Guess who? Peek-a- boo, I see you! This is where I get to tell you about myself. My full name is Joseph Neumann, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I guess the moment that really encouraged me to pursue a career in music was when I was given an opportunity to perform at a beauty pageant in 1978 at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Connecticut. I was a featured performer. This was my first really big event for me. My Mom did attend this event I was performing at. I was scheduled to only sing one song which was "Welcome To My World." I was also backed up by the orchestra band for my song. When I came out to perform with my guitar, the whole auditorium was pitch black and I couldn't see anyone at all in the audience. I could only see where I was on the stage because of a low light spot light. After I sang the song I heard a huge overwhelming applause. Then the lights went on. What a surprise! I was shocked. The whole auditorium was packed solid with people who stood up and gave me a long loud applause. I was overwhelmed. I'm glad my Mom was there. She was so proud of me.
When I decided to put up my website, I thought it would be nice if I had "Welcome To My World" on my home page welcoming people to my website.
I am the youngest of my two other brothers. See picture below of my brother John singing "Your Cheating Heart" and playing guitar. Johnny Cash sounded a lot like my brother John.
My Mom was the best Mom ever. See picture below of me (Joe) my Mom and my brother Steve on the right.
We all had a very difficult time through the years. My Mom brought us up alone on her own because she was physically abused by some "thing" that was supposed to be a man and had to leave "it" for our safety and hers. If you notice I didn't designate this "thing" as a man because "it" wasn't. Never met "it", never wanted to. Anyway my Mom raised us on her own and did a great job. My Mom did have brothers and sisters who were married and doing very well in their homes but never reached out to help their own sister (my Mom). This upset me and affected me so much I even wrote a song about them called, "We Got By". My Mom and my two brothers have since passed on. I am currently working on a book about my journey through life. There were a lot of hard times and good times.
Getting on with my story... music has always been a part of me. I could never really be "me" without music in my life. For me, without music, I would just be going through life "empty." Songs I heard and have written, weren't just songs. They had special meaning to me. Songs I wrote and Iistened to were singing to me about my life's ups and downs. I started my musical career at the age of 11 years old in the 60’s when I was inspired by groups from the 50’s to the Beatles and Elvis.There were so many bands I have had through the years and events I have performed at that I am only mentioning some of them and photos that I have performed at. Everything I have done with my music was important to me but this could end up being too much to talk about. The first band I ever formed was called "The Spades". I've tried for many years to try to get someone to help me with my musical career and listen to some of the songs I've written with no success. The record companies I sent my material to didn't even want to be bothered. Later I bumped into an older man named Harold. He told me, "Joe, it's not what you know... it's who you know." Harold went to a lot of concerts where country artists were performing and had a backstage press pass to interview and photograph the artists. He use to bring me along on a lot of these events. I remember meeting the below National Recording Artists. See pictures below of Johnny Cash's brother Tommy Cash, Penny DeHaven and Dick Curless who were nice enough to let me go up on stage and perform a song.
A lot of the songs I have written, I wrote in my van. See picture below taken in 1980. Notice I had plenty of coffee and donuts and was comfy.
I use to drive down to the park. See park entrance photo taken below in 1980 on a stormy night I was going there to write.
I had a particular area that was always "my spot" by the water. I use to spend a lot of time there writing my songs. I really enjoyed working on my songs there on days and nights that were windy, rainy, stormy, even snowy days. That was the best relaxing time for me to write and think. I usually was the only one there. Sometimes I still go down there and I would feel right at home. Unfortunately my van is gone.
See pictures of "my spot below".
I recently obtained a film copy from a TV producer friend of mine from their Backstage Archives of a 1979 TV performance I did on “Backstage” before I went into the studio for the very first time to record two of my original songs I wrote, Love’s Little Heartaches and It Can Happen Anytime Of The Day. Other original songs I performed included in this performance are: Someone Special, The Ways Of Love, Love Blues and Love’s Little Heartaches. This performance was only of me singing and playing guitar and was made prior to me forming my band. Care was taken to reproduce this performance as best possible.
There is a short 3 second visual drop out during my interview that cannot be recovered at this time but all the audio is still heard. The rest of my performance is all intact and can be found on YouTube.
