Band Profile: Mike Fagan

Grand Bend Legion
May 26 3-6pm

Hometown: Originally from East Coast; currently London
Personal Style: All over the place. Started out playing classical; folk after school; session musician in L.A.; rock solo act in Canada.
Influences: Bob Dylan to Pink Floyd to Buddy Guy. Heavily influenced by jazz. I’m constantly studying that type of music.
What people can expect: At the Legion: Irish, older tunes, dance music from the swing era, 50s, 60s. At the clubs: Stone Temple Pilots, Tragically Hip, Black Sabbath, etc.

Interview and photo by Casey Lessard

Who blows your mind?
Miles Davis. What he did was took jazz and infused it with rock, which has become the focus of all musicians these days. Pink Floyd acknowledges that he was the inspiration for Dark Side of the Moon. I like Buddy Guy but that’s in my personal time.

What inspires you?
My kids; I have three. And my wife. My family is the source of the magic.

Where did you get your first big break?
When I was around 19 I was playing at the Kee to Bala (in Muskoka). I was the house band there and they asked me to open for a band called Max Webster (with lead singer Kim Mitchell). I had to walk on with just a guitar in front of this big crowd, and it actually went really well. That’s when I realized that I could make a go at it as a professional musician.

When is your favourite time of day?
Early morning, but I don’t see it very often in my line of work. I love the sunrise. The only time I see six or seven o’clock is when I’m on holiday, whereas most people try to avoid that when they’re on holiday.

Why do you do it?
I’m a musician. I don’t have a choice (laughs). It’s always called me and I just keep doing it. I decided a couple years ago to cut back on the traveling and have focused on teaching because I was away too much. So now I play three times a week, and I get a big kick out of teaching and watching the people I’m teaching on the verge of going pro.

Mike is working on a book called Campfire Guitar, which will be released in 4-6 months.