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Band Journal Archives

January 2001 - December 2001

January 1, 2001

Happy New Year! Here's to another year. May we all get a little closer to things we are after. I was just reading the book, Lennon Remembers by Jann Wenner. It's the full transcript of John Lennon's interview with Rolling Stone. As a visionary he is an inspiration to me. He really had his crap together as an artist. So many people today try to be deep and reflective but they look foolish when compared to Lennon. No one can touch him. Good thing being enlightened isn't a race. Some times I get caught up and stressed out when I start to measure my success as an artist by material things and by what my so-called peers have accomplished. All I can do is be the best me. Thatís all any of us can do. Each person is so unique that in a lot of ways making a comparison between people is like comparing apples to oranges. Lennon was an original. I guess the point is we can't loose and there is no need to compare if we follow our own inner voice...Sounds corny but it's the truth.

I'm glad all of the holidays have come and gone. This week there is a lot going on band wise. Now we can really get to work and not have to worry about taking time off for holiday related tasks and events. Will keep you posted. There should be a lot of interesting developments in the upcoming weeks.

Peace, John

February 8, 2001

The question John and I have been asking lately is, are there any creative people left? Most of the people left who are claiming to be artists do it when it doesnít get in the way of work, but this is not bashing anyone who has a good job and also makes music, its just questioning peopleís priorities. I have made my decisions in life and so has John, these decisions were to have art come before anything else because when you claim to be an artist, what else is there? Art is not being able to play every chord backward and forward, playing any Creed song after just one listen, its about having something real to say, real feelings, thoughts that get in the way during work, This is not we hate those with good futures in the business world, this is basically a plea to those who write ads saying guitarist, or whatever available, and when you call they want to hear the material first and if its good enough theyíll consider sacrificing their job. Please if your going to write an ad, please be honest and say if its just a hobby and you donít really know how long youíll feel like playing, because you learned your instrument while playing in your college dorm room that your parents paid for and now you donít get to go to as many Phish shows and lost the urge to jam. Just remember there are people out there who live for their art and take it very seriously, and please leave your pagers and cell phones at home during rehearsal!


March 6, 2001

Boy, the boys of Blendre sure are troupers. We all made to rehearsal in spite of the snow storm. This kind of dedication is the kind that can get us somewhere. We're a while from playing shows but we're making real progress with every rehearsal. This is a new phase of Blendre and it's great! We feel sleeker, stronger and more focused. With each turn of the page our vision becomes more unified and productive. It's childish to want to make music with out a vision. To play anything to see what happens without purpose is waste of time. It may be fun for a short while but ultimately it gets you nowhere. I mean you don't get to be the Beatles without direction or vision. If you're not going to strive to be the best (the Beatles) why bother! There are plenty of bland bands out there with no purpose. The world doesn't need anymore of those kinds of bands. Anyway, in unrelated news, I have been offered a couple of non-Blendre related music projects. I'm not sure if I'll partake in them yet or not. I have to see if these outside projects interfere with Blendre. If these projects don't interfere and actually add something to Blendre then I will do them. I'll fill you in as things progress.

Peace, John

April 16, 2001

Weíre all excited about the growth of Blendreís music. The new sound is really letting all of the sides we were afraid of showing before be seen and heard. In some of the new songs Iím playing keyboards and bass. So, I decided it was time to upgrade my keyboard. I went to the Guitar Center because they take trade ins. I figured trading in my old keyboard would help trim down the price. Once I got to the store I was very excited because I saw this MIDI keyboard that I fell in love with. Oh, she was beautiful, nice full size keys, with real piano action, 2 gorgeous foot pedals and a whole lot of groovy sounds loaded in. This keyboard was on sale for practically half price. But still being at half price, she was still out of my price range. So, I just thought to myself that I would trade in more stuff. I went home packed up my car with my old bass guitar, my old keyboard, a tone bank for that keyboard and an old electric guitar. This stuff when originally bought came to $1000.00. To make a long story short (too late) they only offered me $70.00. for all of my junk. Talk about depreciation . . . I was expecting to get around $300.00 and they offered me only $70.00! Needless to say, I left the Guitar Center without my beloved keyboard. Heartbroken, I drove to Sam Ash and put a lower end model keyboard on my Sam Ash credit card. One way or another I was coming home with a new keyboard. So, I now have a new keyboard. Sheís not the one I initially fell in love with and Iím not thrilled with the action of the keys but she has a bunch of groovy sounds. I can hardly wait to start making music with her.

