12/31/2002 - What a year it has been, so many changes for me and yet so much always stays the same. I'll be forever grateful to all the friends that I perform with and all the friends I perform for every time I hit the stage. You guys make it all worth while. Thank you. This next year promises to be the best yet as far as I'm concerned so get ready for some shows, some new CDs and some world tours! Hopefully I'll get a solo acoustic CD and a group CD out by the Summer. The much neglected Sparky's Nightmare CD will (it will dammit!) be out by June as will the new Honeyrider CD that we getting ready to start recording in the next few weeks. There is even rumored talk of a supergroup called TD and the Two-Point Conversions but you'll have to stay tuned. Anybody have an ass-less monkey suit I can borrow? The beginning of the Summer will see me in Japan with Honeyrider if everything falls into place and Europe is possible if the new record is released over there as well. Also be on the lookout for the latest Barely Pink record, to which I contribute some synth on one song and the Tribute to Teenage Fanclub on which I contribute some acoustic guitar to Barely Pink's track. Well, I'm off for the night, hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's Eve!
12/28/2002 - Happy Saturday morning! I had a great time last night playing with Sparky's Nightmare and Dank at Mastry's Bar. The sets were loose and the band was drunk. What more could you ask for at Mastry's? I don't remember much except for standing up on a table and trying to see how close I could get the guitar headstock to the rotating fan. Thanks to Tony Dolan for being brave and singing with Dank, it takes a brave man to try and wrestle the mic from Travis. It was great to see so many friends out on a chilly night too, thanks for coming out and supporting the bands! Sparky's Nightmare doesn't have any gigs booked until February so we are going to try and finish up the CD and have it out by March. OK, I'm out of here, I need to go get a few guitars fixed!
12/25/2002 - Merry Christmas! - John
12/23/2002 - Merry (early) Christmas! Hey everyone, not much happening this week, as you can imagine. Looks like Honeyrider is looking for someone to fill the drum spot. I am looking forward to having a few days off from work so I can try to dig up my oft misplaced sanity. The next show is with Sparky's Nightmare at Mastry's Bar. Come out and enjoy a post-Christmas drink or five.
12/18/2002 - Not much happening this week with everyone's work schedule and the holidays. My friend Mike in New York sent me some live shots from the Honeyrider show at Arlene Grocery. The new shots are posted on the photo page. I think we are going to try and squeeze in a Sparky's Nightmare practice this week and then take the next few days off to get some shopping done.
12/15/2002 - New York was a blast. Brian, Gary and I flew into JFK at 9 am and jumped a ride to a condo in Tribeca where a friend of Mike's lives. We settled in and had some coffee. The condo was on the 32nd floor of the building and faced the area 5 blocks south where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Looking out, I can't imagine being there and being that close when everything happened on 9/11. It was very overcast and rainy all day, and it was wonderful. We finished up our coffee and headed out to find breakfast at a nice little diner a few blocks south. Breakfast was wonderful even though I only had a bagel with jelly. After breakfast we walked down a block to Murray Street where Sonic Youth records and practices, being the SY dork I am I had Brian take a picture of me in front of the Murray Street sign. Next we walked over to the north side of the WTC ground zero site and took a few pictures. We couldn't see much from here so we headed back to the condo, but not before I looked to see if I could tell exactly where SY records. No luck. Back at the condo we grabbed our stuff and hailed two cabs to head to the club.
By taxi, Arlene Grocery was about 10 minutes away. As we pulled up to the club I noticed a vintage guitar shop and I was gone for a while looking at old vintage wood. Once in the club the bands had just started playing. The club was pretty cool, it was divided into two totally separate areas, one was for the live music while the other side had a nice bar, a fireplace and some cozy booths and tables. Forgive me if I don't remember much about all the bands that played before us, I was too busy soaking in the atmosphere. Right before we played Joe Popp and a good friend from High School Mike England came in to see us play. It was a blast hanging out with them and catching up on old and new times. Our Honeyrider set was tight and fun and I felt like we really impressed all in attendance. Good, good fun. After the set we chatted everyone up for a while before our ride to the airport arrived, which was all to soon.
Eventually we were back into a car and headed to JFK to make our plane. The roads were rainy and slick but we got there safe and sound. Security at JFK was understandably much tighter than Tampa. I had one of my cases x-rayed and had to go back behind the curtain to open the case so that everyone could see that my wires, cables, screwdrivers and pedals were only instruments of rock and roll rather than anything dangerous. Once aboard the plane the fun and excitement really started. We settled into our seats while everyone boarded, and chatted while a local gang member proceeded to "tag" the seats directly in front of us with a paint marker. Tag = graffiti. Security was called and he was thrown off the plane with his luggage, pictures were taken, people were interviewed, jokes were told, and the staff of the Jetblue airlines were very, very nice, apologetic, and understanding about the whole thing. According to one of the Port Authority Policemen on the plane, "this stuff happens all the time." Jeeeez. About an hour and a half later we were on our way home. According to the flight crew, the youthful thug was being sent to Florida to stay with his grandparents for the holidays and he wanted no part of it. He was trying to get himself thrown off the plane. Mission successful dude. They also said that he was crying when the took him out because his momma was gonna kill him. Nice. Somebody around me said "Life is harder when you're stupid." We eventually made it back safe and sound, and with only minor damage to a bass case, all the gear was as good as new.
The weirdest thing about the day, as Gary pointed out was, "I woke up in my bed at home, I played New York City, and I going to go to sleep in my own bed."
12/13/2002 - OK, I'm not even going to pretend that I'm not excited about playing in New York tomorrow. It's going to be amazing. I haven't been to the city since I was a little kid so it will be good to return. I have a feeling that I'll be making more trips up there soon. We are flying into JFK in the morning and then heading to a friends condo on the corner of Harrison and Greenwich. From there we'll have a few hours to hang, I hope to head down to ground zero a few blocks away and try to take in the reality. From there we are off to the club to play and then we head straight back to JFK for the return home. I have a feeling that once we get back the whole thing is going to feel like a dream that really never happened. I'll catch everyone up on Sunday. I'll have some pictures up by Sunday too I suspect.
12/12/2002 - Hey there, I swear I posted this a few days ago but it never showed up. Here is it again... 12/07/2002 - Happy Monday everyone. I know that you are all anxiously awaiting my recap of the big show on Saturday so here it goes. First, I'd like to make a general overview. Joran did a great job of organizing and promoting the show. All the bands sounded great. Everybody had fun. As opposed to doing a play-by-play of the evening, I'm just going to do a quick random recap. Big Mike at the door looked fly in Gary Sheffield's Dallas Cowboys hat. The Silent Treatment sounded amazing as did the Cocktail Honeys on the B-stage. I said the "F-word" twice on stage and got really embarrassed by the flattering intro that Napoleon (X-97X) gave me. (Aww-shucks) Even if I do say so, Sparky's Nightmare sounded great. A shirtless guy ran on stage a-la Jack Black at the end of Barely Pink's set and squeezed his tummy. The Saturn 5 had then entire room grooving big time. Sexy merch girls! Chris, the angry Swede is back! I hugged Luscious at least 5 times. Tony from 4-Star Riot had the best rock star look with his Dean Caddy. Tony D. from the Gita likes to wear tear-a-way basketball pants and wear funny masks. Who's the new hot Gita keyboard player? The Gita sounded great. The arts and craft booth was awesome, I still have glitter on my hands. The Hazies brought the rock. It was really cold at the end of the night. I was really tired at the end of the night. Thanks to everyone that made that night happen!
12/06/2002 - Are you ready to freakin' ROCK? Tonight is the Southeast Music Alliance Concert CD release party and I can't wait. I'm getting there early and staying late. I will be exhausted and spent by the end of the day. I'll play a brief acoustic set at about 8:05 and then Sparky's Nightmare will start rocking at 8:30. Time permitting, I'll post some pictures and a Journal entry tomorrow in case you couldn't make it out. Lot's of cool Honeyrider stuff happening at the moment, but nothing I can really tell you about until it's confirmed. What I can tell you however is that our 2002 International Pop Overthrow show in New York City at Arlene Grocery is exactly one week from now and I am very excited! Local heroes Barely Pink just played up there this week and came home with lots of photos and even a mp3 of their performance at the Grocery! Awesome. I'm off to buy some strings and batteries, hope to see you tonight.
12/04/2002 - Only a few more days until the Southeast Music Alliance Concert CD release party and I must say I'm really looking forward to seeing all the bands play. There are some updated set times, it looks like I'll be playing a few minutes earlier so check the show page for all the info. Had a great Honeyrider practice on Sunday and a fine Sparky's Nightmare rehearsal on Tuesday night as well. I'm still working on new tunes and I hope to post a few on the site sometime soon so check back. I'm off to bed!
11/30/2002 - It's almost December and I am enjoying this wonderful cool weather. I did a little more recording this week and I'm finding a ton of inspiration right now for writing. Be prepared for a 20 song double CD. Kidding. New tentative song titles include: "Friday Morning, Half Awake", "Highschool Drunk", "It's OK if You Don't Wanna Rock" (Marcus and I worked on this one a long time ago), "You Can't Go Back", "Some Days", "Turn off the Bright Lights", "Six Long Years" and unrecorded Misfortune 500 tunes "New Girl in Town" and "Inside Out." Those come in addition to the 6 songs that I have been working on for the the EP that has yet to see that light of day. Those tunes include, "Stay", "Allergic to Love", "X-Girl Friend", "I Will Default" and "Check 1, 2...". Maybe I can get something going for this upcoming Saturday's show at the State Theater.
Honeyrider is trying to book a Japan tour for the summer and hopefully we'll get to work on a new record before we head over there. In other recording/CD news the Southeast Music Alliance Concert CD release party is a week from today and everyone needs to go grab a copy. I'm on there twice, once with Misfortune 500 (We're the Same) and then again with Sparky's Nightmare (Baby! - mp3 sample). Also, I strummed some lovely acoustic guitar with Barely Pink on the upcoming What a Concept, A Tribute to Teenage Fanclub CD that's coming out on Not Lame Records in the next few weeks. And, last but not least, I also played a little keyboards on one Barely Pink song that will be on their next CD that should be out sometime early next year. I assume I'm still in the mix unless they axed the part. Write your Congressman.
