DeWayne Hyatt

Living, Loving, and Grinding out the Blues Everyday

I'm an old hippie who lives, loves, and plays the Blues Daily. I bought my first guitar (yes, as in I earned the money for it) in 1968 at the ripe age of 10. We all sort of taught each other back then and "good" was a relative term. I'm old and have lived a full life so my story tends to ramble on as do I, so grab the drink of your choice sit back and enjoy or else go practice, your call. I did 1 year of Jr HS band, played the French Horn. Band director kicked me out for an absolutely stupid reason. I had made plans for a weekend getaway weeks in advance after he angrily said that we would not be participating in a parade that weekend (he failed to receive an invite but said it was because they were a bunch of fools) and then on the Wednesday prior he finally received an invitation and asked if anyone had plans. I was the only one to raise my hand which pissed him off and he said fine, your out. I was preparing to take over first chair as well as prepare for upcoming state contests which he also told me to forget about that as well. Then of course he told my folks and the school that I just up and quit for no reason, go figure. Needless to say I wasn't the only student to not return the following year. I did learn the foundations of music theory that year, on my own. I'm quite proficient at abstract mathematical theory so music theory just sort of made sense from the start. I bought my first electric guitar and continued playing with friends. Should have known that we'd never go far, Jimmy quit and Johnny got married, you know the story. The next 20 - 30 years I played off and on but never really got serious about it; playing guitar was just something I did for fun because I could. In 1997 I was in a really nasty pedestrian vs automobile accident and unfortunately I was not the automobile. I was told that my back was damaged beyond repair (in a much more colorful manner of course) and that I'd be on morphine for the rest of my life so get used to it. I should tell you here that I hate taking opiates and nsaids, those things will destroy your body faster than an out of control car. By 2000 my back pain was so bad I could not play for more than a few minutes at a time. I figured that was the end of music for me and sold everything I had. However, in 2005 I found a doctor who was not afraid to attempt to treat me rather than medicate me and in 9 months the morphine was gone and I was once more enjoying as active a life as was possible. They say all good things come to an end, and I slowly got taken back down, this time by neuropathy resulting from the extensive nerve damage that I suffered. I was thankful for the few extra years I had been gifted and began looking for something to occupy my time. I had quit playing guitar because of my back pain which was gone for the most part and wondered could I possibly play again. So in 2012 I bought a cheap Washburn Idol and small Fender Mustang I amp and it kind of became an obsession. I now have good days and bad days, I'm riddled with arthritis and have a pinched nerve in my neck that I'm still getting good relief from epidurals so no surgery just yet. I quit driving in 2010 when I realized that my PTSD had got the better of me (I was the idiot that had no business driving.) My RSD has forced me to revert to using a wheelchair whenever I go out. I stay on my feet as much as possible but it sucks to have a flare up while out and suddenly not be able to walk due to extreme pain. Music has always been a part of my life in one form or another. My older brother played drums and turned me on to the rock scene, early Floyd days back in the Syd era, jazz, the Blues, and just a love for music. He went on to play in the Navy band for 20 years, having joined after I went into the Army. While stationed in Germany I was fortunate to be able to work security at a number of killer concerts, an awesome opportunity as we got paid to watch the show plus we got to keep all of the contraband that we confiscated (and young recruits are so naive and gullible, lol. Many a great parties backstage after the show. I've been writing poetry forever, even had 1 published. I've been trying to turn that into song lyrics and I must have a gazillion pieces of paper with words scrawled down that came to me in the moment. I'm just beginning to learn about home recording and hope to have music up for comment soon. I would love to find a band willing to work around my limitations and play the blues, southern and classic rock from the 60 -70's, as well as writing original music. I'm available 24/7 for real, I just need to be able to hook up with someone who wouldn't mind hauling me and my gear back and forth in exchange for help with the gas of course. I don't smoke or drink anymore and I definitely don't use drugs beyond medicinal cannabis. I prefer playing rhythm guitar and I'm a fair backup singer when needed. If you're still reading then I extend to you a most gracious thank you. As you can clearly see I need something to take me away from writing my story and back to living my story. PEACE







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is my everything, from pain medication to hopes for a better tomorrow. Music allows me to express myself in a manner where mere words fail. It offers me balance as well as humility at times. Music keeps me real while transporting me to new and higher planes. It's why I wake up each morning and how I manage to fall asleep each night. I believe that there is no such thing as bad music, as music is an expression of the artist's soul and being and as long as it appeals to just one person then it has accomplished its intended task. To be better appreciated music needs to be viewed in the context of the era from which it originated. I mean let's face it, Mozart was the Ozzy of his day. PEACE

What is your music dream?

To be a better musician than I was yesterday.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Transforming the weapons of the world into cowbells. You can never have too much cowbell, but we've had more than enough violence and killing.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

I'm the Pied Piper by the Changing Times. As a toddler I would waddle about the house all day long singing that song, I absolutely loved (my family, well they tolerated as best they could, lol.) Then later in life I heard Duane Allman playing Jimmy Walker's Going Down Slow and knew that was the music I wanted to play.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I'm a huge fan of Duane Allman and the ABB. Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes (as well as his band Gov't Mule), Derek Trucks and his talented and lovely wife Susan Tedeschi. Blackfoot, .38 Special, Little feat, Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons/ZZ Top, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, Jimi, SRV. I could go on but this should paint a fairly clean picture, Blues and Southern Rock.

What inspires you to make music?

Living life, the world around me, my moods, waking up each new day.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Peace, love, acceptance.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Blessed and privileged.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

It's not the best times to be a musician, too many people think that music should be free, too many think that they should be able to profits from the efforts of others. To be a musician today you really should love music for what it is, an opportunity to open your soul to those around you.

What do you think of Drooble?

Just started using it, but the format is more appealing than fb. I'll revisit this question later when I can offer a more informed impression of the site.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Arthritis and a pinched nerve in my neck making it difficult to get through my daily sessions.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

I'm disabled and thus limited in my travel options. I don't drive or own a vehicle anymore (I use public mass transit) and I currently use my wheelchair whenever I go out due to unpredictable neuropathy. However I do make it the many music festivals that make Jacksonville the greatest place to live (I mean this is the birthplace of Southern Rock and Roll, I feel like an Elvis fan living in Graceland) as most are within a close proximity to bus stops. Would love to be able to go out to some of the clubs and hear more live music.