Updated: Jul 8, 2018
Do me a favor. Reach back into the folds of your mind and remember something for me. When was the first time you heard Wipe Out? As soon as I said it, did a flash of recognition jump to the forefront of your mind? That insantly recognizable surf sound? Are you remembering that killer drum intro as I speak?
What about Hawaii-Five-Oh? Tell me how that one goes--
Now that you've remembered some musical history, meet the man who helped bring it to you-- John Durrill. John was the keyboardist for the Ventures, as well as for the 5 Americans (Western Union). John considers himself as a singer/songwriter, and a prolific one he is at that. John has written songs for over 100 different artists and musicians. He wrote "Misery and Gin" for Merle Haggard, "Dark Lady" for Cher, has worked with Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, the list goes on and on.
The afternoon I spent with John was definitely one for the books. We talked music all afternoon, and he played me some pieces from his songbooks. John began playing piano as a boy in Oklahoma, and as a young man had the incredible fortune to play with some of the greatest musicians of all time. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, and Frank Sinatra. (Just to name a few).
As a matter of fact, as we're sitting at his piano John tells me about the time he was playing with the killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis. They were both sitting at the keys, fingers furiously flying up and down the ivories. They were so focused on the music and the passion of it all that when they were done, they looked up and realized that someone had lit the top of the piano on fire with lighter fluid and they hadn't even noticed.
That's the thing about John Durrill. He has such a passion for art, music, and life. He draws such fire from art and channels it into something new. Something you can hear and feel. Don't believe me? Take a listen to Joe Williams singing John's song '8-5 I Lose' and don't tell me you don't feel something. I dare you.