11/24/2002 - OK, it's time to catch you up on the first Honeyrider show and Bobbi Nealy's going away party at the New World Brewery. For clarity sake I'm going to devote a separate paragraph to each of the important events, as to remove the confusion from you, my dearest reader's head. I know how trying Sunday morning can be, believe me, I do.
First off, Honeyrider played our first show at Greenback's in Clearwater on Friday night. Special thanks to Barely Pink and Four Star Riot for letting us crash the bill at the last moment. I think it was great to get some stage experience under our belt before we head up to New York for our show at Arlene Grocery as part of the 2002 International Pop Overthrow. We don't want to stink up the joint when we get there. Back to the show, we played our 9 song set that we are performing in New York, and I think it went really well as far a first shows go. Here's a checklist: Nobody got sick, nobody froze up on stage and played bad notes, the stage banter did not consist of phrases like "sorry about that last tune", "we're still working the kinks out" or "hey! quit throwing things!", people clapped without pity, nobody put fingers in their ears and winced at their friends standing next to them as if to apologize for bringing them to the club as opposed to going to Ybor like they had wanted to do, and finally, some dude in the bathroom actually said "dude, you guys were smoking!" There that makes it an official cool first gig, look out New York we are coming to rock you. Barely Pink played a great set and somehow I ended up on stage playing Brian's Rickenbacker for an amazing (them, not me) version of Day Tripper by the Beatles. I turned the volume down and did my best Bono imitation by strumming a guitar that nobody could hear. Four Star Riot took the stage next and rocked the house in five-star fashion, they really should award themselves an extra star.
OK, so I can't completely separate the two topics of discussion here today, so here is how it all ties together. Stacy came out to take pictures at the show and she has been in charge of the official "Bobbi Nealy going away present." It's a map of Tampa that all her friends have been signing for the last eight weeks or so. This map has something like 100 signatures and messages on it and Stacy has been working on it for weeks and weeks going to all these shows and having people sign it. OK, my point is this, this map is very important and cannot be replaced and it would really suck if something happened to it because it took a ton work to have all these people sign it. Got it? Ok, we'll move on. So, apparently at some point during the Honeyrider show Stacy and the map become separated without her being aware of this fact. Yikes. Enter Honeyrider drummer (savior) Mike McGivaren. At the end of the night Mike sees the map being carried to the garbage by the folks sweeping up at the club. Being quick on his feet, he asked to see it and realized that though he did not know the importance of the map, it looked like someone would be upset if it got thrown out. He was right. OK, so let me set this next bit up. I have no idea where my cell phone is, I lose that thing all the time, it might as well be my happy-carefree childhood because I have no idea where it went or when I lost it. I do however still check my messages and pay the bill so I can continue to check my messages. So, Mike leaves me a message, "hey, I found this map thing with a bunch of signatures on it at Greenback's last night, I think it might belong to Stacy, is it important? Call me. <Click>". I panic. I don't know how to get a hold of anyone. Finally I track down Stacy at her house. When I say track down, I really mean I called information, got the number, and called her. "We have the map!" She had only just realized it was missing and was elated. Next, I had to find Mike, and despite his best attempts to give me his phone number several times, I had not written it down anywhere. My bad. I left messages with people, I called information (he just moved to St. Pete the day before, no phone yet), I e-mailed him. I gave up. So it's time to head down to the New World Brewery for Bobbi's party and I still have not been able to get a hold of him, when literally as I'm walking out the door Brian Merrill calls me, gives me Mike's number and tells me that he's just blocks away. Sweet. Quickly I call him... "Verizon Wireless... the cellular customer that you are trying to call is not accepting calls at this time, please try again later." I quit. Miraculously as I'm getting ready to leave again I try for the third time, he answers, I pick up the map at 9:45 PM, I will make the 10 PM deadline after all. Mike has saved the day. All hail Mike.
OK, so on to Bobbi's party... hang on, I need to go get some more coffee... OK, so I get there and Michael Snayd of the Urbane Cowboys is rocking the crowd of revelers to their delight. I deliver the map to Stacy - there is much rejoicing. My work is done, now I get to hang... or so I though. Will Quinlin was supposed to play but he was nursing a bad throat. And though he would arrive later, Chris Lunceford had been pulled away on a double-booking for the evening and hadn't arrived yet. Bobbi asked me to play for a while, so after borrowing a wonderful sounding Martin guitar from the River Cove Ramblers I proceeded to perform every song Bobbi requested until she couldn't think of any more. Actually, she said play every song with a girl's name in the song. I told her didn't have enough time for that and made her be more specific. I think I ran through Holly's Tooth, Stay, I Think I Might (Julianna Hatfield), No One Would Miss Us, Maria, and finally I made her sing Bookstore with me to end the set. It was so cold outside when I was playing that I had to take a moment between songs to see if I really was still holding a pick or if I had been slicing away at the numb tips of my fingers. After I played I hung out and talked with people I haven't seen in years, such fun, where does the time go. Bobbi played some great tunes and The River Cove Ramblers closed out the night with some wonderful bluegrass music. Suddenly it was 2 am and 40 degrees outside so I drove home and prayed that I left the heat on, I did. I slept. - John
11/22/2002 - This week has been so hectic it's stupid. I am really looking forward to the first Honeyrider show tonight at Greenback's in Clearwater. Should be fun. I swear that I'll get some pictures posted from my last few show, I have been so busy that I haven't even had a chance. OK, have a great night and maybe I'll see you at the show.
11/16/2002 - A rainy Saturday is what's happening today, and then a little later on I'll be playing at Dave's with Sparky's Nightmare. It should be fun as always. The New World Brewery show was really fun. It was a beautiful night, the performers were great and the conversations were heartwarming and fun. I didn't write down a set-list but I think I played: It's No Use, Holly's Tooth, Feelin' It, Get it Out of Your Head, X-Girl Friend, No One Would Miss Us, and mum... maybe one more that I can't remember at the moment. Last night Martin and I headed up to see the Gita play in Clearwater at a club called Greenback's. Pretty cool spot and the band sounded great. Well that's all for me today, hopefully I'll get some pictures posted from the last few shows sometime this weekend so check back on Monday. Hope to see you tonight - John
11/14/2002 - I have had quite the busy week and it shows no sign of letting up. I'm performing at the New World Brewery at 9 PM this evening with some very talented songwriters. Come on out if you can make it. Had a good practice with Sparky's Nightmare on Tuesday, worked on a new tune that Martin wrote. Good stuff. Hope to see you all out tonight in Ybor. - John
11/10/2002 - Sunday, Sunday, Sunday, time for some football and Honeyrider practice. The Sparky's Nightmare gig at the New World Brewery with Bob Anthony and the Smoking Jackets was a colorful evening. Let's just leave it at that. Looking forward all the gigs coming up this week, should be a good time. - John
11/08/2002 - AND... the weekend is here and I'm playing with Sparky's Nightmare tonight at The New World Brewery with Bob Anthony and the Smoking Jackets. The weather is perfect and the beer will be cold. I can't wait. What to wear, what to wear... it's really not cold enough for the cool jacket and yet it might get chilly later... damn these decisions! I'll be rocking with Honeyrider sometime this weekend and we even may crash an open mic night somewhere this week so stay posted and I'll try to tip you off as to where we might appear. I'm thinking Tuesday night, but don't hold me to that. Oh, and we are big in Japan! Hope to see you tonight in Ybor. - Me
11/07/2002 - Well pull the plug, turn off the lights, gather all your jackets, move it to the exits, it's closing time on the award winning In the Raw concert series created and hosted by one Joran Oppelt. It was a bitter sweet evening with some top notch performers and a great turnout. I had a great time playing, and I was grateful to perform early so my Mom could catch the set. Thanks for coming out Mom! After playing I hung out with friends and fans, old and new... Nancy ("Holly's Tooth!"), Jini, Tony Dolan, Jen Shamro, Girl Chris (back in town for a limited time!), Bobbi (getting ready to move), Martin & Natty, Steve from Four-Star Riot, Stacy (with camera in hand!), Will Quinlin and more. Speaking of Will, I thought he had a great set. Will's set was enhanced by Jimmy Rice on tambourine, a female backup singer (don't know her name, but she had a great voice!) and another guy playing and Irish drum. I know there's a name for it, but forgive me, I don't know what it's called. The song that he dedicated to his Mom was especially beautiful. Joran closed out the night with some great tunes and all of us sang along and clapped, even Tony jumped up and performed his tune Vowel. Martin and I even got in some good heckling before the night was over. In the final moments of the show, as Jordan was asking if there was time for one more, the theater lights came up, In the Raw was history. The end of the night had me reluctantly declining an after-gig breakfast at Denny's, always fun, and realizing that I'd better make the 4 hours between now and work filled with sleep. It was a great night. Oh, in case you were wondering, I didn't get my CD EP finished and ready for the show. I finished the recording, but the computer gods did not smile upon me and allow me to make copies. Blue screen of death. Dang - John
11/05/2002 - OK, recording and mixing this little CD EP is harder than it looks. Sure, recording a few stripped down tunes sounds simple, but it's a little harder than that, especially when you have no idea what you are doing. So, if you are coming out tomorrow night to get a CD, be prepared... there may not be one... or maybe there will. I'm working late tonight so anything I do won't get done until Wednesday after work and at that point... well who knows, maybe I'll just put a few tunes on it and give some away. That way I'll be creating a local buzz and the demand for my performances will skyrocket. Yeah, OK... So right now the track listing looks like this: Stay, Allergic to Love, X-Girl Friend, I Will Default, the First Words and Check 1, 2... . Nice. - John
11/04/2002 - Man, was that a quick weekend or what? We had a good Honeyrider practice on Sunday afternoon and then went home and watched a tape of the Bucs game. Worked on the record for a little while and then just took a break from it for the rest of the weekend. Hopefully tonight I can lay down two more tracks and then finish the mix, mastering and artwork, so I can have it ready for Wednesday. Speaking of Wednesday, I need to figure out exactly what I'm playing for the final In the Raw show at the State Theater. Stacy sent me some great Sparky's Nightmare pictures from the Halloween show, so I'll get those posted later tonight most likely, so check back. Hope to see you on Wednesday. - John
11/01/2002 - Last night's 80s Halloween show at the State Theater was awesome. I should have some pictures posted on the website in a few days so check back during the weekend. If I can, I may even try to add a video of one of the songs. All the bands sounded great, Donnie did a great job with the sound as always. We performed Death Defying by the Hoodoo Gurus, The One I Love by REM and Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses. Everyone in attendance seemed to be in costume which really added to the spontaneity of the event. OK, so to actually tell you all about the whole night would ramble on for pages so I'll just recap like I did the other night. Stream of consciousness summary... and GO! Natty was Adam Ant, Martin was Brett Michaels, Hugh and I were New Wavers (pins and ties), Sam had a crazy head mask on, Brian Merrill wore his Parade in Paris leather snakeskin pants, someone came as the Andrew WK album cover, Heather was a great Chrissy Hynde, Stacy tried to get 200 drunk people in costume to pose, with limited success, for a picture in front of the bar, I actually played the riff to Sweet Child of Mine without getting my fingers knotted, the Crippled Masters dressed as yello-jumpsuited Devo, the Cocktail Honeys stole the show with by playing the intros of twenty 80s tunes back to back without a pause, Dave Hundley had on a white feather boa, Bob Anthony dressed as Slash from GnR, Tony Dolan was the Greatest American Hero, no one played any Madonna, Tom Polecat sang a Smiths song with Big Kitty, Dave from Car Bomb Driver had his hair done like the guy in A Flock of Seagulls, the show actually ended and started on time(!!!), Roger did a great job setting up and promoting the show, I didn't have a hangover somehow this morning, I played the riff to In a Big Country for the solo in Sweet Child of Mine...umm... I think that's all I can remember at the moment. OK, maybe I was a little hung over. - John
10/30/2002 - Last night's rehearsal was a fun one, went over our three 80s songs a few times. Can't wait for everyone to hear them. Should be fun and funny. After playing we recorded a video montage of pictures of us from the 80s to be projected on the screen behind us while we play. Hilarious. Everyone looks crazy except for Sam, he looks the same. Ah, to have his timeless good looks. Make sure you are there early to see us play at 9:10 PM, you don't Want to miss Matrin's Prom picture!
