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Dave Beegle’s Ax Is Sharp

Behold the world-class guitarist behind Acoustic Mayhem.

"I've always been a music person," Beegle notes. "It wasn't even like I decided one day, 'Hey, I think I want to play music.' I mean, I've just kind of...I've always done it. So I think of it more like music chose me; I didn't decide to just do music one day. I wasn't interested in 'Hey, I want to be a star. I want to make a lot of money. I want to get the girls,' whatever. I mean, that's not even an issue when you're six, seven, eight years old. You just like music. Then, when I was in fifth grade, I heard Black Sabbath, and I'm like, 'Man, piano's cool, but it doesn't sound like Black Sabbath.'"

From there, Beegle moved on to the guitar-driven classic rock of Deep Purple, UFO (particularly Michael Schenker), Rush and Van Halen before developing an appreciation for axmen like Allan Holdsworth and Phil Keaggy. But as much as he gleaned from listening to those guitarists, the work of Carlos Montoya had an even more profound impact. By then, his playing was good enough for Beegle to be granted an audition with Kiss — and flown to New York on the band's dime, no less — but his interest in flamenco soon edged out rock, so much so that Beegle began studying in earnest with noted flamenco maestro René Heredia. "A lot of my goal," he declares, "is to continually grow and move forward as an artist and constantly challenge myself."

But neither is he content to just focus on himself. When he's not working on his own music, he's happily mentoring younger musicians through private instruction (past students include Love.45's Paul Trinidad and the Railbenders' Jim Dalton), or he's in the studio producing records for other folks and guesting on their sessions. "I've been a guitar teacher for, you know, 25 years or whatever," Beegle points out. "I'm comfortable working with people who have raw talent, who haven't refined it so much yet. So sometimes, whether it's a guitar student who's gifted or a young songwriter who's gifted, I'm really good at bringing that out and making them feel comfortable with their limitations, yet bringing their strengths out without making them feel intimidated."

Dave Beegle is a homegrown guitar hero.
Dave Beegle is a homegrown guitar hero.

Details

Greeley Arts Picnic, 1:45 p.m. Saturday, July 28, Lincoln Park, 651 10th Avenue, Greeley, free, 1-970-350-9454; Earthworks 2007 Gala, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28, Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue, $50, 1-970-416-8700.

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As for his own music, Beegle says he's completely satisfied with where he is right now: living in a small town, making the exact music that he wants to make — even if it garners more acclaim than record sales.

"All the music I grew up listening to, like Led Zeppelin and on and on, they did what they wanted," Beegle concludes. "They didn't care about the radio. They didn't care about the marketing demographics. They just loved music and did what they thought was quality, and everybody else just happened to like it."

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