Randy Resnick is a guitarist who developed a “tapping” style in the early 1970s. He also plays upright bass and wind synthesizer. He has played with many blues and jazz luminaries, such as Don “Sugarcane” Harris, John Lee Hooker, John Klemmer, John Mayall and Freddie King. He published a CD of his own music in 1995.
He was born in 1947, and moved from Washington State to St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he graduated from Park High in 1965. He lived on 25 1/2 Street, and the first person he met in town was Owen Husney.
One of the highlights of Randy’s young life was when he presented a Rickenbacker 12-string guitar to George Harrison at the press conference before the Beatles performance at Met Stadium in 1965. Click Here for that story.
Randy says “I moved to California in about 1969 and eventually played in bars in Orange County. I was kicked out of Disneyland for long hair and refused a refund of my tickets and I never went back.”
There he met drummer Paul Lagos who was working for the band, Kaleidoscope. Lagos eventually introduced Resnick to Canned Heat bassist Larry Taylor and violin player Don “Sugarcane” Harris. The four musicians formed a band called Pure Food and Drug Act, based on Sugarcane’s blues/jazz violin and singing. It was during this period that he developed his tapping technique. Sugarcane Harris died in 1999 in California. Paul Lagos died on October 19, 2009, in Minneapolis, MN.
After quitting the PFDA, Resnick went on to play with John Mayall and recorded the album “The Latest Edition,” with Larry Taylor on bass, Red Holloway, a seasoned jazz player on sax and flute, Soko Richardson, former Ike and Tina Turner drummer, and High Tide Harris sharing the guitar spotlight with a contrasting, simpler bluesy style. This band toured Europe and Asia in 1974. Although the musicians were all talented, the material was lackluster and the album did not sell. He then went on to tour with John Klemmer. Resnick has retired several times, disappearing for 6 to 8 years and resurfacing in strange places like Bordeaux, France where he now lives.
Brief return to the concert stage, October 2012: Canned Heat leader Fito de la Parra called Resnick to replace Harvey Mandel, who had to fly back to California for a family emergency. He played two dates of the Canned Heat European tour in Bergerac, France on October 4th and Avignon, France October 5th, but was unable to play the rest of the dates because of a prior commitment. Resnick was mentioned in the Eddie Van Halen biography for his contribution to the tapping guitar technique and by Lee Ritenour in the January 1980 Guitar Player Magazine, who saw Resnick use the tapping technique in 1974 at the Whisky a Go-Go with the Richard Greene Group. The legendary Ted Greene, from whom Resnick took one lesson, spoke of his playing in an interview given shortly before his death.
Randy playing with Canned Heat at the 15th Avignon Blues Festival, October 5th, 2012.
Hear Randy’s music Here
Randy can be reached on Twitter: @randulo