Back to California, Santa Cruz, Jon puts up a sign at The Food Bin looking
for a roommate. James Simmons is the first and only response. James plays
drums, writes songs. He's a natural standup comic.
Jon must've been making some money, somehow, but it must've been so slight
it has escaped the grasp of history. He certainly had foodstamps. There was
an apple orchard down the hill and he somehow had a juicer...
Jon next put together Rockaday Jonny with Dave Guynes, Lew Gross and Jon's
brother Mike on drums.
The band moved to Capitola, a house on the beach, it
was pretty cool! Nobody had a job, and, get this, a bar gig paid $50.! For 4
Soon they tapped into something better paying, the military; they played
regularly at Fort Ord.
Most exciting gig? Opening for local favorites, Snail, at Santa Cruz
Rockaday Jonny did some recording in that house on the beach, really crude
stuff, but fun. Also, a tape exists that was made at Cabrillo College,
pretty good quality.
Pay With Your Heart My My My
As all bands do, Rockaday Jonny soon self-destructed. Jon moved into the
practice studio he'd built in a chicken shack on his brother Paul's ranch.
Essentially he was living in a barn. On more than one occasion he'd open the
door and find a large animal, like a horse, in his living space. The barn
was actually pretty nice, he built a deck off the back, put in a lot of
windows, a couple skylights, a loft area for sleeping. He had a refrigerator
and an electric hotplate. A sink. A blender! Did I mention mice?
He drove for Yellow Cab, 12 hours a day, six days a week. He lasted exactly
6 months. Talk about burnout.
James Simmons moved onto the property, taking up residence in an
outbuilding. Boy those were funky times. Jon played briefly in a funk band,
No Dice featuring Vince Hogan.
No Dice - Sometimes You Treat Me
After that, he, James and Dave Guynes toyed
with putting a band together.
Jon got a job at an art supply store, Palace Arts. This is where he met his
wife to be. It also was the start of a new level in songwriting, his lyrics
finally took shape, they made sense!
Mr Energy's Answer
In the Night
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