GUNNER SWEET, FRONTMAN
Most would not classify his childhood as normal, but that’s exactly how Gunner Sweet describes growing up on the streets of San Bernardino, California. Of course, perception is relative and one boy’s normal is trouble to another.
Regardless of what you call it, growing up, Gunner was as likely to be running from the police or in front of a judge as he was playing sports or in class. That is, until one night as an eleven-year old, when he found himself in front of a flickering color television in the Los Angeles County Juvie Hall.
SEX, DRUGS, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
Just after midnight on August 1, 1981, MTV launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll” followed by The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star.” Not that Gunner was around to see it (he wasn’t born until later that year), but that is the moment his destiny was fixed, as the living color world of music television would become the key influencer in his life.
“Like every other kid of the MTV generation, I was transfixed by what I saw. Seeing bands like Van Halen and Motley Crue gave me a high stronger than any I got from all the trouble I was getting into,” he said.
If watching those Van Halen and Crue videos didn’t remove all doubt about his future, Nitro’s video of “Freight Train” surely did. “After seeing Jim Gillette, I knew what I had to do,” he said. “That is when everything changed for me. That’s when I saw my destiny laid out in front of me.”
In that moment, Gunner traded in his copy of “The Anarchist Cookbook” for a pair of sticks and a guitar. His vocal talent started to show soon thereafter and as they say, the rest is history.
STILL GOIN’ STRONG
Twenty years and six world tours later, Gunner’s passion for the music of his youth burns as bright today as it ever has. And while trouble never really leaves any of us, his now takes the form of the decadent lifestyles of his childhood idols.
“Sometimes I still have to pinch myself after all these years. Given the chance, I’d do it all over again. All of it. I have no regrets.”