Thursday, February 3, 2011

Meet Your Blogger: TwoFeetThick.com II

ON-LINE PERSONA: @jjjrrr (Twitter), jr@twofeetthick.com (Synergy), JR@2ft (Red Mosquito)


WEBSITE: http://www.TwoFeetThick.com
TwoFeetThick.com is “a useful, quirky, detail-oriented site with completely original content: a unique, interactive resource of Pearl Jam information past present and future, with both perspective and a healthy sense of humor.


REAL NAME: John Reynolds


LOCATION: Cream Ridge, NJ


DAY JOB: Manager of Corporate Systems Development (i.e. I build websites), The McGraw-Hill Companies



OK, WELL, IT'S SAFE TO SAY THAT PEARL JAM IS YOUR OBSESSION.  WHY PEARL JAM?
I first heard "Alive" in the summer of 1991 while on summer break from college. I think the obsession/passion had a lot to do with my age at the time: I could buy my own music, go see shows, and share music with all my college friends.

I was gradually coming out of my '80s metal obsession with Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Metallica, and was moving towards Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, etc and was a big fan of bands like Blues Traveler, The Spin Doctors (their first studio record was released the same day as Ten), and Living Colour.

I had a diverse musical background as a guitar player and the bands I was listening to really started to hone in on what I really liked. The passion really hit in '92 seeing them on SNL, Unplugged, and the MTV VMAs, then seeing them live at Stanhope, NJ (8/12/92) and Reston, VA (8/14/92) Lollapaloozas. There was nothing staged about their act. I have a vivid memory of the "Porch" jam at Reston of this incredible volume and energy and Ed feeding off of that from the front of the stage. I wish I could bottle that experience up and share it with all of you.

Basically they just became my favorite. Like many, I played TEN to death, and each b-side I collected and new album that came out kept getting better and better. I also started collecting live shows on cassette and DAT, and that only fueled the fire.

I changed careers from Electrical Engineering to Web Programming in the late '90s, and creating those early Pearl Jam sites www.MonkeywrenchRadio.org and www.DigiJAM.org really were natural extensions of my passion. Since 2003, TwoFeetThick.com has been the main outlet of this passion. It's for "impassioned" fans, and I thank "Jessica the Wordsmith" for coming up with that perfect tagline for what we were trying to express.

I really feel fortunate that this scene has given me not just enjoyable music, but great friends, great events and great experiences.

Lastly, to collaborate with Kathy Davis and Jessica Letkemann for so many years has been such a rewarding experience. It's helped foster so much creativity. I encourage anyone to do it. Go create an app, start a blog.



FAVORITE ALBUM: 
TEN. Has to be TEN, probably because there were no pre-conceived notions about it. I had heard the song on radio, then pre-ordered it. I wasn't slanted by reviews or affected by hype, like later albums. It's a time capsule. Mind you, I might think some later albums are better, but TEN is my favorite.



FAVORITE SONG(S):
Last Exit. I don't know why, and I don't care. When I hear it, I go nuts.



FAVORITE BAND MEMBER:
Probably a tie between Eddie and Stone going back to TEN being mostly Gossard / Vedder collaborations.



HOW MANY SHOWS HAVE YOU ATTENDED? 
22. Most NY/NJ, PA shows since 1992. I never traveled to concerts when I was younger because I didn't think anyone did that besides Grateful Dead fans.



WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST PEARL JAM EXPERIENCE?  
There are a lot I could list, but inheriting the Pearl Jam Concert Chronology on Two Feet Thick from FiveHorizons.com was a pretty big deal for me. I probably read some part of the Concert Chronology on 5H every day for a number of years, and the detail and history of that document was near and dear to my passion for the band. When Caryn and Jean asked me, Kathy and Jessica to keep it going, we were thrilled. It's a lot to maintain, and we know there is a lot of missing information, but it's fun to maintain together and to interact with other fans, who without, there would be no Concert Chronology.



HOW EXTENSIVE IS YOUR PEARL JAM COLLECTION? 
I was always a music collector and when Pearl Jam started to issue b-sides and imports in '91 I would spend all my spare change buying them up. I thought I had everything there was to have until in '95 or '96, there was a PJ website that listed all the collectibles and there were hundreds and hundreds of things. At that point it seemed silly to have *everything*, so I just kept everything that had original music on it and traded off duplicates. I kept all the Fan Club vinyl, all the newsletters, and tons of magazines. Probably the rarest things I have are the Stickman Doormat and the TEN Basketball Picture Vinyl.

As far as live shows, I think I have most of the audio and video that's out there. One reason is that I'm just obsessive about it, but having more shows than I could possibly listen to keeps the interest for me instead of having to listen to their studio material over and over. Lastly with TwoFeetThick.com, we often need performance information and transcriptions for the CC and our articles, so in some way I *need* to have all these shows available.




IS THERE A SPECIFIC LYRIC THAT MOVES YOU?  
I listed five lyrics then scrapped them to write this: there are just too many to count. Ed's lyrics are an artform, and I love digging into those songs to find different meanings in them time after time.









WHAT ELSE IS ON YOUR IPOD RIGHT NOW?
Phish, Strike Anywhere, Avail, UnderOath, High on Fire, Iron Maiden, 311, Deftones, Casting Crowns



WHEN YOU WALK AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Trying to be the best possible husband and father of three. It's the toughest job on earth.  I also coach youth soccer and am active in my Church and our Knights of Columbus council



WHAT PASSIONS DO YOU HAVE BEYOND PEARL JAM?
I love to watch, coach and play Soccer. I don't watch much TV, but when I do, it's usually Soccer.



WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
I like to write. About Pearl Jam. A lot. See above ;)











OTHER BLOGGERS IN THIS SERIES
KathyTFT, TwoFeetThick.com
Donny, All That's Sacred
Jason Leung, This All Encompassing Trip
Jed, Twitter.com/DirtyFrankDahmr
Matt, Gremmie.net
Stip, The SkyIScrape.com
Victor Nogales, PJCollectors.com

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