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Archives


January 2000 - December 2000


January 4, 2000

Happy New Year! Back in December of the last century, I believe... Adam, Ed, and I recorded a CD titled, BLENDRE. This EP, containing 5 songs came to life in Hoboken, New Jersey. For the record the total experience was a positive one for all involved. I was very happy to find out that we can "work" as a band. We really worked well together. We were a team. It felt good. Our last recording experience was fraught with trouble from early on. I must say it wasn't a waste of time though, for it helped Ed and I this time around. We were better prepared. Once again I learned how much more I need to learn. The best part is I don't mind learning. Every aspect of recording I love! I must make sure I provide the opportunity to do this the rest of my days. By this time it is evident that all 3 of share the sentiment that we're happy with Adam being part of the band. He truly is a pleasure to work with on many levels. From helping me with the bass to just showing up on time with a smile on his face! It's so nice to be able to bring a song idea to the table and not have that fear of compromise surround it. Adam is very capable and he always pleasantly surprises me. That's not to say that there weren't any reservations. Ed was concerned that Adam might fall into trying to "convert" instead of trying to "blend". I was concerned that Adam couldn't fit in our rehearsal studio because the ceilings are low and Adam is tall. But so far Adam's painted a picture of himself as an open minded person who can respect that there are 3 members of the band and that we're here to blend not to dominate. Though the 3 of us come from different backgrounds it seems we have the best of all 3 worlds. When this is all over the 3 of us will be better musicians and artists (and hopefully humans)than we were when we started out.

Peace, John
February 10, 2000

Things are moving along. I canít wait until we have enough songs to play out. As always there is more to see than meets the eye. As time goes by I can see how things are going to be more complicated than originally thought. It seems Adam is a lot more different than Ed and I initially counted on. Itís more than his view on drugs, itís his views on music. I totally understand that we all donít have to be exactly alike. In fact I prefer to be individuals. Itís just that I wonder if our opposing viewpoints will get in the way of making music. The bottom line is if we all have the same goals and respect each other than there is no problem. Well, thatís the problem. Adam, at this point doesnít have the same drive as Ed and I do. He has a good day job and is happy there but to Ed and I Blendre is our life. Itís ďdo or dieĒ sort to speak. We want to get as good as we can as soon as we can. Get that record contract. Adam , doesnít care. Heís in no rush. He has his day job and his web site business. Before I make my next statement, I must say this; Adam is an extremely talented guitar player, and I feel as a bassist I can learn a lot from him butÖhe doesnít even own a Beatles album. What Iím trying to say is I feel that he doesnít respect my heroes or what my goals are as far as contributions go to the bandís music. I feel heís trying to turn my apples into oranges. The people I strive to have the same integrity as he doesnít even know exist! This could be a big problem. Well, weíll have to have a talk.

Peace, John
March 25, 2000

Today, WDIY (93.9 FM) a community public radio station in Bethlehem, PA, added Blendre Music to their playlist. Stewart Brodian, the host of one of their programs that showcases Alternative music, has featured the songs, ďLet Go My EgoĒ, ďOff The GroundĒ, and ďGlass PeopleĒ. Even though we now have had actual airplay, we havenít actually heard it on the radio yet because WDIY doesnít reach the New York City area. Stewart was kind enough to send us a tape of his show. As a child I always dreamed of hearing my music on the radio. It was really thrilling to hear him say that was Julian Lennon, and before that, Blendre with ĒLet Go My EgoĒ. It felt like a glimpse of the future. I canít believe how things are moving along. Not too long ago we didnít even have a guitarist and now we have a CD, web site, and airplay ! It may not mean much to some but to me it means a lot. Weíre doing everything we should be doing to bring our goals closer to their achievement. One step at a time...

