Eric Johnson’s stature as one of the premier guitar players in contemporary music is his artistic trump card, backed by a Grammy Award and five nominations, platinum album, Top 10 hits like “Cliffs Of Dover,” praise from critics and the esteem of his peers. But the full hand of his talents marks him as well as a gifted songwriter, dynamic live performer, singer, pianist, song interpreter, and creator of a rich and diverse musical legacy.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 5, 1959, Steve Stevens first picked up the guitar when he was only seven years old. Honing his craft while playing in Manhattan, Stevens recorded an unreleased album with his band, Fine Malibus, and also played as a session guitarist. During the early ’80s, Stevens hooked up with ex-Generation X singer Billy Idol, who had relocated to New York in hopes of launching a solo career. Idol found the perfect foil in Stevens, and with ex-Kiss manager Bill Aucoin backing them, Idol’s career skyrocketed.
Best known as the ripping, sweep-picking lead guitarist for the Seattle-based band Nevermore, Jeff Loomis is a self-taught guitar player who got his start by winning the Guitar Wars contest in Wisconsin at the age of 16. Listing influences such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony McAlpine, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman, Jeff auditioned for Megadeth at age 16, only to be told by Dave Mustaine that he was too young to be in the band. He eventually joined Sanctuary, only to have the band break up four months later, which led Jeff and two other ex-Sanctuary members to form Nevermore in 1994.
A native of Texas currently living in Barcelona, Spain, Gary Willis is one of the most respected and influential bass players and instructors in the world. He started on guitar and bass, but switched to bass full time while studying arranging and improvisation in the legendary jazz program at North Texas State University. After moving to Los Angeles in 1983, Gary became a course leader at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, and also taught at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. He has played with musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Allan Holdsworth and Simon Phillips as well as being co-founder of the group Tribal Tech with renown guitarist Scott Henderson.
Robert Marcello is a masterful guitar artist from Sweden. His skill and stylistic range have made him a sought-after tour and studio player for such artists as John Corabi (Motley Crue), Bobby Blotzer (RATT), Mike Vescera (Yngwie Malmsteen), Tony Montana (Great White), Fergie Frederiksen (Toto), George Lynch (Dokken), Twisted Sister, Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Stet Howland (WASP) and many others.