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Q&A Sessions
John Stewart: November 8 - 21, 2000
Page 1


Out of every song you've ever written, what is your favorite from The Kingston Trio & from your solo projects? I'm 27 years old and I've been a fan since I was a little girl (thanks to my dad). John Stewart and my father have made a huge impact on my playing the guitar. They've inspired me so much. I've learned a lot from them both. My dad started teaching me just about the time I was learning to walk. Unfortunately, I lost my father back in March of this year. He will always be remembered and loved. (Nila)
Hi. Thanks for the questions. I'm sorry you lost your Dad. I've lost both my Mom and my Dad and I know how hard that can be. My favorite song with the Trio was ONE MORE TOWN and my favorite song in my solo career is a song caleed BLACK SKY SHINING that will be released on a CD Early in 2001. When is Lindsey"s CD coming out, do you know? Keep playing that guitar

Love, John Stewart

[ Note from MEA: The most recent information we have on the progress of Lindsey's CD is from Neale Heywood's Q&A which was "it won't be long now" and he indicated early next year.]

Hi John,

Wow. What a pleasure it is to have you here! Firstly, I saw you at "Soho" in Santa Barbara a few years ago and the show was fantastic - I do hope you can make it back soon. As I've been thoroughly enjoying "Wires" as well as your previous works with L.B./S.N., I must ask you a technical question. You see, I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to fuzz tones, and while I own many units, none of them seem to get that "Midnight Wind" sound. Would it be asking too much of you to divulge the brand (or brands) of fuzz tones you use? Hope to see you on stage soon and thanks for taking the time to hang out at The Penguin! (Christopher Zerbe, Santa Barbara, California, USA)
Christopher.

I can't remember what fuzz tone I used in the past but the one to use today is THE POD that not only has has great distortion but also very realistic amp sounds clean and dirty. See you down the line..

John Stewart
jstewart1_1

John posing in front of his house wearing a shirt that says, 'Personal Friend of Richard Dashut.' Photo by Bruce W. Talamon.

Hello, My name is Victoria. Marty Adelson sent you my review of Wires. I actually have several questions for you. First, on the liner notes to Wires, or at least my copy of it, the backing vocals on "Rockin as the Night Rolls On," are not credited. The voice sounds a bit like Lindsey Buckingham, but I'm not certain. Who's voice is that? I have been looking to expand my collection of your solo work (with only Wires and Dream Babies so far) and I have been asking other fans for suggestions as to what to buy next. Now I want to ask you. Of your many solo releases, are there any particular favorites of yours that you might suggest? (Victoria Ogawa, Vacaville, California, USA)
Hi Victoria,

Thanks for writing. You know I don't know who that is singing background on "ROCKIN' AS THE NIGHT ROLLS ON". I know it's not Lindsey but that's all I know.

To get more of my CD's email Dave Batti at and he'll send you an order sheet. My newest "ROCKET ROY IN THE REAL WORLD", "BUSTER" and "JOHNNY MOONLIGHT" are my favorites. You get those by sending $20.00 per Cd and $4.00 S&H per unit to NEON DREAMS , 936 B 7th St, #309, Novato Ca. 94945.

Thanks.

John Stewart

Back around the time of "Dream Babies Go Hollywood", I was fortunate to catch your show at the ol' "Golden Bear" in Huntington Beach. You were playing a Turner Model 1...it was the first time I'd seen anyone other than Buckingham playing one. Do you STILL play the Turner?
And speaking of "Buckingham's guitars", was that actually Lindsey's white Les Paul Custom you are playing (and that's leaning against the door) on the cover of "Bombs Away Dream Babies"?? (Steve Denison, Long Beach, California, USA)

Hi. Yes I still play the Turner and a Strat copy. The white Les Paul was mine and got stolen on my tour with Stevie Nicks. Thanks for writing.

John Stewart

Hi. It's me again. Sorry about your parents. Thanks for answering my question, but I forgot to ask you... are you playing in concert somewhere around here in the near future? And about Lindsey... who knows. (Nila)
Not that I know of. If you'd like to be on my mailing list write to me at 936 B 7th St, #309 Novato CA 94945 and put mailing list on the envelope.

Hello Mr. Stewart! Thank you for spending time with us. I discovered your music starting with your rock material in the late 70s and worked my way out from there. Your music has a hypnotic quality, no matter the style, that always draws me in. There is a great warmth in everything you do. Thank you for all your songs through the years. Forgive me, but I've got lots of questions . . .

