Gary Hoey is one of those guitarists who can attack his instrument with feral intensity, and then play something very soft and almost achingly beautiful. This ability to devise phrasing, technique, and tone in the service of feeling the music has not gone unnoticed.
In 1987, the Boston-born guitarist caught the ear of Ozzy Osbourne—no slouch at picking great guitar players—and almost ended up in his band (the gig ultimately went to Zakk Wylde). But, Ozzy thought enough of Hoey to implore him to move where the action was: Los Angeles. The relocation paid off big time in 1992, when Hoey scored a major-label record deal with Reprise for his band, Heavy Bones. Sadly, the group was dropped in 1993, but Hoey’s determination won the day. He convinced the label to let him record a low-budget instrumental-guitar album, Animal Instinct, and his version of Focus’ “Hocus Pocus” brought Hoey chart success and a successful solo career.
Since then, the gigs and accolades have never stopped. Gary scored the soundtrack to Endless Summer II (1994), recorded “Miserlou ’97” with surf-guitar icon Dick Dale in 1997, and provided music for several film and television companies, including Walt Disney, New Line Cinema, and ESPN. He also scored the music to the awesome roller-coaster ride California Screaming at Disney’s California Adventure, produced metal legend Lita Ford’s Living Like a Runaway album and is a frequent coach and musical director at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. In 2015, Gary celebrated the 20th anniversary of his holiday CD’s and tours under the Ho! Ho! Hoey banner (Hallmark musical greeting cards feature two of his Ho! Ho! Hoey songs).
“I love playing guitar, and, these days, it takes a creative and administrative commitment to keep a career evolving and growing,” says Hoey. “I’ve learned how to make records, how to manage social-networking campaigns, how to put a tour together, how to sell merchandise, and everything about how to survive in the music business as it exists right now. But it’s all worth it when I hang out with the audience at my shows and talk about music. The human interaction is critical, and having that relationship with my fans is what keeps me writing music and practicing like a demon. I never want to let those people down.”
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