Mark Johnson & Emory Lester
Mark Johnson & Emory Lester I've been playing the guitar and writing songs since I was a teenager back in the early and mid 1970s, I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and watched many rock bands in Las Vegas at prices that were affordable, no more then $10 bucks per ticket to see most any major band. Smoking was allowed, we all smoked grass and pasted it around...I knew I wanted to be a professional touring musician by time I went into the US Army Airborne Rangers in 1975. The reason I went into the military was due to my Father signed me up which ruined my Disney Art School Training. I was being hired by Disney to be an animation artist, and I would have been paid $2000 a month for the classes I would have been taking. But my Father "a 100 percent military man" said "NO SON OF MINE IS GOING TO HAVE A FAG JOB LIKE BEING AN ARTIST, MILITARY IS IN OUR FAMILY BLOOD AND BY GOD, YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN TO BE A MAN INSTEAD OF HAVING A FAGGOT JOB LIKE BEING AN ARTIST" Being a Beatles fan myself, “like many others” I too watched their first ever live national televised USA performance in 1964. I Was only five years old and I knew once I watched the Beatles on TV that Sunday evening, I wanted to be in a rock band eventually. Later their song I WANT YOU (She’s So Heavy) as simple as it was, gave me chills throughout my body in the late 60s. If not for the Beatles recording their famous untamed BEATLES WHITE ALBUM, and their Abby Road LP and Their Let it Be LP I’m sure I would have never gone through with forming rock bands in high school in the early 1970s and then touring 30 more years after my stint in the US ARMY from 1976 through to early 1980.

When I almost recorded rhythm guitar tracks with Lennon on his song CLEAN UP TIME in August of 1980 “along with members of Cheap Trick” I felt like I was holding part of the world in my bare hands. “You’d have to be a musician and a Lennon fan to understand how that made me feel to be considered.”

Lennon had turned me onto some fellow musician friends of his “Country Joe and The Fish” in 1980. This was my true beginning of my 30 years of performing live as an opening artist / band with as many well know musicians as I did, which led me to later create several solo cassette tapes of my own material and having 6 music videos of myself filmed by a professional ex MTV music video director/camerman, and me recording demo cassettes for major record labels while continuing to briefly tour with artists such as Jackson Browne, Bob Seger, The Drifters, The Jesse Dreamer Band, The Platters, Ethan Fox, Tom Petty, Mike Belis, Lee Walter Williams, the band Chicago Transit Authority “CHICAGO,” Luther, David Palma, Neil Diamond, Heart, Country Joe and The Fish, Freddy Fender, Lonnie Johnson, Paul Presley, Stevie Nicks and more….

Still having my band opening for major record label signed artists, couldn’t get me signed with my own recording contract. “But I did sell close to 30,000 copies of my own solo artist Cassette tapes and over ten thousand copies of four of the 6 music videos ’sold on consignment through TOWER RECORDS,” and through several California college radio stations.

I still manage to squeeze in a few solo gigs every once in a while, and as an opening band / solo artist. I now manage my fiances music career, if not for her having the seemingly serious undiagnosed medical problems pop up recently while her and I lived in Las Vegas, She’d right now be performing in Las Vegas, Nevada at The Mirage Hotel in the Beatles REVOLUTION lounge.

Without John Lennon hooking me up with Country Joe and The Fish in 1980, I probably wouldn’t have ever toured with any of the known artists I mentioned above. I didn’t become rich, or even become all that well known, the experiences I’ve had over the past 30 odd years have been priceless.

Hopefully this coming spring of 2010, I’ll have my fiance back in Las Vegas performing on stage at The Mirage Hotel. Thanks to an entertainment promoter working for the Mirage Hotel “Johnny Postel,” I’d still be breaking my ass trying to get an opportunity to represent and organize live performances of my singer/songwriter fiance to audition for promoters in Vegas, “let alone get her paying gigs at The Mirage Hotel lounges.” Once my fiance’s “Victoria Winters” doctors find out what illness she is dealing with and have it treated, Johnny Postel said he’d get her those paying gigs at The Mirage Hotel.

Go to my myspace site, listen my posted songs and possibly purchase three of my most recent CD’s I have for sale on http://www.MySpace.com/rhythmsreason through cdbaby.com

Personally I think it’s amazing that 38 years after their breakup, the Beatles are STILL one of the highest selling bands of all time.

My thanks to John Lennon for his interest in me and for his help for kick starting my music career back in 1980.

R.I.P. John Lennon and thanks for your friendship all those years ago.

Final thought.. always remember to cherish your loved ones and friends, for they may not be here tomorrow!!