Written by Adam Troy (SONIC X)
Living in New York City was like a candy store of entertainment. There was no shortage of inspiration to set me on “My Rock and Roll Journey.” I grew up with the type of entertainment that eventually led me to the rock world. Crazy as it may seem, I fed of off entertainment icons like Evel Knievel, The Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Harlem Globetrotters, Broadway plays and street performers on the subway platforms. These entertainers all played a huge role in my desire, drive and will to entertain. To this day, I incorporate everything that I saw growing up in that environment. It’s steeped deep inside my soul, like the influence that Teddy Pendergrass had on me (as discussed in Chapter 1).
The first “instrument” that landed in my hands was a hair brush (as a microphone). The recorder was the first actual instrument that I learned how to play. I played it because I had to, but it sucked. Next was the violin. It sucked too! I bought my first guitar around the time that I was in 7th grade…a black Flying V made by Hondo. Man, did I think I was cool! I noodled around and learned some chords, but I sucked. These were the days of Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. The wheel had already been invented (so to speak), and I wasn’t going to re-invent it. After a few years of frustration, I decided to try something else…singing. Who knew that would be the answer?
I had three very distinct vocal coaches. The first (and most unusual) was an old Romanian woman named Olga. I took one lesson with Olga. She smacked my hand with a ruler when I hit some bad notes…NEXT! The second was a woman who gave me great encouragement, and told me that I could be and sing anything I wanted (kinda like having your mom telling you that you could be president). She was nice, but I felt that I needed more. A musician friend of mine directed me to my third vocal coach, a man who I hold dear in my heart to this day…Ron Feldman.
Ron had quite a resume of famous and accomplished artists that he had worked with. I went to him every week for a year-and-a-half…singing scales and songs, and asking tons of questions about everything music and music industry related. What Ron taught me was not only how to sing, but also about what it meant to be in what he would say “The Business of Show.”
That was a very true statement on his part, and it is still with me today. He would say to me…“young man, sound as good as you look, and look as good as you sound and ALWAYS sing your ass off!” I was inspired by his words and the time he invested in me as I joined my first professional rock band, Trixx.
Trixx played the local dive bars for shit money, covering every band on the radio and selling beer from the stage. I loved it! I took this adventure very seriously. I always strived to get bigger gigs in bigger rooms for bigger crowds and more money. I was well aware early on of the business aspect of music, and was driven to be BIGGER.
I eventually left Trixx and formed a touring band called Rage of Angels, where I learned the tools and tricks of the trade. We played every bar from Key West to Fayetteville, North Carolina (and everywhere in between).
We packed four guys from the band and a two-man crew into a 1976, green, two-door Ford Thunderbird, and an old 24-foot truck that had spiders coming out of the air vents. This is how I became “seasoned,” playing music with my best friends without a care in the world other than…“do we have enough gas money to get to the next gig?”
In Chapter 3 of “My Rock n Roll Journey,” I tell the tale of being escorted from one of our shows by an armed member of our crew, and talk about the girls, the booze, the drugs and a $1500 bar tab!
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