Sumi with Dimitri the Clown,
Looking back over the last 3 years
Well, Barry McGuire announced his intention to retire, but he still keeps on ticking like a Timex watch. We’ve been doing shows with P.F. Sloan to the delight of audiences who’ve been waiting 50 years for this.
What may be the last shows in Europe for Barry and John were full of the love and loyalty of many fans who’ve followed Barry since the 1960s.
Traveling with Jean-Daniel von Lorber across Switzerland, Germany and Holland was an amazing and exhausting musical adventure. It was a big thrill for us to see the Alps again and to spend time with the legendary Swiss genius of sound and stage craft, Gaetano Florio; and to get acquainted with Dimitri the Clown ( a Swiss National Treasure ) and also Carlos Martinez, the famous mime from Barcelona.
Our gigs and travels in Norway with our friends Morton and Leif were a highpoint, especially our stay in the tiny fishing village of Kragero where Edvard Munch lived for 5 years when he was remarkably not depressed and never drunk.
We are sad to report the death of our dear friend Kim Fowley in January. John worked with Kim on many recordings over the last decade, most notably their collaborative CD “West Coast Revelation” which features lyrics by Kim and music by John.
The Jangle Brothers, (John York, Billy Darnell and Chad Watson) continue to rock The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, CA since 2009.
How wonderful to have a venue where our fans know we will be performing regularly. They also played at the Gene Clark 70th Birthday Tribute in Hollywood, CA in November.
John continues his solo shows at Alvas in San Pedro, The Fret House in Covina, The Claremont Forum and The Coffee Gallery Back Stage.
He has opened several shows in So. Cal. for guitar wizard Toulouse Englehardt and continues to perform with Carla Olson and her band.
John was guest artist with the Yukiko Matsuyama Band at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA. He also provided music there for a special program with Dr. Richard Shankle about the benefits of music on the human brain.
This summer John will be featured on a radio broadcast from the museum and on July 5th The Jangle Brothers will play at the big 1968 Festival in the museum garden.
Steve Manelski and his son, Ace at Duclear Productions have been making wonderful videos to fit some of John’s songs for Youtube.
In 2014 they produced “John York at CMAC,” a full–length video of John singing a collection of songs that we hope to release as a CD.
John has discovered the joy of playing the lute, thanks to the friendship and deep musical talent of John Schneiderman, lutenist and guitarist extraordinaire.
John’s wife Sumi has been having many successful gallery shows of her beautiful and poignant Abandoned Fabric artwork. Sumi’s work is now in private collections in Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, the U.S. and Japan.
John and Barry McGuire both make appearances in Paul Kendall’s excellent DVD “The Byrd Who Flew Alone” about the life and music of Gene Clark.
John played with Gene in 1968 in the Gene Clark Band, in a late 80s version of the Byrds led by Gene and in a duo that they called, “Gino and Johnny.”
Meeting Ackley King and Ronnie Nelson of Jr. Walker’s All Star Band at a gig with Barry in Michigan was a real thrill and re-connecting with Irish
animated film-maker Jeffery O’Kelly after more than 30 years was a true gift from heaven.
John has done several solo concerts for the Claremont Friends Meeting and will continue to do so out of deep love and respect for the local Quakers.
As always, we are so grateful to our friend Don Gillespie for his generous support and talent in creating and maintaining this website.
We look forward with open arms to whatever music and art and love and friendship will bring our way in the coming years.
Thank you to all who care enough to visit this website.
John’s new CD Fanfare For 2 was released in February on GRA Records. The best one yet. (www.gragroup.com)
And West Coast Revelation is finally out. Kim Fowley’s lyrics and John’s music, with storytelling between the songs. A“musical talking book” in the format of an album. (www.gragroup.com)
These past 2 years John has been performing with guitarist Billy Darnell and bassist Chad Watson at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, CA. Solo shows include the Claremont Forum, the Fret House in Covina, CA and the Muckenthaler
Museum in Fullerton, CA.
Touring again in Europe with Barry McGuire in the Trippin’ The Sixties show was an exhilarating whirlwind of 20 shows in Switzerland, Germany and Holland, followed by 2 weeks of touring in beautiful New England. 2 shows at The Guthrie Center
were a definite highlight. (www.trippinthesixties.com)
Barry and John have been doing benefit shows for several Veterans organizations in an effort to help raise awareness and support which is so greatly needed.
Jealous Gun, the first song on Arigatou Baby, is one of the songs chosen for Derek Sivers new book, “Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur.” (http://sivers.org/a)
And our musical friend Julian Dawson has a wonderful new book out: “and on piano…Nicky Hopkins.” (www.juliandawson.com)
Nicky was a dear friend and continues to be an inspiration.
