1991 : Joey Gaedos, Jr. Born, School of Rock Guitarist

April 18, 2018 all-day

Joey Gaydos Jr. at age 11 with Jack Black in School of Rock.

Canton resident Joey Gaydos Jr., 25, who played the role of Zack in the film School of Rock, now teaches rock guitar to kids at the Ann Arbor Music Center.

Growing up in New Boston, Gaydos was surrounded by music – his father, Joey Gaydos Sr., forged a lengthy career as a guitarist in the Detroit rock scene, and Gaydos has fond memories of listening to his father practice in their home.

“My father played with the who’s who of Detroit rock royalty throughout the years. Everybody from members of the MC5, Stooges, Rockets, Brownsville Station – so a lot of the big names in Detroit music,” Gaydos Jr. said.<

“I remember a home video of myself [leaning] against the baby gate downstairs, listening to my dad play and just bobbing my head, getting into the music. I always loved it,” he said.

When Gaydos was 9, his parents gave him a guitar of his own and he was, in his own words, “off to the races.”

Two years later, Gaydos was invited to audition for “School of Rock.” The audition process took months, and at times he wondered if the part had been given to someone else.

“I remember when I finally got the call after my third Los Angeles call back for the movie, when I met Jack Black, that we got a call from the casting agency saying, ‘Alright, pack your bags, you’re going to New York for five months.’ Obviously, I was overjoyed,” says Gaydos.

Canton resident Joey Gaydos Jr., 25, instructs a student during a guitar lesson on August 23, 2016 at the Ann Arbor Music Center in Ann Arbor.

Looking back, Gaydos says the most meaningful part of the experience is the way the film has touched others, influencing many young fans to pick up an instrument for the first time.

After working on “School of Rock,” Gaydos received offers to act in many other films, but he declined. His sights were set on being a professional musician, and that’s just what he did.

Gaydos has played in many bands, including Joey Gaydos Group, which released an album in 2006, as well as Detroit pop/rock group Stereo Jane.

These days, most of his time is spent teaching guitar in Ann Arbor, often taking off on weekends to play guitar on tour with singer-songwriter Uncle Kracker.

Source: Katy Kildee, School of Rock” child actor, guitarist teaching rock to Ann Arbor kids”, MLive,  September 2016.

School of Rock Reunion, September 2013.