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.
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.
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!
I started my new year off with a bang. Literally. I bought a new drum kit over the holidays: a Pearl Roadshow 5-piece fusion drum set in charcoal metallic. You’ll note the smaller tom is missing, with the larger tom in its place–I packed the smaller one away. I only wanted a four-piece kit, but the included hardware, cymbals, and throne made this set the one to get, and I’m glad I did. Nice!
The release date for The Wind Cries Jerrys, a six-song effort by The Jerrys, has been moved to early 2018. Originally scheduled to release this month, the EP took more time to record than I’d planned—backing vocals in particular. The good news is that, after recording 43 tracks during the past week, all recording has been completed, and it’s on to mixing and mastering. Here’s the track listing:
I Think About You
Another Glorious Day
Earlier this year, “Chicago USA” was released ahead of the EP and is available to stream or download. Check it out, and stay tuned for more music from The Jerrys.
On Thursday, The Jerrys began working on a new set list for 2018. While not yet complete, the list includes songs never before played by the band. In addition to songs from the upcoming EP, The Wind Cries Jerrys, I’m going deeper into the Jerrys catalog. I’m also replacing the token cover tune.