10/29/2002 - Halloween is only a few days away and Sparky's Nightmare is rehearsing this evening too. We are going to try to put together a cool video to be projected on the screen behind us like we did for the Christmas show last year. Should be fun and funny. We start playing at about 9:00 PM so get there early if you want to catch us.
10/28/2002 - Quite a fun weekend, spent a few nights recording some tunes for the CD EP that I'm working on for the show on the 6th. Honeyrider practice sounded good on Sunday, the tunes are really coming together quite well. I've got a show at the State Theater this Thursday for Halloween so I'm gonna get ready for the 80s cover song onslaught!
10/26/2002 - OK, it's a full day of music for me, I need to run out and get some new tubes for the Fender amp. The tubes died at the Dave's show with Sparky's Nightmare. Good thing I brought the Mesa Boogie as a back up. After picking up supplies, I'm headed back to start work on an acoustic EP that I want to have ready for the November 6th In the Raw show at the State Theater. It's the final In the Raw showcase that Joran is doing so I wanted to have something for the people at the final show. I figure I'll have 6-8 songs on it and maybe I'll even throw in a few covers on it just for fun. If you have any requests let me know HERE. Tomorrow is Honeyrider practice after the Bucs game so I'll be ready to rock with new tubes.
10/25/2002 - Last night we got some recording done on the new Sparky's Nightmare record. Natty put down some sweet vocal tracks for a song called Acts of Separation. Chris helped me get the studio started and then I was on my own from there. Martin, Hugh and Carrie all stopped by and Carrie even took a few pictures! Check the Photo page for the latest. Thanks to WMNF 88.5 FM, they have been playing the Southeast Music Alliance CD and the Sparky's Nightmare track Baby! and We're the Same by my last band Misfortune 500. This weekend I'll be rehearsing with Honeyrider, and now there is even talk of a European tour and Japan. Seriously, I should try to get out and do more ;-)
10/21/2002 - Well the Saturday night show at Dave's was fun as always. Let's see, I'm never sure quite how to recap a Dave's gig so I'll just list some words and phrases that come to mind... the Fish Flop move, shots at 1:45, DANK!, Joran & friends, Tony Dolan LIVE!,the Southeast Music Alliance CD... am I the only one that didn't have a hangover on Sunday besides Hugh. OK, you get the picture. Got a chance to preview the Southeast Music Alliance CD and it's great! Please don't ask me to pick a favorite tune because I can't, too much good material on there. Everyone should grab a copy at the CD release show in December. You have no excuse. Sunday was spent rocking out with Honeyrider. We worked on a few new tunes like Are You Clear? and Hello Tokyo in preparation for our NYC show in December at Arlene Grocery. More recording and rehearsals planned for the week, every day in fact. I'm gonna need the weekend just to recover.
10/19/2002 - Looking forward to tonight's Sparky's Nightmare show at Dave's tonight. Should be fun as always. More cool Honeyrider info. The song Madeira Moon is getting play on OK Radio Bremen in Germany. Check it out HERE on the Internet. Hope to see you tonight.
10/17/2002 - Welcome to Thursday, ahhh... the weather today is amazing. It's 71 degrees and I can't believe I'm not working outside today. I wonder if I can stretch my extension cord on my computer out to the patio... I think I'll just lay around outside in the front yard when I get home. Oh wait, I can't! Sam, Chris and I are getting together at the recently relocated and renamed, by me, Super Secret Studios and we hope to finish all the remaining guitar tracks on the upcoming (I swear!) Sparky's Nightmare CD. Also, in case you didn't see the info on my home page, my other band Honeyrider is getting some airplay in Sweden. Yah, dats right they played Honeyrider right after Luna! Click HERE for the playlist. I'm stoked dude. I want to congratulate the guys in 2nd Day Broadcast for making it to the "Top 10 in the CMJ/Coca-Cola/American Music Awards contest" They going to New York City on November 1st and will be playing the Bowery Ballroom with 9 other semifinalists! From there... they'll pick 3 to go to L.A. Visit www.newmusicaward.com and cast your vote for 2nd Day Broadcast as your favorite band in the contest. Speaking of New York City, I just found out that the Honeyrider show at Arlene Grocery is going to be the only all-ages show of the IPO event. Sweet.
10/14/2002 - Two days, they came and went... Hope everyone had a nice weekend. I laid low on Saturday, strummed a little guitar and cleaned the house. Sunday was full of football and music. We had Honeyrider practice at Brian's Secret Hideout and Honeyrider main man Gary came bearing gifts of the new Honeyrider CD. Well done and lots of fun with tons of Tampa Bay references from the Sunshine Skyway and Madeira Beach to the Weekly Planet and even Diamond Dolls. But don't just take my word for it, buy a copy HERE After practice I stayed behind and laid down some sweet acoustic guitar for a Teenage Fanclub tribute song that Barely Pink is recording for an upcoming tribute compilation CD. OK, I think that's enough for one day. Hello Monday. Groan.
10/12/2002 - Well Sacred Grounds was a real blast. Special thanks to the Jen Shamro and everyone from the mailing list that made the trip out to see me in a new venue. Sacred Grounds is a coffee bar just a few minutes south of USF on Busch Boulevard. The scene is college/high school/alternative lifestyle/straight/older/ybor. In other words everybody goes there, even drag queens and grandmas. The place is broken into about 4 different rooms which great comfy chairs and sofas, books, magazines, and games. The coffee is great too, there is a 12 page menu to choose from. I forgot what I was drinking but it was cappuccino with cinnamon and chocolate. Yum. I got there a bit early and chatted with Jen before getting stuff setup and soundchecked. I stared playing about 9:30 and ran through the following songs/thoughts/segues - It's No Use, Eric's Girl, Teenage Riot (Sonic Youth), X-Girl Friend, Stereo In Japan, the Letter, Allergic to Love (Eric's Trip), Fallout (Orange County Blues), the Rain Song (Led Zeppelin), Feelin' It, Holly's Tooth, Madison, No One Would Miss Us, Maria, Stay, Window Seat, Get it Out of Your Head and finally Bookstore. Next, Jen jumped right up and started rocking the attentive crowd with songs and stories from her CD Stupid Everything as well as some new tunes and even a "happy tune". She played my favorite tune Red Wine so I was happy! A cool thing about Common Grounds is that they pass around a tip jar (actually, a tip "fish bowl") while you are playing and that's how you get paid. Very, very cool and everyone was very generous. At the end of the night we packed up, made the rounds and headed home, this weekend is going to be full of more music so I couldn't be happier.
10/10/2002 - It's almost the end of the week and I am ready for the weekend. Work has kept me super busy and I've had no time to get ready for tomorrow's show at Sacred Grounds in Tampa. I'm going to dust off some old tunes and some new ones for tomorrow's show so be prepared to be surprised. "Why I haven't heard that one in ages!" I'll most likely throw in a cover or two for fun as well, who knows. It should be fun playing a new club and performing with Jen Shamro is always a treat. If you haven't seen her before she's great, trust me.
10/03/2002 - Not too much happening this week for me, I have been working in the studio a little bit, trying to figure out how all this stuff works. I recorded my first tune, an Eric's Trip song called Allergic to Love. Kinda fun. Chris has been giving me some pointers and I'm listening because he really knows his stuff. Lots of things going on behind the scenes with Honeyrider, I'll fill you in as things start to happen. The new Honeyrider CD, Sunshine Skyway came out this week and the first vinyl pressing in Japan has sold out already! I'm not on the CD but it's good pop fun and I'm looking forward to being on the next one! Check us out in NYC on the 14th of December. Check the Shows page for all the details.
09/29/2002 - Greetings all. Well it's Sunday night and I am still recovering from a crazy hectic week. The Sparky's Nightmare show at Seabreeze on Saturday night was a ton of fun. It was our good friends Denise's birthday party and a bunch of her friends came out to celebrate. Sunday, Chris Skogen and I finished assembling my new little home studio. Having a setup at home should really help me work on some demos. Should be a bit of a learning curve but I can't wait to get started. Got the new Blake Babies and the new Beck CD this week, can't wait to check them out! Check back on the web page in a few days, I'm going to try to put up an acoustic song or two as soon as I figure out how my new studio works!
