Q&A – Lessons or self taught?

Rog,

I hope there is no limit to questions to be asked. I do want to give other people a chance to chime in. Before I ask my next question, I would like to say something. Any one who thinks you are a piece of crap should take a good look in the mirror. We ALL make mistakes in life.

Imagine if forgiveness reigned. The smiles, fun and endless possibilities all of us could have. Instead, some choose to be bitter, making them cold, ugly and only hurting themselves. That’s not anyone’s fault but their own.

The Petra video/song you have on your web site, I watched that. THAT’S Roger Fisher. The contributions you made to Heart making it one of the super groups of the seventies, THAT’S Roger Fisher. Your wife, kids and projects, THAT’S Roger Fisher. NOT past mistakes! Nuf said.

Now, to my question;

When you started learning to play guitar, did you take lessons or are you self taught?

Thanks!

Yep… self taught. Actually, I consider all the great guitarists I was listening to and spending countless hours copying, my teachers.

For the first two years of my playing, there were many days of practicing for eight hours… chromatic scales, and things which had little bearing on music… and I wasn’t using all my fingers – just thumb, one, two, and three. I suddenly came to the realization I’d been learning – etching into my muscle memory – wrong habits. When I began a wiser approach, it was like starting all over again and I agonized through the process until I had a foundation that made more sense. If I’d had a teacher, a lot of time would not have been wasted.

Now, I would advise a beginning guitarist to acquire a basic understanding of theory – how chords are structured; basic scales and how to use them; hearing and feeling the various emotive qualities of modes. Then I would choose one artist to focus on. Learn one song by that person. Copy it absolutely exactly, channeling the soul from which it came. When that one song is mastered, learn a few more, then choose a different artist.

The most important ingredient in this work may be honesty, because the aspiring student knows when they’ve got it right, but it’s a struggle that takes a lot of time and tenacity. The beauty of being young is you have a lot of time, generally, and mom and dad’s roof over your head. You probably don’t have a job yet and your dreams haven’t had time to erode or be squashed. Go for it with everything you’ve got and it probably won’t be enough.

There are certain ingredients that need to be discovered by living, looking and learning. An important one is inside you. Who are you? Why do you cry? Why do you matter in this world? If you reached success, would it be all about you, or would you retain humility and think of how you can give back? Your greatest strength may be your very soul. Are you aware of the deepest you? Some of these people you’re listening to know their soul. That’s why their playing thrills you.

Q&A – What if you never made it famous with Heart?

Rog,

I was wondering, had you never made it famous with Heart or any other band, what would have been your choice for making a living?

Thanks!

Wow… good question! Made me remember something I hadn’t thought about for years.

When I was in grade 8, around 14 years old, I read several books about Jesus’s life… more biographical than religious. I was very moved by the possibilities I recognized in study of spirit, which is what he did. I was so enthusiastic about it, I immediately had no friends. So I shut up, but the bottled desire to attain a deep spiritual perspective remained.

One thing I wanted to do was go into the desert and exist like Jesus did for as long as it took until I had an awakening. This whole direction was one I struggled with a lot when I was around 18… should I do music or seek enlightenment?

Though I chose music and the flirting-with-disaster lifestyle, I’ve always striven to wake up spiritually. Naturally, it’s a very personal journey, which I won’t talk about.

But as for what other occupation?

My dad was a carpenter, but I really struggle with that sort of thing.

I’m a good producer, I think.

A humanitarian cause would be a possibility. I’m drawn to wanting to help humanity.

Thanks for asking!

Q&A – Autobiography

Hi Roger,

I have been a frequent visitor to your website and just had to drop you an email. I just saw the new Q and A on Heart and was delighted to hear that you and Nancy Wilson are writing autobiographies. Any idea on when you may be realeasing yours?

I’m really not concerned with the when… it’s the what that matters most. I intend to make something that uplifts, enlightens, and entertains.

I had the pleasure of seeing you with Heart in 1977 opening (!) for Dave Mason in Syracuse NY and in Rochester, NY on the Dog and Butterfly tour. The band was never the same after you left. You were such a huge part of Heart and it has pissed me off to no end over the years how your contribution has been downplayed by Ann and Nancy. And then to see how Steve and Michael were treated just made me even angrier. You and Steve were founding members of Heart! I sometimes wonder how it is even possible that you can be let go like that. I was able to get a copy of a TV show you did in 1976 from Seattle called “After Hours” (if memory serves). It was awesome! It was amazing to see you play so close up. Your fingers are like talons! You are an amazing guitarist!

I have no clue what After Hours is, but thanks for your complimentary words. Talons… haven’t heard that before:-)

I bet you hear from people all the time saying a lot of the same things I have said. I just wanted to add my two cents. Your muscianship has given me a lot pleasure over the years, and I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors.

Messages like yours can come at a time when self-doubt is trying its best to inflict uncertainty. They are much appreciated. Fans have no idea how much they mean to guys like me… human beings. Know what I’m talkin’ about?

Q&A – Dreamboat Annie Live

Hi Rog,

I would have waited to send this from my home address but I found out about the above this morning [he’s referring to the Dreamboat Annie Live CD and DVD], and I didn’t want to wait until later to say how unfortunate it is that no attempt was made by Ann/Nancy to get all of you back together for it.

RF: While it would have been wonderful to have the original band recreate that incredible album, the context doesn’t exist yet that could support that right effort.

In order for something as appropriate and noteworthy as the original band reforming for any reason, Ann and Nance would have to forgive me my mistakes of the past. That way, we could feel comfortable around each other and once again be productive in a democratic relationship.

There are, however, no signs of a reunion in the near future.

As disturbing as it is for me and I’m sure many fans of the original (and best!) Heart, I’m not sure how you deal/approach news like this.

RF: Well, it doesn’t phase me. All I can say is that, if and when the correct context to support a reunion exists, I’d be very excited to work with Ann and Nance and the band – all people I have fond feelings for; great memories of; and great respect for. Each of the members of the original Heart were and are exceptional people, each with their forte. I personally feel obligated to give Heart fans every possible thing I can to help them experience what was an amazing amalgam of talent and spirit. I wish I could do more.

I’ve heard that Nancy is working on an autobiography. This timing should be great, as its release will coincide with my autobiography, which will touch heavily on Heart.

I’ve purposely avoided asking about your life during Heart but now that you’ve ‘opened the box’, I’d like to find out your feelings about events like this. It really seems they think of Heart as “Us,…..and the band”. I can’t help but wonder what reaction would take place if you, Steve, Howard and Mike got together with two women singers and did a “Heart” concert???

RF: A lot of people have strongly suggested we get other gals to take the place of Ann and Nance, and we’ve played with a few who were up to the task. The fact is, we would never get two women and go try to be “Heart.” Drosh and I feel very strongly about the sacredness of authenticity. It’s all I can do to get him to play Heart material at all, let alone try to capitalize on previous success with an imitation band. How could we possibly retain integrity doing that?

Thanks for the opportunity to ask about Heart.

RF: I hope a lot of fans come to the site to see these questions and replies. It’s high time the Heart history comes clearly into the light.