Biography


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Okay, here goes... I've been singing in bands for an astonishly long time. I was in a band called "The Hawaiians Band" with Charlie Pastorfield & Corky Schoonover & Brian Smith & Steve Pentecost & Gray Barbee & Steve Gillies & Tim Strang & at least one rhythm guitarist I can't remember. We played Merle Haggard & Buck Owens & Grateful Dead & Waylon Jennings & Dan Hicks. That kind of stuff. Then I took some time off. Then I got in a band that had their singer quit the night before the first gig. The other singer was better than me. That band was called "Captain Tunes & His Fabulous Note Guns". I had nothing to do with naming this band but was henceforth known as Captain Tunes. Captain Tunes had some great guys in it over the years: Gibby Dammann, Ralph Dammann, Charlie Pastorfield, Billy Edmonds, Steve Gillies, Bo Randall, John Bohannes, Tommy Detamore, Ellis Hilton. We were kind of a blues rock band - but good. Anyhow, Captain Tunes broke up & I hung out for a while but I really wanted to play some more. Bryan Yates came to me one day & said let's get a band together & I said I can get a drummer (Gibby Dammann) & a place to practice (Gibby's house) & he said I can get a guitar player (Dennis Guinan) & a bass player (Bob Otte) so we all got together & BOOM! "The Casuals Featuring Johnny Sportcoat" was born. We wrote & played stuff people could dance to since that was kind of the point. That outfit lasted for about a decade which was a good run & in the meantime we wrote & recorded 2 lp's & a 45 since we felt that a 45 would define us as odd & offbeat. How little we knew. Anyhow, the albums & the 45 were a bunch of fun & we learned a lot but then the band broke up after burning through the original guys as well as Dan Sebring, Sonny Layne, Jep Epstein & Pete Larsen - all great guys by the way.

I kind of stopped doing it for a long time except a couple of times a year when we'd resurrect The Casuals or I'd have a Hurricane Party or something. Then I got hit by a motorcycle & run over by a bus while crossing a street in Rome about a decade (!) ago & WHAM! the songs all came back & I had a lot of stuff to write & I really had to get it all out. So I arranged for Charlie, Bryan, Sonny & old pal and Indecision drummer Craig Dougald to run through some chestnuts & also try to play some new originals & that's how I made "Decline And Fall Of John Q Sportcoat". With Jeff Romano's invaluable help I might add... Well that was so much fun that I got together again with Jeff & recorded another project called "It Gets Weirder Every Year" which sentiment by the way is absolutely true. That record has Jeff's fingerprints all over it with his great guitar playing, percussion, engineering & production. Plus me singing (mostly) & then help from Craig Dougald, Aaron Evans, Charlie Pastorfield, Bob Otte, Dan Sebring, TA Anderson & Gibby Dammann. People liked that record so I decided to do another one. That one I called "SunGinChocolate" but the cover kind of looks like "Sung In Chocolate". Whatever. That record is pretty different from the last ones, it being more uptempo & - happy than the last one. It has 12 songs on it, & features me, Jeff Romano, Jeff Saine, Mark Maynard, Bill Edmonds, Jimmy Carpenter, & Charlie Pastorfield. I bet you'll like it if you hear it...

Then The Gladstones developed. Charlie had an idea for a band whose name I won't repeat since it's so desperate, & which after a few fits and starts became The Gladstones as I just said. Me, Charlie, Jim Ralston & an assortment of bass players: T A Anderson, Marc Lipson and now Steve Riggs. We play a lot in the region although I'd personally like to play more. We were voted Best Wedding Band of 2010 I think from The Knot which is a wedding publication. We were obviously very very excited and humbled to achieve this rare honor. They even sent a plaque, which hangs next to our Doc Pomus picture ("Practice Daily"). But we never got the decals for our cool cars. The Gladstones are recording a record - a cd, actually - & hope to have it out before the Mayan Calendar runs out of squigglies.

So, apart from the rest of my life (family friends work love) that's pretty much my story. Which I am sticking to. Amen.