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"I remember myself being a third grader at elementary school when I borrowed the classical guitar from my teacher, Ms. So-and-so, and played Mr.Tambourine Man in the music class, a song by the guy who had not only drawn my attention by then for furnishing lots of material with a high 'sing-along value' but who had also absorbed me completely - and has encouraged me through his work to write songs ever since -, blowing my mind like probably everybody else's: Bob Dylan.

"There is a man I still feel deeply indebted to, not so much because I was given the chance of going on the road with him years later, in 1981, but rather because he championed and promoted contemporary folk and blues music on his highly informative weekly radio program on Austria's most popular music channel, each one being devoted to a specific performer, style or theme: the singer, songwriter and performer Jack Grunsky. Being a highly talented songwriter, guitar player and even painter himself, maybe the first star on the national music scene, attracting audiences in numbers other musicians of his days could only dream of, he set standards for quality and professionalism in the country's music business, which was still in its infancy in the early 70s.

"I remember the time I wanted to buy another guitar I'd set my mind on. My father said he would support the idea provided I took formal guitar lessons. 'Support the idea' meant – to put it in a shell - that he would even give me money for that guitar if I did, but he would not allow me to kick any more of my own into 'just another guitar' in case of noncompliance. I knew it was nothing short of blackmail, but it was Hobson's choice. I agreed and enrolled at a small, more or less just-around-the-corner conservatory in town, with a long tradition but low esteem. The only guitar style that was offered there was Spanish Guitar.

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