Memories of Musicians Institute

In spring 1985 I moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute. On the first day of instruction all of us students (@500) gathered in the school’s performance auditorium for orientation. As a “getting to know you” exercise they had all of us in odd number rows (I was in row 1) turn around and introduce ourselves to the person directly behind us, then stand up and introduce that person to the rest of the class. Yes it took a while.

The fellow sitting behind me was a guitar student named Nick Nolan, about 19 years old. He was also the winner of the Van Halen scholarship that the school offered that year, having beat out several hundred other entries and earning some very complimentary remarks from Mr. Eddie VH himself. But Nick was a very quiet, humble fellow, and turned out to be my best buddy during my all-too-brief stay at the school. Just out of curiosity I did a Google search for Nick to see what he had been up to, and found that he’s authored quite a few instructional books and DVDs on rock guitar. I heard that he was also hired as a teacher at MI, but don’t know if he’s still there or not.

Leaving MI after only three months remains on my short list of big regrets. If I could have a “do-over” year, it would be 1985.

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