|ALAN FRIEDMAN, CPA
Lead guitarist, Background Vocals
Alan Friedman, CPA, is a Partner with the certified public accounting firm of Friedman, Kannenberg & Company, P.C. Alan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, as well as a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford in 1978 and 1982, respectively. Upon graduation, he joined United Technologies Corporation as a computer systems analyst, and in 1981, joined the Hartford office of the international accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney as a Senior Management Consultant. In 1984, Alan became Treasurer and Finance Director of Continental Investor Services Corporation, an investment brokerage and syndication firm in Farmington, Connecticut. In 1985, he established his own accounting practice in West Hartford, Connecticut, which later in the year became part of the current firm of Friedman, Kannenberg & Company, P.C. Alan and his firm have developed an expertise in the music industry, servicing a variety of music related businesses including retail music stores, music instrument and product manufacturers, recording studios, editing and mastering facilities, and professional musicians and bands. Alan presents professional educational seminars at the music retail industry's annual summer and winter NAMM Trade Shows, and writes a column in the industry's leading music products retailing magazine, Music. Inc.
Alan resides in West Hartford, Connecticut with his wife Beth and their three children, Erica, Jeremy and Todd.
UNPROFESSIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL BIO
I was born January 7, 1956 and raised in Albany, New York. Like many other baby boomer musicians my age, life started for me on that Sunday night in February, 1964. "Ladies and gentleman, from Liverpool, The Beatles!!" That was it; I was hooked on rock and roll - my new secret weapon to picking up my cute little female classmates.
I dabbled on an old Harmony acoustic guitar for a couple of years, which my parents got me for $25 (there was no extra charge for the strings being 2 inches off the fretboard). I started to get serious about getting a real guitar at age 14, when I scrubbed the luncheonette counter, floor and grills at Kessler's Pharmacy seven nights a week for $20. I wanted to buy a brand new Gibson SG for $200, but my parents said "no, that's too much money." So instead, I bought a pre-CBS blonde Fender Telecaster for $150. For a lousy $50, I was friggin' Hank Williams instead of Pete Townsend...ughh. So I saved some more money, bought a pre-CBS black-faced Super Reverb, traded the Tele for a white '69 Stratocaster and bought a fuzz box. Now I'm Jimi Schmendrix. I'd like to kill myself right now for getting rid of that Tele and Super Reverb. Who knew? I still have the Strat, but I've bastardized it with Schecter electronics and a Floyd Rose tremolo, removing any vintage investment value.
I got into my first band at age 14. My best friend, Dean Cholakis (a killer guitar player with a cherry red ES-330, who also turned me onto some really cool music like Zappa, Sabbath and Tull) had just left a rock band to join a Greek Orthodox wedding band. Go figure. So he recommends me to this rock band, and now I'm in my first band called "Riders on the Storm." Frankly, I hated The Doors, but the keyboard player got to pick the name since he furnished his house, food and records for band practice. Ironically, my first gig was playing a Sunday morning religious service at the church where the other three (drummer, bassist and keyboard player) band members belonged. Here I am, a nice Jewish guitar player, just like my other guitar hero, Larry Weinstein (a.k.a. Leslie West), playing a Sunday morning church service. We were all "Cream" fanatics so we played "Presence of the Lord" by Blind Faith.
After a while, I started to listening to Hendrix and recommended we change our name to "Al Friedman and a Band of Gentiles", but no go. It became a band rule that we would only play Cream and Mountain tunes...that was until Deep Purple came along. We learned and played the entire "Machine Head" album for a couple of school dances. We didn't get any gigs after that.
Two years later, my 3 bandmates headed off to college. I was only 16, and got asked to join a new band called "Highway Star" - like I didn't learn the first time. But we did play some cool stuff other than Deep Purple, like Humble Pie, Bad Company, Sly & The Family Stone, Grand Funk, J. Geils Band and Alice Cooper. We became the premier high school band in Albany, New York; not because we were any good, but because we had a cute female drummer named Sherry Kramer.
