Robby was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey and lived in Oregon, California, Colorado and Oklahoma, before the family finally settled in Tucson, Arizona when Robby was 6 years old. He learned guitar from his older brother, Charlie, who started him, along with two of his other brothers, and several neighborhood kids on guitar the same day. Robby recalls, “Charlie had only been playing for 6 months but had the ability to learn songs off of records immediately.” Other than Charlie’s initial instruction, Robby is a self-taught guitar player, who learned by trial-and-error and by listening to records.
Roc Lochner was the name Robby’s high school band went by, after two other names, Oakenshield and Riff Raff, failed to take. Robby says, “People kept calling us Rob Lochner’s band,” and it eventually morphed into Roc Lochner after neighborhood kids kept repeating the name. Roc Lochner became quite popular locally and eventually regionally. Roc Lochner’s debut was self-titled and released on vinyl, followed up by “7th House” as a cassette-release only. Roc Lochner was chosen by Billboards Album Network as one of the top unsigned bands in the country. The single, “Wings of the Night”, was released on their CD with 14 other bands. Roc Lochner had over 30 unreleased songs after “7th House”, some of which ended up on vinyl released by OPM in 1997.
After 10 years, Roc Lochner ran its course and Robby ended up playing in a nationally syndicated radio station band called the “Z-Rock Killing Crew”. The radio station KZRX (Z-Rock), based out of Dallas, Texas, sponsored the band, this only lasted nine months.
At that point, Robby thought to himself, “If I stay in Tucson I’ll rot.” He packed up his ’76 Ford Torino station wagon and moved to Torrance, California. Along with his many supporters, he also had naysayers, who said he’d give up, quit, and be back, inside of one year. Robby proved the naysayers wrong, when within one year, Rob Halford (Judas Priest) hand-picked Robby to finish the “War of Words” tour. With five days notice he had to learn, 13 Fight songs, 7 Priest songs with no rehearsal and off he went.
Following Fight, Robby played in the band Treason, featuring Glenn Noyes and Magic Moreno (Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Phil Collins, DLR, Stevie Wonder and more). Through Treason, Robby met Bernie Corrigan, Treason’s manager. “Bernie was a 23- year-old kid managing these veterans, and it intrigued me,” Robby says. The two became fast friends and this lead to Bernie playing on Robby’s first solo release in 1997. The release featured Jamie Savko, Neil Turbin (Original Anthrax) singing and Barry Sparks on bass (Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon, Dokken, Ted Nugent, the B’z, UFO, MSG, Scorpions and more). Robby and Bernie formed a band called “Gillians Crush”, which was a post pop punk style band, with a bit more guitar soloing. The band was close to having deals but they were foiled by producers playing good cop/bad cop, not allowing them to take contracts being offered. Robby said, “We stupidly locked ourselves down with a contract to the producers. We knew better and still signed it, thinking they all had our best interests at heart. We are loyal people and would always stick with what got us where we wanted to go and figured they had our best interests as well… clearly not.”
In 1996, Robby won “Best of the Best” in the International Guitar Competition, and in 1997 won L.A Music Award’s “Best Guitar Performance”. After Gillians Crush folded, Robby moved to Orange County, California, where he did a lot of teaching and started to put together his studio. Robby, and his wife, Jessica, bought a home and he converted their 3-car garage into a recording studio with a live room, engineering room, and an iso booth. For a digital audio workstation, Robby uses Pro Tools. Some of the studio gear he uses includes: 2 Avalon 737sp, Focusrite ISA 428, Demeter, Precision 8, Vintech X73i for mic prees. Mics include Telefunken, Neumann, Shure and AKG. Robby exclusively uses http://www.Bluecollarcables.com for his entire studio and live gigs.
Robby has been playing guitar for Jack Russell’s Great White for the past 11 years. In that time, he has recorded and produced 3 records for the band. Robby has been tour manager for the band for the past 7 years, and manager for the last 4 years. Robby has worked with many national artists, aside from Jack Russell and Rob Halford. He has worked with the “Appice Brothers” Carmine and Vinnie, Eddie Money, Spencer Davis, Herman Rarebell (Scorpions), Robin McCauley, Bobby Kimball (Toto), Steel Heart Allstars, Don Dokken, the Sweet and more. He has jammed on stage with Brad Gillis, George Lynch, Frank Hannon, Jimmy Paxson and more.
Through Covid, Robby co-hosted 100 shows with Jack FM personality Matt Drake. They interviewed many well known musicians and actors, including Adrian Paul, director Michael Lange, Tawney Kitaen, Rudy Sarzo, Robert Sarzo, Don Dokken, Joey Allen, Bill Leverty, John Waite, Mark Slaughter, Don McClean and many more.
Currently, Robby is writing, recording, producing and mixing his solo music, as well as music for JRGW. He also has a new high-energy country music project in the works, and is now in the recording phase. In addition, Robby is co-hosting and co-producing Rocks TV 2022. He is now represented by Blaze Entertainment, located in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a part-time resident.