09/23/2002 - What a long crazy weekend. Had Sparky's practice on Friday night and two shows on Saturday night. The Yeoman's show was my first stop on Saturday night. I got there a little early because I knew that I was playing first. Plugged in the guitar and discovered that my battery had died so I ended up using Mark Warren's Godin Acousticaster 6. Very big thanks to Mark for putting this whole thing together and having me play. Here is the set as I remember it. We're the Same, Stereo In Japan (the Letter) medley, Holly's Tooth, X-Girl Friend, Satellite, Check 1, 2... . After the set I booked over to Dave's for the Sparky's Nightmare show. I swear I hit every red light possible on the way over. I Got there while Sam and Natty were doing some tunes, set up and off we went. Dave's wasn't as packed as it normally is, but we had a great time anyway. After Sparky's played the Dank boys took over and rocked for about 45 minutes at the end of the night. A pure blinding white hot rock heat was generated and we couldn't open our eyes for the entire set. Thanks to either of the shows. I'll be away from the computer for a few days but check back later in the week, hopefully I'll have some good stories for you.
09/19/2002 - Fun time at the State Theater last night, all the performers were real enjoyable. Turns out Joran is only going to be hosting a few more of these shows so please try to make it out to see the performers and support local singer/songwriters like myself. We like it when you show up and clap. I had a fun set of storytelling and requests last night. No broken strings. The funniest moment of the evening was when Martin Rice discovered that the guitar he's had for 12 years was a loaner that never got returned from it previous owner Lance Rowland. I think Lance is going to let him keep it for another 12 years. Stacy and I took some pictures last night so I'll try to post them tomorrow sometime so check back! OK? OK!
09/17/2002 - I'm taking requests for the acoustic show at the State Theater tonight. Rumor has it that there will only be a few more of these In the Raw shows so come on out hear songs of lust and sorrow and have a few cheap drinks on a school night while you still can. Order your song HERE
09/16/2002 - Jammed with the guys from Honeyrider again yesterday, worked on 6 old tunes and 1 new tune. It's sounding better and better and there is talk of some shows in NYC in December so stay tuned...
09/14/2002 - The Dunedin Brewery was fun, it was cool seeing Sean and I even bumped into a guy named Frank that used to hang around during the Parade days. Lots of fun and good beers. Sean had me up to play Holly's Tooth, next time I'll have a few more prepared!
09/13/2002 - Greetings from crazy Florida where people think it's funny to make false terrorist threats. What are these people thinking? Anyway... I worked for a few hours setting up a new page where people can buy some of my old CDs. It's the first time I've set up a storefront so I curious to see how well it works! Only time will tell. I'm headed out tonight to see a Sean DeLong from Parade In Paris play an acoustic set at the Dunedin Brewery. Should be a fun evening. I also found out today that an old friend of mine Gerald Hammill landed a record deal with his new band Burnside Project. They will be on the Bar None label, I'm anxious to hear the CD. I downloaded a few mp3s from the their site and they are a fun mix of drum loops, stream of conscious lyrics and cool arrangements.
09/12/2002 - It's late and I'm just now grabbing a bite to eat. My buddy Lance came over and we worked on a tune called I'm Falling. It's great bouncing ideas off him because he always adds a nice fresh perspective to what I'm working on. Well I'm off to eat.
09/11/2002 - Hey everyone, hope that everyone has a great day today, it's hard to believe that a year has gone by so fast. I'm working on some new tunes this week and trying to get my studio up and going in the next week or two. Hopefully I'll post a few acoustic tunes so you can see if I know what I'm doing!
09/08/2002 - Greetings all. Just in from the disappointing Bucs game. Oh well. Jammed with Gary and the guys from Honeyrider today and had a real good time. Cool guys and fun tunes. Learned three catchy numbers while trying out my new Fender Tele. I need to put some thicker strings on that thing... but it sounded real good. Going to start working on my studio this week. (Yeah right)
09/03/2002 - Yeah, if you were following my last band Misfortune 500 you know that I dig doing the journal. So I thought I'd just move the whole thing over to my new page - links and all. Some of the picture links may not work but I'll have some more stuff to post pretty soon anyway, so check back. Trying to get a home studio put together and get some new tunes up and running. Let me know how you like the new page!
08/27/2002 - I'm currently in the process of working on my own website http://www.jmcnicholas.com - stop by from time to time to see what's happening with me - John
08/12/2002 - Yeah we broke up, big deal. So what have we been up to? Check it... Marcus and Chris are rocking the bay in Peepshow with our good friends Debbie, Kenny, John and Eric. Martin has been rocking with Sparky's Nightmare and Dank and if you missed the Dank set at the Mastry's show it was hilarious. Brett has been sleeping off the bad nightmare that was the last 2 years and catching up on his golf game. Finally, I have been recording with Chris for the upcoming Sparky's Nightmare CD, rocking with Dank and getting ready to embark on a 3-week US solo acoustic tour. I'm also in the planning stage for a few recording projects and hope to get all the guys to help out with their talents and critical ears! Be good to yourselves until next time.
07/22/2002 - Well you heard it here first kids, the band has called it quits. Our individual modeling careers have us spread out all over the globe and we find ourselves unable to continue as a band. Check this page from time to time to find out what we are are up too, I'll try to keep this page updated for the near future to keep everyone posted on what we're all up to. I'm sure that we'll pop back up soon in some vague assembly or another. Thanks to everyone that come out to see our shows and buy our stuff, we really appreciated all the great times. We still might plan one more farewell show before all is said and done so stay tuned... Meanwhile will John be touring the US and Japan this year? Are Marcus and Chris really living together and playing in Peepshow at the Martini Bar in Baywalk this Thursday? Are John and Martin still in two other bands (hint: Sparky's Nightmare and Dank - playing this Friday night at Mastry's) Is Brett really the Southeast's Grand Theft Auto champ? Stay tuned!
07/19/2002 - Greetings one and all. Well if you missed our show at the Backbooth in Orlando you missed a real treat. If you haven't been there the Backbooth is situated in lovely downtown Orlando about a block away from Church Street Station. I got up there a little after 7 PM and headed inside. The Orlando Weekly magazine was having a private party there and we were invited to join them and have some free food and drinks. And I did. Martin tells me that by 9 PM I was slurring my words. So, I made sure that I had a few free sandwiches before it got to be show time. Before we played most of the guys headed over to a cool little Sushi restaurant around the corner while I hung at the club and talked with John Youngman and some of the other guys from the club. They are all great guys and it was fun catching up and telling stories. Most of the better stories revolved around Cory Feldman's appearance at the club and the decadence that ensued after the show. Hilarious. We had a good time rocking the Orlando crowd as did Humbert and the local favorites Cider. You may remember Cider from a gig we did with them at the Orpheum a few months back. All the band guys were really cool and nice. Orlando appears to have a really friendly scene and I hope that we get asked back soon to play another show. At the end of the night Brett and I headed out at about the same time and I guess we arrived home about 3:45 am. Martin crashed in Orlando and Marcus and Chris hit the clubs and crawled in as the sun came up. Oh, and if you should ever get a chance to go into the band green room, make sure you look at Cory Feldman's Lighting Designer's six pages of "helpful hints" for his light show. Good times, good times.
07/13/2002 - OK, I'm lame I haven't had a moment to update the site in a little while but I wanted to let all our amazing fans know what's happening with us. We gots us a gig on July 19th at the BackBooth in Orlando with Cider and Humbert. Both bands are kick ass and the new BackBooth is supposed to be amazing so if you got an inkling to head up to Orlando to catch us rock out I should be a blast! Last night we all assembled down at the Garden in St. Pete to wish a good friend of ours Eydie and bon voyage. She's headed to work in Japan for a couple of years teaching English. That sounds like an adventure for sure! we will miss her smiling face and cutting edge fashions until she returns! Well I'm off to the studio today to lay down a vocal track for the new Sparky's Nightmare recording that will be featured on the Southern Alliance CD that Joran from the Gita is organizing. Joran is the same guy that is running the In The Raw concert series at the State Theater every other Wednesday night. I'm off! Hope to see you in Orlando on the 19th!
07/06/2002 - Looking forward to tonight's show with Sparky's Nightmare at Skipper's Smokehouse. The food is always good and the people are always fun and friendly. We are playing with Barely Pink and Four Star Riot, so you know the music will be rocking. Come on out if you can, I hope the evening stays rain free. I'm off to go pawn shopping in search of wood today so wish me luck, perhaps I'll be rocking whatever I find this evening.
07/01/2002 - Happy July! This year is flying by fast. Not too much to report, a few of us are down with the sickness (flu) and a few of us are just starting to get over the flu so hopefully we'll squeeze in a practice or two before our show at the Back Booth in Orlando in July 19th. I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July! - John
06/27/2002 - Hello all. Well I had an absolute blast at last night's In the Raw singer/songwriter showcase. Thanks again to Joran from the Gita for organizing such a great event. Those shows are such a treat to play. It was great to see so many people out after midnight on a Wednesday supporting local musicians. Everyone sounded great, I especially dug Hugh and Natty's performance of Happy Birthday for Carrie! Brian and Mark from Barely Pink also played a great group of songs from their extensive catalog of material as did Scott Harrell. Bob Anthony rocked out with an amp! (sinner!) Thanks again to everyone that stayed late to see me play, you have no idea how nice it was to see that many people singing along and shouting out requests... Thanks to Scott Harrell for coming up to sing the backups in "Can She Have Your Room." I barely remembered that one. Sorry for all the requests that went unfulfilled, I need to brush up on some of the old material ("Thunderbird", "Default"...) And who was yelling out requests for Parade in Paris and Factory Black tunes?
06/26/2002 - Well it's been a quiet week. The Emerald show with Barely Pink was a bunch of fun even though I still had the flu. Looking forward to tonight's In the Raw show at the State Theater, hope to see you down there. Catch up with you tomorrow! - John
06/21/2002 - Well it's been a little bit since I made my way over to the Journal page to give it an update. Our show last weekend as part of the Southern Alliance Showcase was a real blast. We had a great set as did all the other bands on the bill. It was great to see all the people out and down front cheering the bands on. I even offered up my stadium rock tribute performance getting everyone to sing Alright! with me at the end of our set. Tonight we are playing at the Emerald with Barely Pink and I hope that everyone can make it out for this great show. I unfortunately have the flu, so yes, that will be a box of tissues and some DayQuil on top of my amp. I have been sick for about 4 days and I just can't seem to shake the cold. I am getting a ton of rest today and taking all my vitamins! Hope to see you down there tonight.
