He’s ready to rock and he’s on a roll
It has only been three and a half years since local rock star Alex Dikken picked up and started learning to play guitar, but at 11 years old, he has already shared the stage with the Minneapolis 80s hair band, Hairball.
Alex is the youngest son of Matt and Jean Dikken, of Blue Earth, and says he has always wanted to play guitar.
The Faribault County Register was lucky enough to get a one on one interview with this local legend in the making.
Dikken, donning a Guns N’ Roses T-shirt, took us down into his studio where he has his guitars set up along with his brother Jacob’s drum set. The duo often practice together now since his older brother got the drum set this past summer.
With two chairs set up for an interview, Dikken’s room was decorated with the artist’s mentors from 80s rock bands.
Without hesitation, Dikken picked up his acoustic guitar and began fiddling with the strings, strumming a few tunes. Though he has just started learning how to play acoustic, he has been learning by ear.
What got you interested in playing guitar?
“I have always wanted to play guitar, since I can remember. It just sounds so good and I wanted to learn to do it myself.”
How have you learned to play?
“I take lessons from Mr. (Mark) Frahm. He’s really cool. He makes it so much fun. I learned electric guitar first, and I’m now just learning acoustic.”
What do you like about playing guitar?
“I just like jammin’ out and playing with my brother. That’s the best part.”
Tell us about your experience sharing the stage with Hairball.
“I wasn’t nervous, actually. Jacob was the one who got me on stage. He asked if the lady selling T-shirts could get my guitar signed by them and they said the only way they would sign it is if I went up there and played with them.
I was like, party on! I was more excited than I was nervous. We played “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. It was so fun.
That was in Blue Earth. In Fairmont, we played “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.” That was pretty fun.”
Jean Dikken pulls out her phone to show exclusive footage of Alex Dikken on stage with his Hairball idols.
As he prepares his guitar, Dikken is asked his name by Hairball front man Smiley.
Dikken’s response is a loud, rock-star answer: “My name is Alex Dikken!” as the crowd in the background goes wild and Dikken’s smile can be seen a mile away.
So, you played with Hairball on stage twice? How did you get the second chance?
“Yep. During the second show, I waved at Smiley (lead singer for Hairball) and he recognized me and pulled me on stage. He got a guitar hooked up for me, told me the chords, and we rocked the house. It was awesome.”
What grade are you in?
“Fifth grade. Miss Lindsay Johnson’s class. She’s really nice.”
What’s your favorite class?
“Besides music, I really like reading.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A rock star. In an 80s hair band. It has to be. I think that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, since I can remember.”
What are some of your favorite bands and inspirations?
“I like Hairball, of course. They’re really fun guys. Other than that, Guns n Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leopard, Scorpions. There’s tons. All the good 80s rock bands. But I also like to play Christmas music, too.”
What got you into 80s rock, specifically?
“I was with my dad in his truck, and I heard it one day on the radio, and I thought ‘this is cool’ and have liked it ever since.”
Have you played any other concerts or shows?
“I’ve played at Dikken’s a few times for special occasions, I also play at church, and I’ve played at a wedding before too.
I hope I can get some more gigs this summer since Jake has his drums now.”
What is your favorite song to play?
“Every Rose has its Thorn” by Poison. Want to hear it?”
The room then got quiet for a minute as Dikken picked up his guitar and pic and gathered his fingers to the right frets and began to strum.
Though Dikken feels he has much more to learn, it is evident the young man has a passion that cannot be held back. He says he will keep on rocking in the free world until his fingers fall off.
Now that is spoken like a true rock star.