Gonzo's Toybox

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Brian Sollman

How it started: Brian got his start in music when he overheard his older brother listening to his music. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Edgar Winters...and some Cheech and Chong thrown in for good measure! But when he got a hold of "We're an American Band" from Grand Funk Railroad, they quickly became his favorite band up to that point. That changed however, when Brian discovered Thin Lizzy a little later on. Even now, they are his all time favorite band. Brian bought his first guitar back in the day at Goldman's pawn shop. He recalls "it was a black Les Paul copy that cost around 70 bucks." He played it through his first amp that he picked up from Dallas Music on Main street, a Kustom 50 watt 212 solid state combo. Brian uses one word to describe it... LOUD! Brian's mom bought him his first PA when he was 12 years old; a four channel Peavey with Column speakers...and it took off from there.

Influences:  Anything by Thin Lizzy. Kiss "Alive" and Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic" were also pivotal albums for Brian. 

Q&A with BRIAN

How would you describe yourself as a person?

It's kinda like I'm two people really because on stage I have to bring all this attitude and energy and be the life of the party when I'm also totally cool with just hanging out and being a part of the crowd. I've been told I look like Kid Rock, David Coverdale, Sebastian Bach, and even Iggy Pop! 

How would you describe yourself as a musician?

I like to think I'm a pretty good musician. I've been extremely fortunate to work with many talented people over the years and you can't help but learn things from them. It's best to just keep growing and evolving.

How do you relax, offstage?

Watch T.V. of course! I mow the grass and grill out a lot. My wife and I like to travel when we can.

Best gig and why?

New Year's Eve at Phoenix Hill Tavern Louisville Kentucky. I wore a tuxedo.

Worst gig and why?

Played a gig one time where we set up outside on a patio. They kept telling us we were too loud. Eventually we were only going through our monitors and we were still too loud! They told us to pack up and hit the road. They paid us though!

Craziest thing that ever happened at a gig?

Had a guy for a while who would show up at every gig to play "air guitar". I'm not kidding. He thought he was a member of the band and he would be like "where are we playing next?"

What other member of GT irritates you and why?

Stuart Martin the bassist for GT really irritates me the way he just smiles ALL THE TIME!!!! ARGHHHHH!!!!!

How do you deal with critics?

You're always gonna have critics. I just consider the source. It's best to remain positive.

What do you think accounts for GT’s longevity?

I think GT has been around so long because we relate to our fans better, we give 100% every time and we brush and floss after every meal.  

The zombie apocalypse has started. You have time to play one last show. Where and why?

We would need to set up on a sand bar out in the river. Someplace we could defend easily. Then we be like "let the Zombies hit the floor!" :)