06/07/2002 - Thanks to everyone that came out to see us play at the Twilight last Wednesday in Ybor City. The crowd was friendly and attentive and we had a great time. Sage opened the show and sounded great, I picked up one of their CDs but I haven't had a chance to plop it in the player yet. I'd like to curl up with a nice beverage and my best headphones to relax and enjoy to it's full potential. Check the Pictures page for some snappy shots from the show. The Beatles show at Skipper's the previous Saturday was a blast too. I got there early because I was also playing with Sparky's Nightmare . I could fill up an entire page with all the people I bumped into and all the great performances that I saw, but I won't, I'll summarize. Bill Pike is a guitar god and Paul, Tracy, Mark and everyone in the Pimps of Floribraska were awesome. Barely Pink rocked a great medley of tunes. M500 brought the crowd to it's feet like a religious revival (editor: aren't we exaggerating just a little?) with the first full rock set of the day, that I saw anyway, but I got there after Four Star Riot and the Gita played) Skipper's has some damn good food and the "Hottest" wings are awesome. The free band beer was "Black and Tan." Not my first choice for a hot Summer Florida day, but it was damn fine. WMNF did a great job hosting the show and Flee, dressed up as "Sgt. Pepper" was a great MC of events. OK, well I hope that I get to see a bunch of your smiling faces at the State Theater tomorrow for the Southern Alliance concert. Check the Shows page for all the juicy details! - John
06/01/2002 - First off, HAPPY JUNE! Can you believe how fast this year is flying by! Totally ready to rock the Smokehouse (twice!!) today for the WMNF Beatles tribute show. Both M500 and Sparky's had practice last night at Casa de Sam. Thanks Sam! All the tunes sound tight and ready for the peoples. I think I might be sporting my spandex for the show so don't miss it. M500 plays promptly @ 6-ish. and Sparky's Nightmare hits the stage under the bright lights of the Skipperdome at 10:48-ish P.M. There will be pictures, I promise - check back on Monday for updates galore!! - John
05/30/2002 - Well I really dropped the ball on updating the journal this week. So, let's recap. Barely Pink were awesome at Starfest, they have some photos and a video of the show posted on their website. Martin and I were the "roadies" along with a few other guys. We got their get gear set up and tuned and kept an eye out for groupies - Van Halen style - so we could hook them up with backstage passes. After their set we watched a few other bands, drank many draft beers and ate some good Cajun chicken. The band that really caught my attention was Avril Lavigne. They were a 5-piece band, girl lead singer with lots of pep. They were all about 17 years old and they were from Canada. Great tunes and lyrics and they were thoroughly enjoying the sun and fun that the crowd was offering up. After their set they had about 200 kids lined up to get autographs including one girl who whipped her top off and had them all sign her boobs... which I think might be illegal because, as I said, they were all about 17. Anyway, I traded them a Misfortune 500 CD and chatted for a few minutes before Martin and I headed out. We needed to sober up before our show at Dave's that night with Sparky's Nightmare. Dave's was fun as always. Without recapping the entire night let's just say. Drunk guys, Ybor girls coming in to pee after 1 p.m.. Dank, and Jokes galore. Later in the week both Sparky's Nightmare and Misfortune 500 were working on our Beatles tunes, getting ready for the big tribute show this Saturday at Skipper's Smokehouse. Come out and join us if you can, it should be really fun. The shows goes from 12 noon till 12 midnight. Goodness that's a long time. I'm pretty excited because I'm in two bands I'll get twice the meal tickets and twice the beer tickets. ahh..... the rock-and-roll lifestyle
05/25/2002 - OK kids, it's early in the morning. It's a full day of rock and roll and I'm awake but just barely and speaking of Barely Pink, Martin and I are going to be helping them out with their performance at Starfest this year. I'm headed over to Brian's in a few minutes to load up gear and head down to the main stage where Barely Pink will be rocking the hot sweaty crowd at about 12 noon. After their set Martin and I will be flying across county to perform at Dave's Aqua Lounge with Sparky's Nightmare. I'll attempt to document the events of the day with my camera but I might be too busy hanging out with Live to get any work done. - John
05/16/2002 - Well Heatwave was a blast. We got there about 5 p.m. to set up and soundcheck and check out the other stages. The stage was covered with cables and we each had about 1 sq. foot to move around on until the sound crew moved the monitors off the stage onto some road cases. After a brief chaotic sound check in which Marcus' mic was off and Martin's mic was so loud that you could snap your fingers 4 feet behind the mic and it sounded like someone was shooting off a gun. During soundcheck it really started storming outside and rain was pouring in on the side of the stage. With soundcheck I talked with my friend Lance and Martin and I went around and checked out some of the vendors. We stared the set at 6:10 and kicked into a new tune of mine called Fallout. Next we played Sooner or Later and off we went from there. The crowd was great, very receptive and fun. I even got them all to say 'moo'. After about 45 mins we closed out the set with a stadium rock version of Alright, complete with audience participation and me wandering off into the crowd to get people to yell "Alright!" into the mic. Aaron Kant was a willing participant as was some crazy guy that I called a girl, but Piper got stage fright at the last moment. Special thanks to all the fans and friends that came out to see us or to say hello after we played. After the set we talked with some fans, sold some CDs and hung out. Marcus ate some bread, Brett asked everyone how they liked the first song, Chris went and ate and some guy was juggling fire while I drank free Bud Light. Lance and I went off and saw some of the other bands and met up the rest of the guys briefly at the New World Brewery as the Unrequited Loves were playing. After that we headed over and saw Robert Blakey's Black Water Surprise and a few minutes of Michelle Shocked. Shortly after that the second storm rolled through and I headed for the exit. I'm not a big fan of open places and lighting. Call me crazy. From talking to everyone else the next day it sounds like everybody had a good time, especially Marcus who was last seen dancing with 3 girls at the New World. A big thank you to everyone at WMNF for putting on such a great event every year! - John
05/16/2002 - If you didn't hear it, last night's live performance on WMNF 88.5 was a real blast. Thanks to everybody there at the station that did such a great job making is sound great and feel comfortable. Everybody but Chris got there about 10:45 p.m. and unloaded our stuff as Will Quinlan was performing inside. Chris was playing down in Ybor tonight with Peepshow and would zip over to perform with us in between their sets. Once they were ready for us we loaded into a very tiny room and proceeded to get set up. I was positive that one of us was going to get a black eye by getting hit in the face with a headstock. A few seconds before we went on air we were still deciding what tunes to play depending on when Chris arrived. Once we had that all figured out Chris arrived and we had to come up with a new list on the spot. We started with Sooner or Later and then they interviewed us for a little while. Next we played the Letter, Lot to Learn and finished things off with a DJ request Lottie's Daughter. It went by so fast that I never really even got settled in and comfortable. My headphone mix was a little funky and because Brett was in a completely separate room it was a weird vibe. After loading out they brought us a CDR of the show and it sounded awesome. Everyone really did a great job on the production. I do wish our interview voices were a little deeper though. I must start smoking cigarettes before big interviews. Looking forward to this Saturday's Heatwave show! - John
05/15/2002 - Hello everybody, hopefully you saw the news on the front page about our live performance on 88.5 WMNF tonight. It should be a blast. I'm going to bring a camera to document us rocking all cities via the airwaves so check back tomorrow or the next day to check them out. Also, if you are reading this and you missed the show I hope to have an mp3 of the entire show on the site if it will fit on my server. Otherwise I'll put it on our mp3 page. OK, try to listen tonight, it should be fun. In other news we are gearing up to play the Tropical Heatwave show on Saturday. If you want to catch us you'll have to get there early, but we promise to "BRING IT" for everybody that's there. We start at about 6:00 p.m. You really should get there early so that by the time Link Wray performs you'll so drunk you'll be lying between a couple t-shirt booths yakking up a veggie burger. We had a good practice on Monday at Mad Music and this week brought about a few of the most hilarious e-mail volleys I've read in a long time, especially the e-mail Martin fired off to WMNF when the asked if we could play the show tonight. Can I just say that we love WMNF? We really do. They have been incredibly supportive of us and local music in general. God bless 'em! - John
05/08/2002 - Well it's been a few days since my last entry. I have posted some photos from our show at the Emerald on the >Photos page. The band hasn't been too busy but individually we are all running around doing stuff. Last night Martin and I were up at Chris' house recording guitar tracks with Sam for the new Sparky's Nightmare record. Hopefully we'll be done with guitars soon and can work on vocals and then mix! Chris is really doing a stellar job with the recording. The man has ears of gold! We are all looking forward to the WMNF Tropical Heatwave concert on 5/18/2002, it should be a blast! - John
04/29/2002 - Happy Monday. Yeah right. I'd like to thank everyone that came out to see us play this weekend. We had a great time at the Emerald as usual. It was birthday night and everyone was in a great mood! I thought we had a great set and the crowd response was really good. It was nice to see so many familiar faces out at the show, the boys from Greed Engine, Jini and Denise, Travis, Charlene and everyone else. If you get a chance to stop by the Emerald they have a ton of great artwork for sale inside right now from about 10 local artists, great stuff. We've got practice this evening, hopefully we can whip up some new tunes for our next show. I'll post some pictures soon so check the photos page in the next few days. - John
04/27/2002 - What a crazy time last night. Last night was Travis' birthday and the Hideaway was full of friends and fans. Sparky's Nightmare played the first two sets of the evening. Next up was Dank. We jammed through 5 tunes and then I headed off. Next up Kevin Steele joined Dank on vocals and Jeff Vitolo grabbed my Les Paul and jammed on some Iggy Pop and other tunes. After a brief break I rejoined Dank as did Scott, the harp played from the Grassy Knoll Gunmen who joined us for the Hunter and Straight to Hell. I had a blast playing beer glass slide, Jeff Healey style hand over neck and Jeff beck one shoulder strap leads. I haven't had that much guitar FUN on stage in ages. After the show most everybody headed back to Travis' place to celebrate some more. I headed home, I was beat. Tonight's show at the Emerald should be a blast too. Misfortune 500 should start plying at about 10:30. After we play there will be some New Wave Karaoke and who knows what else. Hope to see you there - it's a FREE SHOW! - John
04/25/2002 - Well, well, well... I have been busy. Lots going on this weekend starting with a Sparky's Nightmare show that Martin and I are playing on Friday night at the Hideaway on St. Pete Beach (MAP). That night Martin and I will also be playing in the Travis Parker Blues Explosion (TPBX) that we like to call Dank. Did I mention that it's Travis' birthday too? Well it is! Speaking of birthdays... Saturday night Misfortune 500 will be rocking the Emerald for Marcus', Brett's, Crissy's and Monique's Birthday celebration. It's free to get in and there is going to be New Wave Karaoke - the place will be jumping that night for sure. OK, hope to see you all out at the shows! - John
