My bandmates and I debuted our new live show on November 17 at Mama and Me Pizzeria in Homewood, Illinois. In all, we played 36 songs, including original music going back to Pop Go The Jerrys, as well as covers of songs by Chuck Berry, Herman’s Hermits, David Bowie, the Kinks, and others. In addition to playing a lot of songs live for the first time, we debuted our new drum head.
It was not our first time playing at the venue. On September 28, we played just over an hour after a rousing set by The Big Boppers. That evening, we played mostly original songs, but did include a few covers, including Tommy James and the Shondells’ 1966 hit, “Hanky Panky.” Originals included three songs from The Jerrys’ new six-song EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys: “Chicago USA,” “Ms Wonderful,” and “Anna Marie.” Watch “Ms Wonderful” live at Mama and Me Pizzeria below.
For the record, field-testing of my new Fender American Elite Telecaster guitar is now complete. Not once during the entire show did any string slip out of the nut. My repositioning the string guide to the “1960s Telecaster” position was the simple solution to a big problem. After a proper setup, the guitar should be ready to play for a long time.
Last month I had the opportunity to field-test my new guitar, a black Fender American Elite Telecaster. The Elite is the best guitar I’ve ever owned. The first time I picked it up, I felt as though Fender had made the guitar just for me, perfect in every way. I couldn’t wait to use it at an upcoming show at Mama and Me Pizzeria.
Several songs into our set, however, I noticed that the first string had slipped out of both the nut and the string guide. As my style more closely resembles Pete Townsend’s than Segovia’s, I assumed the fault was mine and placed the string back where it belonged. No biggie—until it happened again. And again. In all, I must have repositioned the string a dozen times that night (it was the only guitar I’d brought). My “perfect” guitar had failed the test.
String Guide Placement
After more research than I care to admit, I concluded that Fender’s factory placement of the string guide did not provide adequate pressure on the string to keep it in the nut, at least for my playing style. In Fenderspeak, the guide had been placed in the “’50s Telecaster” position on the Elite instead of the “’60s Telecaster” position level with the A string tuner. Additionally, the fix seemed like something that even I could do, so I did it.
Since moving the string guide to the ’60s Telecaster position, I’ve played at full throttle, almost daring the string to come out of place. So far, the issue appears to be resolved, and the modification left only a small hole in the headstock where the guide had been originally. Field-testing of the American Elite Telecaster resumes at our next show.
The Insight Timer meditation app gets my recommendation as the go-to meditation app. While I don’t use most of the app’s many features, the timer and its settings alone make the app worth using. I also enjoy receiving the early-morning reminders I set up to receive each day. If you meditate for any reason, you’ll find this app handy. Check out Insight Timer’s website for more information.
My dad passed away last month, and rather than list facts here—that he was born in Kentucky to a German sharecropper and his wife, that he grew to be a successful man with a wife and six children, etc—I mention his love of music. I am grateful to my dad for many things, but I am most grateful for the love of music that he passed along to me.
In the earliest days of our family, Dad had an electric guitar and amplifier, and he enjoyed playing for fun. We watched Johnny Rivers on television and listened to Duane Eddy records on the stereo, and Dad thought Chuck Berry was the greatest. When I was six, he taught me to play “Secret Agent Man,” “What I Say,” and the Bonanza theme song on guitar, and I played those songs over and over. He sold that guitar one day and never played again, but he bought one for me soon after, and I’ve been playing ever since.
I recall the times Dad drove me and my musical equipment around to practices. I remember him taking a vacation day to watch my band play in a school talent show. I hear him singing as he walked through the house, and when I’m enjoying a tune, I tap my foot like he always did. I think of my dad every day, especially when I play guitar. Life’s better with music. Dad taught me that.
The Jerrys played on Thursday Night Live at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM on April 26, 2018. The 10-song set included new music from The Wind Cries Jerrys, covers of songs by Tommy James & the Shondells and The Kinks, and power pop songs pulled from the Jerrys’ catalog:
1. Be Yourself
2. Anna Marie
3. I Even Love You More Than Elizabeth Hurley
4. Ann Taylor Girl
5. New Wave
6. Hanky Panky
7. Space Cadet
8. Chicago USA
9. Every Girl
10. Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
Those familiar with the Chicago punk scene will recognize the drum head as the one used for Silver Abuse, as Robert Porche also plays with that band. Stay tuned for a new and improved drum head, as well as a possible live album later this year from The Jerrys.
Last week I attended the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago. I enjoyed the conference, which was held at the Union League Club. Summit sessions focused on evolving and developing social media strategy, content creation and storytelling best practices, and video strategy and marketing best practices.
Presenters represented brands that included Microsoft, Walmart, Kickstarter, The Hershey Company, and American Family Insurance. Several sessions deserve mention for being better than the rest:
“Case Study: Best Practices for Storytelling when Working with Influencers and Partners” (Sarah Scroggins, Advocate Health Care)
“Lessons in Unconventional Innovation” (Ryan Riess, The Hershey Company)
“Predicting the Future of Social Media” (Ian Beacraft, Epsilon)
So, would I recommend attending the summit? You bet. The conference is a great way for social media and digital marketing professionals to get up to speed on what some of the big players in the field are doing to take their brands to the next level. I’m glad I went, and I got to meet some cool people besides–now on to all of those notes I took!
The Jerrys will play live at WZRD Chicago on April 26
My band The Jerrys will play live in the studio at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM on April 26. I hope you’ll tune in at 10 PM Central as Robert Porche (drums, backing vocals), Jim Losby (bass guitar, backing vocals), and I play ten songs live, including songs from the newly released EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys.
You can listen to the show via radio (88.3 FM on your radio dial), via live stream, or via any radio app on your phone (TuneIn is available on Android and iTunes, and it’s free).
The Wind Cries Jerrys, a six-song EP containing all new music from The Jerrys, is now available on CD as well as downloads and streaming. From power pop (“Ms Wonderful,” “Chicago USA,” “Anna Marie”) to uke-pop (“Another Glorious Day”) to strummy goodness (“Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo”) to who-knows-what (“I Think About You”), it’s all here. Listeners compare The Jerrys to The Beatles, Boyce and Hart, The Who, Matthew Sweet, Tommy Keene, and The Shoes.
The first song on the EP was released as a free download last year: “Chicago USA” is the latest song about that city, as well as a tribute to “Downtown” and “I Know a Place,” both made popular by Petula Clark. Here’s the full track listing:
01. Chicago USA (2:33)
02. Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo (4:03)
03. I Think About You (2:59)
04. Ms. Wonderful (2:48)
05. Another Glorious Day (3:49)
06. Anna Marie (2:36)
Several friends helped out on various tracks, and I am grateful to Robert Porche (drums), Jim Losby (bass guitar), and John Oakley (lead guitar) for sharing their talents. They’re awesome.
As of this date, full digital distribution (iTunes, Spotify, etc) is still a few days away, but you can head over to CD Baby or the band website to buy the CD or download the EP or individual tracks. Get the latest from The Jerrys!