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Craig McCarthy - beyond before - q&a

1. Where were you born and when did you discover music?

I was born in Suffolk VA, I discovered music at 4 yrs of age when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan.   My oldest brother was a huge Beatle fan which rubbed off in me. I remember seeing A Hard Days Night at the Suffolk Drive In, in ‘64 & Help! at the Suffolk theater in ’65 before we moved to Richmond.

2. Musically who or what inspired you to play and who do you admire as a musician?

As with just about everybody in the ‘60s the Beatles inspired to play, then George Harrison was my favorite Beatle  but today the guitarist I admire is Peter Mayer ‘ lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett. Peter is one of the best acoustic guitarist as well as lead guitarist I have ever seen because of his versatility. Plus he is one of the nicest most genuine people you will ever meet.

3. Do you have any formal training???  If so, where did you study and who have you studied under?

I have never has formal training. My brothers were learning guitar when we moved to Richmond in ’65, along about ’69 one of my brothers showed me how to interpret a chord chart from a Beatles sing a long album we had (early karaoke) and then taught me 3 chords to play Proud Mary. I took it from there & everything I learned was just from discovering as I played or from watching other musicians.  

4. How did you arrive at your current instrument(s)?

Well I’ve played guitar since I was 9 or 10 so you go with what you know. 

5. When you write/play what are you trying to do or say with your music?

Have fun! Stir the emotions inside you, just the good ones, forget life for a while, tap your feet, get up and dance.

6. What other interests outside of music do you have or had?

I have many interests from muscle cars to riding my motorcycle, spending time at the shore, what ever my grand kids do.

7. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?

Still being alive! Really God has blessed me in too many ways to pick just 1 accomplishment. I’ve been blessed to have 2 beautiful daughters, 3 wonderful grand children, a great wife, raced cars, had a successful sign business,  played in front of tens of thousand of people on about a dozen occasions with famous acts….yep God has blessed me way more than I deserve!

8. What are your musical goals?

I have realized my musical goals of recording a record, hearing my song on the radio & hearing other people sing it, playing in front of thousands of people in large concert venues and having people line up for my autograph, why still eludes me, but now it’s just to have fun playing music that’s fun to play and having people come hear us for a good time.

9. Any words of advice to anyone, about anything?  

Find humor in everything, it’s a lot easier than you think!

10. If you could have lunch with three people, living or dead who would they be?  Why?

1) My dad, I was 25 when he passed & the questions I have of what he did growing up, his music experiences & maybe he tell about his time in WWII.

2) My mom just because I miss her.

3) Bruce Crump, Bruce was the original drummer for Molly Hatchet & a dear friend of mine that passed away in 2015 of cancer; he was just a great guy to hang with.

11. If you were stranded on a deserted island what 5 albums would you take with you? Why?

Flirtin With Disaster – Molly Hatchet 

Bars, Beaches, Boats & Ballads-Jimmy Buffett 


Where Strength Begins-Phillips, Craig & Dean,

Bars to Beaches-B2B

12. If you could play another instrument what would it be?  Why?

Keyboards, there is just so much you can do with keys

13. What is your favorite song?

I Saw The Light – Todd Rundgren

14. Favorite singer?

Huey Lewis

15. Favorite drummer?

Bruce Crump-Molly Hatchet

16. Favorite bassist?

Jim Mayer – Buffett’s Coral Refer Band/Peter Mayer Band

17. Favorite keyboardist?

Neal Doughty- REO Speedwagon

18. Favorite guitarist?

Brad Paisley

19. If you were to have any superpower what would it be?

I have one, I can make people feel good with my music & make then laugh with my sense of humor

20. Favorite food?

flank steak

21. Favorite drink?


22. Favorite movie?

American Graffiti

23. Favorite actor/actress?

James Garner/Sandra Bullock

24. Favorite color?


25. Favorite car?

Tie – ’55 Chevy, ’77 Special Edition Trans Am, ’70 Challenger R/T

26. Favorite place to vacation?

That I can afford-OBX, that I can’t afford-St John VI

27. Motivational phase that you love?

God bless me (usually said when my wife does something)