ELMWOOD PARK, N.J.– Jason Colombini of Elmwood Park was just a preschooler when he heard the classic Guns N' Roses tune " Sweet Child O'Mine ."
The hit came on the radio while he was in the car with his mom, and he hasn't been able to shake it ever since.
"When I heard Slash's guitar solo, I said, 'That's what I want to do with my life,'" Colombini, 14, told Daily Voice.
The first song Colombini learned wasn't the GNR staple, rather Green Day's "American Idiot." Still, he continued to play covers until last year when he began crafting original material.
The rising EPHS freshman lists Guns N Roses, Slash, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhodes, Kurt Cobain as influences. He's also into Kiss, Black Sabbath, Bon Jovi and AC/DC.
One of his favorite songs to play is "Eruption/You've Really Got Me" by Van Halen.
'It took me about a week to learn," he said. "I tend to make stuff my own, though. I know how to do the tapping part correctly but I added my own parts to it instead of playing it exactly."
Colombini owns four guitars: A Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, a Washburn Nuno Bettencourt and two Yamaha acoustics.
During his solo acoustic shows on Tuesdays at Maywood's Oak Ale House, he tunes his one guitar a full step down to C# "so it's easy for me to sing certain songs."
That includes Skid Row's " I Remember You ."
"It’s really high for me, now that my voice is starting to get deeper," Colombini said.
Colombini performs at open mic nights at Rivara’s in Fair Lawn every Sunday. Once a month, he plays the venue with his friend Jenn Bialy.
The musician, who was told by a former guitar teacher that he has perfect pitch, has a Sept. 18 solo acoustic show G.W. Grill in Fort Lee.
Colombini is also the lead guitarist and vocalist for the band Unidentified Remains . He's also the youngest member.
The other musicians are over 50, Colombini said, "which is mainly why we have a big mix of music.
"Pretty much we play classic rock – everything from 60s to the 90s," he added. "I enjoy Woodstock-era music and I love 80s hair metal and grunge."
His mom, Sandra, who works with special needs children, books his gigs.
"We have a lot of friends that are musicians," she said. "They like to have him join them. If it’s a place we haven’t been before, usually the musicians will ask the venue ahead of time."
Though the booking almost doubles as another full-time job, Sandra doesn't mind.
"I’m behind him 100 percent," she said. "It’s all good experience for him."