What's up, folks. I notice Rick has been blogging. He says people have been responding to it, talking to him about what he has written when we play shows and whatnot. So, I figure why not keep the conversation going. A good way to start might be to address the two questions I get on a pretty regular basis: How long have you been playing guitar? My first guitar was a cherry sunburst Strat knock-off called a Hondo. It was my big Christmas present way back in 1996. I was 13. Needless to say, I found out where my mom hid it long before Christmas day. Any time she left the house I would sneak into her closet and open up the box just to look at it, not having any clue how to play (let alone tune) the damn thing! As a matter of fact, I'm still trying to figure those things out! How and when did you start playing with Nowhere Slow? Rick and I went to the same high school. We knew each other but never hung out. He was a grade ahead of me and we mingled with different though sometimes intersecting circles of friends. I didn't even know he played guitar when we were in high school. Back then Rick was an amateur magician! Ask him to show you some tricks. I remember one night when I was a junior everyone was walking around Olyphant near a park where we used to kill time and the T-shirt factory (owned by my good friend's parents) where my first band used to practice. A few friends and I were sitting on the corner and I was playing guitar. Some seniors we knew came over and started shootin' the shit. Then, some blonde kid starts giving me unsolicited advice about how to play "Warehouse" by Dave Matthews Band. That was probably the first time Rick and I ever spoke to each other and we both probably walked away thinking, "what a blowbag!". Finally, when I turned 21 and started going out to bars legally, I would run into Rick at Jack's Draft House and Heil's Place. He had acoustic gigs there and would let me play a couple songs on his breaks or in the middle of sets. I was playing with a band called Morning Pride at the time after the disbanding of a group before that called Simple, both of which included Kester on drums. This time around, Rick and I had a lot more in common and so eventually when Nowhere Slow lost their guitar player he asked me if I could play lead. I said, "I'm no Jimi Hendrix." He said, "We don't want Jimi Hendrix." There you have it. I know that was a long-winded answer but I like stories. Well, that's all for now. Maybe next blog I'll add some bits to Rick's journal on making "Listen/Love." Thanks for reading, John

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