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March 2008

H.E.A.R. is thrilled to honor an amazing new artist Michael Gossard

About Michael Gossard, singer/guitarist/songwriter/actor, 15

by Mary Lyon (aka Michael's Mom)

Deafness runs in my side of the family. My dad went soundless as he aged, after blowing out one ear in a lot of noisy cockpits in the Air Force during WW2. His mom (My grandmother) was almost completely deaf. She was a traveling saleswoman and my dad used to joke about her that "she could never hear the word 'no.'"

Michael, my son the guitar player, is very conscious of all that. Besides, my husband reminds him all the time to watch the volume and make sure he's wearing earplugs. Both his bands do - his own, ACIDIC, and the more prominent band The Feisty Piranhas, which performed at NAMM earlier this afternoon. I do, too. He's not allowed to crank up the radio in the car, and I remind him of the DJs I worked with before I retired, who I'm certain are deaf by now, or nearly so. Some of them had the volume turned up so high it hurt - and I'd always have to ask them to turn it down when I'd enter the studio to present the news.

Michael is 15-and-a-half, not quite old enough to drive. I am grateful that he has found some very cool professional outlets for his talents. While he was 13 and 14, he played bass guitar for the Walt Disney Records kids' revival band "DEVO 2.0" (remember "Whip It?"). He started ACIDIC, his own rock/melodic punk group, at 14. He plays lead guitar, sings lead vocal, and writes all the songs, plus having taught two close friends how to play bass and drums so they could join his band. He literally transformed them into a working rhythm section, even though they'd never had music lessons before. They've played numerous local benefits since early last spring, and have been awarded a special citation from the County Board of Supervisors.

It was during a "battle of the bands" at which ACIDIC played, that one of the judges in the competition took an interest in Michael. The judge was a fellow named Peter Lust, the drummer and manager of The Feisty Piranhas. I think I gave you the little card about their performance today. He was invited up to their recording studio compound in Camarillo, where they have the best and biggest and most state-of-the-art private recording studio I've ever seen. They jammed together and he was invited to return the next weekend to play further.

Now, months later, Mike is a permanent member of the band - providing rhythm guitar and vocals, they've opened for The Misfits (big 30-years-running punk/metal band), played at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in the South Bay Music Awards (they won two awards), and have also won three All Access Magazine awards, and now NAMM. He just confirmed an endorsement from Minarik Guitars, which had a booth at the show. BTW - at that same battle-of-the-bands I mentioned earlier, Michael won a beautiful black Minarik Lotus guitar and Coffin Case as a special prize!

Here's Mike's website:

http://www.michaelgossard.com/

It includes links to ACIDIC (www.acidicsounds.com) and The Feisty Piranhas (www.piranhas.tv).