read it if you have time. i think it's worth it. it's funny!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
his story and fun fax (and epic post in three part harmony)
Current mood: indescribable
So... good evening everyone... on a very special evening indeed... february 22... a special day for our band because 222 is our lucky number... wanna hear a song about it? goes like this...
Long ago... Adam, Ryan, Mickey and I played music together as best friends and schoolmates here in Los Angeles... we were 14 years old (ryan was 16...) and we called ourselves Kara's Flowers... why, you ask? well... unlike the origins of Maroon 5, we are happy to explain the history of Kara's Flowers... We all had crushes on our friend Kara, and one February 6th Adam, Ryan and I snuck out of Ryan's parent's house for a night of adventuring and mis-adventuring... we went to the Troubadour and watched whatever band happened to be playing that night... and then we went to eat at Norm's Diner... we knew that Feb. 6th was Kara's Birthday... and so we decided to deliver some sort of present to her house that night. As soon as we walked out of the diner (at one in the morning) we saw a man selling flowers... roses I think... and so we bought some and set out to find Kara's House... we had her address in the back of our school roster, and we bought a map at a gas station and found her tiny street up in the hollywood hills... then made our way up to where she lived. We dropped off the flowers outside her door with a note explaining that we all thought she was "beatiful"... apparently I didn't know how to spell the word "beautiful" yet... and then we sped off back to Ryan's house. Once we'd snuck back in we stayed up talking in Ryan's room about music and soon we had decided to form a new band (Adam and Ryan had already been playing music together off and on for a few years, and Mickey and Adam and I were in a few different bands with other drummers... One drummer was a girl named Amy and so we cleverly called ourselves Mostly Men... Tooooo witty. Another drummer's name was Jesse... it got too confusing having two Jesse's so he had to go... but we were called Edible Nuns.) So... clearly blessed with the gift of creating timeless and tasteful band names, Ryan and Adam and I started brainstorming about what to call our new power trio (Adam was going to play bass and sing... Sooooo Sting) I think Ryan came up with the winner that night... and thus Kara's Flowers rose from the ashes of Edible Nuns like the Phoenix in all of its glory... (oh, and the next morning Adam decided that he didn't want to play bass and so we all met up with Mickey at the first break in classes and told him about our night and the new band name).... AAAAndddd... that is the story of Kara's Flowers... But the story of February 22nd is just beginning... (by the way... i'm not on speed or anything like that... I just got home from a meditation class and I think i'm still in sort of a trance... just go with it... )
After we'd been playing for a few months as Kara's Flowers, playing super cool high school band gigs at the local clubs (the troubadour, the whisky, the roxy... which BTW was such a racket... we had to buy all the tickets for the show in advance, and then hope that we could sell them all to our friends and family before the night of the show... ANYWAY... Even though we had already recorded a full length album called "We Like Digging" (p.s. I'm laughing outloud right now... i can't believe what little random maniacs we were... we would come up with huge lists of song names and album names even before we'd written the music... classic names like "Throbidos Knife"... or "Szechwan Children"... I hope there are some of you out there who are in bands right now in high school reading this... I really do...) yes... so... full length album with our friend Noah... blah blah blah... selling it at shows... I hope you can get your hands on that album someday if you really wanna look into our strange musical past... Ok... so at this point we're growing up week by week and we've got some new songs that are a bit more mature... (not much)... So we decided that we needed to record a new demo tape... and so we looked in the phone book and found a studio in Hollywood called Room 222... (see where i'm going with this?) We went in for two days... recording Three songs (Future Kid, Loving the Small Time, and Ray Pim(?)...) and we finished on new years eve of 1995, going into 1996... That night we were invited through some connection I can't remember to play a beach party (where incidentaly a young girl who WAS on speed and jumped off the balcony onto the beach landing on a hidden cement slab and breaking her ankle badly... however, this was after we played and after the meeting that changed our lives... so.... let's not dwell on it...)
The important, and really kind of fairy tale-esque thing about that night was that while we were playing, a record producer named Tommy Allen just happened to be out walking his dog along the beach and just happened to be intrigued by what he heard coming out of this house... and he just happened to come up to the house and just happened to ask us if we had a demo tape... and we just happened to give it to him... The next week we were signing a contract to an independent label and soon we were recording an album with Tommy and his partner, and then soon we were shopping that album to major labels and soon we were being managed by Weezer's manager, and soon we were being signed to Warner Brother's records by the guy who signed Green Day... (these were some of our favorite bands at the time... so you can imagine how happy we were about everything that was happening...) Then soon we were re-making the album with Rob Cavallo (that's the Green Day guy) and soon we were graduating from high school and going on tour... And soon we were watching our album (called the Fourth World... named after a mystical realm from the movie Heavenly Creatures... Netflix it...) not sell all the records that everyone told us it would... and soon we were off the record label... and soon we were decided what to do about our future... and soon Adam and I drove to New York to go to music school and soon we were all discovering new music and having new life experiences... and soon we met James Valentine, and soon we started playing music with him and soon he joined our band... and soon we changed our band name to Maroon 5... which is another great story... but... now is not the time.
hope you're all having a great night... feeling the love... feeling the flow... tomorrow is a new dawn it's a new day... what's gonna happen??!!! what do you want to have happen??!!
