REG KEYWORTH –

My good friend Tim Griffiths has told me on several occasion about his friend Reg . I finally was able to get him to slow down long enough to answer a few questions so others could get to know him and his music . Let’s see what he has to say:
I’m sure you have been asked this before, but who is Reg Keyworth?
     Reg: Sometimes I ask that myself..lol. I’m a pro guitar player / music producer that lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Been playing since I was 16 starting off in a homegrown band of good friends and writing our own material. We werent the best musicians around by any standard,but we sure had a lot of fun and good times. I pursued a music career in Australia about 6 years later after doing a carpentry apprenticeship. Here I got into some new music styles and progressed into playing with some really good musicians and started a couple of kick ass original hard rock bands. Warpath and Krank. After some success with these bands I started freelancing as a guitarist/writer and worked along a few prominent Artists here and there and also got into film and television work. After a while I fell into the Aussie Country Music scene,which was hell of a lot of fun,especially touring the Outback for 2 years straight with up to 8 gigs a week. Amazing journey in life..I met so many really cool people…fantastic stories!….pub brawls,biker shows,Aboriginal full moon parties.. with crocs and drunkards…lol Not long after winding up that tour I decided to move to the USA,where I put my roots down in Austin Texas,got a job straight away with Guitar Center {2002} and started meeting everyone who was a someone,and more. I wrote and recorded/played the clubs there then moved to Houston for a while. I then thought Id try Albq NM,in which I lived for a few years,totally absorbing the music scene and recording songs like “Dead Mans Wash’ which in its own way was my right of passage for the US music industry. I started working for Gibson Guitars not long after and they shipped me off to the UK which was great,met a lot of great muso’s and played plenty of guitars. I ended up back in the States later and started up Platinum Music Creations and began collaborating in writing. I also around this time started getting some bad arthritis probably due to the carpentry years ago..so it slowed my playing up,but I get around it. After 22 years away I had to move back to New Zealand for family reasons,so here I built my present recording studio and teach guitar. I did a guitar clinic here in 2010 for NZ’s G-Taranaki which is the big guitar festival here. We had head line guests like Slash,Uli Jon Roth and Jennifer Batten,so it was an honour to be associated in this group of world-class guitarists over the weekend. Presently I’m working on some new material in which I plan to get back out there.. especially for the people out there that have supported me through my music career. I enjoy Riding my Harley when I can,sharing time with my beautiful girlfriend,and playing guitar..alot! Cheers.

How did you cut your musical teeth? And was anyone else in your family into playing music?
Reg: My Dad used to play the ukulele when I was a kid,so we always had music around and we also had an old Hammond organ which I still got today!…the real deal. I got my first guitar for Xmas one year when I was like 7 or 8..it eventually got KISS scratched into it..lol Got my first electric at 16..an old Memphis Les Paul….swapped it years later for some fandango effects unit back in Surfers Paradise Australia…real dum move!..it was seriously out of date the next year. From there I just jammed with a lot of really good friends and Musicians…very fortunate to have played with some brilliant guitarists. Even though I’ve been playing for years {self-taught} and teach guitar..I still feel I’m always still learning something…still cuttin’.

Was there a defining moment that got you into music, and what was it?
Reg: Id say the first time I heard Ace Frehely through the family stereo system back in the day..{on record..lol} I wanted to play guitar. I was a KISS fanatic as I guess most of us were at some time or another. It was a goal,,which I can say I’m blessed to have achieved and am lucky enough to still be doing full-time. It blew me away that eventually I was representing Gibson Guitars! Thanks Ace!

Do you have any previous band experiences that you care to share?
Reg: Seems like I’ve been in bands for ever..{in my 40s now..lol} 2 great bands I was with were Warpath and Krank..both in Australia. Really great bands that were doin the pro original circuit. I co wrote some killer music with guys like https://www.facebook.com/allan.anthony.31 , https://www.facebook.com/craig.martin.35513 and  https://www.facebook.com/jake.janetzkiAfter really doing the hard yards over the years I had my own entertainment agency in Australia which was mainly focused on my own solo career there and in the USA. I have since been in a multitude of  bands/projects including managing a few acts and producing their music. My own projects go under the name..Reg Keyworth Band. You can see more athttp://www.myspace.com/regkeyworthband and I’ve just started a FB  page.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reg-Keyworth-Band/139545366121149.
I collaborate when I can.. Did a great little Rockabilly ditty for commercial purposes with a great gal https://www.facebook.com/mirikasolo that the Country radio stations of NZ took up and still play at least 2 x a week..lol…actually just had a chat earlier with a mate https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.foster.666 about getting something happening…so theres always something on the move.

