Mark first got introduced to the guitar while still in his high chair as a baby. He started taking formal guitar lessons from Ernie Ball's Music Store in Tarzana, California (Los Angeles area) at the age of 9. Within 3 months, he played in his first band at a school talent show. By age 13, he had recorded a single in North Hollywood. The next year, he recorded another single at RCA.
Mark became a full-time musician after finishing high school, playing in night clubs 6 nights a week. After taking some time off to move to Northern California, raise a family and "woodshed" his art, he built notoriety playing and recording once again. Since then, Mark has performed and recorded with many bands, including a 12-year stint with The Unauthorized Rolling Stones. His bands have shared the stage with many name acts, such as The Scorpions, Beach Boys, George Thorogood, Molly Hatchet, Foreigner, Journey, Captain Beefhart, Deep Purple, Yes, Lynyrd Skynrd, and Pat Travers, to name a few.
Mark started teaching guitar lessons in 1978 and still enjoys doing it today. Since then he has taught hundreds of students. Some of them have gone on to become professional musicians and music magazine journalists.
Mark currently plays in several bands and teaches guitar, bass, ukulele and drum lessons. His music has been heard internationally on the radio and the internet, and is currently recording new music.
The Mark Banning Band have been playing Mark's original music & classic rock covers for over 4 years. They are a 4-piece band, featuring Mark on guitar/vocals, Danny Magalhaes on guitar/vocals, George Lucero, bass and Dick McDonough, drums/vocals. Videos are available online on youtube and in the video section of this website.
Mark also performs occasionally with The Dolly Rappaport Band, The Jesse Lee Kincaid Band, The Lisa Kindred Band, Joe Tate & The Hippie Voices & The Blue Monday Band. He also records and plays with Elliot Schneider, who is receiving much airplay in Europe. Several of Elliot's songs recorded with Mark have gone to number one on radio stations there.