Classic Hard Rock Guitar

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The Biography

Dave Munkhoff took his first guitar lesson on his 12th birthday. By the age of 14 he was playing in bands and teaching guitar at that same music store in upstate New York. At the age of 15, his band released their first recording of original songs, music written by Dave. Soon the band was getting radio air play and doing concerts with various headliners of the day. Such as The Outsiders, The Happenings, The Barkays, Mytch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels.


In the mid 70's, Dave toured the eastern states and Canada with "Wail", a popular hard rock band out of Rochester, New York. Wail was the big thing in upstate New York, opening shows for people like Ronnie Montrose, Melissa Manchester, Black Sheep(Lou Gram), Cheap Trick, and various one hit wonders. From there, he was hired by a major Toronto production company to play in the band Thor. The producers also used him on other projects, where he recorded everything from disco, punk, latin, rock and jazz, often playing all of the bass and guitar parts himself.


In '78, Dave Moved backed to Rochester, forming his own band, The Dolphins, with Charlie Oyer on vocals, Jim Hall on bass and Michael Root on drums. Charlie left the group and was replaced by Phil Naro. Before the band really had a chance to develop into a long term project, Dave accepted an offer from Billy Sheehan to join his new band. In 1979, Dave moved to his native state of Florida and did studio work in Orlando and Tampa. In Tampa, he recorded with some Cuban musicians and found himself playing 'real' latin music for the next year and a half.


During the 80's, Dave recorded in central Florida and released a solo record in '84. In 1987, he decided to build a home studio. After five years of upgrading his equipment (when he could afford it), he released his "In The Red" album in Dec. '92. Everything on the album was written and performed entirely by Dave. In Sept. '93, he released another album called "High Water", again writing and performing all of the music, but this time enlisting the aid of Bill Yearty on vocals. Dave and Bill then put a band together and promoted the album on a local level. "Stranger Things", the second Munkhoff & Yearty album, was released in '94, again written and produced by Dave, but after a year of small bars and low pay, he needed a change.


In '94, Dave had produced an album for an 'Oldies' act, (playing all of the music on the album) so when they asked him to play some concerts and car shows, he was ready for a change. One of Dave's weaknesses is his love for almost all styles of music. During this time he produced CD's for several singers and also performed all the music on these projects. It was also during this time that Dave recorded his first solo CD, "Mood Swings".


Since 1989, Dave had been battling carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. In the early 90’s he underwent a month of electro cortisone therapy. This helped to bring back the feeling into his left hand and greatly improve blood circulation. The muscles in his hand had greatly atrophied before this and were now coming back. Unfortunately, the nerve damage, which cannot be reversed, was already done. In 1998, Dave was playing in a top 40 band with a no talent singer and playing music he hated. His hands still hurt, the music sucked and it seemed liked there was no reason to play guitar anymore.


In the late spring of 2001, after listening to the latest Jeff Beck CD, Dave took his guitar out of the closet and tried to play again. At first it was a struggle just to play simple chords. After 3 years of not touching a guitar string the fingers on his left hand had no calluses and were stiff. At first the guitar seemed foreign to him, as if he had never held one in his hands before. The old fingers started to loosen up as he kept struggling to play some basic chords and simple scales. He strapped the guitar on and went outside into the backyard to play in the sunshine, like he had done a hundred times before when his hands were healthy. The warmth of the sun quickly loosened his fingers and gave him a healing energy. Soon he was ripping up and down the neck and he was playing things he hadn't been able to play since the years before the carpal tunnel syndrome started to cripple his hand. His fingers felt strong and well rested. After about 45 minutes of hard playing he noticed something red on the maple fretboard of his Fender Strat. It actually took him several seconds to realize it was blood from the tips of his fingers. He was on such a natural high from the sheer enjoyment of playing his beloved guitar again that he had felt no pain. But after taking a look at his fingers and the open blood blisters still dripping fresh blood he started to feel the pain.


