2018 - Individual Artist
Rich Mock was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois in the early '70s. Mock took lessons for a year and learned how to play songs by ear listening to records on the console record player. Learning Elvis, Hank Sr., Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Willie Nelson songs by ear on a fat neck classical guitar at 8-years-old was a challenge but served him well. By the time he graduated to his first Les Paul copy electric guitar a few years later, Rich was ready to rock.
Mock met his first bandmates and started playing in his first band Lesher in 1986 during his sophomore year of high school. By the following year, the group had their first original cassette Raunch and Roll completed and were playing high school and middle school dances.
Bar bands after high school followed in college by Shotgun and Snydley Whiplash. The band played every place that had live music in Ames at that time and Mock was in one of the first bands that played People's. Before People's was a bar, they played downstairs in the Underware bar. They gigged about every Friday and Saturday night for a few years.
Mock moved to South Dakota and joined a southern rock style county band called the Silver Marshall Band for a year before joining a rock band called Hit and Run that included guitarist Gary Bergman of Waterfront Blues band fame. Gary helped him record a demo, and he moved to Minneapolis in ‘93 to attend Music Tech college in a guitar performance program for a year.
At the end of the year, each student was allowed a certain amount of hours in Metro Studios to record a demo. Several bands followed; playing gigs in the city and joining a few road bands for the last of the Holiday Inn circuit.
“We played Monday through Saturday nights; four hour sets six nights a week for a year!” Mock said. “We got pretty good doing that, but you don't see yourself doing that forever. So in 1997 life came full circle and I returned to Mason City.” He began writing and playing solo acoustic and electric rock and blues music, while also sitting in with all of the VFW country bands that he could find. The Rich Mock trio followed focusing on classic power trio rock and blues artists like Cream, Hendrix, and SRV for inspiration.
By this time he was a piano tuner by trade and a private guitar instructor teaching 30 private guitar lessons a week while still playing every weekend. In 2005 -2008 he took a full-time job as a piano tuner for a company in Nashville, Tennessee. “I will write a book someday on this experience,” he predicted. A highlight of this experience for him was meeting and tuning the Eagles piano for the 2007 CMA awards. Rich also played and gigged around Nashville for those three years.
Family brought the Mocks back to Clear Lake in the fall of 2008. His wife, singer/songwriter and bassist Tina Mock, and Rich have been performing steadily since their return as a duo and in their classic rock trio the Mockingbirds.