School: Kenny Wayne Shepherd


Were you a diligent student?

I was good at knowing how to get by doing no more work than necessary. Rather than doing tons of homework, I’d spend most of my spare time playing guitar. But I could go into class, take the test and pass it without studying too hard.

Would you cut class to gig and rehearse?

I only gigged on weekends. But I did record my first album [1995’s Ledbetter Heights] during the last few months of my senior year. We worked out an arrangement with the principal to turn my work in later and excuse my absences. If they’d counted those I’d have been kicked out.

How did your peers feel about you having a deal so young?

They thought it was BS. Until the record came out and went top five on the rock chart. I did gigs in bars, none of them were old enough to get in to see me. Only my girlfriend at the time had a clue what was going on.

What was your parents’ attitude to your schooling?

They insisted I finish high school and get a diploma. I graduated, then went on the road with the Eagles on their Hell Freezes Over tour – and played Wembley three times!