This is where the nickname "John Bro" originated for me. During 1991, I was
spending a great deal of time with a guy that had been a child star and grew up
to be a noted actor, At that time, he had a recurring role on the Fox network's
"Parker Lewis can't Lose."
One day, I went up to visit him at his second job -- a place on Sepulveda Blvd --
called "Captain Ed's." It is actually a notorious 'head shop' in Van Nuys,
California. At the time, I was between gigs -- and complaining about how tough
it had been. My friend retorted; "I know. You could get a job... cleaning
hippie's pot pipes!"
At first, I wasn't too impressed with his response. But then it occurred to me
that I could make a fictional character -- like the cartoon ' The Fabulous Furry
Freak Brothers" - and did just that. The very next day, I went back to my friend
and sang the song "John Bro's Roto-Bong Cleaning service." The guy laughed
his then over-sized butt off over that one. Not long afterwards, we were in his
studio -- and recorded a really cheap version of it. Not long after that, he and I
had a falling out, as he was well on his way to success and my career was
August , 1992 -- While looking through the local L.A. trade papers, I found an
add that was asking for artists to submit simple demos for consideration of
high-level professional recording. I immediately compiled approximately 10
songs -- some of them serious -- and also I included the 4-track recordings that
my friend and I had done together.
I sent it off in the mail -- and basically figured that it would go off into oblivion,
and I would never hear back from the producers. A couple of weeks later, I got
a call back concerning the project. The man that phoned was Mike Nile -- and I
would later come to find out that he was the current and past bass player for
the legendary rock band, "Spirit." ( most noted songs; 'Nature's Way,' & 'I got a
line on you, babe.')
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Of all the music that I had sent him, he was most interested in the tracks that my friend and I had done together. This was a problem, because he
and I had suffered a irreconcilable division -- and I couldn't exactly ask for his help. But, after all, I was the writer of the music that Mr. Nile was
interested in. So, I decided to just go ahead with the project on my own, and with the help on Mike Nile -- and his partner; the incredibly-talented
'hired-gun' guitarist - Neal Haywood. ; Guitarist for Lindsey Buckingham.( of Fleetwood Mac ) - and also Stevie Nicks tours.
So, the 3 of us, Mike, Neal and myself, recorded "John Bro's" at 'Nileland studios' in Calabassas, California -- spread out in sessions over 3 weeks
time. When we were finished with the project, Mike Nile called up his friend, Barry Goldman (AKA - the legendary "Dr. Demento," -- radio
personality / 70's hippie-disc jockey) -- and I went to meet him at a gig he was doing at 'The Ice House' in Pasadena, California. During an
intermission at his show, I was actually able to speak to the guy and put a cassette tape into his hands. He wished me well, and told me to give his
regards to Mike Nile.
A week later, I was listening to the radio, and my song started playing. At first, I thought that I had accidentally turned on the tape player. I had
heard my new tape so many times that I wanted to turn it off. So I went over to the player and pushed the 'stop' button -- but it continued to play. It
was at that moment that I realized that it was not the cassette player, but was 'on-the-air' -- playing coast-to-coast. I cannot even describe here
what that felt like. I immediately ran to my window -- and looked up into the sky -- just imagining that my music was up in the stratosphere -- and
being heard by more people than I could ever have hoped.