04/18/2002 - Hello everyone! Last night's In the Raw acoustic showcase was fun as always. I had a great time playing for all the friends in attendance. I started the show and broke another string. That's two acoustic shows in a row for those that are keeping score. I had to borrow a guitar from April Maxwell to finish the set! Thanks April! I played 5 songs from my old band Lie's album So Happy For You, So Miserable For Me. The set consisted of "I Will Default", "Take Me Back", "Landslide", "Guess I Let Her Down" and "She is Only Gonna Break Your Heart." Next up was Jeremy Gloff and I'll admit I missed most of his set trying to get a drink downstairs, but he sounded good from down there. Hugh T. Williams played next and ran through some great tunes that Sparky's Nightmare performs as well as a great song that he wrote about his career in Music. Hugh cursed too, it was great. Natty jumped up and sang one with him too! Next I believe was April. She played some new and old tunes, she has a GREAT voice and it gets better every time I hear it. Martin stormed the stage next with his sissy classical guitar and played some Segovia pieces. Naw, I'm kidding, I'm a kidder. Martin by far had the best on-stage crowd banter. He funny. He played "Sugar and the Pain", the first song he ever wrote called "Looking at Jane", Revolve and... another one... damn can't remember. I was hoping that he's play some songs by Final Approach but my requests went unfulfilled. All of his tunes sounded great and the classical guitar really sounded nice. Next up was Ronny Elliott. He has a fun way of telling a story within a song. His vocal style, while similar to Johnny Cash is more folksy in timber and style. Oh, and if you bump into him somewhere make sure you tell him what a big Dick Clark fan you are. Bobby Fritz didn't show up so Jen Shamro filled in to close out the night. Not sure what it is about her style but I love it. Really creative guitar playing and a unique almost spoken-word like vocal deliver. Great stuff. Talked with her briefly after the show, hope to catch her again sometime. I got her CD too, must listen to this weekend when I can set some time aside to really enjoy it. Well after everyone played I headed home to bed. These late-night Wednesday are a killer come Thursday morning but it's always a blast! - John
04/15/2002 - Hello everyone, I hope that you all had a great weekend. I know that I did. Sparky's Nightmare played the Sundome on Saturday evening as part of the entertainment for the Democracy Rising fundraiser for Ralph Nader's Green Party. We arrived a little before 1 p.m. and loaded-in in the back of the Sun Dome and put all our stuff by the stage until they were ready for us to set up. It was really fun hanging out backstage and getting a small glimpse on what it would be like to play an arena this size. After a while they told us to set up and soundcheck. Set up went quick and soundcheck sounded great. We Didn't play until 5 p.m. so we hung out with friends and just relaxed before the show started. Natty's friend Lisa and Martin talked with Patti Smith's bass player, we snacked on some food and some of us checked out all the local organizations booths that were there as part of the event. A little after 5 p.m. we hit the stage to thunderous applause and flash pots going off all over the stage (in my mind). When we started the venue was about 25% full and people were having a good time. I yelled "What's up Sun Dome!!!!" as we started and off we went. After the second song we had our first stadium heckler. It was great. It was a old skinny hippie guy at the opposite end of the stadium that was yelling at us to turn it down. Martin called him Capt'n Jack and we launched into another tune. I wanted to yell "shut up hippie!" but I thought it might get me lynched. Well, we had a fun set and it was over as fast as it began; six songs just zoomed by. We tore down quickly and relaxed for a few before Natty was mobbed by young girls wanting her autograph and wanting to get a few pictures with her. Fun, fun, fun. As the evening continues various speakers hit the stage, including Michael Moore, and Jello Biafra. Iris Dement performed her song Wasteland of the Free. She has a great voice. Finally Patti Smith hit the stage with her band (sans Drums). She opened with a great version Dancing Barefoot. After the sound problems were worked out after the first tune she performed five or six more. She was great, really intense and what an amazing presence. She had the Sun Dome in the palm of her hand. Next up was, Ralph Nader and I'll be honest with you, I was so worn out by angry political speeches I packed up my car and had a beer. After Ralph finished talking there was an All-star jam singing Power to the People, Natty jumped on stage and shared a microphone with Michael Moore. Pictures coming soon! - John
04/08/2002 - How can I explain how fun it is to play at Dave's Bar and Grill with Sparky's Nightmare? Saturday night was like any other crazy night there. Opening up the show was Fromage, a cheesy (get it?) 80s coverband. They sounded fun and the keyboard player has the keyboards sounding perfect! Martin and I got up with Sparky and had a fun-filled two sets. Special thanks to this guy named Bill Who came up and sang with us a few time. Hilarious. Finally the night closed out with a furious set by Dank Travis was breaking string, beer bottles were getting balanced on heads and the lovely bartender finally through everybody out at 2 a.m. (which was actually 3 a.m. Daylight Savings time) which meant that Taco Bell was already closed!!! Dang. Check the Sparky's website for some pictures soon! - John
04/04/2002 - Hey everyone, last night's In the Raw acoustic show at the State Theater was a really good time. All the performers were great and as usual Tony from the Gita stole the show with a song called Underwear. If he's smart he'll record that song, send it to all the major multinational underwear companies, and become a huge celebrity. I could see him now on Saturday Night Live co-hosting with Jack Black, singing... "...go ahead and laugh..." hahaha. Really, Tony, that song is hilarious and I demand a copy or I'll expose you for the drummer you really are. hahahaha... Jen Shamro was really good too, angular and aggressive guitar playing and a very original almost spoken word style of delivery with some great lyrics. We swapped CDs, can't wait to listen to it. Rebakah Pulley played again this week, replacing the absent Bob Anthony I suspect. (Where was Bob?) Rebakah has an amazing voice, if you hear about her playing, go see her. Bill Soma, self-proclaimed alkie ran through a few cool tunes. Between the burping and cursing he had a great tune called Call me John, a song about a conversation between a prostitute and her pimp. Well... thanks to everyone that came out despite the crummy weather, there was quite a nice crowd. It's good to see everyone out drinking hard on a Wednesday. Or... wait... is it troubling. Oh, and my only gripe of the night was where was the food? Dave said that they ordered pizza but ate it before anyone got there. Nice. I'll try to post some pictures of the evening soon! - John
04/02/2002 - Hello, hello... it's a slightly rainy Tuesday and I'm hanging out at work waiting for a file to download. Last night's practice sounded pretty good. Everyone was a tad tired from all the weekend festivities. I think some of us didn't get home until Sunday afternoon sometime. Ah... rock and roll. We worked on a few new and old songs last night. Martin has a new song called Where We Are Going that is coming together pretty fast even though there are like 73 chords in it. Chris and Marcus also have a couple of new ideas. Yes, that's right you are going to get to hear Chris belt one out here pretty soon. We also worked on an older song of mine called Inside Out. We are trying to uncover the magic on that one. It needs something... I'm looking forward to playing another acoustic show tomorrow at the State Theater as part of their "In the Raw Series." Martin is going to be doing one with me on the 17th of April and Marcus will be performing two weeks later. Come on out if you can make it. Joran does a nice job of hosting the festivities and you get to watch Dave Hundley cut the cheese - literally - food is provided. - John
03/31/2002 - OK, first of all let me apologize for not taking any pictures at the show last night. However I know a bunch of you did, so I expect to get some from all of you in my e-mail very soon so everyone can see what a great time they missed! Where do I begin... we got to the Orpheum pretty early so we could get a soundcheck in before Cider got there from Orlando. We got setup and ran through a few tunes and it really sounded great. The guy running sound there that night really did a great job. After soundcheck the guys went and grabbed dinner, I stayed behind to meet Trish and take a nap on the big sofa. After a bit the peoples starting filing in for the rock show, including 7 blonde girls all looking for Chris. Nice. Anyway the guys return from dinner, Trish shows up and Cider hits the stage. They really sounded great. Tons of good songs and they were really fun to watch, everybody I talked to really liked them. Next up was us. We got setup pretty quick and hit the stage. We had a great show, we opened with a new song by Marcus called Sooner or Later, and then launched into We're the Same and Lottie's Daughter. We also trotted out another new song of Martin's called Lot to Learn and it went over really well too. We are starting to figure out when it is that we do best as a band and it's really getting to be fun. After rolling through a bunch of tunes we ended with a 10 minute version of Veil - all noisy guitar and crescendos included. After us was Roscoe and they sounded great too. It was the first time I had seen them and they really rocked. Great tunes and nice guys. After everybody played we hung out, had a few and then everyone started taking pictures with the seven blonde girls. I think I heard about some hot tub action, so somebody better fill me it! - John
03/29/2002 - There is nothing better than when everything pulls together last minute. This week was full of "can we bring the rock to the peoples on Sat?", "what cool new head gear will General Sherman wear that will command a harder rock performance from all of us?" and "maybe we should play a video instead" comments. Low and behold after 3 hours of practice at our new acoustically pleasing practice location... we kicked out jams worthy of a listen. MF500 is ready to bring it to the people. After practice Martin, Chris, Brett and I caught the tail end of The Reverend Horton Heat, I haven't heard a drum solo with that much taste and accuracy since the Diver Down tour. Speaking of Diver Down, what if I told you we would not only give a FREE CD but also FREE cover to our show on Saturday night to the first person that responds with the name of the clarinet player on Van Halen's Diver Down record. Click here to enter! Back to last night, we ended up at Scaryoake at the Emerald, our own Jack Horner-like buddy JD got the dance floor groovin' with "Respect" by Aretha. I accepted the "ruler of the party" challenge and one up'd him with my falsetto voice and bitchin' moves on "Billie Jean." Some guy called Chris an asshole because he wanted to sing Pretty in Pink, after thinking about it, I think the guys was right, Chris you are an asshole for having such an idea out loud in public, but you rock the flops man. Super excited about playing with Roscoe and Cider, two really great bands with great songs. I sure hope Natalie Portman shows up like she said. - Marcus
03/28/2002 - Well it has been a busy week, very busy indeed. Had Misfortune 500 practice on Monday, Sparky's Nightmare recording on Tuesday and practice again last night with the MF500. We checked out Mad Music recording studios for the first time. It's a little nicer than Circle rehearsal studios inside, but the rooms are a bit smaller. I will say that it does sound better though. Really looking forward to the show this Saturday night at the Orpheum in Ybor. It's been a while since I've been over there to see a show or to play a show. I hear that they don't run the air-conditioner. Nice. Oh, and I think we need to have a quick contest here folks. Marcus appears in the new Swimsuit Issue of the Weekly Planet. The first one to spot him and e-mail me will get a Misfortune 500 CD! Hope to see you on Saturday! - John
03/24/2002 - Hello all and happy Sunday. Ah... those short 24 hours before work starts back up again. Well yesterday was a very long day. I stayed in Titusville on Friday night and went to my Father's funeral on Saturday afternoon. What a beautiful ceremony. Nearly the entire family was there as was friend and acquaintances that I hadn't seen in years. We also had a bagpiper play Amazing Grace and Danny Boy... it was amazing. After the services Trish and I headed back into town and tried to get a little sleep before the Sparky's Nightmare gig at Dave's Bar and Grill. I couldn't sleep so I made some coffee and read my new issue of Wallpaper. About 9 p.m. I headed down to Dave's, gosh I love Dave's. There was a wedding reception taking place there tonight so the place was already packed when I got there. After a quick setup and helping Martin get the P.A. running we kick into the first set. I stunk. I must have clammed every solo and missed a handful of changes. I just couldn't concentrate. After set 1 and some grooving Dave's dancers did their stuff we hung out and regrouped for set number 2. Set number 2 went much better and the drunken wedding party started getting into the act... much better. After the second set one of the guys from the wedding party brings a guitar in and wants to play. We let him, and he's actually pretty funny. He does a couple of Elvis tunes and another song with a girl singing from the wedding party. Next up is the Sparky/Dank/Open Jam part of the show... OK, so here is where the gloves come off, after a couple of Sparky tunes Travis from Dank jumps up to help us with the Hunter. Off we go... next up, a Howling Wolf tune... and the next thing I know is that I'm officially in Dank. Hahaha. We played till about 2 a.m. in various forms of tightness and looseness, but much fun is had by all. The end of the night ends on a downer however, Sam walks Piper out to her car only to discover that somebody has jumped on top it and smashed her front windshield with a 2x4. That sucks! Oh, and the morons finger prints and shoe prints where all over the place, can't wait to catch this asshole! - John