I think of all the songs you've written about events/icons in American culture, and the sparkling or sometimes disheartening circumstances of that life. Some of my favorite songs of yours are things like "Angeles" where the story is about a young girl, but the feeling of the words and music is so vivid that it seems very personal. Do you feel like you've experienced the things you write about in one form or another, or do you prefer to be more of a narrator writing stories?

Listening to both your material and Lindsey's religiously for some time, I hear what I think is an extremely symbiotic relationship between your styles of play, your sense of music. You have said many times that you count Lindsey as a great inspiration. I'm curious how it was that he affected you so? I get the sense that many of Lindsey's friends or admirers love his music, but are also turned on by his desire to move and change and be different. Do you have a favorite Lindsey song? Any chance you and he might get in touch and produce something together again? Thank you again. (Lesley, San Diego, California, USA)
Lesley

Thank you for the kind words. I sometimes write about what I've experienced but mostly I think of myself as a short story writer and a reporter. All of them include the seeds of things I've been through. My favorite Lindsey song is GO YOUR OWN WAY.

I don't know if Lindsey and I will get together and do any more projects. I'd like to but Lindsey seems to work best alone. I am chomping the bit to hear his new album. As usual it's been way to long.

All the Best, John Stewart

Hello John, it's great to have an opportunity like this. I love WIRES FROM THE BUNKER. I can't believe these tracks were abandoned. It's all "A" list material. I'm glad the tapes weren't lost or discarded. For a couple of years in the early nineties I thought you were living in retirement until I contacted Homecoming Records. You had been quite busy the whole time. Through Homecoming and The Finger, I discovered a slew of great albums. Do you think you might one day record more music with Lindsey and even Stevie? I love your "road music" the best. Mostly, I want to thank you for all of the inspired music over the years. Thank you very much. (Timothy Kee, North Huntington, Pennsylvania, USA)
Thanks for the kind words. I don't know if I'll sing with Lindsey or Stevie again. Anything is posible. I'm always up for it however.

Thanks again..John Stewart

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I love all of Teresa and the Lost Songs. I was wondering about the story on the sleeve about your art display of Mother Teresa. Is there anyway you can share some of this artwork with us...is there a web site where we can see some of your paintings? The song makes me want to see them. Thank you! (Jo, Larksville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Thanks for asking. No there isn't a web site at this time to show my art but we're working on it. The painting of Mother Teresa is a large mixed media of chalk and acrylic.

JS

In what ways has your music changed over the years? What are some of the elements that haven't changed? (Rochelle, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Rochelle,

Good question. My music has changed in that it's more focused and I am better at doing it now. It remains the same in that I tend to write about the same subjects, the resiliance of the human spirit, the power of hope and the great American myths and realities.

All the Best

John Stewart

Hello John Stewart! Just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of your music and the album "Bombs Away Dream Babies" is a masterpiece! I can't wait to hear "Wires from the Bunker". Now to the questions.... First off, do you plan to tour soon? Also, I was wondering if you caught any of Lindsey's solo concerts in 1992 and 1993. I was hoping you'd pop up on stage when he was at the Wiltern. Maybe next time :) Well that's all for now. All the best to you. (David Gaines, Norwalk, California, USA)
David,

I'm sorry I missed Lindsey's gigs but I doubt that I would have walked out on stage. Yes, I'm always playing somewhere. If you email he can direct you to our itinerary.

Thanks, John Stewart

First off, let me say how thrilled I am that you are taking the time to do this Q&A! I must say I am bit star-struck that I am actually asking a question of John Stewart! OK, let me regain my composure. :-) I have been a big fan of yours ever since I stole my older sister's "Gold" single. At the time, another favorite song of mine was "Daydream Believer", although I didn't know at the time that you were the writer! Good work there!
I have two questions. First, what drew your attention to Lindsey as a producer so early, before he had done "Tusk" and really revealed himself to be an ingenious producer?

Secondly, I am a huge fan and hang on your every lyric. Therefore, it drives me crazy when I can't understand each and every word! The albums I own don't have lyric sheets, and I can't find lyrics on the internet anywhere (are you aware of sites that have them)? It was only when I read the lyrics to "Liddy Buck" on your bio that I realized you were singing "You know you had it all, but it had to fall" instead of "You know you had it all and it was stickin' in your craw" (what can I saw, I'm from Texas :)) Would you consider including lyric sheets in future albums, and/or putting them up on an official website?

