Andy Lindquist has been making music now for 44 years. He started his first band at 13 years old, named, "Stone Soup". Andy wrote his first song at the age of 13 and has written, and produced thousands since.
He was born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to a lower middle class American family. His father was a WWII Navy Hero and Pearl Harbor survivor. His mother raised 7 children in their tiny little yellow house at 216 Polk St.
Andy started playing trumpet at the age of 9. He loved Louis Armstrong and Herb Albert. Andy went on to purchase his first guitar at 13. All the way from "Stone Soup" to his current 43 solo records, he's covered quite a bit of territory in his 44 years as a musician.
Andy is not without his hardships. Some 24 years ago he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Behcet's. He married his wife April in the hospital 24 years ago. They weren't sure of Andy would make it. The diagnosis was grim and daunting to say the least.
Andy went on to suffer a series of three very serious strokes. Each time losing his ability to play his guitar and his other instruments. Andy says "Those were dark days indeed. I had to do a lot of soul searching to figure out who I was beyond Andy, the performer and the writer. I literally had to reteach myself how to play."
Andy not only recovered, he triumphed. Most of his 43 records have been written and recorded since his last stroke in 2004. Andy says "When I was trying to bring my brain back to be on speaking terms with my hands, I gained more as I slowly recovered. I am living proof that music can heal all wounds." Since the Behcet's Disease is associated with chronic pain, Lindquist chooses to use making music as a holistic answer to killing pain. "I've find that when I am in the middle of creating, writing, playing and singing, the last thing I am thinking about is pain. I float along with music, and it helps me to cope with this endless pain cycle"
Andy moved to the Minneapolis in 1983. He played with many bands in the Twin Cities. From "Night Train" to "Fat City" to "Big Logic". In 2000 Andy moved to Seattle to take a position as "Heart's" guitar player. Andy played with many Seattle acts in his 2 years of residency in the Emerald city. After being hired by Heart, Andy suffered another stroke. "I nearly lost my mind during that time! I had worked so hard at my craft, and to get such and opportunity to play with an amazing act, then to have it taken away by fates fickle hand. nearly destroyed me completely."
Andy soon moved back to Minneapolis. Where he began his steep incline of writing and producing more material than he ever had up to that time period. "Post 2004 was a very prolific jump for me personally. After my 2004 stroke, my left side was not coming back. I was worried, so I went out and bought myself a Casio keyboard and taught myself how to play piano. I sat down with the song Penny Lane, by the Beatles. I was able to use my right hand and get one finger out on my left hand to play the roving bass line. I must have played that song 10,000 times till I got it right. But I never gave up! I just kept going. And today I write a majority of my songs on the piano! Not bad for a guy who taught himself how to play at the age of 44."
Andy is now on the cusp of his 43rd solo release, "Dangling Participles". Andy says he's back to his Pop roots. Although we all know that Lindquist can never be pinned down to any musician genre....ever! "I used to drive A&R guys nuts when I had my record development deals in both the 80's and the 90's. They used to try and get me to write in very specific parameters. Basically to write the same song over and over till I reached 15 tracks! Ha! I just wasn't built that way. I tend to get very bored when faced with one type of 'One Trick Pony' style writing. I soon realized i was never meant for the major label's"
A development deal with then Crysallis Records in the 80's and again with BBC Records in the early nineties, Andy had failed stints on the roster lists of these record companies. "I think God was always trying to tell me something. Whether it was losing my gig with Heart to failing with my development deals, that I wasn't meant to go the traditional way, in the music industry. As everything else in my life, I have to go the hard way, and the uphill way, rather than the fast track."
Andy was the first solo male singer to ever appear on the television show Star Search. It was The Voice, or the American Idol of its day. "I remember being gobsmacked at the fact that I was staying at the infamous, Hiatt on Sunset Blvd, in Hollywood! It was the place where led Zeppelin and The Who threw lavish parties! And I was there! At the time of the taping Little Richard had the entire penthouse level of the Hiatt to himself. Whilst he was filming "Down and out in Berverly Hills"
I remember my first day in Hollywood, at the age of 22. I walked myself about 20 yards out the door and some dude jumped out from a car and asked me for my autograph! He thought I was Bono from U2! I panicked and ran back into the Hiatt! He chased me in screaming 'Bono wait, wait, I only want an autograph!' to this day there is a guy out there who thinks they met Bono! But not so much. But still super funny to think about!
