John Lyons

John LyonsJohn ultimately deserves a website to himself, but since I know that it’s going to be a long time coming if we wait for him to do it, I thought I would help him out here.

That intro is old, and thankfully, John's finally gotten around to setting up a site of his own, although it doesn't focus on his music. As usual, he out-performs in his other endeavours, which you can find out about right here at his personal site at

There’s so much to say about John, and no matter how much you try, you still won’t have said half of what there is to say. But, I’ll tell you my history with him.

My first introduction with John was a photo of him in Kent McClard’s “No Idea” zine. The caption said, “Reality Control? The man, the myth, the legend,” or something of the sort. At that point, I didn’t understand the caption, and I think that many didn’t. But that caption is an understatement.

Some time later, I bought a tape based only on looks and price. The band? When Turtles Collide. The music? Awesome. A key member? Mr. Lyons himself.

John was so cool that I imagined him to be untouchable. So, when it came time to record Jeberrekenelle’s LP and release it on Reality Control? Records, you can imagine how excited I was. At that point, the relationship was mostly “business,” but as time went by and we did more work together and ran into each other more at shows and so on, things quickly changed.

One big change came with the creation of Trout—a collective zine compiling the works of many (mostly) high-school students and orchestrated by John. Johy was such a “power to the people” guy, it was great. He was the master DIYer. Once a week, a bunch of people got together at the Santa Barbara courthouse lawn or met in a room at the Santa Barbara library and worked on what was ultimately two issues of a pretty cool zine.

The next big development in the relationship came with the Folk Songs tour. Ten days cross-country in a crammed car gives you many opportunities to get to know someone.

Eventually, things got to the point where we were hanging out and chatting lots. I always went to John when I needed a song recorded. He took advantage of my flexibility to experiment with mike placements and effects and so on. And finally, I had the guts to suggest that we try to make some music together.

I say “had the guts” because in my mind, John was (and in many ways, is) a perfectionist and I am improviser and chaos maker. I couldn’t see him willing to work with me in that way. But as it turns out, many of my absolute favorite songs and “creations” were done in collaboration with John. His attention to detail really helped to strengthen my chaos and add more beauty to it while keeping it spontaneous.

I’d like to think that my approach has also rubbed off on John to a certain extent. One of his more recent “endeavors” was Tuesdays—a prolific improvisation group that met—you guessed it—on Tuesdays. In all, I believe there are some 21 Tuesdays CDs out there, and they represent just a portion of the John Lyons legend…

Here are the 2657 Productions things that John has participated as a musician in:

Here are some of the non-2657 Productions things that John has been involved in:

This is the print version of:

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