Pepper bacon, avocado, rock and roll, and puppy pictures of Dozer--these are a few of my favorite things.
Today's post is "For Your Radio" from a funny 3-piece Activator gig, June of 2001 w/ Ryan Sumner on drums and Ed Cole on bass. John Laney's grandfather had passed away and he was back home with his fam. This features Ryan's inevitable all-purpose shout out: "I'm a man!" This is a board tape by Billy John Henry the mohawked sound man on a home-stereo tape deck, always a good way to go. About 1/3 of the tape has one channel missing, but some of the songs are complete. This makes me miss Ryan alot and wish I 'd called him more often, so I guess I'll have to make that feeling about today rather than yesterday.
I guess by this time the Republicans had swiped the election but 9/11 hadn't happened yet. John Henry's was still on 11th, where the low-income housing is now. It didn't seem to matter whether you peed on the floor or in the urinals, and sometimes chunks of the ceiling tile would fall out. It was one of the rare venues where they would open a heavy velvet current as you charged into your first song. Even if there were only nine people there, that was awesome! I met Dave Snider around that time at John Henry's--he offered me a pull of brandy out of a little flask, somewhat conspiratorially. One of my best John Henry's memories is of poking my head in the door, having been out of the Iowa City scene and deep in my own post-collegiate funk for a while--sniffing around for bands that play rock music in venues of questionable repute. I'd seen alot of gooey hippy stuff in Eugene and Artis the Spoonman (I dug) and stuff like that. Tracy Doherty was doing the door and said "it's okay honey, you can come in." My first john henry's gig was opening acoustic for The Pass Out Kings. (I'm a man!)
"For Your Radio" was one of the first rock songs I'd put out there, and it had nothing to do with the acoustic album of the same name other than that it's a retroactive title track, contrary to the folk pop stylings of said record, and a total VU swipe.
So, we are opening for John Doe and his band this week. That is going to be off the freakin' hook.