In 1993, Gary Hoey launched his career with a top five Billboard single: his cover of Hocus Pocus (Warner Bros Records). The Boston-raised guitarist followed up with the soundtrack to the surf saga, Endless Summer II (Warner/Reprise) and began his series of Ho Ho Hoey rockin’ Christmas classics. Twice featured on Hallmark’s musical holiday greeting cards and a mainstay at over 200 rock radio stations nationwide, Hoey’s Christmas records have become the standard in Holiday rock and roll everywhere. Now, after 18 albums, world-renowned rock guitarist Gary Hoey’s love for the blues is solidified in his latest release, Deja Blues. Regarding the making of the album Hoey states, “This is an album of original blues songs I’ve wanted to record for a long time.” Gary was joined by fellow Boston native and blues harp legend, James Montgomery, as well as guitar friends Jon Butcher, Frank Hannon, and Johnny A. Talking about the process for recording his latest release, Gary elaborates, “The Blues has always been near and dear to my heart. I have so much respect for it. When I’m recording a blues song, it’s a 5 minute journey and you can’t take a breath, you can’t keep punching in the recording button to fix stuff or it loses the vibe….”
At sixteen, Hoey often lingered outside Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, making friends and offering to pay for lessons. To devote more of his time to music, the prodigy would cut high school classes so that he could hone his guitar playing skills, all the while playing Boston’s local clubs, and teaching guitar to avoid a day job while keeping the guitar in his hands.
Hoey’s first major break came in 1987 when Ozzy Osbourne showed up in Boston looking for a guitarist. Osbourne liked Hoey’s tape enough to fly him to LA for an audition. Ultimately, though the gig went to Zakk Wylde, Ozzy suggested Hoey move to LA after seeing his talent firsthand. Gary took Ozzy’s advice, and with $17,000 he saved from teaching, Hoey loaded the U-Haul and drove across the country to LA. In 1992, Hoey released “Heavy Bones”, a rock vocal album with Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot on drums, via Warner Bros. In 1993, Warner Bros. allowed Hoey to record a low budget instrumental rock album. This project, which was initially met with low expectations of commercial success, became the successful “Animal Instinct” album, recorded with a meager $15,000 budget. The album included a cover of the Focus hit, “Hocus Pocus”, which not only rocketed into the Billboard Top 5, outpacing all other singles as the most frequently played rock song of the year, but the album went on to reach classic rock notoriety.
With a collection spanning 19 albums, and over one million albums sold worldwide, it’s no wonder Gary Hoey is listed as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
In 1994, Hoey scored the successful “Endless Summer II” soundtrack, and had another radio hit with War’s “Low Rider.” Other projects have included film clients Walt Disney Films, ESPN, New Line Cinema, as well as film scores to “California Screaming” (Disney Roller Coaster), songs placed in movies including “Office Space,” “Deck the Halls” (Danny Devito), and Beethoven III.
Recently, Hoey produced and co-wrote The Queen Of Metal Lita Ford’s latest release, “Living Like a Runaway” for SPV Records, to rave reviews. “It was a thrill to work with Lita… She is a true rocker and a pioneer for women in rock. And lastly, she’s a kick ass guitar player.”
To this day the guitar aficionado continues to tour extensively, endorsing Fender guitars and amps, Monster Cable, GHS Strings, and Rocktron to name a few. To further showcase his live performance diversity, Gary has also mastered a solo acoustic show using a looper pedal, which has become a unique performance aspect all on its own. He has been involved with the Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp as music director, including “Campalooza 2013” in NYC, jamming with legends like shred-maestro Yngwie Malmsteen, as well as blues icon Johnny Winter, Robben Ford, the time-honored rocker Leslie West of Mountain, and co-founding member of KISS Peter Criss. Hoey has toured and traded licks with the likes of Jeff Beck, Brian May of Queen, Joe Bonamassa, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Styx, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Peter Frampton, Steve Morse of Deep Purple, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Dick Dale and many more.