Scott Olsen ("Bill Pfartznuski" ) plays just about every musical instrument imaginable. You'll also hear Scott's unique voice in many of our lead vocals. His main instrument is a classic-sounding, sunburst Fender Stratocaster with hot GFS "Overwound Style" alnico pickups. He also plays a hand-made (in the USA), solid-bodied, Yamaha "Weddington Custom" guitar (the Les Paul type pictured below), and a beautiful Breedlove AC25/SR+ acoustic guitar, in addition to his long list of other assorted instruments, which include bass, keyboard, mandolin, banjo, and harmonica. Scott plays his guitars through a truly classic amp: a perfect, "blackface" Fender Bassman that has been updated and modified by our tube amp guru, Carl Hart. This amp sports a pair of some of the nicest sounding power tubes ever made: the Tube Amp Depot (TAD) 6L6WGC-STR.
Scott is a native of Young Ward, Utah (pronounced yung woard, rhymes with board). At Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah, (class of '79) Scott played trumpet in the band, sang in the choir, and was a member of the school's performing group "Front Porch Majority." He wanted to be a disc jockey, because he couldn't think of a better way to make a living than to sit around playing records all day. Turns out that instead of spinning discs, he ended up working with explosives for a living.
Scott attributes his musical ability to his "Grandma T", who would bounce him on her lap and sing "dee doo dee dum doo dee dum doo dee dum day." One of his earliest memories is his Aunt Arlene giving a Beatles album to his mom, (the one with the black background and the four heads) and he was as crazy about them at age three as anybody at the time. They were just cool, even to a little kid!
Scott recalls: "Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember: singing in church and school, barbeques on my grandparents patio and listening to Grandpa T. play his accordion. They had a small reel-to-reel tape recorder and I would use it to record songs off of the radio. Do you remember KCPX AM? Lynn Lehmann and Skinny Johnny Mitchell? They called it 'Kay-Pix.' I used to play American Band by Grand Funk Railroad over and over. It would drive my folks nuts! I picked up the guitar when I was 17. My buddy Rohn was just learning to play. One day on a choir tour Rohn brought his new 12 string on the bus. We sat in the back and sang Bee Gees tunes all the way to Salt Lake. Every female eye on that bus was fixed on Rohn. It was then I decided, 'Hey, I can do this.' Been addicted to it ever since."
"I grew up listening to the Beatles, Monkees, Doors, Zep, Clapton, Rush, Eagles, Dire Straits. I learned the guitar playing John Denver, America, Kenny Loggins, and a lot of Dan Fogelberg tunes, My brother Steve introduced me to jazz when he bought a Dave Brubeck album. Steve also taught me to play harmonica when I was a kid. I spent a lot of my teenage years listening to guys like George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Maynard Ferguson, Larry Carlton (the Crusaders were just cool), and later on Pat Metheney, Stevie Ray, Doug Smith, Earl Klugh. I could go on & on. But my real influences were guys that were more in-famous than famous. Guys like Rohn Larsen, Pat Terry, Clead Thompson, Steve Shultz, Larry Wilkerson, Roy Glover, Gary Cook, Mark Rose, and in recent years, one of the most in-famous all, virtuoso extraordinaire Fender Benders lead guitarist Carl Hart. Everything I know about playing guitar I picked up from watching these cats."
Scott has been in many bands in the northern Utah area over the years, including Whiskey River, The Runaway Band (aka Kickin' Country), The Amador Brothers, Desert Sage, and Flashback. Here's a picture of Scott playing with Desert Sage (he's the one on the right side - no, not in pink - in the hat, hiding behind that weird monitor contraption):
It took us a while to decide whether we could trust Scott after all those years playing in Country bands, but his repentance has been genuine and we can assure everyone that he now has true classic rock running through his veins! Only rarely anymore do we hear an occasional relapse of twang...
In August 2003, Scott got a phone call from his nephew Chris, who told him about an ad he'd seen at school. These two "old" guys were looking to start a classic rock band, they were looking for a guitarist, and he should call this guy Irv. Scott recognized the name; he'd helped Irv with the music for a production of Big River at StageStop Theatre about ten years earlier. Says Scott: "It has been one of those rare times in life when everything just works out perfect. All the pieces just fell into place; like everything I've ever done musically comes down to this band. It has turned out to be an awesome experience."