RJ Story

I began to write songs around age 17. Some of the earliest material I wrote was worthwhile recording. Amongst the early material, I recorded: Rock Child, C'Mon Dance, and Living in Miracles, (which was revised to Believing in Miracles from the Survivor CD). Living in Miracles was actually the first of my songs that I recorded. I met songwriter Enio Gaud at Mitchell College in New London, CT, in 1982. His writing style seemed to mesh with mine, rock and almost pre-alternative rock, and we wrote and recorded many songs together, including Drug Town Train from the Survivor CD, You Don't Care No More from the Personal Jesus CD, and much more material from the 8 Volume RJ CD series.

I made my first recordings with Enio in 1982, and we collaborated and recorded and jammed together a lot through 1986. From 1982-1987, I was sowing the seeds for what was to come and this time period allowed me to learn and grow into more of a musician and songwriter. This period was one of development. We were very young and there was an honest, raw and pure energy to these recordings. They were not the most polished, but they sure were fun and exciting to make (learning how to record and bounce tracks on a 4-track, exploring sound). I think a lot of music is more exciting to hear when you get the raw unpolished demos compared to polished recordings made at an expensive 24 track studio with producers, etc. I was growing and learning as a songwriter and musician, as evident on the early volumes of the RJ 8 Volume series. We were in total control on these early recordings and I think this is most interesting to hear because there is an honesty and vision to hearing recordings that the artists write, perform, sing and even record on their own equipment. Sometimes when music goes through outside ears, the artist's concept of the music is changed, and no there is someone else's "mark" on the music.

In 1987-88 I was singing and playing bass in a hard rock style band. Songs from this appear on Volume 2.

I was also recording acoustic 4 track demos at home, as evident on Volume 3. I also gigged out solo acoustic, at Centerfold Coffeehouse, NY, coffeehouses in CT and open mikes at Sun Mountain Cafe and Speakeasy New York City.

I would not stray from my 4-track and enter another recording studio until 1989, when I recorded the demo including Tonight Tonight, Knockin on the Door and Dreams that Can't be Found. This is on Volume 5.

In 1991, my new band Robert Jackson and Straight Shooter performed in NYC, Westchester and Putnam Counties NY, and I recorded KGB, Love man, and Fever during this time.

1992 through 1994 I entered the studio again to work on recordings that would eventually turn into the Survivor of the War on Rock CD, which came out in 1995.  I promoted it myself and it made the radio charts in Europe, and wound up also being distributed and sold in the Netherlands, Italy, France, etc.

Gigs would follow with our new band, picking up current guitarist Larry Nardi during this time.

In the winter of 1995 I decided to buy my own recording equipment.6 song demos were recorded at the newly christened AIF Recording Studios, among them early versions of Personal Jesus, Alice Linz and Gunfire in the Distance, heard on Volume 6.

I recorded demos for an unscrupulous entertainment lawyer, whose name I shall not mention, and he said he would shop the demos that appear on Volume 7, but he never did.

I signed and recorded with producer John Wonderling in summer 1997. Sessions followed in NYC and Woodstock, NY.

I signed and recorded with producer Scott Mathews in January 1998. We were recording in a studio north of San Francisco in January. Some out takes from these sessions are on Volume 8.

From the material recorded with these 2 producers I put out the Personal Jesus CD in August, 1998.

I hired various college and commercial radio promoters, attained national distribution, and promoted it myself.

Live gigs followed with yet another band lineup.

Gig Highlights (and lowlights)
1989 Christmas, Palace Theatre, New Haven, CT - On Soundtracks night I was the only guy to get on stage, surrounded by lights and dry ice, and sing an original song, while other performers sang covers.
Quickcheck Balloon Fest, NJ, summer of 1998, RJ Band warmed up for Brother Cane.
November 2000, the band went to Maryland and attempted to get those mid-Atlantic booking agents all fired up at our performance showcase at the Maryland State Fair Convention. When we got on stage, we were the only band not wearing cowboy hats, and more than half the crowd at the banquet tables before us were senior citizens! After cranking it out and not hearing ourselves in the monitors, due to some highly skilled sound engineer, and exiting while gazing at the looks of disbelief and wonder before us, we decided our rock and roll went over better elsewhere when  heard by the more hip and non-graying crowd.
Foxes Lair, NJ, 1996
The guy working at the club actually tried to hit us up for money. Needless to say we never returned to that fine establishment.