In response to the many guitar players who ask at every gig: John’s 12 string was made by Art Davis at A. Davis Guitars in San Diego, CA. Art recently restored John’s other 12 string, an old Harmony Sovereign that was found in a San Francisco pawn shop 30 years ago by John’s brother Michael Foley. (www.michaelfoleymusic.com)
The baritone 12 string heard on Arigatou Baby and Fanfare For 2
was made by Joe Veillette of Woodstock, NY. www.veilletteguitars.com
On September 11th of 2011, John sang at an Inter-Faith Walk in Claremont, CA. Muslims, Jews, Christians and anyone who wanted to join walked together as a show of unity and a desire for peace in our world. There were 400 people walking together.
John has been working on a musical score for Daubenbiss at Rhodes, an original opera with a libretto by Christopher DeVore. Chris is best known as a co-writer of the screen play for The Elephant Man and as the screen writer for Franco Zefferelli’s Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson. John and Chris have been friends for more than 30 years.
John sings 2 songs with Carla Olson on her new CD, Have Harmony, Will Travel, an album of songs with her “favorite singing friends.”
Producer Gabreal Franklin (www.allplanet.com) videoed the
Trippin’ The Sixties show at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz.
A DVD will be available somewhere down the line.
News Flash…..alert the media…..cancel your rumba lesson…..a new CD, “West Coast Revelation,” with lyrics by legendary rock & roll lyricist/ producer Kim Fowley, and music written and performed by John will be released by Global Recording Artists by the end of this year.
It will be available in the US, the UK and Japan. GRA currently also has Maria Muldar, Nick Lucas, Hamilton Camp, Gary Duncan and Bill Mumy in their artists catalog.
John’s next solo CD, “Fanfare For 2,” is finished and waiting to be mastered. It is scheduled for release by GRA early next year.
We are really looking forward to finally having music in stores and on more music downloading websites, thanks to Karl Anderson at Global Recording Artists. And thanks to the magic of web wizard Don Gillespie, on this website we are offering a 5 song package entitled “Cameo” which features songs that do not appear on any other CDs.
“Come Back And Take Me” is a song of alien abduction in the vein of
“Hey Mr. Spaceman” in which the singer laments that the aliens took only
his sweetheart and left him behind alone and missing her.
“Rainbow” written with Roy Swedeen is an impassioned plea to save a wounded relationship.
“Some Days Even The Birds Sing A Sad Song” was written in 1966 and is here resurrected because of requests from friends and family who still remember it’s beauty and emotional impact.
“Achilles Heel” was written for former band-mates with drug and alcohol
problems who sadly did not survive long enough to ever hear this heart-felt message.
“Ghost Flowers” was written after 9/11 and draws a parallel to the atomic bombing of Japan. The singer feels helpless and inadequate and can only offer “ghost flowers.”
Since the last “November Notes” we have had many great concerts with Barry McGuire and some very successful solo shows.
Coming up, there are more concerts
November Notes from John York
A return from musical adventures with Barry McGuire in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands with memories of truly amazing people and unforgettable places filled with great music, wonderful food, lots of beer and wine , and well-earned jet lag from nearly 4,000 miles in the van of our beloved tour manager, Swiss logistical genius and guardian angel, Jean-Daniel von Lerber, the man who makes us worthy of the word “professionals.”
Thanks to music friend Mike Somavilla for the honor of performing 15 minutes of music at the West Fest 40th Anniversary Celebration of Woodstock in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco with brother Michael Foley chiming in on gorgeous harmony and the backstage camaraderie of many old musical friends like P.F. Sloan, lyricist for Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction,” and new ones like Guitars Not Guns, a worthwhile charity if ever there was one.
Time back home for a while is filled with the work of playing the guitar, hours of slowly learning to play the Irish harp, studying the Japanese language so communication will be improved with the best in-laws imaginable when that ancient volcanic isle finally becomes home to these two inseparable right-brained soul mate artists who nearly always share the same world view despite coming from countries and cultures on opposite sides of our precious green and blue globe that needs art and music now more than ever to help keep alive our human family of lovers and beauty recognizers and fools dancing in the sunset on the lonely beach of you and me.
On the horizon……..recording again with pop-wizard Kim Fowley, and in December the completion of the next CD while Sumi is back in Japan, leaving me with too much time alone best spent on musical endeavors and preparing for more musical adventures.
Until next time……
Photography: Lisa Law
Recommended Links: michaelfoleymusic.com