Who Am I?
I am Christopher Aaron Schlegel. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1966. At the age of five my mother introduced me to the music of Tchaikovsky and I responded by building a makeshift podium in my room. I scribbled some “music notation” on paper and pretended to “conduct” the wonderful music I heard. The following year, I got a “Mary Poppins” soundtrack album and a Monkees album. So, I made a “guitar” out of a yardstick, a shoebox top, some twine and a few rubberbands in order to “play along” with my newly acquired music.
Also around this time my grandfather found and gave me an electric guitar that someone had discarded. In my ninth year my father and step-mother got me an acoustic guitar and I started to actually learn some rudimentary chords and notes. I worked as a carpenter’s helper/gofer for my step-father the summer of my twelfth year and earned an electric guitar and amplifier. By the next year I had a “rock” band together and we played Jimi Hendrix, Ramones, Kiss and a few original songs in local garages for schoolmates and at the school talent show. The first thing I ever played on an actual stage in front of a big audience was “The Star Spangled Banner”.
By age eighteen I had a band playing rock, blues and jazz cover songs and originals for money. I had also started teaching guitar and music theory privately and continued until the present day. This same year my father introduced me to Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. Thereafter, I read everything Rand ever wrote. By age twenty-three I had been in numerous bands and had gradually moved from mostly cover songs to mostly originals, from backyard parties for friends to clubs and auditoriums, from cheap tape players to professional recording studios.
At the age of twenty-four I married the most wonderful woman in the whole damn world. We moved to Florida and Rena and I have been living “happily ever after” since then. I continued gigging with several bands (some at the same time, some after one another), writing music, teaching guitar and held three or four various part-time jobs (some concurrently). I slept about four hours a day (or every other day).