By Rev. Brandon Ducharme
A local rock star and business mogul is teaching classes at RCC. “I’m still as enthusiastic and geeky about music as I was when I was 15,” said Eric Von Radics, owner and founder of Musichead, often Medford’s only independent record store, who is currently teaching classes in guitar and songwriting at RCC’s Medford campus.
With 40 years of experience playing music through nearly as many bands, in addition to 25 years spent teaching guitar on an individual basis, Von Radics is more than ready for the challenges that await.
Initially his goals were to teach High School English in California, though those were soon diverted when the owner of the guitar shop he was working in asked him to begin teaching guitar on the side.
He fell in love with tutoring as his business began to thrive, and, faced with what he calls, “… the looming bureaucracy of the California public school system,” he opted to continue teaching privately.
After spending almost 18 years operating out of Musichead, he has chosen to switch to teaching at RCC’s Medford campus for a few reasons.
“It’s close to home,” he said. “I think it’s the responsible thing to do to try and avoid doing a lot of long commuting at least as long as one is driving a gasoline powered vehicle.”
In addition to his environmental concerns, he has also expressed admiration for RCC Music Program Coordinator Ted Dollarhide’s plans to integrate guitar as a method of reaching students who lack formal musical training, or aren’t going to pursue music as a major or career.
Despite the challenge of going from teaching on a one-on-one basis, to a class of 15 to 20 students, Von Radics says this won’t interfere with his other side projects.
In particular, his bands, Nothing Error and the Young Buzzards, have a show coming up January 29 at Musichead. Though, don’t let those names fool you, he also plays in a country band called Cheatin’ Hearts that is expecting to play a gig across the street from RCC’s HEC center at Johnny B’s in March.
Currently things are small. Von Radics said that his students have decided to put on a private invite only, concert at the end of the term.
However, according to Dollarhide there has been talk of larger concerts and classes which may include the basics of starting, running, and promoting a band.
Dollarhide said that Von Radics would even like to promote his class to local high schools in hopes of ultimately directing more students towards a technical understanding of music.
Despite moving many miles with numerous bands across quite a few genres, Von Radics appears to have come full circle. He is teaching for a public institution, and has flourished with dedication to those pass times which he grew to love as a child: playing guitar and hanging out in a mom and pop record shop.