Letters

Jack-in-the-Back here. We get a lot of great questions and kind words at [email protected] and while we cannot post everything we receive, we do make a few exceptions:

11/17/2013

Hi John,

I just got through listening to that interview you did with Michael Fremer. It got me googling, and I happily ended up here. It’s great to have the opportunity to thank you for the pleasure your music has given me. My favorite’s are your Warner Bros. solo albums and the Lightfoot album you did. I wish that interview had devoted more time to them. Did She Mention My Name is leaps and bounds my favorite Lightfoot album, and it’s your production that makes it so. Something Very Special, Pussywillows, Cattails, dude, those songs are just stunningly beautiful. Did Harry Lookofsky play on any of these songs? With the possible exception of the Lightfoot album, your first solo album is my favorite thing you’ve done, including the Band, S&G, etc.. I first heard it in ’73, didn’t find my own copy until ’75, and played the shit out of it. I love that record. So, thank you so much.

Oh, don’t let Fremer talk you into spending more on a hifi than you spent on your 120 acres. Buy a restored tube Fisher receiver on ebay and enjoy the music.

Finding that interview was a pleasant surprise, as was finding out your are alive and well.

Best wishes, Don E.


“Dear John:
I am not very music savvy, but I ran into the recording, “Rock and Roll is an Open Wound” in a music store in Portland, Oregon. I work in a maximum security institution which houses young men from 15 to 25 years of age. I am the alcohol and drug treatment coordinator and co-facilitate a violent offender program. I play your song for my treatent groups to help them recognize what has happened in their lives and how to identify their feelings. They have incredible response to the words. They cry… they become angry, but after debriefing what they are feeling after listening to the words, they are willing to talk about their difficult years that no one ever really understood. I have been grateful for this song for a long time and never knew how to tell you what you have done for a huge number of angry young men who are looking for answers. They begin to understand why they pass those feelings on to their victims.

I guess what I would really like to say to you is thank you for the words and the understanding of young people who want an understanding of who they are and why they feel the way they do!”

The writer signed her name, but, since I haven’t been able to get ini touch with her to thank her for this letter, I won’t include her name here. I’m real proud of that letter.


May 27, 2005
AT LAST!!! After all these years!!!! By David Perry “David M Perry, Huntington Beach” (the road to the next big thing)
This review is from: John Simon’s Album (Audio CD)
5.0 out of 5 stars

In 1970, I was in high school in Huntington Beach, California, and my best friend was a guy named Mike. He played piano, made very wierd movies (horror, not erotic) and had a copy of this record. It had been a selection on the Columbia record club, and he liked it. I liked it even more–but it was virtually ungettable, even in the year of it’s release.

A couple of years down the road of asking where I could find this record at every record store I went to, I was in a very much missed emporium called Jeremiah McCain’s (related to Hezekiah McCain’s records of Belmont Shore) and impressed Dave, the entrepeneur of this musical cavalcade, into finding me a copy of this record at any cost. Some years after that, said Dave got me an airplay copy liberated from local radio, and I went home to play it on my flip over needle portable stereo. I still have that copy.

This album burns with holy fire. It tells the stories you love to hear. It has the BEST rock and roll horn section of all time (sorry tower of power horns) and is a great great GREAT lost classic. Listen to the crisp drumming, the Leon Russell lead guitar, the everything. This is one rockin record, for the true aficianado.

I am now fifty years old, I own nearly six thousand records tapes and cd’s. My stereo is hand wired by extra terrestrial rocket scientists. Very few classic rock albums are improved by becoming CD’s. I know of whence I speak. The original pressings of the LP are very bad, very high noise, typical of a Columbia non premium release of the time. The CD is well mastered, well balanced, and contains the songs you need to hear.

Good as Paul Simon (no relation) good as Leon Russell (who is on the record, along with Levon Helm, Bonnie and Delaney and Cyrus Faryar!!! ((but not his dog, rusty)) This is one fine piece of work. Listen to it ten times before you judge it–there is a lot going on here.

I tell you three times, it’s true.

Pray for peace, fight for freedom, persevere….