readers, can you introduce us the band members ?
I'm John Lanham I do the vocals and lead guitar. We have
Ruth Lanham on the bass. Jaraid Filion on lead guitar. John
Nims on rythm guitar and Andy Riotto on drums.
started GRAVEYARD TRAIN, did you cover southern rock bands ?
if yes, which ones ?
No. The original concept of "The Graveyard Boogie
Band" was actually a blues band. In 1969 I left
Jacksonville Fla. and moved to Bradenton Fla. for a time. I
met a blues harp player named Dave "Rockbottom"
York and we formed a bluesband. I was attracted to blues
music because of its freedom to improvise. We found some
other musicians and started the "Jamming" process.
We met a drummer named Larry Klophenstien and oddly enough
he was a mortician for a local funeral home. He showed up to
the first rehersal in a 1955 Cadilac hearse he had purchased
from the funeral home. I was an avid "Mad
Magazine" reader while Dave York read R.Crumb's
"Zap Comics" and "The Fabulous Flying Furry
Freak Brothers" and our sense of humor took over from
there. Dave and I decided to call the band "The
Graveyard Boogie Band". We used the hearse to carry our
equipment to shows and I had a coffin made for my
1958-single pickup Gibson "Melody Maker" and we
would carry it out on the stage like a funeral procession.
A few years later I went back to Jacksonville and of all the
bands I played in over the years that band was the greatest.
I was only 17 at the time. I only covered "Southern
Rock" music and bands when I worked for other bands. My
bands were creative bands with original material and blues.
Shoot Phillipe, Donnie Vanzant and I played our first
"Sock Hop" at Stilwell Jr. High School when we
were 13 years old. Leon Wilkeson and I started playing
together when we were 14 (Donnie,Leon and I are the same
age). So you see I was there from the very beginning and
through the entire invention of Jacksonville Southern Rock
and Roll. It would take too much time entirely, heck, a
book's worth to tell all the stories. When Southern Rock
died out I took it personal. I formed bands that covered
everything from Little Feat to Wet Willie and shoved it in
people's faces. The idea came to my wife about "Ressurection"
of Southern Rock and a few other concepts so the name
"The Graveyard Boogie Band" was also ressurected
recorded an album. tell us more about it.
The problem I had with the "Jacksonville" boys, at
the time, was they had no vision or interest in orginality.
( That was the biggest mistake I ever made and I payed for
it to this day). I was just a very impatient young man with
alot of ideas thanks to the proliferation of songs from my
new found heros...John Lennon and Paul McCartney.( I was 12
at the time they first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and
I was truly amazed at their ability to write songs. To me,
playing songs was the easy part. I wrote my first song at 12
years of age. As time went on and I continued to screw
myself in the butt because of my impatience, all the songs I
had written over the years sat in a taped up cardboard box.
A couple of years ago I decided to at least record the songs
so I could see for myself what they would have sounded like
if I could have pursuaded some musicians to join me. I
didn't find any, at that time. So there you have it. The
album is compiled of songs I've written over these many
years as well as some new ones.
album, who wrote the songs ? How was the recording process ?
All the songs on the album were written by me and they were
all recorded in my home studio.
open for great bands ? Do you have good memories of this ?
Over the years I've been in bands that have opened for
"Procol Harum", "The Blues Image", and
"Cactus". We have not opened for any one yet. My
fondest memory, however, was opening for "Procol Harum"
and spending some good jam time with Robin Trower who was
their guitar player at the time and it does my heart good to
see him still going strong.
of Music do you listen to ?
Wow!!! I've been acused of being musically narrow minded
but, I disagree. I listen to The Allman Bros.,ZZ Top, Wet
Willie, the "old" J. Geils Band, Canned Heat,
Little Feat, The Mothers of Invention, and The Regulators.
My favorite tune ever written is "The William Tell
Overature" and that's the truth. So you see, I'm not
completely narrow minded.
your last e-mail and problems you have, for your job, did
you explain the situation ?
As I said, this project was only to record my songs for
posterity and my grandchildren and their grandchildren. I
had no expectation that any one would like it and most
certainly never expected and not prepared for the response
I've recieved. I am truly humbled. We do not have any
backing so I've funded the entire operation by aquiring a
"Day Job" and also alot of people depend on me for
their support so I work very hard. I make my living through
government contracts which have been put on hold here in
Fla. due to the economy and Fla.'s budget woes. So for the
first time in my life I'm looking unemployment dead in the
face and everything, right now has been put on hold.
Last question. If
you had to last your life on a desert island, which albums
would you bring with you ?
That's easy..."The Allman Brothers Band", "Idlewild
South", "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" and "ZZ
Top's First Album" and The Allman Bros."Live at
Philippe Archambeau The
Road To Jacksonville