May 25, 2008


Maitland, Florida, May 21st 2008

After weeks of anticipation, my wife Jen and I arrived at the Sheridan in Maitland for a 'private' reception (400-500 people) for Mr. Obama around 6pm. What a scene! Newsmen from all the local stations and major networks were there. There were t-shirt & button hawkers, and folks handing out pamphlets for their causes. And of course Barack Obama supporters of all kinds from all over the state of Florida.

First we had to sign in and get in line to be searched before entering the conference room. No prob, the mood was electric! People chatting, some drinking, and much swapping of Obama paraphernalia .

The line in front of, and behind us to enter the conference room:

We ran into our ol' friend Pam (seen here in front of the stage) -who coincidentally works for our friend Arna (who was largely responsible for arranging the event). We had not seen Pam since our coffeehouse closed six years ago.

Then as we were watching them set up the stage wondering who was going to perform, I saw a gent reaching for a guitar and asked Jennifer if it was Larry. "Larry who" she asked...Larry Hoppen from the band Orleans. "I don't know". So I shouted LARRY! He turned around and I shouted ""Java" John here"...he came right over. What a nice surprise (I'd written about Larry a few month back in this blog).

Larry said he was there with Beth Schafer and that they were going to do a set to warm up the crowd. He also said they were going to feature a song called "Build that Bridge", a song they recorded together (it's the title track from her recent CD). They are offering this wonderful song to the Obama campaign. They performed that song, a few Orleans tunes like "Still The One" and "Dance With Me"and some classic rock hits much to the delight of the unsuspecting crowd.

Thanks to Beth, here is an MP3 of "Build That Bridge" and "Unsung" a song that uses a reprise of the "Build That Bridge" chorus...both are truly beautiful songs. I hope Obama uses the tune!

Beth, the band, Larry and Senator Barack Obama.

When the Senator took to the stage the place went nuts! A solid three minutes of applause easily. Barack was clearly embarrassed and amused by the adulation, but he managed to calm the crowd, pointing of specifically to one elder woman who was near hysterics with delight!

Obama then shared thanks for folks involved, and delivered a brief but eloquent speech. The man knows how to work a crowd, and is a master at public speaking -unlike some current politicians we know. (there are a few Youtube clips from the event below).

these photos by "Java" John

For a few days prior to the event I worked on designing a poster commemorating the event (below) in hopes of getting Barack to autograph it for me. Well, with many, many thanks to Arna for getting it to him, our next President indeed signed it for me.

And the report is that he truly loved it and was grateful for the copy I gave to him.

Orlando Mayor got a hold of one of the few copies I brought, and reportedly loved it as well. Enjoy Gents.

Possibly the two women most excited to be there Wednesday night, and the two who made it a real treat for me: Arna and my beautiful wife Jennifer. Thank you both!

Obama arriving in Maitland Florida 9pm :

Speaking in Maitland:

Obama in Tampa 3 hours earlier:

Beth Schafer's Obama/Unsung Video

It's your right, your duty, and the smart thing to do!


register to vote:



May 14, 2008

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish

PHISH PHANS Artwork (and more) Documented!

Hello Phriends. Today I'm very excited! This week the official announcement was made regarding a book that I've been waiting for for about 4 years now: Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish. One of the reasons I'm so excited is because at least two of my pieces will be represented in the book (not necessarily the ones shown here).

photos and art on this page by java john

this message is from the Phanart website:

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish is complete! With more than 1600 pieces of Phish fan created art, over 30 essays, and numerous trips down memory lane through 400 full-color pages, the book stands to be one of the most unique and original creations that exhibits the talents of the Phish fan community.

This incredibly collaborative effort is ready to share with Phish fans everywhere. We believe there is a large audience for this book, and we want Phish fans and art lovers to be able to receive copies of the first printing of the book. That being said, we need to gauge your interest and we would like you to sign-up to confirm your interest in purchasing this book when it becomes available. No payment is required now -- we are simply interested in estimating the volume of a first print run. The only information required is your first and last name, the state you live in, and your email address. All those who sign-up will receive a hand-numbered and signed 1st edition of the book.

This book has over 400 full-color pages, and the price range for Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish is estimated to be between $50 and $75. This price range is based upon the initial list pricing for two books that are similar in nature, topic, size, and material. This is an estimate; it could be more, it could be less.

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish is not for profit. All proceeds benefit The Mockingbird Foundation for music education. Thank you for your support, your contributions to the book, and your interest in maintaining the vitality of the Phish community!

Below is a piece I designed specifically for Phish Phans. The idea was that you get your portrait on the poster along with the date and location of your favorite show!

Here are a few great phish cover songs....I love when they cover folks! (some of these are long tunes, they may take a moment to load).

Phanart: The Art of the Fans of Phish

Phanart MySpace

Mockingbird Foundation


May 05, 2008


Rockledge, Florida 5/4/08

Last Sunday night we hosted Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion In Concert here in Brevard County, Florida (see below post).
Wow, What a show! Love them!

Sarah and Johnny were fresh from a three day, 9-gig stint at Epcot's annual Flower Fest, where they performed sets with daddy Arlo and about 15 other Guthries. The two said they loved the gigs and of course love playing with the family, but welcomed the change to a quite acoustic show for an appreciative crowd.

They played two wonderful 45 minute sets, choc full of their best material, including some stuff from their upcoming CD. They told some great (and often very witty) stories.

A few highlights for me were "Exploration", "In Lieu of Flowers", "Folk Song" and "Brush your Teeth Blues #56". They ended the show with a one-two knock out punch: Pete Seeger's "Dr. King" and rousing sing-a-long of "This Land is Your Land" (not a dry eye in the house).

Here is a video clip I took - Sarah and Johnny performing my favorite tune by them: "Brush your Teeth Blues #56"

When the show was over, Sarah, Johnny (and their new baby Sophia) hung around chatted with the crowd and signed CDs and stuff until everyone was ready to go home. What a sweet family...can't wait to here the next generation of Guthries!

photos and artwork by "Java" John

This a little mp3 clip from the show...they are perform "Folk Song" - lyrics written by her grandfather Woody Guthrie years ago, with music recently written by Johnny and Sarah.

a barefoot sound check with the baby in tow....

The tight knit "Pepperhead" opened the show...they are excellent!