bora çeliker was born on august 11th 1977 in İstanbul; he grew up in Yeşilyurt, a pleasant, sparsely populated part of town, with plots of pine groves scattered among blocks of buildings. an asthmatic only child, he rarely was allowed to play outdoors and thus had the very limited social contact of his immediate family and a small circle of familal friends, made up mostly of grown-ups.
early on, music was a refuge from loneliness and boredom, as a toddler he would refuse to sleep without music and would tear up a storm if someone turned off the record player. His parents, although never particular in their tastes, were music enthusiasts. their modest record collection boasted a little bit of everything; popular turkish music, disco, funk, classical, tzigane, surf-rock, flamenco, classic crooners etc. some of the most frequently played were the recordings of ferdi özbeğen, muazzez abacı, otis redding, yves montand, charles aznavour, nat 'king' cole, frank sinatra, the ventures and tom jones. during summers, when his parents regularly entertained guests in their vacation home, bora would be exposed to repeated playbacks of these recordings in the background, unconsciously absorbing pitches, rhythms, phrasing, articulation, mannerisms, drama and what have you.
it was during elementary school that he started making discoveries of a more personal nature; elvis, being the most notable. he was literally possessed by the man, wearing out the limited catalogue of recordings available in music stores back then and a couple of tv broadcasts captured on vcr. he experienced a major let-down, however, when he watched a documentary which ended with footage from one of his final performances. witnessing the demise of his hero devastated him and the 10 year-old was simply horrified by the disfigured appearance of the sweat-drenched, overweight king in a jump suit adorned with jewellery, singing 'my way'. this sight would repeatedly haunt him for years to come, even after his total abandonment of 'all things elvis'.
in 1988, his parents bought him a classical guitar and he began attending guitar study groups conducted by melih güzel. the trips to the music school in bakırköy marked his initial unattended uses of public transportation. along with the joy brought out by his youthful dabblings on a real musical instrument (he had a toy piano, a violin and an electronic organ in the past), he experienced an unprecedented freedom. a late starter in outdoor activities and lacking in athletic skills, he once again gravitated towards music. distorted guitar sounds and energetic rhythms of heavy metal bands captured his attention, he sought out recordings, accessories, publications to fuel his enthusiasm for this music. his progress on the instrument, however, was very slow. the material covered in classes consisted mostly of classical studies which he struggled to learn because of his inability to read music notation, the level of musical formation of the attendees varied from student to student and in his case it was non-existent. for him, to learn a piece or an etude for the following week's class meant memorizing the instructor's performance as much as he could and labeling the pitches on staff with corresponding string and fret numbers(ie. 3-2 third string, second fret).
after a year of group study, he started taking lessons from asım uysal, a private instructor, with a close friend who was also a metal head. although they recieved more undivided attention from the instructor, the teaching methods and the repertoire were more or less the same. his friend was left-handed and at the end of lessons they would switch instruments and play through their repertoire on upside-down strung guitars to entertain themselves. figuring out heavy metal riffs of his favorite bands by ear was something he throve on back then, his parents had a hard time dealing with the loud stream of motörhead, venom, slayer, metallica and the likes, in their home. along with his favorite metal acts, he started to enjoy listening to bands and musicians who were considered to be the roots of this music. he bought led zeppelin, jimi hendrix, the doors and john lee hooker tapes.
while on vacation in bodrum, his parents took him to a place named 'beyaz ev' where the late yavuz çetin was performing with tanju eksek. it was the first time he had ever heard or seen electric guitar being played at such proximity. being there while yavuz tore up blues licks on his vintage black thinline fender telecaster guitar through his pedalboard and silverface twin reverb amplifier, was an experience comparable to no other. for two or three summers in succession, he travelled with his parents and they took him to see yavuz perform every night during their sojourns in bodrum, yavuz embodied everything the teenager hoped to become.
he received his long awaited first electric guitar, amplifier and wah pedal on his 15th birthday. using the newly acquired equipment, he could reproduce the timbres he'd been hearing on recordings, however, he found out that having the appropriate gear was a lesser part of the equation than he hoped for.
* he started writing out this bio but soon grew tired and gave up. in the mean time he played the international jazz festival of istanbul with his trio featuring kağan yıldız(bass), ferit odman(drums) and guest artist stephane guillaume, saxophone player from paris. on november 18th, 2010 he made a recording of his tunes with long time friend burak bedikyan(piano), imer demirer(trumpet), grammy award winning bassist eric revis and ted poor(drums) the great.