Originally created 02/03/05

Sonic spotlight: Gary Shepard

HOMETOWN: Newton, Mass. Moved to Myrtle Beach, S.C., in 1993; has been working in Aiken since 2001

DAY JOB: Optometrist

PLAYS: Pictured with Yamaha Motif 8 keyboard and Paul Reed electric guitar, also plays bass, mandolin, acoustic and classical guitar

FIRST LIVE SHOW: "I played Like a Rolling Stone in a talent show when I was 9 in front of about 100 people at summer camp. I remember being very scared doing that. It was a four-piece pickup band. We didn't even have a name. We finished second in the show, though."

PLAYED WITH: Chill Factor, 1994 to '98; Rich Little, 1997; Steve Gatlin, 1998; The Michael Ryan Band, 1995- 98; and Lo Down Brown, September 2003 to present

FIRST REAL CONCERT: "When I was 13 years old, I saw the Pickle Brothers, which was the comedy act, then Strawberry Alarm Clock came on, then the Soul Survivors, then Buffalo Springfield, and then The Beach Boys. I had second-row seats at the Back Bay theatre in Boston. This was all for $6.50."

PERSONAL BEST: At B.B. King's in Hollywood. "In July 2003, I played at this festival there for the band Procol Harum, and the band stood right there in front of us, and afterward we talked with them."

WORST LIVE MOMENT: "I did a musical in Myrtle Beach called Working, and one night I had one of those moments where you forget where you are. I cut the song a few lines early, leaving the singer in the lurch, and everyone was looking at me."

IF HE COULD COVER ANY ALBUM: Shine on Brightly, by Procol Harum. "It's not even their best album, but it's got this long, extended piece called In Held Twas I; it's like a 17-minute song that really flows together. I've already covered it, and I actually think mine is better."

THE BEST WAY TO MOTIVATE AN AUDIENCE: "Our band gets people motivated by getting them up on the dance floor, and we're very good at getting people up there."


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