Mark Gregg is “Living the dream”
By Lola Rossi-Meza
Mark Gregg and his band, Dude Jones, have been performing in the Coachella Valley since 1994. “We were developing a following playing around the Valley, performing at ‘B.B. O’Brien’s’ and ‘Cecil’s on Palm Canyon’, but when we started playing at the old ‘Hair of the Dog’, that’s when we started to really get our sound,” said Gregg. Their sound and solid fan base led to a very long engagement at The Village Pub.
An accomplished guitarist, singer, songwriter and inventor Gregg performs with Dude Jones, every Thursday from 7 until 9 p.m. at The Grill on Main located at 78-065 Main Street, Suite 104 in La Quinta. He is also there every Friday from 8 until 11 p.m. as a solo performer, singing and playing acoustic guitar. (760) 777-7773. In addition to private parties, usually on Saturday evening, the band performs every Sunday from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. at The Palm Springs Tavern located at the corner of Gene Autry and Vista Chino in Palm Springs. (760) 832-8920.
Gregg recalls, “I got my first guitar on my fourteenth birthday. My younger brother, Scott, played drums. We started jamming together along with a friend who also played guitar. We were called Terra Nova and tried to play music like Jethro Tull.” He listened to Elton John early on but it was the early British blues rockers like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Humble Pie, the Beatles and Peter Frampton that really got his attention. Then later, groups like Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen along with progressive rock groups like Genesis, Yes and Peter Gabriel. His extensive repertoire includes many of the songs made famous by these bands.
“My roots have always been acoustic guitar but I finally started playing electric when I was seventeen or eighteen. Once I started playing electric guitar things really got going. We were playing at parties and nightclubs and getting a little scene going on in Hemet, where I was living at the time.” A few years ago, he released an original album entitled “Dude Jones Face” with co-producer and drummer Mike Lewis. Bassist Francesco Di Cosmo performed on most of the tracks, however, they did include one song from the original demo track with bassist Kurt Rapp, a very talented musician who passed away several years ago.
After performing for years with many different musicians, his latest version of Dude Jones includes “Brother Bill” Hamilton, who sings and plays guitar, bass and guitar synthesizer, created by using a special pick-up on the guitar; violinist and singer Bri Cherry; and his son Derek Jordan Gregg. “My son grew up in Oregon and moved to the Desert about a year ago. He is a talented guitarist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and the main bass player in the band. He plays bass in a very musical manner. He is the best part of all the changes that have happened in my life. I am enjoying performing with younger musicians and being a mentor to them.” The band is very versatile and can play everything from the prior rock versions of the band. They have expanded and are now doing more of an acoustic show along with performing more original compositions. To this group of four, additional musicians are added depending on the event or venue.
Gregg is also a successful up and coming entrepreneur who has co-developed a device called the Ultimate Attenuator that allows guitarists to get the best sound possible from their amplifiers. He is very involved in the marketing aspects of his company, Magus Innovations, LLC. Peter Stroud of the Sheryl Crow Band, Doyle Bramhall II, of the Eric Clapton Band and Peter Buck of REM are a few of the growing numbers of professional guitarists who are currently using his product. “We weren’t the first to invent this product, but we are the best. I used the others and because they fell short of what my expectations were, I invented the Ultimate Attenuator.” For more information, go to www.UltimateAttenuator.com.
He is now busy marketing a guitar pick-up, Silverbucker, a PAF Gibson style pick-up. Gregg and co-inventor Jimmy Heil, have a custom shop in Palm Springs and are also working on an amplifier and switching product. See www.Silverbucker.com. You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org and his facebook address is http://www.Facebook.com/Mark.Gregg.10. This is the best way to contact him because he is “on it everyday.”
“My focus is playing music and making high quality products that solve problems for guitar players. I’m living the dream.”