Do You Know Who John Charles Is? Let Me Tell You!
John Edward Charles III was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Fond du lac, Wisconsin. He has been making music for quite some time now. Here is a guy who doesn’t care about the trivial matters of self promotion or getting his name out there, so to speak, he just wants to make and play music. I can safely call him old school all the way! His music has been described or categorized as acoustic, alternative, folk, pop and/or rock but there really is no correct label to describe his offbeat humor induced lyrics combined with his own unique style of music playing. It is something I will call John Charlesesque type of music. Just watch him play the Ukulele one time and you will agree with me! His influences seem to come from everywhere! By the way, I don’t know anyone that speaks the word Groovy quite as cool as he does! I also dig how he wears his caps with the visors flipped upwards, one would almost think that he buys them that way! This look is so unmistakably unique that only he could pull it off! John’s personality can run the gamut from being completely outrageous to one of the most down-to-earth people you would ever meet! I am honored to know him!
John and I have crossed paths over the years. I do believe people come in and out of our lives right when they need to and for certain reasons. One day in April of last year while having lunch at the Convention Grill & Fountain I run into John, I tell him I am making a movie about my dog, he says “now that is something I would like to contribute something to!” He calls me up in May and says “I have two complete songs written especially for your movie!” “You And I” and “The Ballad Of Marc And Ruby” which have now become highlights of the film! Without being partial to my pet, if I must say so myself, I think they rank amongst the finest dog songs ever!
I have listened to many songs over the years but never had thought of taking a shot at writing one until March of last year. I needed to write something out of desperation and also as a form of self-help therapy, so to speak. What I felt I ended up writing was a poem more than a song. Frustrated and not sure what to do with what I wrote down I held onto it until I mentioned to John what I had written. He said he would look at it and see what he could come up with and not so much finish the song but more along the lines of enhancing it! In June the song was completed and performed live for the first time on August 6th. On September 23rd the foundation and blueprint of the song was recorded at a studio in Minneapolis with the genius of Andy Thompson (http://www.andywho.com/) overseeing all production duties as well as playing drums and keyboard on the track! With John on vocals, electric and bass guitars, Bryan Highhill (Lumpy) (http://www.bryanhighhill.com/) on trumpet, and featuring all four of us on backing vocals and hand claps! Now the rest is music history! The song is titled “Narcissistic Girlfriend.” Listen to, buy, download and share the track click here (http://johncharlessongs.bandcamp.com/track/narcissistic-girlfriend).
You could call it the sequel to Carly Simon's biggest hit "You're So Vain" nearly 40 years later. The subject matter is very relevant today. Aimee Mann talking with freelance writer; poet Deborah Stambler for The Huffington Post had this to say about it "If you think about the most charming people, I mean narcissists are really charming. And they're charming because if you're a person who's concerned about appearances, your talent is knowing how to create a great appearance. So they're really good at it for a while. It takes a while to realize that there's not much going on underneath or it's a fairly selfish pursuit." As Bob Dylan has recently said in a conversation with John Elderfield "It's hard to explain that, especially in this age of narcissism and self-surveillance. A Lot of people wouldn't know they are alive unless they have photos of themselves to prove it-from the cradle to the grave, actually." Two different points of view on narcissism from two great artists!
I hope you enjoy it and that it eases some heavy thoughts on your minds the way it did for me when I wrote it! Oh, and by the way, be sure to check out John playing live sometime down the line, (http://www.reverbnation.com/johncharles3/) he will take you back to when times were easier for all of us while at the same time offer you his worldy wisdom for tomorrow. He is one great musical treasure in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities area! Do not hesitate, tune into him today, if you haven't already done so! You can thank me later! Marc Percansky
John Charles Essential Songs
Piece Of Corn
Who's Stupid Now?
You And I
The Ballad Of Marc And Ruby
Sleep My Life Away
John Charles Discography
Life's A Gas...So Breathe Deep 2002
My Old Fond Du 2004
Leslie Fletcher 2005
A Swan In Progress 2011 Reissue
John Loves Leslie 2011 Reissue
In The Affirmative 2011
John Charles Links