Chat Room - Jeff Brezeale

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By Lance Coleman

Jeff Breazeale, 50, grew up in Blount County, graduated from Maryville High School, attended the University of Tennessee for two years and graduated from the University of Houston. He then spent two more years at the Art Institute for Music and Technology where he learned sound engineering. He played music for a living and was with the group Texas Overdrive before he was signed to a promotional development deal in Muscle Shoals, Ala., by someone he says was Leonard Skynard’s manager for two of their albums. He then was signed with Sony Tree records in Nashville and spent four years there before choosing to come home to Blount County.

Breazeale is divorced and has one grown daughter who lives in Texas. He is a member of the band Dixie Werevolves and also is the owner of TradeCraft Construction.

Breazeale said he realized at 7 years old he wanted to be an entertainer after a contest at the old Hillbilly Homecoming festival. "In all honesty, l love playing guitar, and I enjoy writing music. My big inspiration was when I entered a talent contest at 7 and won the thing," he said. "Chet Atkins gave me the prize, which was a silver dollar and a paper with his name on it."

His construction business is about 10 years old, having started in when he returned from Nashville. "Primarily what I do is what I do is finishing carpentry and restoration of woodwork."

Here is Jeff Breazeale:

What was your most embarrassing moment?
"Falling down a flight of steps in Grand Rapids, Mich., and stopping with my face."

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"Building and carpentry because I have always enjoyed woodworking and the other, music, because performing and interacting with the crowds is like a big party where everybody is having a good time.

What was your first paying job?
Breazeale was a newspaper delivery boy at age 6.

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
"Energetic. I usually don’t slow down very much. I feel if I slow down I’ll get old."

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Breazeale said he always wanted to be an astronaut. When he was younger, he used to build a cardboard space ship to "blast off" when there was a space launch and on one occasion his mission failed. "I got my name in the newspaper years ago when I was 6. During a Gemini mission, I fell back and cut my head on dad’s chair. How it got into the newspaper, I’ll never know. It said, ‘Young astronaut crashed.’

What’s the best thing about Blount County?
Breazeale said the best things about Blount County are the Great Smoky Mountains his dad. "My dad was always a big outdoorsman. He spent a lot of time with me doing that, and we spent a lot of time backpacking in the Smokies."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Breazeale says he would like to change his hairline at his age.

What is your passion?
"Music. I guess really it’s something I can put my soul into."

To what do you attribute your success?
"Effort and blind luck. I put a lot of effort into learning to play guitar and learning to perform and sing."

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"Jimmy Hendrix. He was an innovator as far as rock and roll. The record companies didn’t like him but knew he was great."

What do you hate?
Breazeale says he hates liver.

What’s your favorite quote?
"We are just a garage band. We just play in some really big garages!" Dusty Hill of ZZ TOP

What do you do to relax?
"Sit in the hot tub with a Grand Marinier. For fun, I’d go to Las Vegas."

Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?
"Rebels, of course!

What is your all-time favorite movie?
" ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales.’ I’m a huge Clint Eastwood fan."

What is the best book you’ve ever read?
" ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ That was one of my favorite books of all time. His message was always so lighthearted. It was always just be happy with yourself," Breazeale said of Dr. Seuss. "All his book made you smile and laugh."

If you won a big lottery jackpot, what is the charitable donation you would make and how would you splurge?
"I would make several donations to different cancer charities and to animal rights groups."

Would you travel in space?
Breazeale says he absolutely would travel in space if given the opportunity.

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
Breazeale says he would want to travel back in to time visit before the pilgrims landed.

What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
Breazeale says he would want to be James Bond, 007. "It’s just his style. It seems like he always had the upper hand no matter what."

Who has been the best United States president of the last 100 years and why?
"I’d have to say Einsenhower. I didn’t know much about him, but he was the one who got the interstate system built in the us."

If you were King for a Day, what edict would you immediately pass?
"Everyone gets 5 acres and a mule."

What is the best present you ever received?
"My first guitar on my seventh birthday."

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"Wait until your father gets home!"

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