Peace, John
April 7, 2000

In writing this journal I walk a thin line between being honest and airing dirty laundry. Iím often faced with having to make decisions on what I want to write based on itís impact on other peopleís privacy. This is the reason there are no last names ever mentioned in the journal with the exception of people who are already in the public eye. I go to great lengths to keep the journalís integrity without violating others. I write this in regards to Adam. It is integral to the story of Blendre to show the differences between Adam and Ed and myself and how we overcome them. To show what Iím feeling, what Edís feeling and what Adam is feeling.How we learn tolerance and respect for each, and in turn all types of people. The hope is when others read our little journal they may in some way learn to be a little more tolerant in their own lives (yeah, right). AnywayÖ the past few practices have been getting a little stressful. It sometimes feels like because Adam hasnít as much at stake as Ed and I do heís totally uninterested in game plans or time frames. He looses sight that there is a purpose to everything we do during practice, there is a rehearsal outline. Thereís a lot of ineffectual communication. A lot of time is spent explaining to Adam the premise of the band again, explaining that skill does not supercede creativity and because he may play an instrument better than another person doesnít give him the right or the duty to squish someone elseís flame or spark. The good thing is Adam is 100 % into communication and is always willing to communicate. Itís just a matter or learning each otherís lexicon. This band is a marriage of sorts and it is as important to me as it is to any traditional marriage. So I analyze because I want it to be the best it can be. There was no rehearsal tonight so I decided to go over Adamís house to discuss my concerns with him. To find out if we were on the same page. To make sure that our differences didnít make us harbor any hidden hostility. I mean we have a pretty safe sanctuary type atmosphere when we rehearse now and I would like to keep it this way. Adam, ended up cooking diner and it turns out Adam can cook. He made some kind of stir-fry dish. He cooked the meat separate for himself. We spoke after we ate for a couple of hours. I feel we really made progress in terms of understand and showing respect for our differences. He conveyed to me a sincere desire to not let our unlikeness ness get in the way of making music. A lot of vulnerability was displayed tonight on both sides. This was great because itís hard to build trust without it.

Peace, John
April 14, 2000

Just got back a lot of show confirmations. The full list is on our Show Info page. This can be found on the Band News page. Iím excited about the feedback from the booking people. I was a little scared of what people will think of the music solely based on our CD. Itís funny, it seems that in some cases, strangers respond a lot more enthusiastically than some people that know me personally. Iím speaking about my family. My Mom loves everything I do but my brothers could take Blendre or leave it. Theyíre married with children and feel the music is too loud for them. They also prefer to hear me like theyíre use to hearing me, sitting down and singing at a piano, a Billy Joel clone. Needless to say I donít do that any longer. I donít even play the piano anymore. Anyhow Iím real glad about the feedback from the booking people of most clubs. Especially the ones in NYC. Weíve received no negative response from bookers; itís just that after getting some really enthusiastic ones itís disappointing to get blah ones. I know thatís the way things go. Iím not setting myself up to always hear praise. Iím probably never going to read reviews, good or bad.

Peace, John
June 28, 2000

Tonight, we played our first unofficial, unannounced show. It was a dress rehearsal for our first real show at Obsessions this Friday. It was at a bar Adam hangs out at, called Jimmy Macs. Its somewhere in Tenafly, NJ. It looks like a great place to eat and hang out in but a horrible place for live original music. It reminded me of an IHOP. Same lighting and atmosphere. There was no stage area; we had to move tables and chairs. I couldnít help but feel like we were intruding. I felt like we were intruding and that the bar was doing us a favor and that we werenít going to be able to make it worth their while. We had to use all of our own equipment. My PA isnít really made to use for shows. Itís mostly meant just for a rehearsal in a small space. So all of the vocals sounded like I was being held hostage and had to sing with a cloth over my mouth. We were also concerned about meeting Adams friends. To add to the pressure Adam, invited his parents (who were awesome by the way). Adamís friends were cool too. They were polite and didnít really look at Ed and I like we were some tattooed weirdoes from the city. At least not to our faces. Well, unbeknownst to Adam, Ed and I were dreading this night to begin with. Adam was very excited about playing here and we didnít want to rain on his parade, so we kept our mouth shut until the end of the evening. We knew it wasnít the best venue for Blendre music. The show itself was horrible but in a good way. It was really a character builder. We were standing 3 feet from the bar. People were trying to watch the TV and were getting annoyed with each song. Finally we finished to a smattering of polite applause. I ran out to the car like a ferret released from a trapped with all of his limbs still attached and in working order, while Ed and Adam broke down the equipment. Afterwards we stopped at a diner to gather our thoughts. When I looked at things on the surface I was very upset because I have many standards for the band and felt we didnít reach any of them. But after talking about it with Adam and Ed I felt a lot better. I learned to let go a little more of things that are out of my control. It wasnít the end of the world. We didnít kill anyone. We werenít awful; we were just out of our element. People donít want to go out to eat and have the surprise of loud music in their faces when theyíre trying to watch the game. This evening makes us really look forward to our show on Friday because right off the bat it will be an appropriate venue. People will be more receptive to us there.

