Before anything else, I have to thank my parents and my family. For everything.
Then, I’d like to thank everyone who taught me about music. There are millions. But special thank-yous are due:
…first and foremost, to my Dad and my sister Julie, who taught me that rock music is pointless if you can’t get non-musicians to dance or sing along with you.
…to my brother Andy, who pulls me forward through his ability to remain just a little cooler than me, year after year, his taste in music included.
…to my Mom and my Uncle Terry, who give me faith in the fact that people really do notice the little things in music.
…to Rick Selover, who taught me how to notice the little things in music. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.
…to Mike DeFellipo at North Brunswick Music, my role model of guitar who taught me my first chords, shaped my idea of what a guitar is used for, and wanted me to have fun with it. The $12 per half-hour rate back in 1999 was the greatest value in the history of money, especially considering all the things I was allowed to “borrow.”
…to Jamie Egan, who saw me as a “real” musician years before I did, and on some days provided my only reason to wake up and go to high school.
…to Ty Currier, who showed me that the ability to trust your musical instincts is far more important than any amount of training or chops.
…to Pulsar Li, who showed me that training and chops are VERY important.
…to Tom Shea, who told me that The Who is the greatest band and “Baba O’Riley” is the greatest song. I haven’t found a reason to dispute you.
…to Andrew Abdalian, who brought me to the conclusion that long, obsessive, intellectual discussions about rock music are actually not so much obsessive as they are reasoned, rational decisions on how to spend time that was supposed to be spent on schoolwork.
…to John Alston, who is the main reason why I spend more time erasing notes than writing them, and who taught me that time spent eating and sleeping is time that should have been spent practicing.
…to the Swarthmore College music department, who showed me that the universe of musical possibility is far bigger than I can ever know or understand.
…to Mrs. Montgomery and Mrs. Hirrschoff, who had the unenviable task of teaching me music when I knew and understood absolutely nothing.
…to the teachers I’ve never even met, who may not even know they are teachers, like John Rzeznik, who taught me how to write a rhythm part, David Gilmore, who taught me lead guitar, Roger Daltry, who taught me to sing, and Ben Folds, who taught me how to write a lyric.
…to the lead guitarists who have been my friends and competition. Thanks for giving me the chance to try and catch up to you. In particular: Christian Duncan, William Forfar, Adam Hunt, Ben Saller, Joe Kille, Kunal Desai. Also, the dozens of guitarists who somehow all went to NBTHS at the same exact time circa 2000. The odds of that kind of talent being concentrated in one public school are unfathomable.
…to my bandmates. Even if I’ve written the song, you teach me the right way to play it.
…to Nelson Pavlosky, the person who really pushed this project forward, often having to drag me along with it. Also, thanks for being the person who’s never afraid to tell me when my song is boring, my solo is too long, or my voice is out of key.
Brian has already said much of what I would say better than I could, but I would like to say a special thank you to:
… My parents for making me take piano lessons at an early age. I am still merely a competent piano player after all of these years, but I do love playing the piano and it taught me a great deal of music theory etc. that became useful later on. Sometimes when your parents make you do something for your own good, it really is.
… Ryan Martin, for giving me my first mix tape in elementary school, thereby opening my ears to contemporary music for the first time.
… My grandmother, Edith Pavlosky, who gave me my first guitar when I was in 8th grade. That provided the spark for my fiery passion for playing guitar that has been with me ever since. That guitar was permanently attached to my body until I got Kermit the guitar a couple of years later.
… Mark Gutkowski, who showed me that being a rock star is a state of mind, not a matter of commercial success, fame or recognition. He was a rock star when teaching my Latin class just as much as when he and Mr. Tapper helped organize the school rock concerts that gave me some of my first experiences performing live with a rock band. He was and is an inspiration and a mentor to every kid at Morristown High School who dreams of rock and roll.
… All of the people who write songs in weird guitar tunings, including Joni Mitchell, Jewel, and Chris Carrabba, for getting me out of standard tuning and helping me explore the full potential of my guitar.
… Everyone who was involved with the musical theater, chorus and/or jazz choir with me at Morristown High School. You all inspired me to seriously learn how to sing, and gave me plenty of opportunities to practice 🙂
… Karen Rustad, for the pretty vocal harmonies and pretty drawings, and for all of the support she has given the band over the years. I hope that we can make music together again someday.
… Everyone involved with the first attempt to record an album at Mr. Nuzzo’s studio, including Greg Albright on drums and Mr. Nuzzo himself. Everything we learned in those recording sessions was invaluable when we went to record “Stay Awake” at Portrait Studios.
… Tom Suhey and Chris Badami at Portrait Studios, for always being extremely professional, efficient, and talented, as well as friendly and helpful. Everyone who hears “Stay Awake” remarks at how professional it sounds, and a large part of the credit for that goes to the Portrait Studios team.
… Everyone who has ever come to a Wrong Side of Dawn concert. If it weren’t for you wonderful people, we would have given up by now. You give us hope.
… Brian Rose, for being not only a great bandmate, but also a loyal, true friend.