A couple months after the fingers tips were healed and new callouses had grown, Dave started playing with a local 3 piece rock band. This was a lot of fun at first but it got old very fast. The band played the same songs in the exact order at every single gig. Once again, playing guitar had become pure drudgery and the inspiration for making music had disappeared and caused the hand problems to come back. He decided that if making music (using the term loosly) wasn't going to be uplifting and fun, then at least it should be profitable. He recorded a hundred or so backing tracks consisting of drums, bass and keyboards and found himself a good girl singer and went totally commercial. That ended up being a lot of fun until the singer thought she was boss and the music act got a divorce.


These days, Dave does all of his guitar playing in his home studio doing recording projects for paying customers. He's also released five solo full lenght CD's, including, "Watch Your Back" released in October 2011.

The Nite-Raiders (1960's)

During the 1960's (sixties), in the early years of his music career, Dave Munkhoff learned the art of Rock and Roll by playing the pop hits of that time. Starting with Dave’s very first band at the age of 13, The Pipelines, named after the surf instrumental which happened to be one of the few songs they could play. 


Shortly after his 14th birthday, he joined the Night Raiders (Nite-Raiders) which quickly became one of the most popular teen rock groups in the central New York – Finger Lakes area. The Nite-Raiders played all the school dances and teen clubs in that part of the state. The Nite-Raiders played songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Who, Paul Revere and the Raiders and almost anything on the top 40. Even though the guys were under age they had a regular gig at the popular Panko’s bar in Auburn, New York, playing every other Friday night. The band also did shows as the warming up act for such famous bands as The Bar-Kays and the Happenings.


THE NITE-RAIDERS were:

Gary Metz – Drums

Doug Block – Bass & Vocal (left a few months after starting the band with Gary)

Tom DeSeyn – Bass & Vocal

Art Lagana – Lead Vocal

Lynn Carlyle – Rhythm Guitar & Vocal

Dave Munkhoff – Lead Guitar


In late 1967, the Nite-Raiders manager, Bill Lehman a.k.a. Coyote McCloud, changed the name of the band to The Spontaneous Innovation. We wore Nehru jackets and sang songs about hippies and wearing flowers in your hair. Doug Block returned to the group and Tom DeSeyn's sister, Linda, was also added for that Mama' & Papas sound. The Spontaneous Innovation recorded a 4 song demo in December 1967 that eventually recieved airplay on a few local stations as well as a major Rochester FM station (one of the very 1st FM rock stations) by Dee Jay, Peter Grobe.


If you were a fan of the band during the 60's and have some pictures of the Night-Raiders or Spontaneous Innovation that you think should be on this website, then please contact Dave Munkhoff.

Wale / Wail (1970's)


Basically, there were three incarnations of Wale. The first line up (1972-74) featured Mike Marconi on lead guitar, Bob Murray on lead vocals & harmonica, Dave Barnes on drums, Dale Croston on bass and Michael Banzhaff on 2nd guitar & flute. When Michael Banzhaff left in 1974, Dave Munkhoff joined the group, forming the second line up of Wale. 


Then in 1975, when Mike Marconi left, the spelling was changed to Wail with the introduction of Rinehart Straub (on electric violin) into the band. Mike Marconi was a great guitarist and a huge influence on Dave Munkhoff's approach to performing on stage, both as a musician and a performer. An important part of Wale was their soundman, Eugene Czapnik, who kept our sound balanced while we played our amps on "10". If you were a fan of the band during the 70's and have some pictures of Wale or Wail that you think should be on this website, then please contact Dave Munkhoff.

Perfect Angel (Ron Goedert)


In 1981, Richard Cortese introduced Dave Munkhoff to Ron Goedert, formerly of White Witch. The two of them immediately hit it off and discovered they shared a lot in common. They soon formed the band, Perfect Angel, with Ken Bish and Chris Cooks.

Photo left to right: Ken Bish, Dave Munkhoff, Ron Goedert, Chris Cooks.