Simon started learning guitar at the age of 13 at Brisbane Grammar School under the expert tutelage of Brisbane jazz guitarist and teacher, Rick Purdie. Early on Simon was exposed to many different styles of guitar and received a very holistic education in his lessons with Rick. Repertoire would often include artists such as Spyro Gyra, George Benson, Real Book Standards and material that Simon would bring in by artists such as Sky (Simon’s first ever album), Charlie Byrd and Al DiMeola.
Upon hearing Led Zeppelin at a friends’ house in year 9 a lifelong fascination and passion were ignited. By year 12 Simon had all the Led Zeppelin albums and was now searching further a field for new and exciting guitar music.
After leaving school while working at Brisbane’s first Athletes Foot, a chance meeting with another mad young guitarist in Palings turned Simon onto Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen. From that point, the search for recordings and information (there was no internet and the bible –“Guitar Player Magazine”- was always about 6 months late!) on any young upcoming guitarist on Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Record label became quite intense. Long, late night phone calls to other would be Eddies and Yngwies discussing guitars, techniques, gear and that there is NO WAY that Tony MacAlpine can play classical piano as well as he can play shred guitar!! The passion was there and it was building. It needed to go to another level…
With a still insatiable appetite for anything guitar, Simon saw an ad in Guitar Player Magazine for a place called GIT in Hollywood, California where you could get lessons from amazing guitarists in all styles and eat, sleep and live guitar 24hrs a day. From that point it became a goal and every lunchtime and Friday night would be taken up with guitar practice and composition.
Simon graduated from GIT in 1990 and returned home with a great enthusiasm to make his life with his guitar and to fulfill a dream of releasing his own music.
The 90’s saw Simon join bands and tour throughout Queensland, appear in Guitar Player Magazine Spotlight and release his first solo album Big Sky in 1994. Big Sky won “ Album of the Year” for that year and was used regularly on the ABC, Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports and is still being used today around the world as music for the TV series “Flipper”. Also during this time Simon was developing his teaching practice and scoring music for short film.
The 2000’s have seen Simon release 2 more albums -the ethereal and mainly acoustic “Sketches”(2003) and the high-energy rock instrumentals of The Dragon (2005) both of which have each received glowing reviews locally, nationally and internationally. During this time he has written, produced and recorded for various artists and film scores.
The process for Simons’ latest release is a departure from previous albums. Looking for new inspiration and wanting to make his music more engaging and inclusive, Simon employed the services of one Australia’s top rock/pop producers Lachlan ‘Magoo” Gould and recorded the entire album at his studio “Applewood”. This turned out to be exactly what Simon needed to stream line his tunes and get great guitar sounds to tape. The result is “Choose Your Own Adventure”(2010) - Simon’s most powerful and best sounding work to date.
Simon continues to push the boundaries of music in all facets of his life. Musical influences such as Claude Debussy, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani have all provided and continue to provide Simon with an inexhaustible depth of inspiration for his playing and his music.
"I have a real and true passion for my guitar and for creating music. Anything to do with mood, sound, texture and imagination are the things that push me forward. I love the challenge of taking people out of their own worlds to different places and spaces by creating something that quite often can begin as a vivid dream or even just a sound or feeling”.
Simon is also currently a clinician for The Roland Corporation (Boss) and is a Fender endorsee and also runs one of Brisbane’s premier guitar tuition studios, Simon Gardner Music.
|POSTED BY: disturbed3003||POSTED ON: 18 Sep 2011 12:30 PM|
Extremely talented guitarist, Simon Gardner, releases his 4th solo album, “Choose Your Own Adventure.” This spectacular instrumental rock album has all the right moves and grooves as you will hear some fantastic melodic melodies. The opener, “Sunny,” hooks you into Garner’s expressive Rock style as this song ignites with a bright and charming appeal. “Nexus,” is bursting with passionate attitude and is another intoxicating song. The song, “Silver Sky,” has tight rhythmic hooks and lets you feel the intensity of Gardner’s talents shining through. Winding up the album, “Never Walk Alone,” is a song with a sweet groove as the bass complements Garner’s irresistible guitar with soulful ambiance. If you appreciate the talents of Eric Johnson or Joe Satriani, then you will definitely want to hear the outstanding guitar driven rock songs on the superb CD, “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
-Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team