Peace, John

June 30, 2000

First off I must say that Obsessions has a great elevated stage, great lighting and good sound, and itís all ages allowed. However,itís in the middle of nowhere, NJ and has virtually no walk in crowd. Itís pay to play which means you have to sell tickets in order to play there. They have 6 bands a night. The band that sells the most tickets gets to choose when they go on. So, you walk in the place not knowing when it will be your time to go on. In other clubs theyíll give you a time and it generally is close to when you go on give or take a Ĺ hour. At this club you can go on anywhere from 8:30pm Ė 1:30am. This makes it difficult to get people to go to the show because you canít give them a precise time. It was a miracle we were able to sell 28 tickets. 20 was the minimum needed to play. We arrived at 6:30pm. We were nervous because it was our first real show. Like I was saying the club is really a beautiful venue. We didnít get to go on until 12:45am and we werenít the last band, there was one more after us. We were exhausted but we did. The crowd dwindled down from 150 to 45. We managed to keep these 45 people alive and moving. They responded very well. Tonight also marked the birth of the Blendrettes. The Blendrettes were this group of girls who made their own Blendre T-Shirts and displayed their support for the band in a very enthusiastic way. They really made the night special for me. As a band we did ok,we were a little sloppy but for the most part no one noticed the few little mistakes but us. Well, with the exception of when I messed up the lyrics to Green. I just finished writing the lyrics in the car on the ride to the club. All throughout the evening before we went on I had the Blendrettes help me with the memorizing of the new words of the night. Finally around 11:00pm, I had the words burned on my brain. Just as a precaution, I had some friends stand at the foot of the stage with the lyrics and the plan would be for them to sing along , and if I got lost their sing would hopefully jog my memory. Or so I thought, when the actual song had to be sung of course I went blank and sang some gibberish. From the stage I couldnít hear or see the my helpers. It was really funny. I plodded along and had a good time and thankfully so did the crowd. I do feel we were the best band of the night. We were the most professional of the bands and we put on a little show. I spoke to the crowd a little, I was the only member of a band that even acknowledged the club and itís owners from the stage, I also was the only person to wish everyone a safe ride home. Adam broke a string during the last song and was a total pro. The way he compensated, no one noticed. Overall, it was a very pleasant show. There is no doubt in my mind that I want to do this forever.

Peace, John



July 15, 2000

Despite Ed loosing a drum stick the show went pretty well. The crowd at Love Sexy was made up friends and well wishers of all of the bands mixed in with a small percentage of walk ins. We went on next to last and were packed up and out of the club by 12:30am. Getting out was a lot easier than getting in. Hoboken is a pain in the neck when it comes to finding parking. The sound system at the club sucks and the sound guy doesnít listen to your requests but the location of the place is good. Itís close to home so itís always easy to get our friends to come to a show. Weíre getting better and better by the minute. Things musically feel tighter. I look forward to more and more shows. Iím so glad we have so many more booked. We had to turn a few bookings down because Adam wouldnít be able to make them because he would be away on business, so, I had to say a polite no thanks to these clubs. If we didnít have so many shows lined up already I would be upset about turning down shows at this point but right now I canít complain.

