||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
|Born||January 1, 1960|
|Origin||Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|Genres||Rock, melodic rock|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizers|
Allen McKenzie (born January 1, 1960, Columbus, Ohio, USA) is a rock musician. He is currently the bass guitar player for the rock band FireHouse. McKenzie has stated that he plans to "keep playing, as long as I'm still physically capable and as long as it continues to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. For right now, all of the above apply. I feel like I've still got plenty of gas left in the tank".
McKenzie grew up in a rural area of Jackson, Ohio. In 1977, when he was seventeen, McKenzie moved with his family to Akron, Ohio. In June 1978, McKenzie graduated from Garfield High School. In September 1978, he enlisted in the army and served for three years in Landau, West Germany. His next three years of service were spent in the United States. McKenzie left the army in 1984. On 8 October 2005, he married Tina. They have three children. McKenzie has another child who lives with his mother. McKenzie started playing a C.R. Alsip bass customized to McKenzie's liking in July 2014. McKenzie met master luthier Jake Willoughby of C.R. Alsip Guitars through band mate Bill Leverty in 2012. After McKenzie heard Leverty's guitar he asked Willoughby if he would be interested in building a bass guitar & Willoughby said yes.
On leaving the army, McKenzie became involved in the music scene in Akron and played with cover bands. McKenzie then, by chance, met Dave Jackson in the rubbery refinery where both men worked. Together, they founded a local hard rock band called "Foxx" in late 1985. Foxx released two albums: Foxx (1989) and Stick it out (1991) and toured. "Foxx" disbanded in 1992, but reunited in December 2012 as a side project when FireHouse has down time.
In 1993, McKenzie joined "Quest", a prog rock band based in Cleveland, Ohio. For a long time, McKenzie had held an interest in prog rock. Membership of "Quest" allowed him to explore his interest as a singer, keyboard player and songwriter. At the end of 1994, "Quest" released a CD, Opposite sides of the picket fence. In summer, 1994, "Quest" gave an opening performance for a "Yes" concert at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. From 1992 to 1997, MTV aired the show "Alternative Nation" which reflected the popularity of alternative music. Quest's prog rock CD failed and in 1995, the group disbanded.
McKenzie joined "Peacetree", a hard rock band, as a bass guitarist. The band benefited from the diversity of the members' musical backgrounds and from the songwriting and vocal talents of Elijah Black, the front man. "Peacetree" released three CDs, Insense (1996), Wonderful Day (1998) and Nice to meet you (2000). Nice to meet you earned "Peacetree" a nomination for "Best hard rock band" at the 2000 Cleveland Free Times Music Awards. "Peacetree" gave opening performances for bands who were touring nationally such as "Mötley Crüe", "Styx", "Cinderella" and "Neil Young". "Peacetree" also appeared on The Jenny Jones Show.
Warrant singer Jani Lane
"Peacetree" disbanded in 2002. McKenzie played with "The JAK band" a local, classic rock band. (He still does this on occasion). He also rehearsed with a new band led by Elijah Black. Then, Jani Lane a singer in "Warrant" approached McKenzie to join him on a solo tour to promote Lane's CD, Back down to one. McKenzie worked with Lane from October 2002 to March 2003.
On 23 October 2003, McKenzie joined "FireHouse" at the recommendation of Billy Morris, the guitarist for Lane, and Tony Avitar, FireHouse's current sound engineer. "FireHouse" toured the USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, India, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Greece and the UK. Allen, along with the rest of the band, contributed to the CDs Monster Ballads Christmas (Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, released in 2007), "Hell Bent Forever-A Tribute To Judas Priest"("You've Got Another Thing Coming", released in 2008), the DVD, Metal Mania Stripped Across America" (Don't Treat Me Bad, released in 2005), and the band's latest full length CD, "Full Circle"(re-recorded "best of" album, released in 2011)
In 2005, McKenzie and fellow "FireHouse" band members, Michael Foster and Bill Leverty performed with "RocKarma", a Canadian hard rock band, on their debut CD. RocKarma was led by Damon Kelly, a singer and guitarist. McKenzie played the bass guitar, Foster played the drums and Leverty handled production.