That Metal Gear: Richie Kotzen – The Winery Dog Talks Telecasters And Guitar Tricks

That Metal Show is over for the season but we’ve got one last That Metal Gear we want you to see. We’ve been talking to some of the show’s most talented guests about how they got started on their instruments and what gear they use to get their sounds.

This week watch an exclusive interview with a true guitarist’s guitarist, Richie Kotzen of The Winery Dogs. Richie first came to fame in Poison, playing guitar on their 1993 album Native Tongue, before a stint at the end of the decade with Mr. Big, but is also known for his soundtrack work and solo albums which have their own dedicated following. Find out what ’70s rockers got him started playing music and how he coaxes hard rock sounds out of his signature Fender Telecaster.

VH1: What was the first guitar that you owned?

Richie Kotzen: A Gibson Marauder. I showed up to my lesson with something from a yard sale and the teacher told my parents that it was unplayable and that I needed a real guitar if I wanted to learn. And so that night we went to the local music store and I got a Marauder.

Those are pretty good guitars to learn on…

I think they’re good beginner guitars. I haven’t seen one though since then. I think they’re kind of rare.

Who’s the first guitar player that made you want to be a guitarist?

Well, it wasn’t really a guitar player that made me want to play guitar so much as the band Kiss. I remember I was 5 and I was taking piano lessons, and I liked to play and improvise. At some point I just kind of lost interest in the lesson aspect of things and I remember seeing a poster of Kiss and I was very intrigued. I remember hanging it in my bedroom, and my mom was like, “Aren’t you going to be afraid? Those guys are scary.” You know, because I was only 5. And I said, “No, that’s Kiss. They’re cool.” And from there, I think, that’s kind of what led me to want to play guitar.

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