Peace, John



August 17, 2000

Itís been about a month since our last show. Today we are at the famous Kennyís Castaways in NYC. The club itself is really nice itís not that big but it has like 2 levels and video monitors on the stage, really cool. The sound system was pretty good, probably the best weíve had so far. There was a nice crowd for a Thursday night. New York City always has nice crowds any night of the week. After unloading our equipment I had to drive around for like an hour looking for parking. Unlike Hoboken, there are parking lots on almost every block. Just as I was about to shell out twenty bucks to pay to park, I lucked out and found a spot around the corner from the club. Once inside I was greeted by friendly faces some I knew and some I didnít. All 3 of us were very excited and ready for this show our New York City debut! The show was going fine until a drunk in the audience kept yelling out the words Weezer to the stage. His yelling got so out of hand that people in the crowd started getting annoyed at the idiot yelling. The drunk didnít annoy me until I noticed that a fight was about to break out between Edís brother and the drunk. At this point it was very apparent to the audience what was going on and I grew more concerned. Ed and Adam could tell I was getting worried. To them it looked like I was thrown by the drunk. They couldnít see that a fight was about to break out. So, I stopped the show. I walked off the stage told the Ed and Adam to keep playing I shoved one of the Blendrettes on the stage to take my place while I tried to calm the situation. Yolanda, the Blendrette did a great job air guitaring with my bass while I was talking to the drunk and his friends. A minute or two later I was back on the stage and we finished the show at a break neck pace. Whew, what a show! Afterwards Ed, Adam, and I were all tense. I thought it was great it was like this great performance art piece with audience participation involved. Adam was especially upset because he thought it was unprofessional of me to stop the show and do what I did. Well, I disagreed with him. I believe 100% in what I did. I involved the audience in something much more than a rock show. It was awesome, it was a happening. Adam either doesnít appreciate that kind of art or is ignorant of it. Adam doesnít get Andy Kaufman either. In any case Iím sure Andy Kaufman would have loved it and Iím sure he would have thought the drunk was a plant. As an artist I was very proud of how I handled the evening. Hereís another cool thing that happened. In the midst of all of this, some agent guy who was watching the show was so impressed with us that he called a record label friend of his during the show and held up his cell phone so he could listen to us while we played. Afterwards he made a comment to me that our music sounded like the music from the musical Rent. I never heard that one beforeÖ Even if nothing comes about from this guyís interest, it still was a great thing to happen. His intentions made me feel validated in a way Iím usually not looking to be validated in. It made me want to keep on going. It made my dreams seem a tiny bit closer.

Peace, John



August 19, 2000

Today our show is back at Love Sexy in Hoboken. Adam and Ed were a little shaken up about our last show. I knew we would be just fine. I said it before and Iíll say it again, I hate the sound system (sorry, John Vargas)! I donít mean to sound like Iím bashing this club. It is one of the best spots in Hoboken, hell in New Jersey. Iím just speaking from my perspective and am probably being sensitive. Once again, we went on last and most of the crowd had left but the show went well. We seemed to be back on track.

Peace, John

September 25, 2000

I feel awful physically and mentally. I had to cancel a couple of our shows because of a horrible sinus infection. I still feel sick. Iíve never been this sick in my life! All I can say is I would never have cancelled a show unless I was in really bad shape. Believe me I was. I couldnít even stand up. I had this constant buzzing in my ear. The shows I had to cancel were at the The Elbow Room in NYC and The Liquid Lounge in Hoboken. Once Iím back on my feet Iím going to work my butt off. I wonít ever take a healthy minute for granted again. Oh, if I could only practice tonight, Iíd be so happy. I feel like Iím a teenager whoís grounded on a Saturday night. I feel like the world is passing me by while Iím stuck in this bed. Got to go time to pop another augmentin.