03/21/2002 - Last night's show was really fun! Hats off to Joran and Dave for organizing the whole event. In case you missed it, last night was a singer/songwriter showcase night with the stage set upstairs in the State Theater balcony. The sound was excellent and all the performers sounded great. It was the first time that I had seen a few of the performers and they really impressed me, especially Rebekah Pulley, she was a great guitar player and had an amazing voice. Tony from the Gita was great too, especially his "high-school" tune. It was the "song of the night" for sure. Scott Harrell's tunes were an emotional tour-de-force that sounded as powerful and emotional as they do with the entire band behind him. However the best part of the night was watching Dave Hundley prepare the food (which was great) - I must say Dave really can "cut the cheese." He must have heard that all night. Anyway, thanks again to everybody that was involved in the evening, great job. - John
03/20/2002 - Hey everyone. I'm getting ready to head down to the State Theater to strum my gee-tar on some acoustic tunes. If you get the chance to make it, come on out and heckle me - I love a good heckle now and then. Still haven't decided what tunes that I'm going to play. A few old and few new. Who knows. I feel a bit of a cold coming on so I'll most likely stay away from the upper-register stuff... but hell it's never stopped me before. I'm going to bring my camera, I'll try to snap a few pics while I'm there! - John
03/17/2002 - Hello, hello! It's been a while since I've updated the journal, but more about that later. We are all looking forward to all of our upcoming gigs. We have a ton of great shows and more shows on the way soon so stay tuned! We have a few practices scheduled for this week so we should be ready to go for our gig at the Orpheum on the 30th. Also, if you can make it out to the State Theater on Wednesday the 20th you can see me play about a 20-minute acoustic set. I am taking requests! Well, it has been a tough few weeks for me personally, that's why the site hasn't seen much action recently. My Dad passed away last Friday. He was at home and surrounded by people that loved him. I want to thank all the guys in the band and all my friends for all the patience and understanding that they have shown me over the last year or so that my father was sick. I am a lucky guy to have such great friends. - John
03/07/2002 - Well quite the fun evening last night. It started off by going over to Hugh's house to get his new web page set up. Check it out! Once we got the site set up we headed over to the Green Iguana on Westshore to watch Chris' cover band Peepshow play. The place was absolutely packed like sardines. They sounded great as always and the crowd seemed to agree. Especially the two wasted folks with hockey jerseys on. What is it about hockey jersey fashion? I don't get it. Maybe if I lived up North. Anyway, after the first set Hugh headed out and I attempted to, but I was lured back in by Brett by extreme peer pressure - "...hey want a beer?" "...uh... nah.... I... yeah, OK" It a good thing I stayed too. I figured that strings needed to be broken and I was the man for the job. Chris asked me to hop up and play Last Night by the Strokes with them. After an air guitar run through of the chords I was all set. Well, off we go, Kenny is just singing lead and the crowd is going crazy (crazy as in talking to each other and ignoring my debut completely), and just when we are about to finish I bust a high E string. OK, so now I feel bad and it was only the first song of the set and he's got a wounded guitar. I hand the guitar back to Kenny, mumble sorry and head for the door. I wonder if they are still my friends? - John
03/05/2002 - Yo MF'ers, This is a Misfortune 500 report from the glorious Caribbean where there's no rock and roll but you just don't care! I'm in Grand Cayman sitting on the beach, drinking cocktails waiting for the international tourists to take their tops off. The island is beautiful as usual and everyone seems to have such a pleasant pace in life. It makes you realize how pushed and stressed our society is. Anyway, just to get a little rock and roll, Natty and I went to the new Hard Rock Cafe to watch music videos. When you're starved for music, even Christina Aguelera is a welcome sight. I brought my guitar with me and plan to come back with some new material for the MF500. See you guys soon. - Martin
03/01/2002 - Tons of news to report today! We have a couple of new and exciting shows to tell you about! WMNF has asked us to perform at their annual TROPICAL HEATWAVE! If you are from the area I don't have to tell you what a great opportunity it is to play this show. Heatwave is always completely packed to the rafters with music-lovin' people out to have a great time! Can wait! Check to Shows page for a list of all the acts that we'll be performing and all the details. I can't wait to see Link Wray! We have confirmed the show at the Orpheum on March 30th with a group from Orlando called the Fades. You might recognize one of the band members from his other group Slack Season. Can't wait to hear them! - John
02/26/2002 - Work continues on the new record, we are almost finished with pre-production. Here's a tentative track list: Alright, Lot to Learn, Veil, New Girl in Town, Check 1,2..., If You See Her, Inside Out, Sooner or Later, and Sugar and the pain. This week I hope to finish all my demo parts and do some recording over at the Barely Pink secret Hideout where I'll be recording with Sparky's Nightmare, laying down some keyboards for the upcoming Barely Pink record and recording some acoustic tunes for my upcoming solo record. Also I have booked a solo gig on March 20th at the State Theater. More details as I get them. So much to do, so little pay. er.. time. - John
02/25/2002 - What a great weekend. I can't wait to catch up on some sleep. The Cyndi Lauper show that Martin and I played with Sparky's Nightmare was an absolute blast. We arrived at about 5:30 in the cold and drizzling rain, unloaded gear, and watched Cyndi Lauper run through a soundcheck. She was working on a new song with her band. Doors were set to open at 7 p.m. but her soundcheck went until about 6:45 p.m. After she was finished, Marcus helped us haul all the gear up the back steps and get everything set up. A friend of ours, Ratboy, was running monitors so we got a quick check of all the levels, played one song and wrapped things up before the gates were open. We had about an hour before we had to play so we headed over to Mastry's for a tension remover (drink) and just hung out. Closer to showtime we headed back into Jannus and and talked with Eydie, Eric from the Weekly Planet, Stacy and everybody else that we knew that came out to see us. We hit the stage right at 8:30, Rob Douglas introduced us and we proceeded to have a great show! The crowd really dug us from the very first tune. After the last song a few people were even yelling for one more! Ah... my public. One thing did occur to me as we launched into the last song of the evening though, this will most likely be the last time I'll ever play on this stage. The old Hotel Detroit is being renovated into luxury apartments and by the looks of things they are almost finished. I can't imagine that they will allow the concerts to continue with people living 10 feet from the P.A. system. I looked out at the 1,200 people in attendance, made a 'rock face' and savored the moment. Teardown was quick, thanks to Marcus' extra helping hands. Gear was packed and we headed back in to see Cyndi rock the crowd... which she utterly failed to do. She was lame. The Vanity tour as someone coined it. She had so many fans there that just were dying to see her play that she really could have torn the lid off that place. She didn't even have any merch to sell! It was a missed opportunity all the way around. Hell, we rocked - mission accomplished!!! As people headed out after the show we collected a bunch of names for our mailing list and got a ton of compliments. How nice. It's nights like this that really make it all worth while. Here's some pictures!!! - John
02/23/2002 - Last night's Sparky's Nightmare show was a real blast. Mastry's was pretty full and I knocked over every drink that I bought before I could have a sip. No hangover but lots of wet and sticky guitar pedals. I played the red strat for the first time since Spiller and it sounded wonderful, new strings and a set-up really did it wonders. Tonight is the big gig with Cyndi Lauper at Jannus Landing. Should be a blast Martin tells me that they have 1,000 tickets pre-sold for the show, with the walk-up crowd it looks like the place will sell out. Woo-hoo! - John
02/21/2002 - Well the weekend is almost upon us. Last night's recording session with Sparky's Nightmare was a blast. A big thank you to Brian and Chris for all the hard work and hospitality! Come out and see Martin and I play with Sparky at Mastry's on Friday night and w/Cyndi Lauper on Saturday night at Jannus Landing if you get a chance. - John
02/17/2002 - Greetings campers, been a few days since I've updated things here. I have been out of town, as has most of us for the last few days. This week is looking like a really fun one. No practice Monday night that I know of for Misfortune 500, but Martin and I will be rocking Sam's place on Tuesday for Sparky's Nightmare rehearsal. Wednesday night we are starting to record the first Sparky's Nightmare record at Brian Merrill's (Barely Pink) secret hideout. With both Brian and Chris at the helm we are going to lay down drum tracks and then take the tapes back to Secret Studio for the rest of the production. Can't wait! This Saturday, Sparky's Nightmare will be opening up for the one and only Cyndi Lauper! Form of an 80s Flashback! We will be playing at Jannus Landing, I imagine that we'll start at about 8:30. Tickets are $25 through Ticketmaster. I hate to admit it but as badly as that Strokes album is produced, it's starting to grow on me. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, Marcus' quest for the perfect tone continues. We were talking amps, guitars and pedals for a while earlier this evening - it made me realize how much I miss being around that stuff 40+ hours a week. As soon as he figures it out what sounds the best I'm buying it too. He just picked up a used Mesa Boogie Maverick short head and a slant 2x12 from our buddy John - can't wait to hear it!- John
02/11/2002 - Man, we had a great practice tonight. oooo-weee. Everything really came together this evening. We were in a good mood and the music sounded great. Ran through the set once and then worked on a new Martin song. Can't wait for everyone to hear it. We also discussed some upcoming show possibilities in facilities with probabilities. I'm off to bed. - John
02/09/2002 - Pictures from the WMNF Interview have been posted on the Photo Home page. Last night's show at the Hideaway on St. Pete Beach was a BLAST! I'm not really sure how to explain all the hi-jinx, but everyone had a great time. It was great to see Bryce and Todd from Helium Bomb. Bryce owns the club and Todd was helping out at the door collecting money. The club is a cozy affair set right on the water. I'd love to play there again soon, it could become a real local band hotspot. - John
02/07/2002 - Greetings, the radio show on Monday night was a blast, I'll try to get a few pictures and an mp3 of the show posted as soon as I get some spare time. Had a great practice tonight, worked on some new arrangements for Inside Out, and really tightened up a few other songs. Martin and I are playing with Sparky's Nightmare tomorrow night at a new club called the Hideaway, on St. Pete Beach. Not sure where it is yet, but I think it's near Corey Ave. in the downtown area. Hope to see some of you there.- John
02/04/2002 - Great Super Bowl, good game and a great couple of songs by U2. Well the guitar show was a blast. Thanks goodness I didn't have a pocketful of money to spend. That however did not slow Chris down from scoring a sweet deal on a Matchless amp. With Marcus giving the play-by-play, here's how it all went down. Don't miss us tomorrow night on 88.5 WMNF, we should be on at about 9pm to have an interview and spin a few tunes.
