Jeb Milne Cared About Music

A champion for good live local music in Los Angeles, Jeb Milne, died earlier this week. He was a stupendous performer, and his venue, Witzend, is the best listening room in LA.

Jeb created Witzend as a place where the performers felt encouraged, special, and loved, and he did the same with the audience. He put his love and energy into every aspect of Witzend, and because he would make us all feel so good, everybody at the shows connected through the music and the whole experience. Every venue and music booker should learn from Jeb’s example.

Witzend is a beautiful listening room with clear sound and a comfortable and classy vibe, Jeb cared about every little detail. Before Witzend, Venice performers had spent the previous years playing in local coffee shops, bars, speakeasies (shut down by cops), house parties (also shut down by cops!), etc. These were are all good and great fun, but we needed a nice venue to perform in when it was time to rise a little bit above the bohemian grunge and find out what we sounded like through a good sound system.

In the first weeks when Jeb was just starting Witzend as a venue, sometimes he would call during the day when it was closed and I would come over and we’d sing a few songs together and talk about great songwriters etc, and just hang out for while. We dug many of the same bands, and disagreed about plenty of artists, but more often than not, we’d geek out over The Beatles. He often requested that I play ‘Mercy’, one of my songs that he liked to sing along to, and eventually we worked it out with him on piano. He told me about his times in London, and we joked about being in the Canadian Mafia. Jeb sparkled when he sang, it was great to watch. It’s funny, now that I’m thinking about it, many of my memories of Jeb and Witzend are from when the doors hadn’t even opened yet.

I could never thank him enough for making such a beautiful space for music performance, but believe me, I tried. I miss being in Venice during times like this, I wish I could be there for his memorial. Jeb cared about artists and he cared about the audience. He was one of the best venue owners and talent bookers, and also one of the kindest and most encouraging people I have known. Jeb Milne cared about music deep down in every fiber of him.

I hope he knows we love him for it.

Jeb Milne at Witzend
Jeb Milne at Witzend

With much love and gratitude,

Saint John

 

Home in Venice in May

I came home to Venice for a bit and played a couple of shows and listened to the waves and ate Mexican food and watched the sunset and dolphins and tried to make pretty girls laugh and played Mario Kart and spent some time with dear friends and overall had a brilliant time. It was such a great time that I just wrote a run-on sentence. My elementary school teachers would cringe if they read this.

Here are some pics from my show at Witzend (photographer: Martin Wolfe):

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Venice, I’ll see you again in a few weeks.

Love,

SJ

Elliott Bay Sunset

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Elliott Bay Sunset

Seattle has some really good musicians, and I’ve met some of the best of them on this trip. It also has some fun venues to play in, venues that actually respect musicians and don’t just use them to do the venue’s marketing for them. I’ve been playing here a bunch and meeting lovely fans of music too. If you’re one of them and you’ve just stumbled on my site, go here for regular updates and say ‘hello!’:

http://www.facebook.com/saintjohnandtherevelations

Fortunately for me, Seattle also has some lovely sunsets.

Well, I’m going to go back out now and see what other bits of loveliness are hiding around this city.

Don’t worry dearest Venice, I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ll be back home soon.

Love,

SJ

Elliott Bay Sunset Seattle has some really good musicians, and I’ve met some of the best of th

Image

Elliott Bay Sunset

Seattle has some really good musicians, and I’ve met some of the best of them on this trip. It also has some fun venues to play in, venues that actually respect musicians and don’t just use them to do the venue’s marketing for them. I’ve been playing here a bunch and meeting lovely fans of music too. If you’re one of them and you’ve just stumbled on my site, go here for regular updates and say ‘hello!’:

http://www.facebook.com/saintjohnandtherevelations

Fortunately for me, Seattle also has some lovely sunsets.

Well, I’m going to go back out now and see what other bits of loveliness are hiding around this city.

Don’t worry dearest Venice, I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ll be back home soon.

Love,

SJ

Show on Wednesday at WitZend

Dear Friends,

Join me this Wednesday at this super cool new spot in Venice called WitZend. The vibe and sound of the room are really nice and I really dig playing there.

9PM
1717 Lincoln Blvd
90291

Send me a note telling me you’re coming and I’ll put you on the guest list. Cheers!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111468218963628

Love,

SJ

Saint John live at the WitZend Oct 19 2011

It’s a grey day here in Venice CA, it kind of reminds me…

It’s a grey day here in Venice CA, it kind of reminds me of Vancouver BC weather. Except that here, unlike Vancouver, there are no idiots rioting over a hockey game.

I’m all for a good bloodless riot, but aren’t there plenty of worthier things to get violently upset about?

There are children starving all over the world, you’re getting screwed by a global capitalist ponzi scheme, and your government is constantly lying to you. But these people decide to get upset because their sports team doesn’t get to take home the big metal cup?

We probably need to reexamine our priorities.

Canucks It was a nice surprise to be walking down a street in…

Canucks

It was a nice surprise to be walking down a street in Venice Beach CA and see a large Vancouver Canucks sticker in a shop window. I don’t follow hockey much anymore, but having your home team in the Stanley Cup finals is still pretty cool.

It’s even better when it’s sunny and warm where you are and you’re walking around in flip-flop sandals.

SJ

Well, it’s 4AM and who could blame me for taking the wrong…

Well, it’s 4AM and who could blame me for taking the wrong way at this hour. But it was a super productive day, and my first day back in Venice so I’m making the most of it. We booked a show at the House of Blues on Sunset today, we’ll be playing on the 12th of May at 11PM. Bring your boogie pockets, we’re going to have some new stuff to show you and maybe even have something for you to take home…

Luca and I met up tonight and rehearsed for a few hours and discussed our audition schedule. We’re auditioning for bass players, keyboardists, and cellists, send me a note if you’re interested in coming around and jamming. Sometimes it’s a little bit fun, and sometimes it’s a lot of fun, it’s kind of up to you.

I met up with some really good musician friends tonight and they just finished up recording their record. I’m cheerfully jealous of them. Don’t worry, we’ll have our record done by 2049, your grandkids will love it.

2AM Chinese food saved my life. I’m missing some of the food up in Seattle though, flamed cheese at the Greek restaurant in Ballard was probably my favourite. I’ll be back in a couple of months for it, and maybe even some more work.

Well, I’ve been a lazy guest at this party and should rejoin them. G’night my dears!

Love,

SJ