Peace, John



October 13, 2000

We havenít practiced as a band since I was sick and it looks like itís going to be a while before we get to practice. Adamís away on business again and when he returns, Ed starts his busy season at his day job and has to work late for 3 weeks. Our next show is at The Elbow Room in NYC on the 7th of November. I hope weíre ready for it. Iíve been thinking about the state of the band during our down time. Iíve come to a couple of profound conclusions that Iím not ready to face or share with Ed and Adam yet. Iíll sit on these conclusions for a while and see what happens. Maybe Iíll come to more realizations that will make my previous conclusions null and void.

Peace, John


October 29, 2000


Before todayís rehearsal we had a little meeting. In the meeting we discussed those conclusions I came to while I was sick and lying in bed. The result of the meeting was that we are going to record another CD in December, then take some time off to evaluate each of our goals with the band and decide what our next move will be. I hope weíre ready for our next show. I look forward to playing The Elbow Room. I enjoyed that club as a patron and I look forward to enjoying it as a musician.

Peace, John


November 7, 2000


Itís Election Day and our last show of the year. We were suppose to have our last show back at Kennyís Castaways on November 17, but we had to cancel because Adam will be away on business. I wish we could have the 17th show be our last. I wished we had more time to practice. I mean weíve been off for a long time. Anyway, this was our first time at The Elbow Room in the Big Apple and all I can say is I think this is the best venue in the city! The sound system was AWSOME ! I could hear myself through the monitors perfectly. I felt for the first time that I had actual control over my performance because I could finally hear myself. The sound system was just top notch. Adam had all of his family and friends come to the show. His Dad even videotaped the show. I thought this was a bad idea because weíve been away from practicing for so long. Adam didnít care about capturing this show on tape. It wasnít perfect. I mean for a while there we were improving with every show. We didnít go backwards with this show but we didnít go ahead. Adam left the adapter for his pedal for his guitar so we were missing all of the neat guitar effects and Adam looked like he was disappointed. Once again no one noticed but us. The crowd seemed to enjoy us. I saw people bopping up and down. A couple of people said good show to me as I was leaving. One guy even made a comment that he liked my voice and that I sounded like Dennis DeYoung. I thought Iíd feel sad about this being the last show of the year but I donít. I think Iím just ready for the next step.

Peace, John


November 15, 2000


I came to the realization that itís ok for me to be a songwriter who plays instruments, and not this great instrumentalist. Donít get me wrong, Iím not going to take the bass less seriously, itís just that my goals have changed with it. I love the bass but Iím never going to be Flea. And this is ok. I mean Iím a great singer/songwriter and thatís enough. I can carry my weight with the instruments that I play and thatís fine. Blendreís goal has always been to be a song machine. Not a showcase for virtuosos. So, Iíve been playing the piano (keyboard) again and Iím thinking of bringing it back into Blendre along with playing the bass. Iíve also started fooling around with my acoustic guitar as well. I feel a lot less pressure on myself. For the past year I put myself in a dangerous position as an artist by trying to impress others with things that shouldnít be the focus of someone like myself. In the past week I wrote 3 really awesome songs that sound great with just the piano so when the band brings them to life theyíre really going to be cool. Weíre just waiting for Adam to come back from another business trip so we can begin rehearsals for our new CD. He should be back this Friday.

Peace, John
December 31, 2000

We didnít start our association with Adam with the intentions of it ending. But lets just say all 3 of us now really understand the meaning of the term. creative differences. Blendre will start the New Year with a new guitarist and a new plan of action. Though we havenít achieved all we set out for this past year, we are a hell of a lot further from where we started. Our hopes are to record another CD and to play shows on a wider scale at more locations all over the United States. Weíd also like to branch out and become more supportive of, and participate more in the New York City Art Scene. And of course secure a record deal.

Happy New Year to all !

Peace, John