I am Andrew R. Tuck. I began my life in music in Parkersburg, West Virginia at age 15. An unfortunate incident of teenage idiocy resulted in a rather severe case of juvenile probation, which in turn led to a desperate search for Something To Do.
Enter the guitar. My dad’s old 1972 Yamaha acoustic to be specific. It was just sitting in a closet, and I opened up the case and there it was. Had it been calling to me? Or was it simply right place- right time? Regardless of how or why, Dad was glad somebody was wanting to use the thing, and he showed me the basic chords, which I practiced diligently, working through the levels of adolescent frustration.
Once I could confidently get the fingers to work, I started writing songs right away. My first original composition was called “Probation Sucks”. It consisted of 2 chords, A and C, with lyrics such as, “All my friends are out having fun / but I’m stuck at home not having none… probation sucks, probation sucks…”
This was the early 1990’s, when cassettes flowed like sweet sustenance from walkmans and boomboxes. At this time I was becoming fully immersed in rock. “Grunge”, Alternative, Classic, Punk, Metal—whatever, as long as it was awesome. So then I needed an electric guitar (and amp).
I Got a job at Foodland, saved up, got an Epiphone (much cheaper than a Gibson) Les Paul and a little Crate amp. Best $500 ever spent in my life! These instantly became trusty companions, as for hours every day I would play along with those cassettes. It was “Play. Stop. Rewind. Play. Stop. Rewind…” over and over and over again, like a mystical mantra. I was able to pick out Nirvana songs fairly easily—that was the brilliance of Cobain—it was not technically difficult, but it was just as powerful and fun as the more complex riffage of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Van Halen, etc.
Up until those “aha” moments and connecting the dots, I did not think it was possible for a mere mortal to accomplish guitar heroics like that. Now empowered and past some sort of beginner-threshold, I then sought to delve deeper into the mysteries of music in that attic room, which was very hot in summer, and very cold in winter. That made me tough, and helped me keep going through all the changes, in life and in music. And right here let’s take a moment to recognize and praise the patience of parents whose kids are learning a musical instrument! Also, let us encourage these kids to get on it and stay with it, because those teenage years really are the best for learning new things to do and be.
Upon termination of my 2-year stint on probation, I then got together with some friends, and we literally started a garage band. * Thank you, Steve McGinnis, Sr. and Jr., Chris Hopkins, Aaron Enoch! * We played, we learned, we partied, we wrote songs, and just really enjoyed the whole thing immensely. This was what I wanted to do with my life. Fast forward to early adulthood, when the band began to go our separate ways.
I felt the need to get the heck out and so I moved to California, in 1999. Ended up working long hard hours in a beer factory. Working so much just to barely get by, I never had the time and energy to play much music or meet new people or find a gig or band or anything. Considering where I was at and what I was doing after 2 years—if I’m a few thousand miles from home, just grinding it out, then shouldn’t I at least be where I know people and can do more fun stuff? So I returned to West Virginia, just before 9/11/2001.
I moved to Morgantown to join up with some hometown pals attending WVU, who just so happened to need a singer-songwriter-guitar player for their newly formed band…
… To Be Continued!