TV Commercial

In January of 1985, I appeared in Mike Varney's "Spotlight" column in Guitar Player Magazine. Right around this time, a production company in Los Angeles was looking for a guitarist to play in a Pepsi TV commercial which they were getting ready to film. They were having difficulty finding someone, so they bought a bunch of guitar mags and by luck happened to see me in the "Spotlight" column. Out of nowhere, I got a call one January evening, and was on a plane to Los Angeles from the East Coast the following morning. I was so young that I had never even been on an airplane before. This was totally surreal!

I was initially supposed to "act" in the commercial, but the part was eventually given to someone else. Fortunately, they liked the tracks that I recorded and used my music/playing in the ad. Close-up shots of my hands playing the guitar were also used in the ad, and so I always used to joke that my hands were famous. There is a 30-second and a 60-second version of the commercial, but I have been unable to find the 60-second version.

Martin Sheen did the voice for the commercial. I was told that he received a million dollars to do it. Hey, I would have done it for a quarter of that! Actually, at that point in my life, I probably would have done it for just a quarter!

This commercial was broadcast many times during the "Live Aid" Concert. This was the first American TV commercial to be aired on Russian TV.