John Doe
John Doe
Label: Yep Roc Records
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


John Doe (is that your real name?) was dreamed up in Los Angeles in January or February '77 after an exhausting trip from Baltimore on Halloween, '76. He settles in Venice, CA ('cause that's where the Beats lived), goes to the Venice poetry workshop and meets Exene. X band starts, records a single, gets more popular (1979 there was a line around the block at the Whisky) signs to Slash Records and by 1981 the L.A. "punk-rock explosion" is all but over. X's first two records have poetry and hard rock; it connects with the audience's guts and brains and the critics really like it. X signs to Elektra, make five more LPs, some videos, tour the U.S. and Europe, appear on network TV, make a film (The Unheard Music), abuse body and soul, write about it, connect with more and more varied audiences and the critics move on to someone new.

By now (1988), J.D. has been in some films, taken some acting classes so as not to completely embarrass himself, signed as a solo artist, remarried and had a child. Finding Los Angeles no longer inspiring, he moves "to the sticks," records first solo record (while X takes an overdue vacation), two more children added to the same family, a few dozen films, movies and TV shows, three more solo records as The John Doe Thing, another X record, and countless tours. Rhino re-issues entire X catalog and J.D. makes a long-awaited but mostly ignored acoustic record with lots of guest star/friends singing and playing.

The latest chapter (2004 and solo record # 6) begins w/ a desire to make an electric record that is utterly simple, musically and lyrically. Not wanting to return to punk rock, "old music" makes a comeback in the J.D. vocabulary. Loving the collaboration of the last record, J.D. calls some other friend/guest stars. Over a two-week period in April, the musicians and singers came to Dave Way’s Way Station in the hills of Los Angeles to sing and play all together in one very small room. Hardly any "fixes," over-dubs, no auto-tune and everything given to the moment of the song and its players. This is the Muddy Waters record he always wanted to make. This is a record I think Bob Dylan would like. This is a record of songs that have the style of the blues and country w/out the self-conscious modernisms, show-off solos or purist traps.

Hope you like it and see you out there.

—- John Doe 11/20/04