As I’ve written before, while growing up in Winnipeg, I had a band called the Jury. We not only lucky were lucky enough to release a few records but we also had the privilege of playing with some other Winnipeggers, Randy Bachman (The Guess Who & BTO) Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) Fred Turner (Bachman Turner Overdrive) and Neil Young (The Squires). Speaking of Neil, a lot of us at the time. thought that Neil should give up the singing thing and just stick to playing guitar. Recently while being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Neil dealt with that issue by saying, “I’ve always considered myself a songwriter because I’m not much of a singer. However, I do know all the notes, and the notes know me, after all, I’ve been around them for a long time and have even got close a couple of times.”
Anyway, after dreaming about becoming a Rock&Roll star for most of my life, I gave it up to try my hand at radio. It turned out to be the right move because I was much better at that than I ever was playing the guitar. Twenty years later after moving to San Diego to start my own radio company, I found myself winging my way back to Winnipeg for the “Shakin’ All Over” band reunion at the Winnipeg Convention Center. The weird part was that for the last 20 years I had been so busy doing radio that I hadn’t thought about my band days very much, but I was sure looking forward to seeing the guys again.
What a thrill it was to see all my bandmates Roland Blaquiere, Terry Kenny, Bruce Walker, Kenny Rae, Ken Hordichuk, and all the other guys from the other Winnipeg bands. What a night, Randy, Burton, Fred, and Neil all sounded great and I could hardly wait to watch my band The Jury do some of our old hits. As I was standing beside the side of the stage watching them get ready, all of a sudden Randy and Burton strapped a Fender on me and shoved me on stage saying, “It’s not The Jury if George Johns ain’t playing.” Can you imagine how terrified I was having not touched my guitar for twenty years, the show as sold out which was bad enough but it was also being broadcast on TV? I managed to compose myself enough to tell the roadie that if he valued his life, he better make sure my amp was off. The weirdest thing though was when the Dee-Jay said, “Let’s give it up for Winnipeg’s own Jury,” and Terry began to play the intro to “Until You Do,” guitar George knew all the chords even though my brain didn’t.
Flying back to San Diego the next day I realized what Sir Paul meant when he said, I’m more excited about having been a Beatle now than I ever was being one. When I got home, I immediately hung up all my records. Hey, who else in my community has any records to hang? (shown below and to see some TV coverage of the reunion concert, click on the link at the bottom of this page)
JUST A COUPLE OF MORE THINGS…
Tact is what you use to make a point, so you don’t end up getting beat up after you make it.
We tend to undervalue the facts about what we don’t agree with and overvalue the ones we do.
What may be perceived by a young man as a beautiful woman may in fact just be a woman who with him would produce a healthy child?
How come people seem reluctant to call out black folks for their bad behavior?
With all that’s going on, I think it’s time for men to stop acting like gentlemen and start serving up the women who have offered their bodies to them for personal gain.
I wonder why the media is obsessed with asking people who spent most of their early life in basements, what they think about politics?
I don’t think Tom Brady doesn’t care what the score is in the first half. He’s merely running through the playbook to see what works and what doesn’t. When he comes out for the second half, he knows.
I love celebrations because there are very few sad people at them. In fact, I love celebrations so much that as a young lad, I remember celebrating the opening of a new pack of cigarettes.
As long as women have more rights than men, there can be no equality.
Bob Gaudio (4 seasons) told me that when he was young, the mob ripped off most of the songs he wrote but he didn’t care. He was only 15 and already had three cars even though he didn’t have a drivers license. However, now he cares.
Income tax was created to pay for World War I and continued through World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. etc. What I can’t figure out is why Canadians still have to pay it, they bailed out of that war thing after World War II. Hey, maybe it’s to pay for that free health care huh?
I wonder what radio would sound like if every radio station that came in last had to give up their license.
Did you notice that when you got married that your life began to resemble how your wife always lived?
There is nothing lasting without controversy.
Were you aware that most Hollywood stars can sing?
I truly believe that you can reinvent yourself. Hey, even Shotgun Tom became the character he played on the radio.
Something emotional has to happen before a person changes their ways or attitude.
If you’re lucky enough to be gifted, you need to add some science to your act, or you’ll go out penniless as Mozart did.
Every great entity has the element of surprise within it.
If Mr. Businessman isn’t creating jobs, what the hell do we need him for?
Sales departments always seem to be in meetings. When do they sell?
The folks will let a bad commercial or a sexist comment go by but never a bad tune.
Whatever happened to Satellite Radio and 3D TV?
We are always on our best behavior when in front of our daughters. Maybe that’s how we should do radio?
To find out why Neil Young considered Winnipeg to be the capital of Rock n’ Roll in Canada, click on the link below.
Much more @ GeorgeJohns.com and on Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Comments welcome.