Johnette Napolitano was born this day in 1957, but it wasn’t until 1986 I found out about her, through her band Concrete Blonde. Since then, she’s left an indelible mark on my musical soul.
I was lucky enough to see Concrete Blonde live on 3 different occasions, and Johnette was simply amazing. There is an honesty, a vulnerability that comes from her songwriting that is just mesmerizing. (NOT to slight the rest of the band, they are AWESOME!)
A couple interesting notes regarding Johnette and her influence on me…
First, she is the first (and only, until recently) musician that made me cry with a song. Yeah, I always thought people that said “that song made me cry” were full of crap, but I’ll be damned, Johnette did it to me with “Little Sister” from their debut album.
Second, Johnette is the ONLY artist, EVER, that compelled me to write a ‘fan’ letter. This was before email, and Facebook and all that nonsense… I was going through a real tough time; my wife was pregnant with our daughter, my band had broken up, I was actively suing a production company that had ripped me off, (not paying me for “services rendered” at a bunch of gigs I played for their acts) and I was pretty sure at that point that I was DONE with music. So I wrote a letter to Johnette telling her how much she inspired my song writing, and that maybe that inspiration would bring me back to music someday. And while I can’t say she’s ‘responsible’ exactly, I’m still here, making music, almost 30 years after that letter!
It’s one of the crazy things in life, that Johnette isn’t a ‘household name’. She certainly should be. She’s got more talent in a single finger than most pop stars express their entire careers. She’s an artist’s artist, a one-of-a-kind talent, and an absolute gem.
I’m so incredibly grateful for having Johnette being a huge part of my life’s soundtrack, I can’t imagine life without her voice in it!
Happy Birthday Johnette! I wish you nothing but happiness and continued artistic expression. My life is better because of you, even though we’ve never met. Thank you for everything!!
Thanks for stopping by!