Stan West and Friends (Blues) @ Strings Music Nov 8

Wed, Oct 29, 2008


Saturday November 8th, 8:00-10:30 am

Stan West’s musical interests were sparked in the mid 50’s by Elvis and Jimmy Reed. Not realizing it was Blues or Blues influenced, he just liked the sound and feel of it. It was then that he started singing and playing the guitar, trying to imitate the sounds he heard.

By 1960, heavily influenced by Dick Dale, Stan was playing surf guitar in his band “The Outsiders”. Then in late 1963, he heard the Rolling Stones’ covers of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Stan traced the originators of this music and discovered THE BLUES. Upon his high school graduation in 1964, Stan moved to Hollywood to play the Sunset Strip with his Blues/Rock band “US”.

He played up and down The Strip, including 6 months at the famous beatnik club, “Pandora’s Box”. While performing in Hollywood he met a lot of unknown bands and musicians, including The Doors, Seeds, Love and Frank Zappa. He even performed on stage at the “Sea Witch” with the new girl in town from San Francisco, Janis Joplin.

During the sixties, Stan honed his craft, becoming very proficient on vocals, guitar slide and saxophone. He also studied Jazz Improvisation at Berklee School of Music. In the early seventies, Stan added pedal steel guitar to his arsenal and worked almost exclusively in country bands and western swing bands…playing seven nights a week.

In June of 1977, Stan’s music came to a sudden halt. Suffering a stroke which left him paralyzed on the left side of his body, Stan thought his playing days were over. He was not able to finger his guitar or saxophone. After a few months Stan fell back on his ability to play Slide or Bottleneck Guitar, which did not require him to use his left hand for fingering. Applying all the knowledge from all of the instruments he used to play, Stan developed his own unique slide guitar style. In 1979, when he thought he was ready to play clubs again, Stan started “The Stan West Band”.

Playing a mixture of Country Rock and Blues, the band became quite popular in the L.A. area. In 1983, Stan opened “Stan’s Guitar Shop” in Glendora. No longer having to rely on music for his income, Stan committed to play his first love, The Blues, exclusively. Since then, Stan and his band have played many clubs in the L.A. and Orange County areas, always playing the raw and downhome Blues Slide Guitar Style.


Leave a Reply