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Bugs Henderson is a Texas blues/rock guitar player who has been touring with bands for 40 years.

Biography




Bugs Henderson was born in Palm Springs, California in 1943 and grew up in Tyler, Texas. Bugs had a burning desire to pick up the 6 string at an early age. At the age of 6 he discovered his first love.

Beginning in the early 1960's he began working in a record store in Tyler. As a teen he would sneak out of the house against his fathers wishes just to catch live gigs in the local joints. Beginning his own band, the Sensors, at age 16 he soon joined his friend, Ronnie Weiss, in a band called Mouse and the Traps. Mouse and the Traps charted its first song, "Public Execution" in 1966. This is where he earned his name "Bugs" over shadowing his real name Buddy.
By the end of the decade, Bugs had made the transition from fan to musician. As a house guitarist at the Robin Hood Studios, he played demo sessions behind numerous performers from country to rock.

Bugs' signature sound was beginning to define itself during the 1970s with the blues. Quoting Bugs, "Blues was all that mattered to me; no other music was worth a damn." During this time, Bugs moved from Tyler to Dallas in order to join the scene of a bar called The Cellar. "It's really hard to explain that place," Henderson remembers. "It was this big, black room. It had a red light that came on when the cops were coming in and another light for fights. The waitresses wore just bras and panties, but they ran three or four bands in a night and everybody played original music. We usually didn't leave until four in the morning, and there was no other place like it around. It was the best thing that happened to my music. I learned a lot."

Henderson went from small clubs to playing on stage opening for artists such as the Allman Brothers, B.B King, and Leon Russell. Henderson described it as "a big change."

Bugs and his love for blues got tired of the wide-open riff-oriented rock, and friend Freddie King began pushing for Henderson to start his own band. Bugs the assembled his first record "At Last" released on succession of 14 albums spanning over four decades.

Success and it's spoils began wreaking havoc on Bugs' life in the late 1970s. Bugs took time to take a good hard look at where his life was and where it was going. "Most of the people I ran with are dead, in jail, or just look terrible. With God's help and good friends, I came out of it, "Henderson says. Bugs Henderson lives in East Texas with his wife Patty and daughter Zoey. "The order of importance in his life is simple: Family, Music, Career. Bugs explains, "I couldn't have the life I have now and be a major star. Couldn't go to my kids' ball games. I wouldn't give up that for anything."

Bugs has played with guitar icons such as B.B. King, Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Ted Nugent, Roy Buchanan, and James Burton. To this day, Bugs' guitar hangs in Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas along side instruments donated by Lee Ritenour and Chet Atkins.

Bugs' favorite saying lately is "I tell people all the time that I know you're supposed to stop and smell the roses as you go though life, but in my case I stopped and moved into the garden."


References


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  • Quotes



    "Bugs Henderson should be declared a national treasure."
    -Guitar Player Magazine

    "The world's greatest unknown guitar player. He can flat out blow most pickers away. Bugs will fry the skin off your butt with his monster chops and fatback tone."
    -Guitar One

    "The best kept secret in Texas, a pastel of original blues and rock."
    -Dave Rubin, "Rockin' the Blues"

    "Henderson's guitar and his distinctive voice belong to the best the scene has to offer today."
    -Concerto (Austria)

    "The prototype of the brutal Texan guitarist who takes no prisoners."
    -Blues News (Germany)

    "Some of the most exciting rock & roll of the era, driven by searing solos that sound like Henderson cutting his way out of a monstrous tangle of guitar strings."
    -Texas Music Magazine

    "Henderson certainly has his voice, both in his songwriting and his guitar playing, an amalgam of roots rock and Texas blues."
    -Blues Review Magazine

    "Some of the nastiest guitar solos ever recorded. He doesn't worry about what's going to please anyone else anymore."
    -Dallas Morning News

    "I'm not aware of anyone else who records with as much diversity. One hell of a guitar player."
    -Electric Blues

    "The heir apparent to Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan. He can go for hours without dropping one cliche' riff or even repeating himself. It can be a humbling experience."
    -San Diego Reader

    and Bugs' personal favorite:

    "Struggling to reach basic musical competence."
    -Living Blues


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