by Claire Magnanini
As WHS senior Max Carle was learning to master parallel parking during his lessons with Five Star Driving School, he never could have foreseen landing a spot as a guitarist of a band led by his driving instructor.
Driving instructor Kevin Permison heard about Carle’s nine years of experience playing guitar and immediately invited him to a studio in Scotch Plains as a potential new band member. Their meetup revealed a little-known fact: three 30-year-old driving instructors and one 17-year-old high school student makes the perfect foundation for a band.
So what exactly is it about Carle that earned him a spot in this unique new group? Said Permison: “I invited him to my studio to jam, and he was awesome! He had soul!”
Carle had discovered his passion for guitar at a young age, when he convinced his parents to let him take guitar lessons instead of piano. Classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, the Eagles and Boston, as well Carle’s idols, Joe Bonamassa and Carlos Santana, shaped him into the guitar player he is today.
Even though Carle’s band remains nameless and has yet to perform publically, they are well on their way. The band has been planning to perform in local venues and even in New York City by Thanksgiving.
The band has already recorded several songs and is working to complete the album before their teenage guitarist leaves for college.
While Carle tries to find time to balance his schoolwork and commitment to music, his fellow band members are facing some slightly different obstacles. Said Carle, “It’s pretty interesting because they are all talking about their kids and their past experiences and stuff, and I’m just like ‘I have midterms.’”
The musician not only got his driver’s license with the help of Five Star Driving School, but he also discovered a means for developing his own talents as a guitarist.