02/02/2002 - Welcome to the weekend. Ahhhhhhh... Today is the Orlando International Guitar and Music Expo in Kissimmee today. That means lots of old guitars for me to drool over. I can't wait. Looking forward to seeing my old boss Kent from the music store days. He'll be there with his company Legends Music. I have purchased a majority of my guitars from him. Great guy, loves to talk old wood - guitars and surfing. Just talked Chris, it sounds like I'll meet him and Marcus up there. Speaking of Chris, his cover band Peep Show is playing the Irish Pub tonight in Ybor City for the Gasparilla Festival tonight. Should be a wild and crazy time. Don't miss us this Monday night, we will be interviewed on WMNF 88.5. Rich Ranck will have us on the show between 9 and 10 p.m. Somebody tape it for us, OK? In completely unrelated news, I have been helping Hugh, the multitalented drummer, get a website up for all of his really cool paintings. Check it out here. Oh, snap! I'm out. Got to get some old geetars! - John
01/28/2002 - So, it goes like this. Practice was pretty fun tonight, I only wish I didn't have to get up tomorrow morning. We picked a few of the songs apart and worked on the bits and pieces of Inside Out, Check 1,2... If You See Her and Sooner or Later. Martin is still recovering from his self-inflicted massive head wound he suffered right before the Sparky's Nightmare show on Saturday. The Sparky's Nightmare show on Saturday night was really fun. Skipper's was absolutely packed and the sound system was dialed in just right, the beer was cold, and the food was great. So nice. Oh, and the hot kissing lesbians were pretty cool too. THANKYOUGOODNIGHT!! - John
01/26/2002 - ...and you thought you were done with me today. Just picked the latest issue of Focus Magazine and discovered that it contained a glowing review of our first CD! I was blown away by how much they liked it. No, really, thank you. OK, I'm putting new strings on for the show tonight - catch you later - John
01/26/2002 - Well the weekend is here. I think I'll do some antique furniture hunting downtown St. Pete today. I don't have any green, but I got plastic. Looking forward to the Sparky's Nightmare show tonight at Skipper's Smokehouse this evening. Don't know what the cover charge is, but it should be a fun evening. I'll post some pictures tomorrow or Monday. In other news Chris has stopped playing with Harry Dash. With our schedule picking up and his work getting busier he's only got time to be a one-band man. He still has two shows remaining with them, so get out and see them rock the clubs with him while you can - you will not be disappointed. We should be announcing a new show at the State Theater pretty soon, so check the shows page for details as they come in. Have a good weekend - hope I'll see you soon - John
01/21/2002 - While most everybody has headed out to the Strokes show at the House of Blues in Orlando, I'm kicking back, eating some beans and rice and updating the web page. As promised I have just posted some pics from the Neptune show. (my favorite picture!) Not really sure who took all of the pictures - it appears that the camera was passed around all night and someone took a few pictures of some girls' butts. Speaking of butts, Do I smell a CONTEST! Why yes I do. The first person to e-mail me with the name of the person that each butt belongs to, gets a free, that's right FREE Misfortune 500 CD and an old LIE CD that I have kicking around, and maybe, just maybe free passes to our next 5 shows. Whoa, no fucking around here contest hopefuls. Step right up and play "Name That Can!" (can 1 - can 2 - can 3). Sorry but there can only be one winner - that's life. Band members excluded - sorry boys. Oh, and ladies if your butt is pictured here, and you wish to have it removed, just click here to submit a photo of your butt as it currently appears - for verification purposes only - and we'll take the original shot off as soon as we can remember how all this whacky computer web thingy works. Maybe the next contest will be all boobs... only the random mystery photographer knows for sure. - Dirk
01/20/2002 - So, without getting into too much detail about last night... let's just say we are still figuring out how to drive this truck called the Misfortune 500. Hopefully I'll have some pictures posted pretty soon on the Photos page. It was great seeing so many familiar faces out at the show that I haven't seen in a while, Andy (thanks for the CD!), Andy, Steve from G-ville and his wife, even Susan came down from NYC to see us rock. Great to see you all again. I'm keeping this short, because I'm headed out of town. I'll catch up this week and hopefully by then I'll have some snaps for ya. - John
01/19/2002 - OK, first things first. We're playing tonight at the Neptune Lounge in Tarpon Springs, I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but please come out if you can, if we make a good showing and don't get booed off the stage I think maybe they will have us back! I really do love playing the Neptune, there is always a nice, fresh, and fun crowd there to have a good time and the owner Eddie and his crew are truly the nicest guys to deal with. Check back tomorrow for a ton of pics and a new journal entry! The Bruce show last night was really fun, the place was packed and all the bands sounded really good. Joran from the Gita delivered and amazing version of Born to Run. Elston Gunn turned in a fine American performance with some lovely mandolin sprinkled in, so nice. Nessie, featuring Brett on Drums, Scott Harrell on guitar, Jason Dudney on guitar and Bill Umberto on bass turned the crown on its head with a nice indie-rock version of a few Bruce tunes. They sounded great. Until tomorrow!- John
01/18/2002 - Yeah, yeah... so it's been a few days since I poured my heart out to you guys. Well I'm keeping it short tonight too. I'm getting ready to headed down to the State Theater to watch Brett perform at the Bruce Springsteen tribute show at the State Theater. Should be a fun time. I'll try to take my camera and get a few shots of Sherm in action. - John
01/12/2002 - Greetings everyone and happy birthday to my buddy Brian. Looks like we are going to get some pre-production in this week for the record. Can't wait. I also can't wait for our show on the 19th up at the Neptune Lounge. I'm not sure anybody knows or not but Marcus just got back from spending New Year's in Italy. Hopefully he'll put something up in the journal about his trip. Our good friends in Barely Pink got a great write-up in the Weekly Planet in this week's issue, check it out! Also, last weekend, as a plane was crashing into the Bank of America building in downtown Tampa, our friend Joe Popp had the opening of his new play Maxwell at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa. Starting on February 1st it will be playing again up in New York at the Galapagos Art Space. Go see it if you're in town! The reviews were stellar as expected. Joe sent out some pictures from last weekend's opening festivities - enjoy. Sorry I missed all the fun as I was out of town. Speaking of out of town, I'm leaving now. See everybody on Monday with an update. - John
01/10/2002 - Not much new to report, we are getting ready to get some rehearsal in for the Neptune Lounge show and keep working on pre-production for our next record. Check the home page and the shows page for a download of our flyer for the Neptune Lounge show. OK, I'm going to watch the end of Survivor. Catch you all later. - John
01/04/2002 - Hello from freezing St. Petersburg. Just got in from working on pre-production for our next record over at Secret Studios. Chris, Brett, Martin and I worked out a few arrangement ideas on a handful of songs. Check 1,2..., Alright, If You See Her, Inside Out, Sooner or Later, and Veil. Hopefully we'll get some more work done in this upcoming week. Well I'm off to bed. Anything happening this weekend? - John
01/03/2002 - Greetings all, it looks like we are going to get started on our next record this weekend sometime. Hopefully we can demo up about 10 songs and then pick the winners. We played 14 songs at our CD release show and we have 6 tunes on our CD so that gives us 8 songs to demo up right there, plus anything new that we come up with in the mean time. I think everybody has about 10 ideas kicking around and Chris swears that he has a whole album worth of smash hits just waiting to get the treatment. Can't wait to hear all the new ideas that everybody has. Sometimes just listening to the pre-production ideas is as much fun as listening to the finished album. The first versions of new tunes always have a warm place in my heart because of their poor arrangements, sloppy playing and mumbled words (typically me). I'll post some pictures of the process as it goes along... Hopefully we'll squeeze in a practice this week too. Looking forward to our first show at the Neptune Lounge in Tarpon Springs with the Cocktail Honeys and Signal 76. - John
01/01/2002 -That "02" looks weird there! I can't believe it's 2002! Well last night Martin and Natty threw a great New Year's Eve party. It was a real blast, good food, good friends and some fine DJ'ing by Brett. - John