Geo’s Media Blog (Buried Treasures) new for 3/29/21

When my daughter Candis called to tell me that my grandson Nathaniel would be playing his first high school football game under the lights this Thursday in the Rose Bowl, it sure brought back a lot of memories.

When I was Nathaniel’s age, I was growing up in Transcona where every New Year’s day, I would watch the Rose Bowl.
And each and every New Year’s day, I would chant, “Some day man, some day.”

The reason I chanted those words every year was because it was always snowy and 35 below outside which made me very envious of all the folks wearing nothing but t-shirts an shorts.
I was in my early twenties before I finally got a chance to visit California, and when I did, I knew more than ever that I had to live there.

Meanwhile, back in Transcona, I was having the time of my life.
Not only did I play guitar for one of the best bands in Winnipeg, but I also worked at my favorite radio station. How cool was that?

Working at CKY and playing with The Jury, went together perfectly so I no idea that in the not too distant future I would have to choose between them.
Then when that not too distant future showed up in the form of my baby daughter, I left the band.

The reason I had to pick one or the other was because when Daryl ‘B’ who was the station’s music director left for Vancouver, they made me, CKY’s new music director.
Now I could no longer do both, but leaving the Jury was no easy task. Not only was I leaving behind everything I’d ever dreamed about, but, we also had the #1 Canadian record on RPM’s national chart. (see above)

The best part about having the music director title was, it jump started my radio career and the next thing I new was, I became the new program director of CKOM in Saskatoon.
While I was there, it became very apparent that I was a hell of a lot better at radio than I ever was at playing guitar because, my career caught on fire.

Before long I was off to Sudbury, then next to Ottawa, and finally to Toronto where I wrapped the Canadian portion of my radio tour as the station manager of CFTR.
Things were going well in Toronto but then America called. Hey it’s like they say, “If you haven’t played the States, you haven’t played” and I was crazy enough to wanna play.

So after turning in my resignation and also the station car, there I was in my beat up old T-Bird putting Canada in my rearview mirror as I headed south to Indianapolis.
Upon my arrival in Indy, I was presented with some new business cards that read, George Johns, National Program Director, Fairbanks Broadcasting.
WIBC/WNAP Indianapolis, WVBF/WKOX, Boston, WIBG Philadelphia, KVIL, Dallas, WRMF/WJNO, Palm Beach.

We were kicking ass in Indy but unfortunately, I was also turning 40 and was entering the first stages of the mid-life crazies.
It is said that what brings the mid-life crises on is the realization that you’re going to die and I didn’t want to do it in Indianapolis.

All I heard in my head everyday now was, “Someday man, someday,” and it was getting louder.
Then I woke up one day and thought, “If not now, when?”

Finally, on August 3rd,1981, my California dream became a reality when I moved to San Diego to start my own consulting company.
Luckily, my consultancy business also caught on fire.

While dealing with all this radio stuff, I hadn’t thought about my band days for about twenty years.
However, this all changed the day I spotted a box set of CDs called, “Hurried Treasures while visiting WRMF in South Florida.

Now what made this box set so special was, one of the CDs contained seven cuts by my band, The Jury. Wow!
Now, not knowing if the tunes had stood the test of time, and not wanting to be embarrassed, I decided to listen to them in privacy of my car on the way home.

Ok, with my meetings all done, it was time to jump into the old Benz, pop the top, put the CD in the player, and then crank it up.
As I rolled onto I 95 and hit the play button, I had no idea that I was about to realize what Sir Paul meant when he said, “I’m more amazed about the Beatles now, than I ever was when I was one.

When Terry’s guitar intro blasted out of my speakers, I was magically transported back in time.
There we were being led down the dimly lit hallway of CKY by two of it’s  biggest jocks, Daryl ‘B’ and Chuck Dann.

We were there on this cold December evening to cut a demo tape, and Chuck and Daryl were kind enough to help us.
Unfortunately we had just lost our singer, Donny Burns but not wanting to blow off the session, we were only there to cut some instrumentals.

We’d already replaced Donny with Bruce Walker who we were very excited about because he could sing all the new British Invasion stuff.
However, Bruce was still a couple of rehearsals from being ready but he came along anyway.

I can still hear the swoosh and thud of the studio door as it closed behind us, and it kinda like we’d entered the cone of silence.
As I looked around, I couldn’t help but notice that the all the acoustic tiles were yellowed which was probably from the hundreds of cigarettes that were smoked here by those who had come before us.

In the center of the studio stood a large black grand piano that seemed to be crying out to be played, so I couldn’t resist banging out a few bars of “Whole Lot Of Shaking” on it.