Thanks for taking the time and effort to address the questions of us insatiable fans! Loved Wires from the Bunker - especially American Way, which really rocks and has a great hook. (Nancy, Houston, Texas, USA)
Thanks Nancy,

I'm honored you're a fan. Walter Egan's album drew me to Lindsey as a producer as well as the work he did on Fleetwood Mac and the RUMOURS album. Yes I should put lyric sheets in the CDs. There are many CDs you don't have. If you'd like to be on my mailing list write to me at:

NEON DREAMS 936 B 7th ST
#309
NOVATO CA 94945

I'll send you a list of the CDs

Lost in the Paradise

John Stewart

I've been a John Stewart fan for years. We were able to make it from South Dakota to Loveland and Woodland Park Colorado for the concerts in June. They were both wonderful solo shows. I've also seen you at McCabes with a 3 piece band.

Also, I would recomend the previous questioner check out the 'Chilly Winds' CD. For those fans of Lindsey, check out track 15 in particular 'Hiding in the Shadows'. Was there a Lindsey or Fleetwood Mac influence there? I've always thought this could easily have been a Fleetwood Mac Hit, and I've wondered why it wasn't a Stewart Hit.

One last comment, I picked up 'Wires From the Bunker' at the local Best Buy store. It's great to see you on the shelves and to buy locally, but I think this CD would have been better served in the Rock and Roll section instead of the Folk section. It's great, as are they all...

Keep on singing, we'll keep listening. (Rob & Karen Wessler, Volga, South Dakota, USA)
Rob,

It is good it's in there at all. HIDING IN THE SHADOWS is written over a Lindsey instrumental. That's him playing all the guitars on the record.

Keep coming to the gigs.

Alas

John Stewart

I wanted to ask you a few questions about politics actually, not music as from what I have learned it has played a big part in your music. The Last Campaign was about your time with Robert Kennedy from what I understand; how did you meet him ? Were you involved at all with JFK's campaigning too ? Did you give speeches at the rallies or play music (or both) ? With all of the current events, I'll bet that political issues are on the many people's minds. Thank you very much for your time and for participating in this Q&A. (Marty Adelson, Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA)
Marty,

Good questions. I met Robert Kennedy when he was Attorney general and campaigned for him when he ran for the Senate from NY. I met JFK at the White House once but was never involved in his campaign. I only sang at the campaign rallies for Bobby.

Thanks for writing.

Alas

John Stewart

Wires From The Bunker

Look forward to hearing your new work, it's nice to hear someone play a guitar in the way that you do. My question I'm afraid is about you and LB. Once you've asked someone like Lindsey to play on a record, how is he to work with? Does he have a tendancy to take over and mould the record in 'his vision' of the song or is he much more open and willing to learn from you? (Chris Jackson, Hull, East Yorkshire, England)
Chris,

I just hope he takes over the session because his ideas are always better than mine. How is he to work with-- unpredictable, edgy and brilliant.

Alas

John Stewart
jstewart1_2

What was your inspiration for writing "City of the Angels"? Also I saw you years ago at the Birchmire introducing Mary Chapin Carpenter. Are you ever in touch with her? (Dave Tungate, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
The "City of the Angels" was inspired by living in the Los Angeles area for years. I never hear from Mary Chapin anymore fame is a wall over which few may cross.

I've been following your career since 1961. I even have a Cumberland Three album I purchased while I was in high school. My question to you is where did you learn to play the guitar and banjo? Are you self taught or what. Both my brother and I have enjoyed your work these many years. Thank you for being John Stewart. (Bill McLaughlin, Maspeth, New York, USA)
Thanks Bill.

I learned guitar and banjo from listening and watching other players as most of us do. I did have the Pete Seeger How To Play the Banjo book and record as well.

Thanks for writing in.

I had heard that Stevie was initially "brought in" to sing on "Midnight Wind" and that the collaboration on "Gold" was actually an afterthought and ended up "performing" higher than "Midnight Wind." My question(s) are: Is that true? (Steve Clifton, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Yes that's true. She really didn't want to sing on GOLD. Luckily I had dynamite strapped to my body.

How did her contribution to "Gold" come about? (Steve Clifton)

Begging and pleading.

She is known for her ability to harmonize with duet partners exceptionally well. Did you find that to be the case (Lindsey, Tom, Don, Kenny, Bruce, yourself)? (Steve Clifton)
Yes, Stevie has an uncanny ability to lock in with anybody.

Of her work with FM and solo, do you have a particular favorite? (Steve Clifton)
LANDSLIDE and RHIANNON

Have you heard anything from her forthcoming album? Thanks! (Steve Clifton)
No, I haven't heard anything.

Thanks

John Stewart

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