Q & A with Bret (Ououould Crazylegs) Dale
When and why did you start playing?
Got my first camp fire acoustic that never stayed in tune at 11 and let it sit
there until I was 16. Then I quit at 16. Then I taught myself to man up and
teach myself guitar at 17.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Ray Charles. He is the Godfather of music hands down! Godfather!
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
I heard Derek and the Dominos Live at East Fillmore when I was12 and it blew
me away completely. It was the first time I found a tape, cd or album that
just floored me all by myself, no influence from my brother (who was rocking
the Crue and Twisted Sister). Right then and there I knew I needed to dig and
uncover that sound and listen as hard as I could. I needed to implant the feeling
the Dominos gave me into my soul. It worked. Then I found some weird DBL cd
in a box all dusty, popped it in and had goose bumps with a tear or two. “Lively
Up Yourself”, “Trench Town Rock”; who knew this Bob Marley guy had a direct
line to my soul too? Then I met Muddy Waters and Ray Charles…Gods! That was
a great two weeks of the rest of my life! Coolest 12 year old on the block.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
I’ve been lucky enough to play in front of 200,000 people. Bring on the
masses because I love it. I get so pumped as if everyone just cussed me out
and I say “oh ya?” and then BAMM! Its on, we’re all in it together. Everyone is
there for a reason, to listen to music so just play. Playing for a small crowd…
forget it I’m a nervous disaster!
How do you balance your music with other obligations?
I find jobs that are full time to cover my bills. In return for my hard efforts at
the job all I ask are days off for gigs. Here’s my deal. I’ll give you everyday as
long as it takes as long as you give me the few days I need for music. It’s a fair
deal. I work hard and wish I spent that time only on music but you have to pay
to play; that’s where the pay check comes in.
In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you
have lived), affect the music you create or your taste in music?
I moved around the country when I was a kid. The other day I counted 9
schools I went to and somehow graduated. So the influence of all the people
who lived with us and people I met and befriended all had their own idea of
what good music was. I took it all and gave it a chance. One guy made me
listen to “Abbey Road” when I was 11 and it was totally awesome. Mark, who
gave me my first guitar, let me listen to blues. Life changer! When I was 9 I
found Madame Butterfly on vinyl with some Bob Segar and Glenn Miller and
rocked ‘em all the time. So go explore, you never know what gem will pop out
when you hit play!
As you create more music, do you find yourself getting
more or less interested in seeking out music made by other
musicians…and why do you think that is?
I am no longer excited about turning on the radio listening to soulless, no
groove garbage. I listen to a.m. sports radio in the car actually. I am currently
on a hunt for all old blues and R&B albums. I have some hip friends who let
me know about up and coming bands in some different genres, some of which
are really awesome. Who knew Indie Rock was so cool? I’m horrible at research
so I find all the good musicians and bands come from me going out and
listening to live music or sharing a bill with bands.
What aspect of being a musician excites you the most?
Playing in front of people who dig what they’re hearing obviously, but to be
honest I think listening is my favorite part about music, being a player or
not. You can be all crazy arm throwing or tear faced staring at a wall listening
to music. Driving alone to somewhere far far away with the sun shining
and music blasting is the best thing in the world. Maybe that’s just me, but
listening to music hits me hard. That tear thing isn’t a joke, that’s how serious
I take listening to music, to the point where it moves me to tears…even
rockers jack me up sometimes.
For how long and how often do you practice?
Well someone once told me the older you get the more you DON’T practice.
In my case that’s the truth. I practice sure but I don’t push the envelope like
I should or use to. I’m not very technical or stylistic. I’m self taught and the
more I learn the more I want to play fast. I have to stop and look in the mirror
and realize I’m a one note guy. I would rather play one note at the right place
than play a million to show off how awesome I am. PUKE! B.B. King plays one
note and my hair stands up. Joe Barfly plays a million notes melting my face
and John Barfly is doing the same thing across the street. Point being, how
many B.B. Kings do you know? Don’t get me wrong, I own Van Halen one and I
can’t get enough.