Who was your musical mentor, and what do you carry with you to this day from them?
Reg: I’ve never really had one mentor with the music, as I’ve played with so many amazingly cool musicians. Id say Il take my hat off tho to an old guy named Del. He used to live next door to my grandma back in Phoenix AZ. I bought my first guitar there when the family was visiting her. She let me play the guitar through her home stereo..[had to make a way for it to be connected]..gave me beer and let me drive her cadillac..at 16..lol..but getting back to Del..he gave me my first lesson. He used to be in Elvis Presely’s band playing lapsteel. I remember his words of…”if you make a mistake while playing the guitar Reg..just keep it going..youll catch the groove next time round” Wish I knew his last name…very cool guy.

Is there any period in music that reaches out to you more than any other?
   Reg: I guess growing up in 60’s/70s I was lucky enough to have listened to all the masters when I was very young..all the big guitar bands…there was def some great rock coming out then…still classics today..I mean..Boston’s More Than a Feeling…thats just pure class. I do really enjoy the music coming out today tho..everything from electronic dance to John 5s wizardry.

Even musicians get starstruck by other musicians, any starstruck moments for you?
Reg: I honestly can’t say I’ve been starstruck but definitely had a Rockstar moment..lol…I was up in Bozeman Montana up at the Gibson Acoustic factory there for a couple of days and the last night there I was having a very wet dinner with the Management and my buddies Nick Kane {The Mavericks} Mike Scaccia {Ministry} and Ryan Roxie {Alice Cooper}..a very cool evening…sure wasnt fun getting back on the plane early in the morning tho..lol..def a Rockstar moment..lol ..I was blessed enough to see Stevie Ray Vaughn in Auckland NZ of all places when I was bout 20…thats was very cool!

Do you think that Rock N’ Roll is still relevant today?
 Reg: Yes..I think it is….so many people love it or are still discovering it..its awesome to see. As Neil Young said…Rock n Roll will never die

What advice do you wish you had been told when you were first getting started
Reg: lol…stay away from wild women and drugs that will fly you to the moon and back..lol When I had a band at about 18…a great guy named Dudley used to do sound for us..he just got off a tour as sound engineer for Thin Lizzy and we were stoked he’d come along with some gear and put us kids on a pedastool..I think really even back then..the advice…the whole thing was so raw,rough and ready..especially in New Zeraland!..no one had any rules..like today..the one thing I’m glad I never got told was ..”get a real job!”..or ‘get a haircut!’ My advice to give to anyone starting out is…Go for it!..its out there waiting for you!

What do you think of the state of the industry today? Do you think that there is hope for the musician trying to earn a living?
Reg: Well..I’ve been away from the USA for just over 3 years now and tucked away in little old New Zealand,which has a very small but cool scene..very hard here unless you’ve got an established career and even still its hard. I think its def easier for artists to get their material out there especially on the internet and social media…probably easier today with the right focus..but live music will always be the key. Id like to think with the amount of guitars and other instruments being sold worldwide the industry is going strong somehow..just the rules are changing a bit. Ive been doing nothing but music for the last 15 years easy..but I have a few projects always on the go. Playing,Writing,Teaching and Producing just to name some. I have recently started getting back into TV but that’s kinda all part of it..its the Entertainment industry in General. As an old friend said years ago..You wanna survive in this industry you gotta sing,dance and act….Im sure he mentioned play a bad ass guitar in the speech somewhere…Rock On! 
Thanks Reg, sharing with us not only gives us insight you the musicians and industry people we love,  it opens other people up to hearing what others know and love. Readers, do yourself a favor and check out Reg Keyworth and his body of work!

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