Half Step to Venus
   
 
Artist Bio
 
 
Phil Sluka - Guitar

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I WAS BORN IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA IN 1956. BEING A TEENAGER IN THE LATE 60S IN HOLLYWOOD WAS A ROCK 'N' ROLLER'S PARADISE. THE BEATLES, HENDRIX, ZEPPELIN, SANTANA AND JUST A HUGE AMOUNT OF GREAT ROCK BANDS WERE EXPLODING ALL OVER AMERICA.

I WAS BOTH BLESSED AND CURSED TO HAVE OLDER BROTHERS THAT WERE COOL WITH ME HANGING OUT WITH THEM AT " LOVE-INS " WITH ALL THE HIPPIES AT VENICE BEACH AND GRIFFITH PARK. WE WOULD SMOKE CHEAP DIRT WEED, DRINK CHEAP WINE AND GO TO LOVE-INS AND WATCH BANDS LIKE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND EVEN BEFORE THEY WERE SIGNED. THOUSANDS OF HIPPIES AND " FREE LOVE, FREE POWER, GREEN PEACE"  AND THE POLICE WERE KNOW AS " THE MAN" OR "THE FUZZ "  YOU DIG WHAT I'M SAYING ?

SO AS A KID WITH A FEW YEARS OF GUITAR LICKS UNDER MY BELT...JUST THEN COMES ALONG ALL THE INFLUENTIAL GREATS LIKE JOHNNY WINTERS, ALVIN LEE, DUANE ALLMAN, JEFF BECK, JIMI HENDRIX, JIMMY PAGE, CARLOS SANTANA...THESE GUYS HAD IT AND I WANTED IT TOO.

AROUND 1972 I PLAYED MY FIRST PAYING GIG WITH A GOOD FRIEND (AND STILL ONE TO THIS DAY). HE CAME FROM A DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE STREET AND INTRODUCED ME TO NEIL YOUNG, THE BYRDS, CSN, AND JACKSON BROWNE. I ALWAYS REFERRED TO THEM AS ..."WOODEN MUSIC"...I WATCHED IN UTTER AMAZEMENT AS MY FRIEND, ROBERT BIRD, PLAYED THE SONG "OHIO," FOR I HAD NO IDEA HOW YOU COULD PLAY A CHORD AND PULL INDIVIDUAL NOTES AND MELODY OUT OF IT (ROBERT AND I STARTED A BAND, IT WAS LIKE HENDRIX MEETS THE BYRDS)...A GREAT MELTING OF MUSICAL MORONS.

THAT YEAR I STARTED PLAYING GIGS AND HAVE NEVER STOPPED. I HAVE BEEN IN 3 OF MY OWN ORIGINAL BANDS AND HAVE PLAYED IN COUNTLESS OTHER PROJECTS AND AN ONGOING SAGA OF AN ART-ROCK COVER BAND CALLED "THE GO KATZ" (CLICK ON THE LINK FOR PICS AND BOOKINGS) FOR THE LAST 18 YEARS. THIS BAND IS WHERE I GET TO BUTCHER TO PIECES THE ARRANGEMENTS OF OLD CLASSIC ROCK SONGS AND PUT A MODERN EDGE TO THEM. SOUNDS LIKE SATRIANI PLAYING NEIL YOUNG MUSIC...WELL, KIND OF.

BACK IN THE 80'S, FRANK ZAPPA'S LIGHTING DIRECTOR (A PERSONAL FRIEND OF MINE) HAS THE SOUND MAN PLAY SOME ORIGINAL STUFF I WAS DOING AT THAT TIME (THE BAND WAS CALLED HOI-POLLOI) IN A GERMAN COLISEUM AND ZAPPA HEARS THIS STRANGE MIDDLE EASTERN ROCK OF MINE AND ASKED THE QUESTION, "WHAT'S THIS RADIATION MUSIC I HEAR?" THIS COMMENT SUMS UP A LOT OF MY STYLE...I'M SONIC AND SPACEY AND OUT THERE...I WILL ALWAYS BE...SONIC !

SOME PRO CREDITS: TOURED WITH TRIPLE GOLD RECODING ARTIST BRENTON WOOD (OOGUM BOOGUM SONG, GIMME SOME KIND OF SIGN) BRENDA HOLLOWAY (YOU MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY, MY GIRL), AL WILSON (SHOW AND TELL, THE SNAKE, JEWEL ANKINS (LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES) AMD A ASSORTMENT OF OTHER ONE HIT WONDERS....I CAN'T REMEMBER THEM ALL.

HAVE PLAYED THE IRVINE MEADOWS, THE ROSE BOWL, THE OPENING OF THE STAPLE CENTER AND VENUES FROM 800 TO 20 THOUSAND-SEATERS AND ALL THE USUAL HOUSE OF BLUES / BB KING'S TYPES OF VENUES.

TODAY I DIG A LOT OF SATRIANI, VAI AND ERIC JOHNSON BUT MY MAIN ROOTS ARE HENDRIX AND NEIL YOUNG. SO TO SUM UP I LIKE TO BRING THE OLD INTO THE NEW MILLENNIUM GREATS AND HAVE ALWAYS DUG ETHNIC RHYTHMS AND YOU CAN HEAR A BIT OF SATCH, HENDRIX, DUANE ALLMAN AND NEIL YOUNG FLAVORS IN HALFSTEP TO VENUS.