While waiting for the session to begin, Terry and I were sitting in the corner tuning our guitars when Bruce wandered over. He wanted to know if we could help him finish up a song he was writing called, “Until You Do?”
When it came together so quickly, we decided to tack it on the end of the session if we had time.

Fortunately, the instrumental part of the session went smoothly so we had plenty of time to have a go at our new vocal.
After laying down a few takes of our new tune, we headed into the control room to hear what we had.

Then when, “Until You Do” blasted out of the giant speakers on the wall, we were all shocked.
Not only did it sound pretty good, it also sounded very British. (click on the links at the bottom of the page to hear what we sounded like when we went into the studio 55 years ago as The Phantoms, and came out as The Jury)

Chuck and Daryl suggested that I bring the tape back tomorrow so they could play it for their boss,Jimmy Darin.
Their claim was that if anybody knew what to do with it, it would be him.

The next day at high noon , there I was headed back into the studio again with Chuck and Daryl.
As I anxiously stood there awaiting Jim’s arrival, I was also praying that the dawning of a new day hadn’t changed the sound in any way.

Then when Jim finally walked into the control room, Daryl hit the play button, and “Until You Do” poured out of the speakers.
“Damn,” I thought, “It even sounds better today than it did yesterday.”

When the last note faded away, Jim asked if I would mind bringing the tape back when he got off the air at six?
He said that Hal Ross who who was a V/P at London Records, was coming by to take him to dinner and he would make him listen to the tape first.

As long as I live, I’ll never forget how I felt when after Hal heard the tape, he said, “Hell, I’ll release that!”
And just like that we were London recording artists. Hey, wait till the Stones hear that we’re label mates; I’ll bet they’ll probably want us to open for them.

With the standard recording contract stuffed into my jeans, you know, the one where the record company gets everything, and you get nothing, it was time to head home and share the incredible news.
As I was flying down the stairs Neil Young was making his way up and I remember thinking, “What the hell is he doing here? Surely he’s not gonna record anything; he can’t sing.”

GEO’S LIFE-LINERS

Short cuts are filled with nothing but traps.

If you don’t have a real strong airstaff, you better test your music quarterly.

Weathercasters are the only people in the world who can be wrong and stay employed.

America needs new rich people, the current ones are boring, and they also aren’t doing much for our country.

Is it just me, or have the Mercedes SL’S had their day?

Your career is on fire if you get to attend all the meetings where most things happen, especially if they’re in your office.

Contrary to public opinion, I’m not all that sad between happy hours.

What happens to the money when the government catches a big company doing bad things and fines them?

Have you ever noticed that the rest of the world expects America to help?

The best way to get what you want is to deserve it.

I realized long ago that there was no benefit in growing up.

So who’s wiser, married, or unmarried guys?

The only way to move forward is by doing something scary.

A house of cards is built on excuses.

COMMENTS

Don Walker: Always enjoy the tidbits of wisdom …It seems like they’re speaking to me! (The List)

Cat Simon: Good One George: That is indeed true about Sir Paul: By the time the Beatles would hit the stage, they had no songs to play. The acts that were on before them beat them to it, but he sure doesn’t have that problem today. LOL. (Necessity Is A Mutha!)

Irene Ness: As an independent widow for the last seven years, I realize most men are looking for a nurse or a purse. I am not a nurse, and my husband and I worked dam hard for MY purse. So I will spend it on myself, my kids, and my grandkids. (It’s Not The Length)

Ted Farr: We broke records here in BC George, it’s been the winter from hell. Wine country is now a whine country. (Let It, Snow)

Bob Christy: George and I have discussed this at length, so much so, it drives my lovely wife crazy at times. We’ve gotten beyond the “Old days were great” stage, and we’ve moved on. It’s time to discuss the way forward from where the business is right now and where it needs to go. (Radio, It’s Over)

Red Robinson: Daryl was a class act. I was responsible for bringing him to Vancouver. In his final days, he would visit me in Gastown. I could tell he was in physical trouble soon after he moved back to Winnipeg. He was a great natural talent and is missed. (Remembering ‘B’)

 

6 thoughts on “Geo’s Media Blog (Buried Treasures) new for 3/29/21

  1. Absolutely amazing! I’ve known George Johns for close to fifty years. Spent hundreds of hours with him, in person and over the phone. Honored to call him a good friend. And every time I think I know just about everything about him, I realize I’ve only seen just a portion of a interestingly creative dude.

  2. My dear friend George, this is likely one of your best Media Blogs yet. All of these stories and Life Liners are entertaining yet have serious life quality in abundance. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

  3. Impressive when You can Top the chart ahead of Burton Cummings / Guess Who AND the Ugly Ducklungs, too!! I Love Ya Geo, & this post was worth waiting for!!

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