans), Ozone Baby, Gods Of Thunder (KISS tribute band), Mr. Wizard, Dammit Jim, Haywire, Cheap Truck, Stiff Richard, Joe Cool & Dragstrip Superstar. I was in some LA bands but nobody cares about those. Almost forgot : my first band up here was the McKenzie High School Pep/Jazz band.

Derek Z
Derek Zane Playing Guitar. | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Who are your influences?

As a kid, it was all about The Beatles but also with a heavy dose of the radio. My parents were into Harry Belafonte, The Carpenters, Perry Como, Broadway & Hollywood musicals, Neil Diamond, Andy Williams…I mention that because we moved A LOT and the radio or 8-track tape player was a constant traveling companion. For better or worse, I can sing along with every song in The Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz. My grandfather was an actor and also played brass in some big bands in the Glenn Miller era. I don’t know if musicality is hereditary but it probably came from my Grandad.

Derek and Duke
Derek and Duke at a Cheap Truck gig | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

My uncle had a drumset and I was fascinated by them and vowed to learn to play the drums. I would set up some pillows, grab a pair of my mom’s knitting needles and taught myself how to play to my ELO and K-Tel Hits records. Ended up being a drummer for my high school but because my parents couldn’t afford to buy me drums, they got me an ultra lame electric guitar from Sears and I taught myself to play by getting a Mel Bay chord book and playing along to the sheet music my mom had (she plays piano).  I’m here to tell your readers around the world that I knew NOTHING about guitars, but now? I play in bands all thru-out Lane County AND Salem! Dreams come true, kids!

As a teen learning to play guitar, I was way into Kiss, Cheap Trick, Heart, Queen, Wings, Journey, Van Halen, Pat Benatar, Styx, Randy Rhoads… I can tell you exactly where I was the first time I heard Bohemian Rhapsody on the radio. It was life changing as was Van Halen’s Eruption.

Derek Zane guitar
Derek Zane on guitar. | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Nowadays, I like any genre as long as the song is good. Melody, harmony… not a fan of rap or screaming Cookie Monster vocals but I can appreciate the rest.

 

If you could sit in with any of the other local bands for a few songs, which band would it be?

Satin Love Orchestra. I already have the clothes
What do you think of the local musicians?

I’ve played with a fair amount of them since I moved up here in 1990…as far as the “rock scene” goes. When I worked with Duke Sound doing a lot of the blues/multi-act shows, I really saw that this area is thick with talent. I’ve played with the best and some of the less then best but at the heart of it…It all comes down to what kind of person you are and how you treat others, not just the playing part of it. I do respect all of them for their effort and love of what they’re doing. Most of them are very nice people and I count quite a few of them as friends.

What instruments do/can you play?

Guitar,bass, keyboards, drums, kazoo (only rhythm)

How old were you when you started playing?

Got my first real 6 string….at 15. Drums were about a year before that.

How long have you been playing?

Hey, nobody told me there was gonna be math! As a part of my deal with the Devil, I can’t really discuss “years” or what life was like before electricity.

 

DZ
Derek Zane | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Are you self taught or did you take lessons and if lessons where, who taught you?

Mel Bay Giant Book of Chords was a life saver when I tried out for jazz band. There were no music videos when I was a kid (and where I lived, I couldn’t have watched them anyways) so…my teachers were Kiss & Beatle records being played over and over  and over. I feel bad for my little brother that had to listen to me figure out Rush songs in the next room. Altho, he can probably hum the solo to Limelight note for note.

What made you pick the instrument you play as your choice?

I wanted to be Ringo but was kinda pushed into being George/John. I didn’t mind, tho, cuz I grew up appreciating vocalists and it was easier to sit around a campfire with a guitar than a drumset. Altho, chicks do dig bongos.

What do you love most about what you do?

Besides the mountains of cash and dating hot models with lowered expectations? Hmmm. Being in a band and playing music every weekend can be a grind if you aren’t having fun with the people on stage with you. Once it becomes a repetitious job, you need to stop. If you aren’t having fun, everyone in the room can tell. I’ve been in those situations and something inside kept me from completely losing the will to live and quit—I liked the people in the band. They were/are my friends. So, you stop stressing about playing for only 2 people or the fact that everyone else is only dancing to the songs you don’t like … and just enjoy the fact you are making music and getting a little bit of money for doing so and… doing it with people you care about. I will never be one of those guys that stopped playing and sold their gear for whatever reason. If I wasn’t in a band, I would still play every day. It’s a gift from … whatever higher power you believe in.

Thank you Derek Zane of Dragstrip Superstar for your AWESOME  local musician interview!

Dragstrip Superstar
Dragstrip Superstar | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

If you want to check out Derek Zane along with fellow band members Scott Johansen and  Jeff Blaser their band Dragstrip Superstar will be at Happy Hours 645 River Rd. in Eugene tonight (Fri.) starting at 8:30pm.

Breana Cahoon
Code Red’s Breana Cahoon. | photo by Billie-Jo Miller
Mark Nash
Code Red’s Mark Nash. | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

Now for this weekend’s Where, When and What’s Happening!

Piksix
Piksix | photo by Billie-jo Miller

Happy Hours 645 River Rd. Friday : Rock and roll with Dragstrip Superstar!

Saturday : Classic rock with Splat!

Mac’s Restaurant and night club 1626 Willamette st. in Eugene….Starting at 8pm with a $5 cover on Friday(tonight) night its the one and only awesome Rock and Roll Party band Code Red! … Saturday night(tomorrow night) it’s blues with Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes starting at 8pm with a $6 cover.

At the Mohawk, 1501 Mohawk blvd in Springfield : Friday : Modern rock band AMPT starting at 9pm!

Saturday :  it’s the premiere of Into the STORM. The Rock and Roll 80’s style party starts at 9pm!

The Gridiron Grill and Taphouse 2816 Main st. Springfield : Friday it’s a Piksix party with classic rock and dancing starting at 9pm!

Riverstop Restaurant & Sports Bar 39297 Mckenzie Highway :  Saturday the 28th  it’s Classic Rock with Still Thinking starting at 8pm!

Bugsy’s 559 Ivt St. Junction City : Friday its Rock and Roll with Frown Squad (formally known as Mr. Frown) starting at 9pm!  Saturday once again it’s that awesome party band Code Red starting  at 9pm!

Joe Weber
Joe Weber | photo by Billie-Jo Miller

This weekend at the Mill casino’s Warehouse 101 both Friday and Saturday it’s Phamous Phaces with high energy classic rock and power pop from 9pm-1am!

Well, my friends… that’s it for this week’s 3 W’s (Where, What, When)

Have a great weekend and, as always, please don’t drink and drive.

XOXO, BJ.

BJ
BJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billie-Jo Miller is an Oregon mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and an award winning photographer. "I can never remember a time that i didn't have a camera in my hand and when my daughter started to call me 'paparazzi' I realized I needed to do something with my love of photography." Billie-Jo is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography and has done extensive freelance work and has spent time as a photojournalist for several newspapers. Billie-Jo is now an EDN Columnist and an in-demand live events photographer.

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