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Diehard music fans alive and well in Auburn

Majority of inspiration in life has come from one musician, guitar player says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Do you remember the Beatles’ final 1966 concert in Candlestick Park in San Francisco? Larry Gosch does because he was there. Gosch, who owns Encore Music on High Street in Downtown Auburn, paid $3.50 for the ticket Several Auburn community members are diehard fans of the bands and musicians who have influenced them the most. Mark Miner, who teaches guitar lessons at Encore Music on High Street, could tell you anything you want to know about Randall “Randy” Rhoads, who played with Ozzy Osbourne in his first solo band and died tragically in a plane crash at the age of 25. The guitar solo in the Ozzy Osbourne song “Over the Mountain” changed Miner’s life, he said. “I was a little rocker kid … but when I heard that, that was it,” Miner said. “That is all there is to it. I said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ It spoke to me. I didn’t start playing until years later, but it all went back to being inspired by Randy’s playing.” If one visits Miner’s studio, a number of framed photos and a painting of Rhoads show the depth of Miner’s devotion to his favorite musician. Miner also has a Jackson guitar designed by Rhoads as well as a framed note from Rhoads’ mother, whom Miner met in 1986 when visiting Rhoads’ gravesite in San Bernardino. Miner said he still talks to Rhoads’ mother and if the building were to catch fire, the note would be what he would save. Miner is also highly educated on all things Randy Rhoads, including the fact that after teaming up with Osbourne, Rhoads really wanted to go back to school for a degree in classical guitar. “Musically he didn’t really abide by certain rules,” Miner said. “When that first Ozzy album came out he broke all of them.” Miner also knows that Rhoads’ favorite food was Chinese, he loved model trains and enjoyed site seeing rather than partying when he was out on tour. Rhoads’ music has had a profound impact on Miner’s life, he said. “I honestly don’t think I ever would have played guitar (if I hadn’t heard him),” Miner said. “I think that any time there is inspiration, no matter where it comes from is good, and I have to say the majority of time where that has come from is Randy.” The Beatles wrote timeless pieces of music, Gosch said. “(The Beatles) wrote great songs like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony,” Gosch said. “People will always remember that and people will always remember the melody to ‘Yesterday.’ Over time the songs have really stood up. There are little kids that are 10 who still like the Beatles. When they hit, they were on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle for every day for nine months.” The band was so influential in his life that he got kicked off the basketball team in eighth grade because he combed his hair down like the Beatles, Gosch said. “I’m still a musician,” Gosch said. “I was going to be a professional baseball player or a doctor.” Gosch has several framed Beatles posters, including one of the famous Abbey Road album cover in which it was speculated that the band members were acting out a funeral scene after the hype about Paul McCartney’s supposed untimely death. Gosch pointed out that on the album cover a Volkswagen Beetle license plate reads 28IF, which people took to mean that McCartney would have been 28 years old if he had lived. The Beatles not only changed his life but the lives of everyone living in the United States at the time, because they brought positive feelings after President John F. Kennedy’s death and helped begin a new culture, Gosch said. “I started listening to the songs – ‘All You Need is Love,’” Gosch said. “We all became hippies. I think they opened the door to changing the world.” Gosch said when he heard the Beatles playing live from second base in Candlestick Park he was impressed by how well they really could play, even though they couldn’t hear themselves through the screams of fans. Gosch said he has seen McCartney six times in concert, but his favorite Beatle was George Harrison, and two songs stand out from the Beatles’ decade-long career. “My all time favorite Beatles songs are ‘You’re Gonna Lose That Girl’ and ‘You Can’t Do That,’” he said. “I would say George, I feel sorry for George because he was a great songwriter, but he just happened to be in a band with Mozart and Beethoven.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com