Bass Guitar / Back Up Vocals
Chris grew up around music and began to learn to play guitar from his mother at a very young age. It was during grade school he began to play the drums and the French horn, a weird combination but still the influence of music was prevalent. The drums lead him into a marching band named “The Cavilers” who played all over the city of Pittsburgh and even during half time at a Steelers game. The drums also led him into playing for the high school band and during high school the guitar came back and he started to play rock.
Chris’ first band was a group that never got out of the cellar, aptly named they were the Cellar Dwellers but it was enough to give him the bug. From there he wass in a few glam metal bands, oh yeah he wore spandex and the whole bit and no we will not be printing pictures here… EVER!
During the late eighties his music took a heavy turn and he joined a band named Decomposed. It was a heavy guitar riff based metal band and with twin BC Rich Warlocks he played the part. Over the next few years Chris lost his drive for music and put the guitar down. It wasn’t until a couple of years before his 30th birthday he had started to bass tech for Bill Wiggin and his band Three Car Garage that he would find his way back but this time it would be the bass.
During this time Chris got a little group together and against better advice they went on stage the first night to open for Three Car under the name 4 Play, and the name stuck. Although the band was a lot of fun, it wasn’t really going anywhere and during one performance where the bands lead guitarist got to drunk they decided to make a change, This was where Chris met Rob Keller. The name was changed to Step Nine and Chris’ study in music really started. Rob taught him so much about playing live music over the next three years that is was like a whole new world had opened up.
Step Nine had some great times, played some incredible gigs and even had some solid originals but the toll of cycling members through and disharmony in the band left him without a stage once more. This was around the time that Chris’ attention was taken away by the national motorcycle magazine he publishes; Cycle Source, so he almost didn’t notice the nearly ten year gap between the day he stopped playing with Step Nine and when Paul Peterson invited him to stop by and jam.
The two had been long time friends and in Chris’ early years Paul had even given him guitar lessons when he first returned from GIT. Chris had waited a lifetime to play music with Paul and with the addition of Sam Gabud on drums Big House Pete was up and running again.
Since then they have gone through a couple of players, played incredible shows with The Shiners, Jasmine Cain, on the stage at huge motorcycle rallies and have now started writing original music. For Chris it’s the gig of a lifetime that combines his two worlds and a good reason that he will never put his bass down again.
The Rocky V
Chris’s Main bass on stage is a Rocky V one off made by hand from Nick Perri Guitars in LA. It’s the first time Perri Ink has made a bass after years and years of successful guitar sales. There are components from three of the best basses in history, the Fender Jazz, Fender P and of course the Musicman. The neck is skinny and extra long to fir Callen’s playing style and the sound is incredible which you can hear for yourself in the video below.