From Music To Wine – John Taylor – Pairs With: Life
John Taylor has been writing about wine since 2012, but his meanderings on life began way before that. Born and raised in San Diego, California, John moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue dreams of screenwriting and filmmaking. He attended the University of Southern California, where he majored in Shattered Dreams and False Hopes, with a minor in Getting Gut Punched By Reality. After being handed a degree in Journalism in 1987 as a consolation prize, John dove into a career in music. Because getting gut-punched just isn’t painful enough.
By 1996, John and his band, The Uninvited, had produced four independent albums and became one of the most popular acts in the western United States. This lead to a deal on Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1997. The band had two Top 100 hits, and toured nationally with Dave Matthews, Blues Traveller, Third Eye Blind and many other acts. Their music appeared in the TV shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five, and in the motion pictures The Commandments and North Beach. The band can also be heard in several HBO Documentaries, video games and on that annoying “One Hit Wonders of The 90’s” station your co-worker always plays on Spotify.
In 2001, John’s vast experience in shattered dreams was once again called into play as the band hung up their touring shoes for good. After a brief but horrifying career in real estate, John got wise and made a career out of his favorite hobby – wine – and has held various sales & marketing positions in Napa Valley since 2011. John’s writing career started in earnest at this point, with blogs, essays and short stories appearing in various publications. John is the author of three novels, including the aptly-titled Pairs With: Life, which will be released by Hurn Publications in September 2020.
Robert Andrew Wagner – The Little Wretches – Original Music & Storytelling
Robert Andrew Wagner of The Little Wretches will be here to discuss his latest collection and his longevity in the music world.
The Little Wretches was co-founded by brothers Robert Andrew and Charles John Wagner. Bob wrote original songs and adapted traditional folk songs, tried to sing and accompanied himself on guitar while Chuckie worked out counterpoint melodies on violin. Chuckie and Bob were joined by former members of No Shelter, Ed Heidel on bass guitar and John Creighton on flute, percussion and background vocals. Religious missionary Chris Bruckhoff was attracted to the group because a lot of the songs seemed to have spiritual content, and he apparently believed he could recruit the members of The Little Wretches into his church by infiltrating the band. Like John Creighton, Chris sang background vocals and played various percussion and wind instruments. Bob Goetz played electric guitar and did some singing. Deena Alansky took pictures, tried to book gigs, and pasted posters all over town. The original line-up of The Little Wretches debuted at The New Group Theater (founded by Martin Giles in the spirit of the legendary progressive theater company, The Group Theater) along with the godfathers of the Pittsburgh hard-core scene, The Five. The earliest version of The Little Wretches came to an end with the sudden death of John Creighton. John never considered himself an actual member of The Little Wretches (he was just helping out), but he was so much a part of the group’s sound and persona that his loss was devastating.
The most often asked question in social media songwriting groups is the most basic: How do I write a song? I’ll try to answer that and hopefully with a little help from my friends.
Inviting songwriters to join me via webcam or in the interactive chat.