~~I met Adam and Mickey when i was 7th grade... and we started playing music together when I was in 8th grade...Adam taught me how to palm mute in math class... and we had two bands with different drummers called Mostly Men and Edible Nuns... But then we met Ryan when we were in 9th grade... and one day at a school pep rally I asked him if he wanted to play drums with Mickey Adam and I on the song "them bones" by Alice in Chains... he'd never played with us before... but we knew of him as the cool drummer who was 2 years older than us... as in... 16...
as in... a driver. very cool. So we started playing more cover songs at school and then on that fateful February 6th of the year 1994 we snuck out of Ryan's parent's house after an evening of inspirational Hollywood music at the troubadour on Santa Monica blvd. This was the first time Adam and Ryan and I had really all hung out together... and we were deciding that night to form a band. Since it happened to be our friend Kara's birthday that night, we purchased some flowers from a street walking flower vendor (at 3:00 in the morning)... and somehow found Kara's house using our school directory, information service, and a Hollywood map. Then we delivered the flowers and note confessing that we all thought Kara was beatiful (I wrote the note... how cute is it that I misspelled beautiful? Adorable...). And as you might have guessed... this was the night that Kara's Flowers the band was formed. The next day by the way we asked our badass bass playing friend Mickey to join, and the four of us were officially a band.
So then that summer we made a record called We Like Digging in our friend's attic ... (This friend of ours is now making films... his name is Noah Gershman... remember that name!!!) We sold over 500 copies of that baby around our high school and the Hollywood club scene... (where we coincidentally later that year met a newly formed Phantom Planet... whose story closely mirrors ours... and who are an awesome band... and if any of you don't know who phantom planet is... go check them out) Then we wrote some new songs... and on new years eve 1994 we had a three song demo tape (recorded at Room 222 studios in Hollywood) and we were playing a party at a friend of a friend's Malibu beach house. While we were playing the party, a producer who happened to be out walking his dog along the beach heard us from the water's edge, and ventured up to see who we were.
From this man, Tommy Allan and his partner John Dinicola, we got an independent recording contract and made a real record... but then we turned that real record into a demo tape to get a major label deal with Reprise records... Then we actually released the real record that we made with them... and it was called The Fourth World... and it failed all around the world...
But it was the best thing that's ever happened to us... Because now everything that occurs in our lives is so much more exciting... so much sweeter... so much more appreciated. Anyway... after that failure we left our record label... left our management... left everyone... and we were back to being just four guys renting out rehearsal time to get ready for the gig they had booked for themselves at the Roxy on Sunset... I'm sure if any of you are in bands right now that are just starting up... you can understand what that feels like...
Now, for us at this point... in 1999... we felt like we'd been cleansed by the fire... we were older... We'd gone to some college, Ryan and Mickey to UCLA, and Adam and I to a tiny music school in Long Island, NY. We were starting from scratch as a band... except we'd gotten some experiences under our belt... so we were better... and more focused... and we were changing styles... and I was playing keyboards, not guitar, and so we needed to add somebody to the band... and Guess who we added.
His band Square had won a Midwestern Battle of the Bands... beating out 6,000 other acts... and they had all moved to LA to follow the rock and roll dream... James heard about our band and came and saw us play... and for some audacious reason, he decided that he wanted to join our band... and since we had just started looking for a guitar player, the timing was perfect. James arranged for his band to open for up for us... and once we saw him play we were blown away. Not only did James fit in musically with our band perfectly... but our personalities were so similar it was as if we'd all grown up together. It was difficult for him to leave his band... but it was the right decision for him to make for many reasons, and the other two guys from Square are still playing music in other bands... So our story continues...
Now, naturally... with James in the band... and everything being different we said goodbye to Kara's Flowers.
That band was dead, and Maroon 5 rose from the ashes...
We recorded a demo CD with our new incredible manager who was childhood friends with Adam... and then we used it to attract attention from labels... and after looking into a lot of labels we finally met with Octone records, and they immediately turned out to be the best place for us. We recorded Songs About Jane at the end of the year 2001... and once it was done in February of 2002, we started touring... and we haven't stopped since then... exactly two years of almost non-stop touring... And here we are today. in New York to record a song for a very special tribute album, and to tape a performance on Saturday Night Live.
February 6th, 2004 was the 10 year anniversary of Kara's Birthday... the day that set this whole band in motion... And it was on that day exactly 10 years later that Songs About Jane was certified as a platinum selling album. The timing of that huge event was mind boggling... it was so beautiful and symmetrical, or cyclical... you could say balanced... But whatever you want to call it... it's all very exciting. There are so many people to thank... good Management, good Record Label, good Lawyer, good Agents, good crew on the road with us... the list goes on and on.... But I want to start with our parents who we couldn't have done it without... And I especially want to thank all the parents for being so understanding that music was what we wanted to do... and not placing any pressure on us to choose different types of lives. These are my best friends... and this is the life that we're living together. I hope you're having a good day. Love Jesse.