Thursday, May 10, 2018

Is that Fox 26's Mike Iscovitz or Eddie Van Halen?

Gene Simmons recently said rock is dead. And as someone who loves the genre and is most likely listening to some version of the heavy music as I write each post for this very blog, I want to keep it alive.

It just so happens that someone in my blog's coverage area is doing just that.

Fox 26 KRIV morning meteorologist Mike Iscovitz has been shredding on the guitar for decades and even recently showing off his inner-Yngwie Malmsteen via Facebook! In his videos he's playing Dean and Gibson guitars.

Iscovitz Van Halen was nice enough to answer some of my questions about his riffing hobby.

Mike McGuff: What made you pick up the guitar now? Have you played in the past?

Mike Iscovitz: I started playing about 30 (yes thirty) years ago. I have fallen in and out of love with it over the years. There were times that I didn’t touch the guitar for months, then I would get interested again for a little while. Something clicked with me about a month ago and I told myself, “it’s now or never” and decided to pick my favorite guitar solos and learn them...especially the hard ones.

What is your favorite genre to play?

I have two musical loves: ‘70s classic rock and ‘80s “hair metal”.

Name some of your favorite bands?

Oh, man. My absolute favorites would be Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Deep Purple (from the classic rock genre) and Tesla, Poison and Guns N' Roses (from the ‘80s era).

Will you start or join a band?

I want to and I need to. Some people have long “bucket lists” filled with traveling the world or jumping out of airplanes, I just want to take care of my wife and three girls...and play in a band.

If you do, can I play the triangle?

Can we settle for the cowbell instead?


Anything else you want to add?

I want to share a story...a true story. When I was 29, I was jamming with a couple of guitar player colleagues. They had both been in bands (and one is currently an outlaw country artist).

Well, when I mentioned to the other guy, “Hey, I think I should get a band together,” he said...and I will always remember, “Nope. Too late. You had your chance and you blew it.”

Now, he was half kidding, but the crazy part is that I believed it. At 29, I was a successful meteorologist at Fox 26 and a married man and I thought I was essentially washed up. Looking back, how crazy was that to believe?

Well now, at 42, I feel like I’m still young! I love the fact that my daughters walk in the room when I’m playing and say, “Wow daddy, how do you do that!?”

I need to practice lots more and I have no illusions about my abilities, but I have potential to be a very mediocre player in a band that plays for free somewhere :)

Thanks Mike and rock on!

--- Interview End ---

I always wanted to play guitar, but sucked at the whole practicing part. Still, when I worked at KXXV Waco, anchor Carlo Cecchetto (now at CBS News 8 San Diego KFMB) and I talked about starting a TV News punk band. The name? IFB. Come one...that is lit as the kids say these days.

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