We promised to make as many connections to John Petrucci as we could when we spotlighted him. Well it is time to get inspired and meet Gabriel Hurley. Gabriel Hurley is a 29 year old guitar player living in New Jersey. Sometimes when we spotlight a guitar player for this section we pick out someone that was born with challenges but was able to overcome them with the guitar. The case with Gabriel is very different. Gabriel was fortunate to have been born healthy with talent that cannot be matched by most. In fact, he is one of the best friends of our editor, Stan. Stan recalls meeting him over 10.5 years ago at Guitar Center while competing at the Guitarmageddon contest. Gabriel was playing an Ibanez Jem guitar at the time but was highly influenced by the likes of Steve Vai and even more by John Petrucci. Gabriel ended up winning the store finals and making it all the way to the regionals.
Over the years he has owned Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci guitars. Gabe and Stan never miss an opportunity to go to a Dream Theater concert or talk guitar. In 2009 tragedy struck Gabriel as he was involved in a major car accident that almost took his life. To say that he went through numerous surgeries would be an understatement. He ended up blind with no sense of smell and some dinging in his ears. He uses his guitar playing as a release and an inspiration to move forward. These days Gabriel speaks at schools inspiring teenagers to be safe drivers and explaining the realities of life. We are including a few vides and links to his story. Digital Guitar Player is honored to have Gabriel Hurley as our Altered view guitar player of the month for October 2014.