BROTHER JOHNNY RELEASE ARCHIVE
From Bruce Quarto on Release Day
I just wanted to be the first to wish everyone a Happy Release Day for the Crowning Jewel and the Masterpiece called Brother Johnny! It’s been a very long road… but we have arrived safely to our destination with no regrets! This album is truly a musical miracle.
I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who worked so hard creating and promoting this new album. I’m truly humbled and eternally grateful for all of your efforts. Edgar, your brother would be so proud of what you have accomplished. Please, just know that deep in your heart.
I could just imagine him saying: “Ya know little brother… ya done good… real good. You’re a chip off the ol’ Johnny Cool Daddy block! I love you Edgar. Thank You so much!”
It goes without saying that it takes a team to win a ballgame and our team was in top form with this one! From the bottom of my heart, I applaud everyone for their “dedication to perfection” in helping Edgar honor and say I Love You to his brother Johnny.
It has been said that anything of Real Value only comes via Great Effort. I’m a firm believer in this notion and always have been. This musical masterpiece should be proof of that if anyone had any doubts.
Once again, thank you all… for making this very special dream come true.
Quarto Valley Records
Dear Bruce, your words touch my heart and bring tears of joy to my eyes. I can’t put it any better than you already have. I feel an ineffable mix of emotions, both pride and humility. Monique and I join you and echo your words in expressing our deepest and most profound thanks to all.
When I find myself at a loss for words I often resort to poetry, so here’s my poem for today.
Peace, Love, and Gratitude to All,
Edgar & Monique
The Other Side
Life is a river that flows on and on
With banks to hold it inside
Its passing scenery here and gone
As over the surface we glide
Whichever bank you’re nearest to
Is how you interpret the ride
Always a sense of something new
That waits on the other side
I saw my brother chase his dreams
Through all the years he tried
But life is seldom what it seems
Can it ever be satisfied
For whatever tale a man may tell
Or secrets he may confide
Though he believes the story and tells it well
There’s always the other side
The record spins the songs play on
With all the Love we feel inside
Then it ends and when it’s gone
We put on the other side
Courage is won overcoming fear
And humility learned from pride
Emotions seldom disappear
They just flip to the other side
Pleasure ends in the hardest pain
When some one you love has died
Loss the perspective that you gain
Through all the tears you’ve cried
Suffering is the saddest joy
Neither can be denied
Life and death can’t create or destroy
What lies on the other side
On March 25th, 2022 we lost yet another great musician: the amazing drummer, singer, and songwriter from one of my favorite groups—the fabulous Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins.
I had the honor and privilege of working with him as one of the guest artists on my forthcoming but yet to be released tribute album “Brother Johnny”. He did an incredible lead vocal on a song written by Johnny and featuring the phenomenal guitarist in my own band, Doug Rappoport.
It stands out in my mind as the highest energy and hardest rocking song on the entire album. I have always considered it stylistically the most uncharacteristically advanced song Johnny ever wrote, almost a precursor of heavy metal.
Because of this unusual quality we wanted a younger, more energetic, modern approach to the vocal. Our engineer, mixer, and producer (Ross Hogarth) had worked extensively with Taylor and they were very close friends. When Ross suggested Taylor (being such a huge Foo Fighters fan) I said WOW—how perfect. and I know Doug will be absolutely thrilled.
I had only just met Taylor, and barely got to know him, but I was so impressed by his sincerity, positive energy, and pure enthusiasm. He had a unique spontaneous style different from anyone I’ve ever worked with before. I can be very opinionated—but as soon as heard what he was doing, I knew it was best to step back, stay out of the way, and let him do his thing. That session was an experience I will never forget.
Edgar and Taylor Hawkins
When I tried to open a business discussion, he simply would not hear of it. He said—I don’t want ANYTHING for doing this, I just want’a get out there and Rock. And Rock HE DID! I don’t know if it was out of respect for Johnny, a desire to help me in what I was doing, compassion for the nature of the project, or his friendship with Ross. Most probably all these things—but whatever it was, he gave it His ALL!
I listened to it last night, and couldn’t help but cry. It’s a song about the lure of sex, the danger of drugs, and the Love of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Johnny wrote it around the time of his first rehab, and it expresses feelings almost everyone I know has been through in one way or another. I would guess (like most all musicians) Taylor couldn’t help but identify with it. All I know is he put his whole heart and soul into it, and I am so sad that I never found a way to thank him properly as he so deeply and profoundly deserved.
The name of the song is “Guess I’ll Go Away”. Now, both Johnny and Taylor have gone a way no one can know, but which we all one day must travel. Although I know Johnny has departed this world, I still think of and speak to him every day, and will now see Taylor’s face along side his. Wherever that way may lead, I wish them Peace and Love on the journey, knowing I will join them soon—as we all will someday. Taylor, Monique and I both thank you with all our hearts.
Peace and Love,
Edgar & Monique
What a WONDERFUL DAY! This would have been Johnny’s 78th birthday (and still is for me) as he continues to live on in my heart, and always will. Remember the old 78s before 33 1/3 albums came in? Johnny and I had tons of them. Today brings back so many memories, and is the PERFECT day to release the visual version of “Mean Town Blues”.
I remember the first time I heard it, I said, WOW! It’s some kind of modern, electric, boogie style, Delta blues. How did he do that? I was so Amazed, and still am to this very day. It was something New, and uniquely Johnny. Only he could have done it. Of all the great things Johnny did, I think I was most impressed with his slide playing. So authentic, yet original at the same time, just So Johnny! I hope I’ve done justice to the song, and the style; there’s no doubt that Joe Bonamassa certainly did!
Hey Joe, it is such an honor to have you on the album, and this song in particular. Man, what an incredible performance. This one was kind of a challenge for us all, but you rose so far beyond anything I ever expected, I’m absolutely awed and amazed. All I can say is—hey all you guitar freaks aficionados, DIG THIS! Thank You, Joe! You did Johnny proud, and really went to town—and I mean a MEAN town too!
This is a day I will always remember! I want to thank Scott Ritchie for putting his life on hold to make all the last minute changes. Scotty worked with me to singlehandedly create this visualizer. Without him, it would not exist today. I also want to thank Bruce Quarto, Mike Carden, and the whole Quarto Valley Records team for helping secure the necessary clearances to get this out Today, rather than next week. And most of all, I thank my wife Monique for putting up with me—staying up through all the sleepless nights looking for pics and figuring out how to make this work. Thank You, Monique—we did it!
You know, I was once doing an interview, and this guy said—in 10 words or less, give me your definition of the Blues. I thought it over and finally came up with—the Blues is transforming suffering into joy. There you go, with 3 words left over. That’s what the Blues has done for me, what I know it did for Johnny, and what I hope it does for us all. So let’s all raise our glasses (and hearts) to Johnny! Happy Birthday, my brother. This one’s for You!
Peace, Love, and Joy,
Edgar & Monique