by Fred K.
I dunno… I am just here I guess…
I started playing guitar at 16 years old. Like Eric, my first guitar was also an old ‘Hondo’ Les Paul copy my parents bought me for Christmas. My Dad took me to a local guitar store and told me to pick one out. My first choice was the ’59 Les Paul that was hanging on the wall. It was a real one that belonged to the owner. Wecould not afford that one. My second choice was a tobacco burst Hondo which I still have today. In fact, I still have most of my guitars I have owned over the years. That is why it’s great to work with Eric at Boogie Street because I’m always around great guitars!
I played in bands around Pittsburgh throughout the late 80′s and 90′s. I also became a stage hand and film worker in the early 90′s. Now I was around music and had money…so the gear just kept getting better and better and better!
By being a stagehand, I was exposed to all the best bands and their techs. I was able to talk to those techs and ask questions as to how and why they did waht they did to their artist’s guitars and amps. I was able toretain and apply that information when I became Zakk Wylde’s guitar tech in 1999. I like to think that with every guitar I work on, I bring theexperience of all those techs that were kind enough to help me. I happily set up and repair the normal, everyday player’s guitars they same way I would work on a big Rock Star’s guitar.
I’ve been working with Eric at Boogie Street Guitars for well over 4 years now. But Eric and my friendship goes back a few years even before that. Working with Eric has given me the chance to work on some great guitars and meet some really great people. I love the fact that I can go to the BSG office to get my guitar repair ‘fix’ even when I’m not on tour.
Speak of tours, I’ve been the guitar tech for Zakk Wylde and Nick Catanese in Black Label Society as well as just about every bass player BLS has had. I have worked for Zakk with his Ozzy tours and I did the guitar tech work for the 2001 Hollywood movie, Rock Start, starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Anniston. I have also toured and teched for Jasin Todd and Brad Stewart of Shinedown, James Lomenzo of Megadeth andMike Inez and Willam Duvall in Alice in Chains. Other players I’ve done work for include Ted Nugent, John 5, Jerry Cantrell, Robert Trujillio, Steve Gibb, John De Servio, Tommy Lee, Halestorm, Trapt, Flyleaf, The Gap Band and many, many others.
Feel free to email me at Boogie Street at email@example.com
with any questions or requests for guitar repair or set up.
What Freddy K means to BSG.
by Eric McKenna
What the title should say up there is ‘What Fred Kowalo means to me.’ And the answer to that question is – A LOT.
While our friendship dates back a bit before Fred started working with me at BSG in December of 2004, there is not doubt he has become a trusted friend and brother to me in the past 4 years.
I don’t see him enough because of his crazy schedule – and I don’t tell him enough how much he means to me personally and to the growth and success of BSG.
What most people see and assume is that Fred inspects and sets up all BSG guitars before they leave. That is all true. What most people don’t see is just how much Fred has done behind the scenes. From covering for me during my illness in Feb of 2007, to helping unload tractor trailers full of guitars, to interacting with various people at Washburn on BSG’s behalf, to actually helping me design Washburn runs and help me spec out Boogie Street commissioned Rico customs. Fred has also been very helpful and insightful in the development of the Major ‘Brutus’ project.
And I’d be remiss not to mention how much Fred promotes BSG when he is out on the road. Not only in actual sales but with promotions with clothing and getting Washburn/BSG guitars in the hands of artists who can poliferate our message. Fred thinks strategically and I personally like that and appreciate that – because that is how I operate as well.
Fred also provides the humor for BSG. Always. Stories, impersonations and just the craziest sound effects…it’s the Freddy K show – all the time!
So when you think of the Boogie Street experience, you need to include Freddy K into that equation. I know I do. Thanks Fred!