Greg Gonsior

I started playing guitar when I was 13. Bought an old Harmony flat top from Uncle Mark, and started playing.  It wasn’t too long and I bought an electric guitar and amp.  Did park dances as a three piece rock band. As friends and I got better so did the gigs we played.  Played for Soul of the City in Minneapolis, and did school dances. Always kept in touch with my favorite cousin Al.  Always admired his playing and singing.  During my third year in college, I went up north to visit Al and started to play along to country songs by Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard, Conway, Vern Gosden, Johnny Cash and many more I wasn’t too familiar with. Over the years played in a jazz trio with my brother-in-law, and with other rock bands.  The country and 50’s and 60’s bands started when I went to visit Al, and he said he was going to play the Sportsman in St. Cloud with an old high school classmate, Joe Schustak.  So I go along with some of the other “Skunk Hollow Boys”, Lump, Grub, Mike Spitski, to hear Al play with Joe, a drummer, and a bass player.  The bass player was so bad. Al asked it Joe would mind if his cousin came up to play a couple of songs.  Joe was reluctant to let me but he did say OK.  I get up on stage and played the third set, we did four sets in those days.  First I had to tune the guys bass, he didn’t even know how to tune the damn thing.  I get done playing the set and it sounded a lot better. At the end of the night Joe fired the bass player and that was the beginning of my country career.  Played with Joe and Al on and off through the years, and have grown to truly enjoy classic country.
My first guitar was a Kay guitar, red hollow body electric.  I traded it in for a Fender Telecaster, which I still have.  Some opportunities came up to play some bass, and I eventually switched.  Bought a Fender Telecaster bass, the same one I still play.  Bought it around 1969.  If the old bass could talk, there would be many stories, most which you couldn’t publish.
As far as favorite songs, I’ve always loved Crystal Chandeliers, Lonesome Fugitive, Today I Started Loving You Again, My Elusive Dreams, and so many others.  My biggest influence has been Al.  Before I played anything, I always admired the way he could play guitar and sing.  It was very gratifying to eventually play at a level that we could play together.  It has been and will always be one of the best musical experiences for me to make music with my favorite cousin.