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Craig Hendershott (Lansing MI)

Solo performers Interview
Artist Name: Craig Steven Hendershott
Date: 02/08/13
Age: 49
1. What inspired you to start singing and Playing?

It was a combination of things I suppose. My parents say that my first spoken words were the “yeah, yeah, yea” from the Beatles song “She Loves You”. I remember listening to my Bobby Sherman, Donny Osmond 45’s on a Close and Play record player during the early 70’s. One Christmas when I was about eight, I received the “wrong” Donny Osmond record. My Dad took me back to the store to exchange it, but instead of Donny Osmond, he made me get an album by the Beatles. Whom I had long since moved away forgotten. My parents bought me a guitar in 2nd Grade and set me up with Guitar Classes with Mrs. Sandy (my teacher). She was teaching songs like “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” and I wasn’t into it. When KISS came out back in the late seventies, my friends and I all wanted to that. I guess looking back, I always wanted to be “Keith Partridge”, from the Partridge Family. lol That’s Reader’s Digest version of how I started playing. I started writing poetry in High School and wrote my first song (lyrics/music/melody) when I was a Senior. My friends formed a band which played at parties and they would let me sit-in. After High School I joined the Army, where I server as a Military Police Investigator. I played very little guitar, but still enjoyed listening to music very much. I think this is when I was free to listen to whatever I wanted, instead of what my friends were listening too. So, this period from 1982 on has been a huge influence on the songs I write. Now getting on to the performance. Other than the occasional party in High School or post-Army house parties, I had not performed live. It wasn’t until my friend’s lured me away from NYC t form a band that I first performed publicly. You see I was working as an Int’l Flight Attendant and I often had five days off a week. With so much free time on my hands, I began writing songs. After playing them to my buddies, they offered to take care of me while we put together a working band. (Sorry so long)

2. How long have you been performing publicly?

Since about 1992.

3. How long did you play before you stated gigging?

Roughly 20-years.

4. How long have you been playing guitar?

Relatively consintantly since 1988.

5. How did you learn to play guitar?

Mostly self-taught.

6. Have you taken lessons if so do you take lessons now?

Once in the 2nd-Grade and a couple of times since.

7. Where was you first gig?

At a Humane Society event “Paws to Care” in Adado Park, downtown Lansing with our new band LIFE ON EARTH.

8. How did you get it?

I think it was thru one of our fanbase.

9. How scared were you?

Not as much as I should have been. Lol I wasn’t too bad.

10. How do you get gigs?

I randomly stop in to meet the owner or manager during the day when things are slow. Establish a report and tell them that I would like to perform at their establishment.

11. Do you use an agent, if so how did you get that rolling?

I went thru an agent at first, because I didn’t know anything or anybody of relevance.

12. What do you use for equipment?

I currently use a Peavey power amp with a pair of Peavey PR15 speakers and a separate Behringer power-mixer for the floor monitor. Yamaha guitars, Line6 JM4 Looper, blah, blah… I not much of a techie, I am however replacing the current p.a. with a BOSE L1. That is going to make my life (as a performer) much more enjoyable on different levels.

13. Do you use a monitor?

Just recently and it makes all of the difference.

14. Do you have any tips you can share as far as setting up your equipment for a gig?

Aside from the Bose tower, I would suggest making sure that you can hear yourself as well as the audience can. Maybe get a friend to help set-up and check the out-front levels in exchange for a beer.

15. How long was you longest gig?


16. How long was your shortest gig?

A couple of songs at an Open-Mic.

17. How do you choose what songs to learn?

It has to resonate with me.

18. How do you learn new songs, by ear, YouTube, books?

I start be ear. If that takes too long I will resort to the internet for chords and/or lyrics or YouTube for instruction. Big time saver, but the down-side is that I don’t remember as well as I would had I taken the time to painstakingly listen to the song over and over until I figure it out for myself.

19. Who are a few of your favorite artist?

Elvis Costello, The Beatles, Joe Jackson, The Smith’s , Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and David Bowie.

20. How often do you play out?

At least once a week.

21. Do you have any CD’s out?

Not yet.

22. Do you have any aspirations to take you music further than your current success?

I don’t want to be a “Rock Star”. But if I could make a good living thru my songs and performances, that would be it. I would be very content to play occasionally and writing songs for others.

23. How far will you travel?

I like to stay close to home due to unreliable transportation issues. How far have you traveled to do a gig? The furthest I have gigged was up and down Lake Michigan with the band LIFE ON EARTH.

24. Can you recall you best show?

That’s a tough one. There are going to be mistakes made and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. If you got the crowd exited and they had a good time, then you’re having a good time and it’s all good. I really enjoyed opening for The Verve Pipe and other inspiring bands. But no, I can’t name one gig
25. How about your worst show?

YES. Parrot’s, Holland, MI 1992ish. “Equipment Malfunction” during Tainted Love. Very embarrassing. I am still scarred and have difficulty using automated music in my performances.

26. Do you have any advice for a person just getting in to gigging that you would like to share?

Have fun with it. Remember that you are there to entertain. Dress appropriately. Talk to the audience. Make nice with the staff (tip).

27. When you practice do you go through a P. A. or just you and your guitar?


28. Anything else that you would like to share?

I think I shared too much on question #1, lol. Thanks for indulging me.


Craig can be contacted at craighendershott@att.net