It is not so surprising to find out somebody has another side, yet to imagine Raymond Wholohan, Coordinator of Griffith Regional Art Gallery (GRAG), with long luxurious locks and shredding out on a guitar in his youth is one of those double-take moments.
Mr Wholohan, beloved character by many a Griffithite, recently opened up to The Area News about one of his greatest passions in life: guitars.
Before Mr Wholohan became the art aficionado he is today, he delved into the world of music and guitar playing as a teen.
“I love guitars, in fact I really love Fenders,” Mr Wholohan said.
He said as a teen he learned a lot from guitar magazines, and though since the age and aid of the internet came to assist in that learning, he seemed to have lost a bit of his touch.
“I was probably 50 times better ten years ago than I am today,” he said.
“But, of course, working full time and living an adult life, I don’t have as much time to play as I would like.”
In his high school years, music genres such as alternative rock, Brit pop, and grunge were making a scene, and became an impression on his band’s style.
Yet, while music was heading in one direction, Mr Wholohan found himself falling in love with bands from former years: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and The Beatles.
And eventually, he found his distinct style in blues-based music.
“And that’s why I like Fender guitars, because they are renowned for blues playing.”
Mr Wholohan has collected four Fender guitars and three Fender amplifiers over the years – a modest collection to some – but he hopes to add more in the future.
“They can be quite expensive for a connoisseur.”
And of his path to GRAG Coordinator?
Mr Wholohan said it was music that helped him to fall in love with the art world.
While sculpting wasn’t to be his forte in high school, Mr Wholohan’s art teacher used music to motivate him to complete his work.
“He said, ‘As long as you hand in your assignments [...] I can see we’re not going to make a sculptor out of you, but what I can see is what you’re really interested in: music’ – he then broke out The Rolling Stones.”
Yet, as a teen, his priorities were a lot different to now.
“My three greatest goals in life were to learn how to surf, play lots of rock and roll, and become an art teacher.
“And I don’t do any of that.”
However, he did say he is glad not to have become a music teacher or art teacher as, “it can have a lot of potential to kill a passion”.
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