I would only hear many single tracks but oddly, or maybe not
, Shrapnel did more to sell me the Ibanez brand (by far most widely used brand among shredders) and open up the big world of diatonic lead guitar.
It's hard not to like almost everything that comes out of Varney's label. Since I was in same town for some time, I didn't realize Shrapnel had that much influence outside of the areas around Varney in the North Bay Area near SF.
To us, he was really promoting the huge norcal guitar shredder scene and he was an alternative to the even bigger and more covered LA guitar shredder scene. It was only after I moved out of the area and was exposed to more guitarists did I realize that Varney and Shrapnel was more than just a cottage industry.
Guitar Player Magazine mini record inserts were cool and Racer X, Tony McAlpine, and Greg Howe definitely made an impact.
More than anything Shrapnel showed me there was something beyond blues box playing which I grew up with via the Elvis, Beatles, Stones, Led Zep, etc.
PS- wow, amazing playing, Stephen!
- I am totally grooving to "Midnight Drive". I never came across your work but it's now something I plan on catching up listening to.