Steve Dudas was born on August 29, 1951 in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a steel mill town outside of Pittsburgh. His father loved country music and played a little guitar. When his Dad caught Steve jumping on the bed, at the age of 6, with his guitar, singing Elvis, he started guitar lessons. Steve’s teacher was big band guitarist and Segovia student, Philip Schwartz. Steve studied with him until age 11. At that point Steve’s favorite music was surf instrumentals ala and Dick Dale. Steve would learn the melodic riffs by needle dropping on his record player.
And then the Beatles arrived…………Steve started a band with his junior high friends called The Innovations. This is the first of many bands that Steve would play in throughout high school. It was the 60’s and a rich musical time. Between the British invasion, the San Francisco scene, Motown and Stax’s, it was a great time to be in a band learning how to play those tunes and riffs. This was the foundation for Steve’s playing. At age 14 Steve started taking lessons from guitarist, Bill Clydsdale who opened up two other types of musical worlds, jazz and classical guitar.
After graduating high school Steve went on the road with the band, Saving Grace, playing clubs and ski resorts in the northeast. By summertime the band was in New York City looking for gigs and found one as the back up band for Richard Nader’s rock n’ roll revival tour. It was one of the first tours of its’ kind. It featured Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, Bill Haley & the Comets, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Platters and the Shirrels. All the acts traveled on a yellow school bus except for Bill Haley who flew and Chuck Berry who followed the bus in his Cadillac. The tour went from New York City to Los Angeles and back. It was Steve’s first experience in playing large venues. After the tour, Steve enrolled in community college and got an associates degree in liberal arts.