My Other Life with Cliff Barone

PM360 recently spoke to Cliff Barone, Associate Director, Patient Marketing at Novo Nordisk, about his passion for playing guitar.


PM360: We hear that you are addicted to playing the guitar. What made you take it up?

I became interested in playing guitar as a teen, inspired by rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Who, AC/DC, etc. Mostly by ear, I learned and played a lot of their songs. I stopped playing altogether when I left for college and didn’t pick it up again until my late 30s, when my wife got me a new acoustic guitar as a gift. I quickly moved back to playing the electric guitar, which has the great tone and versatility that originally pulled me in.

How often do you play nowadays?

I try to pick up a guitar almost every day of the week. This may be for 10 minutes or up to an hour and a half. With work and family, including two young sons, it’s difficult to prioritize. One strategy is keeping guitars out on stands in our house for ready access. I still play mostly by ear, and learn a lot from YouTube, which obviously did not exist as a resource when I was a kid.

Is there any song that you are working on mastering right now?

I am learning new songs weekly. Recent examples include classics such as “American Girl,” “Crossroads” and “Gimme Shelter.” There are a number of songs I would love to learn, but have not approached them yet due to the time and effort involved in “getting them down,” including  “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers  and the guitar solo finale from “Stairway to Heaven” as played by Page on “The Song Remains the Same” soundtrack. Getting good enough to do justice to Jimmy Page, Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn respectfully would be the ultimate for me in mastering the guitar.

Why are you so passionate about playing?

Music releases endorphins when I play! Closer to reality—playing music provides a great release. It takes me away from everyday issues. Also, I love how music inspires and brings people together in such a positive way. Lastly, it provides a great sense of accomplishment. This is especially true in a band setting. “Playing out” challenges you to integrate seamlessly within the band and standout as well. When it all comes together, it’s a pure adrenalin rush. Once you get the “bug,” you can’t wait until the next big show.

Would you like to do more gigs in the future?

Yes, definitely. Over the past year, I have cobbled together a band comprised of guys I have worked with in the industry over the years. Currently, we are actively seeking a dedicated lead singer, if any of your readers (in the NJ area) are interested. You would have to love to sing classic rock, while not being too serious. We all have day jobs, families and play just for the pure fun of it.


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