John Morse is one of those old school rockers who have been around forever and is still kicking ass. Although criticized by many, Johnny makes no bones about who he is, and what he does. I first heard about John on the radio sometime back when Pat Travers was playing in Albany, and Pat called into Mrozek talking about this crazy drunk guy named John Morse who just gets hammered and runs onstage to rip on his guitar. Needless to say, I had to learn more about this guy. So I checked out Johnny’s website (which greets you with an image of a sodium chloride drip filled with Jagermeister) and loved everything I saw and heard. His originals are pure booze fueled blues rock, the way it should be. It immediately struck me that John Morse is a guy who plays with all he’s got, and doesn’t give a fuck what other people think. I liked that. At this point I had many questions about this guy, and I thought, what better way to answer them than to get it straight from the Jager – Camels mouth!!!!
KM: How do you know Pat Travers? JM: I met Pat Travers a while back doing a show with him. I first played a gig with him at Tigers around 1990. Since then I have booked his band in the Albany area many times and opened up for him about 10-12 times. Just to get to watch someone of his caliber is always a treat, especially when it’s someone you grew up admiring. I also had the good fortune to share the stage with many of my childhood idols, Pat being one of my faves. Also the Robin Trower show back in the day was surreal. The Blue Oyster Cult were cool guys, as a matter of fact I just did a show with U.F.O at The Chance and they kicked ass! I do remember opening for Bad English in 89’. The band was basically half of Journey and Half of the Babies. Funny story about that one. I came off the stage and a guy says “hey man pretty good up there!” I look up and find myself face to face with Neal Schon. I then proceeded to spill a beer on his $500 shoes! Nice guy though.
KM: How long have you been playing? JM: I have been playing clubs around here since I was 13 Years old. I got my first guitar around 10 years old. And to all the haters the answer is NO I don’t practice all that much so start bashing now hahaha!!! The John Morse Band has had a total of about 2 practices in over 20 years (I know it shows right!).
KM: Name your favorite Albany clubs, past and present. JM: Most of the clubs I liked are long gone, like the NYC Cafe back in the 80’s (lots of hot ladies dressed like video vamps, and Wednesday nights ladies drank FREE!). Saratoga Winners was the shit in the 80’s as well, I did a lot of shows there, and they also had lots of hot ladies. The Sandpiper was always a good time too. Used to be a different scene back then! Nowadays, I love to play anywhere there are cool people who dig what I do and like to drink! P-4th is always cool (HI ARTIE), Humpy’s is one of my favorites ‘cause the owner is cool as shit, and it is a very small club with cool drinking people that like to have fun. I like opening up for the 80’s hair bands at Northern Lights. I like to see how the older groupies have aged!! The Bret Michaels and Vince Neil shows were a hoot by the way. I didn’t watch the bands much, it was more of a people watch gig and hanging out in our bus drinking and whatever else.
KM: What is the difference between your band and Starstruck? JM: Starstruck is classic old rock like Thin Lizzy, Rainbow, and will be mostly be all original music soon. We are working on new tunes but only practice once a week due to my schedule. The band consists of me on guitar, Bill McCann on vocals, Dan McCann on drums, and C.J. Benenati on bass. The John Morse Band is mostly covers with some originals off my album, “Life On The Bottle,” which are drinking songs and good old blues.
KM: How much do you love Jagermeister? JM: I have a bit of love for the booze, can’t drink the hard stuff as much as I used to (doctors orders) but I still love Jager. I drank a lot of it in Ireland.
KM: Do you have any old school groupie stories from back in the day? Or any crazy story that you wouldn’t mind sharing (like about broads)? JM: Well as far as groupies go I take my craft very seriously and don’t get involved in those sorts of shenanigans (hahaha). I have been doing this a very long time and can’t even remember all the stories. I’m saving them for my tell-all book (hahaha)!
KM: What’s in the future for The John Morse Band and Starstruck? JM: The John Morse Band is myself, Pat McNulty on bass, and Jim Fisk on drums. We just like to play and have a good time. We are looking forward to doing it as long and hard as possible! The bar scene is kind of rough around here these days, so just to play 3-5 times a week after all this time is an accomplishment (and don’t forget about the free booze}. Starstruck is working on new original music and hoping to record later in 2010. Then we’re looking to tour a bit.
KM: What do you have to say to all of the haters out there of John Morse? JM: Well there certainly are a lot of Johnny haters out there. I would say you have too much time on your hands to sit and bash me on Craigslist. Maybe you should try playing out once in a while, or get drunk, or maybe even find yourself a woman if that’s possible. Really what does that say about you if you have to bash a drunk fuck like me all day? Could you maybe aim a little higher? I guess some people’s lives suck so much they have to bash others. I don’t have the time for that shit. I’m too busy trying to get gigs and have fun! I also just noticed some people bashing your mag on CL, WTF? You’re just trying to have some fun, I don’t get it.
KM: Neither do we. Thanks Johnny for answering some questions with us. Keep Rocking!
JM: Cheers and Thanks to you too! Be sure you all check out www.johnmorseband.com www.myspace.com/thejohnmorseband and www.myspace.com/starstruckalbany. Look me up on Facebook as well! Happy Holidays! John Morse for 3/5/09