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Written by David Decker about his musical career

At the age of eleven, 4-5 of us boys from the neighborhood formed a band. That band would go on to be the "Bolton Country Boys."
We played at:
- Elementary schools for Halloween carnivals.
- Hamburger joints for food and a few dollars.
- Birthday parties and back yard cookouts.
- Anyplace my mother could book us.
One such place was the old Southeastern Fair that came to Atlanta each fall. During one of these fair dates, our little group of boys got the thrill of our young lives. We were invited to be the opening act for country music legends Kitty Wells & String Bean. They were very gracious and encouraging to us. On that fall afternoon we played before the largest crowd of our young lives. About 300 people! The applause was very contagious!
Thank you, Mama!!!! 
April 1968 - Six Flags
At the age of twelve, my mother read about an audition for   Six Flags over Georgia. They were looking for new musical talent for a brand new section of the park called, "Lick Skillet."
About that time we had taken on a bass player who lived in Dallas, Ga. He could sing, had a basement to practice in, and was 14! The "Bolton Country Boys" were born! We practiced like mad and went for the Six Flags audition in downtown Atlanta at the old Americana Hotel. We were scared half out of our minds until it came time to play. For some reason we pulled off the audition like seasoned pros. Later, we were called to come to the park and audition again. We set up outside the canteen and played for a group of about 5-6 Six Flags executives. They hired us on the spot!
For $1.77 an hour. A PRO AT LAST!
We began that April playing on weekends, and then later every day as the 1968 park season continued. Following the 1968 season we were not asked to return for another year. Six Flags always rotated their talent from year to year. The fickle nature of the music business taught an early lesson!
High school came along.
Several guys and I talked about getting a band together. Finally, we played at a talent contest and won first place! Later, we played at St. Patrick's Day in the school cafeteria. Man, how that old cafeteria rocked 
on that fine spring afternoon! Creedence tunes brought the biggest ovation. After high school this same band (with a few changes in personnel) eventually became Silvercreek.
Silvercreek became a great band!
We flourished in the Atlanta club scene of the middle and late 1970's. Cover tunes, originals, and impromptu jams, singles apartments, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, high school dances, frat parties, concerts, Underground Atlanta on New Year's Eve.
You name it - we played it! And, we practiced a lot more than we played. In my folks' basement.
How tolerant they were!!! What a great time in life!
Silvercreek changed personnel a few times before 
eventually going the way of all good bands...
One of those changes opened a new chapter in this Georgia Boy's life.
Band Personnel:

Drums & Percussion: Robert Banks
Vocals (Percussion & Guitar): Bob "Stegg" Stegman
Bass & Vocals: Buster Summerour
Guitar & Vocals: Bill "Wild Man" Thompson
Guitars: Me
It's Studio Time!!!
Silvercreek was a "guitar band". Only two keyboard players ever joined the band, and neither for very long. Thankfully, one of these guys had serious recording aspirations. Following the band's break-up, an invitation came that would change everything. Our last keyboard player invited me to do some sessions with him at a real, professional, Atlanta recording studio called Doppler Enterprises (now, Doppler Studios).
This steady session work led to my being invited to other studios in Atlanta and elsewhere across the country to lend a few chords or riffs, to different demos and projects. Perhaps the most notable of these are the recording studios for Sun Records in Memphis (the same label that originally signed and recorded Elvis). And, pop singer Al Green's studios (also in Memphis). Studio work has become my principal musical domain for the years that have followed. So much so, that I have operated my own in-home studio since 1996.
Battle - Axe
"Battle-Axe" was a fluke.
Friends who knew me from my Silvercreek days told others.
One of those "others" was a keyboardist and vocalist 
named Paul Campbell. As a singer, Paul sounded just like Ronnie Van Zandt. When we met, he suggested that we form a band, (along with some other guys he knew, including a 
really fine guitarist and vocalist named Kerry Elliott).
Many weeks of practice later we entered the North Georgia
Battle of the Bands.
Result: 1st Place. Battle-Axe did local gigs for several months before splitting up due to marriage, lifestyle changes, and other hazards of growing up.
As a result, this Georgia Boy left for Tennessee in an attempt to finish college and, "get my paper." Little did I know that another life-changing event was about to take place.
Unlike Battle-Axe, Petra was no fluke,
it was an act of the providence of Almighty God!
After playing in several different kinds of variety shows on campus, along with two guys who would become my dearest friends, Jeff Shackelford and Doug Methvin, Petra was born!
We had the name long before the so-called "Christian" group adopted it, but, they were more commercially successful.
Nonetheless, on our little west Tennessee campus and in the regions of the world where its students would go, we were "Petra." Jim Holway, a friend who occasionally played harmonica with us, suggested the name. In Greek, the word means, "Rock," And, that is exactly what we aimed to do! In small crowded restaurants, large college auditoriums, noisy gymnasiums, flatbed trailers, and even in one Nashville church auditorium. During the early 1980's, if Petra was in the house, ’The house was rockin' ! Since those days, Petra reunion shows have brought back many great memories, and many loyal fans.
My personal thanks to them, and to my beloved band mates.
The "Petra Years" were some of the best of my life!
I thank my Heavenly Father for blessing me
with such a grand opportunity.
Petra Was...And Is...And Shall Always Be...

Vocals, Keyboards & Percussion: Michelle Gossett Lasley
Keyboards & Vocals: Doug Methvin
Drums & Vocals: Gary Miller
Drums & Percussion: Paul Reeves
Guitars & Vocals: Jeff Shackelford
Bass & Vocals: Kandy Shackelford
Guitars & Vocals: Me
The next part, actually began back during the Silvercreek days.
It is all about becoming a songwriter.
"Home In My Dreams," and "Love Is A Lady".
These first two efforts at song writing eventually evolved into my becoming a BMI songwriter. And a published member of the Nashville Songwriter's Association. My tunes have been held by a variety of Nashville publishers including Paul Overstreet's "Scarlet Moon" Records.
Pitching songs has become as much an obsession as learning new licks. My thanks to Mr. Kurt Denny, currently the Creative Director for Nashville's KMG Entertainment. Kurt was the BMI person who signed me as a writer almost twenty years ago. Now, if I could only get some great recording artist, right here in Georgia, like Tarvis Tritt or Patty Loveless (two of my all time favorite singers) to record just one of my tunes, I could pay off my kid's student loans,
and die a very happy man, having fulfilled one of THE great dreams of my life.
Are you out there somewhere?
Having just barely crossed the half-century mark, it makes sense to admit that this chapter of my career might very well be the last one. In this story of a Georgia Boy and his music, however, it is also true that many times, the best is saved for last. That is precisely what my website is all about. This Georgia Boy is playing with as much energy as ever, writing better quality tunes than ever, enjoying the opportunity of playing more guitars than ever, and, still learning about this great old stringed instrument that became my beloved companion so many years ago. I have been extremely blessed to be able to meet folks that I never thought I would get the chance to know personally. In a recent e-mail exchange with one of my all-time guitar heroes, Steve Morse, I told him that one of my goals as a player was to still be improving even into my seventies. Steve admitted to me that this was a goal of his also. So whether I am onstage with a new band, or just re-living in fond memory the days from bands gone by, or whether I am hard at work in the studio adding to someone else's song ideas, or creating my own, if the Good Lord is willing, this Georgia Boy is gonna' be pickin', until the day his ticker stops tickin'. Thanks for taking the time to read this thumbnail of my musical life.

Rock On...
Brothers & Sisters!
Bolton Country Boys
Consulting, Audio & Video Production,
Studio Design, Song writing, Session Musician

110 Habersham Drive
Suite 280
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214