And again, with Star Search I came out on the tough end. And I hobbled my way back to Minneapolis, as a failed musical soldier! I was devastated! But I licked my wounds and rebuilt my musical self esteem and continued to learn and to be beaten up and bruised. But with me? No contusion goes without a lesson of wisdom! I thrive on the tough stuff. That is what makes me, well, me.
I never was handed anything. Everything had to be earned and learned the hard way."
I've had the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the industry in my years. From Heart members to Bill Lordan of Robin Trower and Sly and the Family Stone, to members of the Steve Miller Band, Olivia Newton John, to writing with the famed Wren Song writer Geoff Harrington."
"Through all of my trials of find myself still learning and still growing as a singer, a multi instrumentalist and a Producer. When I run out of ideas and out of steam, I will quit! No.....not really, I'll have to go deaf or have another stroke that I won't be able to come back from, I guess. But I pray to the Lord, he keeps me going strong!"
Despite Andy's health challenges, he plans to release 4 records in 2018. "I still write alone. I was always inspired by Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend and Todd Rundgren! They all played and write their own music! I loved that approach! And I still do to this day. The joy of playing a drum track never gets old for me! Never! its exhilarating! And it keeps me fresh! I try and learn a new instrument every year. This year it was Uke and back to shedding on my trumpet again!"
Andy has just finished work on his sequel to 2014's "Invention/Extinction". the sequel is "The Tell Tale". Which is a Rock opera/Sci-Fi concept record. "Its a record that is biblically based. About the end times from the Book of Revelation, Isaiah and Daniel. I believe we are indeed living in the perilous, final times. And this record came gushing out of me. With the current chaotic state of things in the United States as ion late, I see it all happening with a quickness and moral decay I could have never imagined even a couple of years ago. Lets hope I'm wrong and my record is only that of fiction. But, I could be right!"
Andy is also currently working on his 6th Blues record called "The River Down". Due out later in 2018. "Again, I love so many genre's and styles of music, the Blues is a great love of mine! And each one of my Blues records has its own character, And this one, is taking on its own face and personality."
Andy is also set to release the double album "The Bells of St. Claire"
There seems to be no end in sight for Andy's music. " I don't know when or where my last record will fall, but I don't worry about it too much at all. I guess of the Lord wants me to come home, I will do as He pleases. Until then, I am going to make records like crazy! I promised Jesus if he gave me back my abilities I'd never stop, so far I've kept up my promise!"
Andy is also a guitar Luthier. Classically trained at the famed Red Wing Luthier College in Red Wing Minnesota. And does a good share of movie scores and commercial work as well. "Chances are you've heard my commercials and never even realized it!" Andy first attended The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, when he first arrived to Minneapolis in 1983. "I guess I'm a Art School drop out like tons of my musical heroes! And I will wear that badge with honor. Although I always stay current with my artwork. Whether its painting, drawing or etching, I need to be creative at all times!"
Andy feels as if he was made for these times. Like the internet was the best thing for Independent musicians ever. "I think its quite like the Old West on the iInternet for independent musicians. I feel like I can really be myself and do my thing there. I have never done it for the money, I do it because I love it just like that 13 year old Andy liked it so many years ago!"
Andy also runs a ministry with his wife April. He helps women and girls in Pakistan out of the Slave Trade. "We have found out niche in Pakistan. The Christians there are so pure and inspiring to us! They really risk their lives each and every day to practice their faith! they die for their faith over there! And it inspires me to keep getting up in the morning! And not complain about my health troubles or my first world problems. It centers me. Jesus just centers me like nothing else!"
All of Lindquist's mechanical musical royalties goes to his ministry! 100% "I am so very proud of this fact. I skip to the bank when I receive a royalty check! Its so exciting to know, how we can change lives with the sale of music. I wish everybody in America would buy my music if only for that reason, I am a secondary player in this whole thing!"
Andy already has tour plans for 2019 and beyond. And you may see him in your neighborhood very soon!