Guitar Ted? What's Up With That?

  I get asked from time to time what the deal is with my "handle", Guitar Ted. 

So here is the story as I told it back in the beginnings of this blog in 2005.

The Story of "Guitar Ted" or Who Dat?

Okay, I'm only going to tell this story once, so read well! I get asked this from time to time. "What's with "Guitar Ted" anyway? Where'd that come from?" Well, here is a rather condensed answer, but enough for you all to get the gist of it.

Okay....go back...NO! further.....keep going.....goooooiiiing!......a little more!.......oh, oh!.....YES!! Your in the Seventies! Bell bottoms, long hair, DISCO (sucks! heh heh!) and all that. Big, large masses of steel resembling ships with wheels roamed the streets. (Thus the term "Land Yachts). "Little" cars were jokes. Vega, Pinto, Pacer.....shall I continue? Foriegn cars were, well...FOREIGN! Nary a one to be seen. Why do I get into all of this? Well, we were a bit more "american" back in the day. Things from "overseas", as it used to be termed, were still frowned upon. I'm not saying it was right, or wrong, it just "was". My Dad was a Union guy, working in a factory. He used to get on about all this "foriegn" stuff encroaching in on "american" stuff. Try eating your foriegn car- remember that? Anyway, I was young, and wanted my Dad's approval, so I listened. I was into rock music. Yeah! NOT DISCO!! ( sorry- it's a sensitive subject!) I wanted to explore a more "american" approach to hard rock. But, back in the seventies there was like what....Aerosmith, Boston, and.....Aerosmith! What! The Euros had Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzie, Led Zepplin.....all the really cool stuff! I dug and dug at the local Gibson's record bin. Then finally I heard it. Over the loud speakers set up in the record department. This really cool tune! I asked what it was, and found out it was by an American artist by the name of Ted Nugent. PUUURRRRFFFECT!!!

Fast forward to the late seventies. I was thoroughly entrenched in everything Nugent. Awesome! Well, anybody that had their head so far up into something back then in a small mid-western town was sure to stick out! We had a name for the terminally dropped out, cigarette smokin', par-tee-in, drinkin', drug usin' crowd- "Dirtheads". Well, that morphed into other names to compartmentalize other "strange" kids that didn't tow the "I'm a sheep" line. Like car people= Gear heads, smart people=Book heads, athletes=Jock heads, well, you get the picture. I was the ONLY Ted head. Well, kind of. I had a friend a year older than me that wasn't necessarily into the Nuge, but out of respect/ kindness to me, referred to himself as "Ed Head". Thus, the Head Brothers were unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace. By the time I graduated from high school, a lot of people thought my name WAS Ted. I worked at the local grocer, and my name tag said, "Ted H." The manager didn't even know my real name! On to college where I scribed many a "Ted Head Lives!" on a bathroom wall. (In reference to the famous Lord of the Rings graffiti, "Frodo Lives!") But, as they say, time marches on.........

.....and on, and on, and...........HEY! It's the 21st Century again! By now, "TED HEAD" is a long lost memory to most. Then my introduction to the internet, and message boards which require a "name" to post on, and then I get to thinking, and presto! Guitar Ted! I guess I never "really" went away, I just "matured", you might say. So, now YOU know! Don't ask again! I ain't gonna tell it anymore! 

And Now Nearly 20 Years Later....

 Now after nearly 20 years have passed by since the posting of this story, the name "Guitar Ted" is known pretty well in the gravel cycling world. Certainly, not everyone knows that name, but getting into a hall of fame does have an effect on public knowledge of certain people, and now I have that distinction as well.  

Following is a quote from "Bike Radar" editor Josh Patterson:

 "Stevenson promoted Trans Iowa from 2005 to 2018 and was instrumental in amplifying gravel riding through his blogging and reportage. More than any other individual, he is responsible for gravel cycling as we know it today, and he was duly inducted into the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame in 2022. "

Ironically, the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame chose my given name, Mark Stevenson,  to induct me by, and not "Guitar Ted", so I guess things have come full circle after nearly 50 years of my "Ted Head/Guitar Ted" alternate identity. I have to say, I was a bit surprised that the GCHoF chose that for me, (and they did choose that for me, it wasn't my idea), but as they say, the best names for you are the ones that people who care about you give to you.