Once in an interview I was asked, who were your earliest influences? After I gave the standard answers of all the famous musicians I said, Darin Raffety.
Darin was a close high school friend and the first person who REALLY made me want to learn how to play the guitar. Darin was the rhythm guitarist and frontman of The Basements, my first band, and was solid as solid comes. He practically lived, breathed and ate music, still does, and could jam practically any song within 5 minutes of hearing it (although he was always partial to the Doobie Brothers – Long Train Runnin). Once I started playing the bass; Darin made me a better player. If I didn’t know how to play a particular part, he could show me. One of the greatest assets of having Darin around was that he could also explain why it was to be played that way. He was a true student of music. Something that I’ve always admired about him.
One of the best stories that I remember about Raf was when he and I went to get new amps. We headed to Missouri to St. Charles Guitar Exchange and both came home with these huge stack amps, big enough for any arena show. It was ridiculous, there was absolutely no reason we needed this much power. Raf had this white leather, 50th anniversary Marshall amp that he could only turn up to 2, otherwise it would’ve probably shattered the windows in your house. I mean, I was rockin 2 bass cabinets with 8 speakers and he was blowin’ me away. For a bunch of high school kids we had some serious gear (but that’s a different post).
Darin and I have been able to stay in touch via the social media outlets available to us today, but it’s been a long time since we rocked together. He inspired me to play, to be good at it, to have fun, and to stick with it. So here’s a huge rock on to my good friend, and brother in rock…Darin Raffety.