He was 6 years old when he started playing guitar and never received formal lessons. His major influences were Eddie van Halen and Kiss’s Ace Frehley and he practiced them 4 to 5 hours every day. He was a quiet introvert kid who loved his music and waited out his life for the right women.
But those qualities made him an extraordinary shredder. His jaw-dropping solo flurries, wah-drenched fusillades and high-energy freakout got him New York’s Hot Licks guitar contest twice, and made him a world class guitarist.
Before moving to California in the seventies he also wrote a bimonthly guitar technique/effects column called “The Clinic” for New Jersey’s only heavy metal magazine, “Ironworx”.
He has been described by the world’s top guitar shredders as .. melting metal with burning speed – chaotic melodic maniac – jaw-dropping – faster than the flight of the bumble bee at double speed, then faster ~ a metal burner and the praise go on.
Bobby was all this, and much more. Shredders are usually sloppy but his playing was the cleanest I have ever heard at such high speeds while losing absolutely nothing. Also his shredding contained far more melody than his worldly counterparts, but he was more than this too. His composing was fresh, clever, and as passionate as his playing, his haunting guitar work cried in his rock ballads, using as much compassionate control and projection in his slow work as he did in his high speed shredding. Bobby Ferrara was a true guitar virtuoso.
When asked during one of the rare interviews with him about his secrets on the guitar he said: “No secrets at all, it takes drive and a passion , I think too many kids today don’t have good role models to look up to. Picking up a guitar for 5 minutes and chatting on the computer won’t do the trick… if you put the time in , your rewards are great”.
Bobby Ferrara sadly died in his sleep at his home after suffering a fatal heart attack. Bobby was far more than a fast guitarist and inspirational composer, he was a loving husband to his still newlywed wife Angel, and a clean living young man with such a kind and generous personality to all he met.
He died from a fatal heart attack in his sleep on January 15, 2008 at the age of 42.