The Young and the restless

DAYTON NATIVE AND AXEMAN JEFF YOUNG RETURNS HOME

By Allyson B. Crawford

Photo: Jeff Young and Sherri Klein began performing together over a year and a half ago

Most musicians that play Oddbody’s are just passing through town. Not guitarist Jeff Young, who will play Oddbody’s with his fiancée and music partner Sherri Klein—billed as Jeff and Sherri—Friday, June 12. Young graduated in 1980 from Fairmont (then Fairmont West) in Kettering. He had enough credits to finish the school year early to focus on his music. By his senior year, he was already traveling and playing gigs. By 1985, he had earned a degree from Musicians Institute in California. By 1988, he was a member of Megadeth. You can hear his guitar work on So Far, So Good… So What!

Still, Young says his goal wasn’t to play metal in particular. He’s just a fan of music, period. And he wants to bring people together through his craft. So his show with Klein isn’t metal-heavy, but unique and diverse.

Young and Klein live in Las Vegas. Over a year and a half ago, the pair began performing and just recently decided to take their show on the road. The Dayton Oddbody’s gig is the first stop on their tour.

“We do Led Zeppelin… Sherri does a great version of ’Whole Lotta Love,’” Young says of his show with Sherri. “We do everything from rock to funk. We do Prince, The Ohio Players… I really love funk. I don’t know if it’s because of growing up in Dayton or what. They’ve been a great influence. We try to mix everything with a funky element.”

While Young considers himself a musician first, he’s also a businessman.

“This tour is very DIY,” he explains. That’s because fees associated with professional managers and talent bookers eat too much profit.

“We looked for markets where I’m familiar and where I’ve played,” he continues. “So Dayton, Indianapolis… We have lots of buddies around the area. So we’ll stay with friends in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey.”

It’s hard for new acts, even those featuring established musicians, to gain a following on the road. Young and Kline perform both cover tunes and originals.

“Since it’s our first tour, we don’t want to inundate people with songs they don’t know, so we sprinkle some originals in,” Young tells the Dayton City Paper. “We try to take a song and not just cover and do it like the original artist. We try to reimagine it.”

One of the songs Young and Klein reimagine is the Beatles classic “Something,” which features Young playing guitar parts in a style more like Jimi Hendrix and less like writer George Harrison. Klein sings the lead. Then there’s the mashup of Ozzy Osbourne and The Cure, which Young calls “Ozzy’s Cure.” The song is really a mix of “Diary of a Madman” from Osbourne and “Lovesong” from The Cure. The idea for the two-song cover came out of a gig Young and Klein did as part of the Randy Rhoads Remembered Tour. Rhoads was the original guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. He was killed in a plane accident in 1982.

“I am a huge Randy Rhoads fan,” Young admits. The cover is a way to pay tribute to one his musical heroes.

When Young isn’t writing new songs or reworking old favorites, he’s working on his radio show.

“I’ve been building a pretty nice cult following with my radio shows that I’ve been doing most Thursdays for three years now. It’s called “Music Without Boundaries,” Young says. “We play every genre, from the 1920s to the 2000s. It’s all merged together with topical discussion or funny movie clips or interviews from artists. I don’t subscribe to putting music into boxes.”

Young’s been traveling the world since his early 20s. On all of his travels, he makes it a priority to stop in local music shops to discover the hottest talent from each region or particular corner of the globe he’s in at the time. With an immense vinyl and CD collection to cull through, Young plays his favorite discoveries on his weekly show.

“The mission of my show is to share different types of music… to those who would never have been exposed through the American music machine,” he says.

Some of the past guests on Young’s show include Pat Travers, John 5 (also known as Rob Zombie) and Lauren Harris.

“I’m excited to come back to Dayton,” Young concludes. “I bet I’ll see people I haven’t seen since high school. It might be emotional.”

In the end, Young says that music should be fun. That’s really the end goal: to make people happy.

“You gotta get people dancing,” he says. “There’s enough angst in the world. Music should be fun and be good vibrations.”

Jeff Young and Sherri Klein will perform Friday June 12 at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or $5 in advance for patrons 18 and up. For more information, please visit oddbodys.com or reverbnation.com/jeffnsherri.

Allyson B. Crawford lives in Springboro and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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