My brother John and I have loved music since the cradle. We may be
five years apart, but most would say that it's hard to tell when we're
together. Whether we're singing over breakfast, at a (mostly drunken)
family party, or up on stage, our voices love to tell our story:
I suppose it all started when my parents brought Johnny home. I'm told
that I inquired, "Can we keep him?" He seemed much more animated
than my He-Man, Mr. T, and G.I. Joe action figures. As it turns out,
we did keep him. Of course, several weeks later, I'd had enough and
asked for him to be returned as soon as was convenient. I suppose I'm
still a bit conflicted about him being around, but there's not much
I can do at this point-we've got a friggin' website for Godsake. Perhaps
I should jump ahead a bit...
I picked up the guitar in 7th grade to serenade an "Amanda"
with a Boston ballad-alas, locker notes and primitive poetry were not
enough to win her adolescent love. (Neither was the guitar, I would
later discover. Damn mullet!) But the guitar remains, and with it my
affinity for playing for crowds large or small. I'd like to think that
our ability to take so many requests comes from the wide variety of
music I've picked up and performed along the way-from Led Zeppelin,
Simon and Garfunkel, and the Eagles to Guns and Roses, Counting Crows,
and John Mayer.
Johnny began his musical career in high school, singing in the choir,
madrigals, musical theater, and taking his talent to state competitions.
He has the most amazing voice I have ever heard-and this is not just
his big brother talking. He continued his musical endeavors throughout
college, where he founded and organized the successful a cappella group
Absolute Harmony. The boy sings in his sleep, sings in the shower, and
sings when he's having...we're roommates; I hear everything. But whatever
the song, and whatever the occasion, the music moves him and anyone
who's watching and listening.
The name "jank" was accidental, of course. A friend had commented
that Johnny and I were so much alike-looks and personality-that people
should just refer to us a unit-"jank" or "frohn."
No doubt you understand why we chose "jank."
In the summer of 2003, while driving to a gig on a rather stormy, portentous
evening, my brother and I noticed that we were being followed. In a
frenzy, I turned down deserted avenues and into strip mall parking lots
to try to lose our pursuer, but to no avail. After arriving at our destination,
Johnny and I confronted our tail. His name was Mike Beazley, an errant
bassist whose one dream was to become a Janker
like Mark Wahlberg
in _Rock Star_. Would we allow him, he wondered, the privilege of sharing
our stage? Well, he was already dressed for it--his skull cap, v-neck
t-shirt, and doubleknit reversible slacks a stark contrast to my brother's
dazzling shirts--so we agreed.
When I sleep, I sleep in one t-shirt and one t-shirt, only. It is brown
(it always was) and reads "What Would Doyle Do?" Indeed, it
is a question that begs more than a rhetorical response. David Doyle,
our consistently scrappy, boisterous drummer, is a dead ringer for Animal,
the loveable, fluffy muppet (pictured below):
Doyle came to us, much like Animal, disheveled and manacled. His raw
power perfectly compliments my brother's seductive gyrations and my
polka rhythms. I'll never forget the day we all met--"Will drum
for sandwiches," he told us. My brother and I took pity on him
that day in the park. I unloosened the straps on his weathered straightjacket,
tousled his hair, and handed him the rest of my Potbelly sandwich. He's
been with us ever since.
Beazley and Doyle are Jankers for life; the court said so. Some day
we'll change the name, Jankeazlyoyle, perhaps? But for now, we are Jank,
two Italian brothers--and then some--with a passion for music and fondness
for a vocal and dynamic audience. We certainly hope you enjoy our style,
and we're grateful for the following we've built. See you at the next
Musically Yours, The "ank" of "jank"