Peace, John
May 15, 2001

We had a really great response at the open mic tonight. Because weíre not ready to do a full show, weíve been doing these unofficial, unannounced sets at various clubs around the city. We got a great response. The kind of response I always expected in the past with Blendre shows but only got some of the time. I think we finally stumbled upon the right combination of things. The right direction, the right people, the right chemistry. I think I can speak for Ed when I say that we feel a freedom this time around that we have never felt before with Blendre.

Weíve been going over a few of the old songs to see if weíd like to put them in the new set. Itís amazing how I forgot all of my bass parts just in just a few weeks of not doing them. Itís very frustrating to say the least. Iíve always been this way. Even with the piano, which Iíve played a lot longer than the bass. Even singing which Iíve done since I could talk. If I donít warm up vocally I easily cut off a quarter of my range. I guess today's moral is use it or loose it.

Peace, John

July 6, 2001

Today my cousin and friend, Domenick Infantes left us.

Peace, John

Slain Cop Had Soft Spot For Kids and Seniors

By Michaelangelo Conte
Jersey Journal Staff Writer

Family, friends and fellow officers are mourning the death of Jersey City Police Officer Domenick Infantes, who officials say is the 35th Jersey City officer killed in the line of duty since 1881. Shock and disbelief have given way to grief for Betty Infantes, the 28-year-old bride of Infantes, 29, who died Friday after being taken off life support. Home from their honeymoon cruise to Hawaii just over a month ago, their two-month marriage was cut short by the violence that erupted at an Independence Day party when police say Infantes tried to stop two Jersey City men and their children from lighting illegal fireworks. "He told me that at the age of 5 he already knew he wanted to be a policeman," said Betty Infantes yesterday. "He said that was all he wanted to be and he didn't want to be anything else." "He was a generous, kind person who loved life and loved to help people. He loved to get involved and he wasn't afraid to. We started dating in August of 1998 after our mothers set us up. After about three dates, I new this would be the guy I would marry," she added. Officer Infantes' organs were donated, his wife said yesterday, which friends consider a testimony to his kind and giving soul. Yesterday, Betty Infantes stayed inside the North Bergen home the couple shared to finish making funeral arraignments for her husband as a parade of friends and family dropped in to offer their condolences. Infantes was hit with a 4-foot-long lead pipe just after 9 p.m. Wednesday night when he tried to settle a dispute between neighbors outside a Williams Avenue Fourth of July party he was attending, police said. Infantes, who was unarmed, was reportedly struck in the head by Benjamin Gavina and fell to the ground, hitting his head on the concrete. He never regained consciousness. Infantes succumbed to his injuries at 7:10 p.m. on Friday in the Jersey City Medical Center, officials said. The brothers, Benjamin Gavina, 42, and Alfredo Gavina, 40, were initially arrested on aggravated assault and weapons charges in connection with the beating, but they will be arraigned this morning in Hudson County Superior Court on murder charges, said Chief Daniel Gibney, head of investigations for the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office. A third brother, Michael Gavina, 23, was charged Friday afternoon with assault and resisting arrest after he attacked an investigator from the county Prosecutor's Office, Gibney said. The investigator, whom Gibney declined to identify, was on the street outside the Gavinas' Williams Avenue home conducting interviews with teenagers who might have been witnesses to the July 4 attack on Infantes. Gibney said Michael Gavina stormed out of the house to confront the investigator, who was not badly injured. Michael Gavina is being held in the Hudson County jail. Betty Infantes said she and about 45 friends and family members were at the hospital Friday when her husband died, following a prayer service. "It was terrible, the waiting to find out if he would live was horrible. There were a lot of people there. He touched so many lives," she said. "When they took him off life support, everyone was crying." Jersey City Police Officer Vincent Calabrese said yesterday the mood at the East District Police Precinct on Erie Street was grim. "He was a good guy and the men miss him," said Calabrese, an officer for 16 years. "Jersey City residents have been great to police officers. They have been coming up to us and saying how sorry they are." Betty Infantes said her husband worked in Jersey City public housing for six of the seven years he was a police officer. "He had a thing for senior citizens and kids. He would spend his own money on the kids from the housing projects to buy them ice cream and Halloween bags full of candy," she recalled. "He always felt sorry for them because they didn't have anything. "He went to the public housing Christmas parties, served the kids hot dogs with a Santa hat on, and gave them toys. He had a kind heart and he loved kids. "He felt he had everything he wanted when he was growing up and these kids didn't have the things he had, the parental guidance he had. He loved to help them and talk to them. He just wanted to help make their lives better." Domenick Infantes grew up on Jewett Avenue in Jersey City and attended St. Aloysius Grammar School and St. Anthony High School. Betty and Domenick Infantes were married at St. Aloysius Church on May 5. Viewing for Officer Infantes will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow at McLaughlin Funeral Home, Jersey City. Mass will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Aloysius Church on West Side Avenue.

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