John de Roo lives in downtown Tucson, where he enjoys walking, restaurants, bird-watching, people-watching and music. He plays guitar and harmonica, and performs his lyrical ballads and story-songs at various local venues. His latest CD is called Lonesome Static.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
The Rolling Stones, Kansas and Peter Tosh at the "World Series of Rock" concert of 1978. My brother and I won tickets from a radio station and hitchhiked to Cleveland for the show. It was in the baseball stadium, and Mick Jagger rode a bicycle down a tightrope from the upper deck onto the stage.
What are you listening to these days?
Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music; Jimmy Cliff et al., The Harder They Come soundtrack; Marine Girls, Lazy Ways; Otis Redding, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul; The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Swing From Paris.
What was the first album you owned?
Tanya Tucker, Greatest Hits (the original antebellum goth chick).
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
I probably just don't even know about it.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Jimi Hendrix in a small London club circa 1967, or Billie Holiday in Harlem in the late-'30s.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Are the Monkees too cool? Then John Denver.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
I want my friends to play a live house concert at my wake, their choice of repertoire.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Woody Guthrie had a wide-open idea of what a song can be. His writing is straightforward but poetic; his range of subject matter is very broad; and his music has the power to encapsulate what people are thinking and feeling.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
I'll say Bob Dylan and The Band, The Basement Tapes. It's very eclectic, and I've enjoyed it at different times in my life for lots of different reasons, and because I love home recordings.