Well two years later and I'm off to college. The first thing I tried to do at college was get a band of great musicians together as a direct means of attracting female companionship. I failed miserably at both. But my senior year, I started a band with some other University of Hartford students, which lasted for three years, including two years after college. The band was "Storm" - All Weather Rock (our slogan). Because we had a very versatile female lead singer named Teresa, we did a lot of cool 80's music: Toto, Heart, Foreigner, Styx, Pat Benatar, Eddie Money, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Rufus and more. But I had just gotten married and was dragging my wife Beth to some sleazy bars (which was okay for me, but she didn't seem to happy about it), and I wasn't studying for the CPA exam. So I cashed out of the band, bought a Tascam 4-track and started my home recording studio career which has now lasted 20+ years.
Now I own a 24-track digital studio, Mackie mixing board, ProTools, a few keyboards and a rack full of digital effect processors. I've got 23 guitars (mostly Ernie Ball / MusicMan and Fender guitars and bass, Taylor, Tacoma and Yamaha acoustics and a really nice Ovation mandolin. By far, my favorite guitars are my three Ernie Ball "Luke" model guitars (what a non-surprise). I've got three guitar amp setups, but my favorite is my mini-rack with my Custom Audio 3+ preamp, Mesa Boogies 2:90 power amp, twin Marshall 4x12 cabinets with vintage Celestian 30s, a few cool pedal effects and a Bob Bradshaw switching system to keep all the stuff groovin'.
A few years ago, my good friend, keyboard player and fellow band mate Mark Zampino (Public Affairs Director for the CT Society of CPAs) got a few CPAs together for a Career Day conference to play some rock 'n roll for graduating high school students. Five years later, our all-CPA rock band, The Accounting Crows, is well on its way to becoming a household name. Well, okay, maybe just a name you'd find on the bathroom wall in your local Taco Bell. Hence the need for this website.
I suggested to the other guys in the band that they put their favorite musicians in their bios, so I wouldn't look like a total moron when I named my top 500 bands, guitarists, vocalists, drummers, bass players, keyboard players, sax players, percussionists, harmonica players, trumpeters, trombonists, flutists, marimba and bazuki players, lighting directors and roadies. I couldn't wait to compile the following list...until I did it. I struggled. There were so many more I wanted to give accolades to, but it would've gotten more ridiculous than it already is. So I kept it to my "Top 10 Musical Influences" in my lifetime.
For those of you who know me, you probably guessed I would have just listed "Steve Lukather" 10 times and called it a day. Without a doubt, he and the Beatles have had the greatest musical influence on me. But "Luke", a friend of mine, is an alien from the planet Uranus; accordingly, I wanted to keep the list to predominantly humans.
I have some unbelievable musician clients, mostly drummers for some odd reason, who I absolutely love and am in total awe over: Jonathan Mover, Will Calhoun, Van Romaine, Rob The Drummer and many others. But I tried keeping the list to those that affected me when I was growing up, as opposed to affecting me now by not paying their accounting fees on time.
I tried naming everyone on the list just once, as I could have put Paul McCartney in my favorite singer, songwriter, bass player category, not to mention the band he was in (no, not Wings, you friggin' moron). I also had about another 50 guitar players I wanted to mention (Pete Townsend, Carlos Santana, David Gilmore, Peter Frampton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, Gary Moore, Brian Setzer, Kerry Livgren, Neil Schon, Pat Travers, Pat Thrall, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Steve Stevens, Doug Aldrich, Brad Gillis, Trevor Rabin, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Mick Ralphs, Tom Johnston, Ray Gomez, Paul Kossoff, blah,blah,blah, etc.,etc.,etc.) but I couldn't see wasting the space. But I did manage to throw another ten of my favorite guitarists on a favorite "slide" guitarist category to ease my frustration and guilt from being limited to just 10 guitarists. Finally, you'll also notice a distinct absence of jazz players on my list; you'll also notice a distinct absence of jazz in my playing; you'll notice a distinct absence of jazz in my knowledge of music - trust me, there is a correlation.