One of my early songs I wrote in 1976 was about the games the typical boyfriend/girlfriend couple play on each other when a problem comes up in their relationship that they are willing to play on each other right to the very end of their relationship. I was aware of these games when they were happening in my relationships and would not play them. The song is on my "Original Songs Downloads" page and is called "Life Must Go On" which is about the "life" in your relationship that must go on.
I've been getting a lot of emails about how I go about writing my songs and where the ideas of my lyrics come from and how long it takes me to write a song especially from people who are just starting to write songs. There are many ways the idea of a song comes to me. Usually it's about a memory or experience I had and involves a lot of and feelings and sometimes my song would start to come to me by my mood which would trigger a certain way I play a chord and then my song would start to evolve from there. Best thing to do is find a place where you can think freely with no pressure. For example you can see "my spot" with the above pictures is where I went. Then just start thinking about things and start strumming some chords. You'll be amazed at what starts to develop. I would find the main idea or sound of my song and then it starts to develop with more words and chords as I continue playing. I have sometimes written a song in a day.
My Mom told me that when
I was born that I was born with a "veil" and that I was "pure" and I was "true and honest". My Mom made a point of making sure that I was aware of this. She gave me a very old news article that she saved for me for many years about people that were born with a veil. See part of article below. Maybe this has also influenced my music and the way I write my songs.
I was curious about the above so I did some online research and found some information that I copied and pasted below about this:
A “veil” also known as a "caul," is a rare occurrence that appears in only 1 out of every 80,000 births. A newborn with a caul was (and still is) thought to have special talents and amazing powers, and is therefore held in high esteem among many cultures throughout history. Caulbearers often have supernatural abilities. Many can predict. Caulbearers were considered "kings by right," because of their leadership and judgment abilities. Babies born with a caul are also considered to be extremely lucky and were seen as good omens. A veil is an additional tool of awareness that some souls on this Earth carry with them to see the non-physical slate of creation. Someone born with a veil can usually see beyond the physical realm and into the realm of potential creation, using a variety of non-physical senses and being born with a veil is a sign of special destiny and abilities.
Below is a picture of a good friend of mine Amy Grant. Amy is a well known Christian singer, songwriter who has recorded over a dozen Christian albums. I was invited to attend her concert at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. I took this picture of her after her rehearsal before her concert when we were going for lunch.
"Time marches on, the wind blows on"
I got on with my life and music career once all the extreme stress and confusion I had in my life was gone. It was a good feeling to be myself again and I was back and on track! "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Hello Marylou". "I'm Still Standing" and it's time to Rock & Roll again!
The GOD of Israel took notice of me and blessed me and my life. I met a "good woman" that I married that is “true and honest” to me and I had two beautiful sons with her.
I became a full time freelance musician making "a lot" more money writing jingles for commercials, doing studio work and collaborating with other songwriters than I ever did working at my old job. I also had a Christian radio program ministry that I also produced and I have written about 12 Christian gospel songs. I have posted two of them on my "Original Songs" at the top of the page along with the original copies of these songs and chords I wrote down at that time. One is called, “ I Am Your Child”, which is a Pro-Life song about a baby in the mother’s womb talking to the mother. The other song is about Adam speaking to Eve and is called, “Adam Say Eve".
I started another band which I continued to call Joe Neumann & the Tornadoes that I later changed to Joe Neumann & the Big Beat which has gone through many changes through the years but I always had my good friend Bucky performing with me playing drums and singing harmony. One of the nicest concerts I had the pleasure to perform at was with Bill Haley’s Comets in Fishkill, New York. The drummer is now in charge of the band because Bill Haley passed away.
I also had an audition for "America's Got Talent", and met with Simon Cowell who introduced me to a recording executive. I gave him a copy of some of my original songs on CD.
I was contacted by him and met with him at a "private" recording studio in New York to lay down some studio recordings of some of my songs. We made really good recordings. He took copies of the recordings with him and said he will be in touch.
I then got a call from the New York studio again to work on commercial jingles. I was told that I have a unique way of writing lyrics and music.
I like to perform mostly close by home in New York. I am currently performing at concerts and shows in the New York and Connecticut areas with my band the Big Beat. My boys
are also performing with me. Joseph solos and plays trumpet and joins in with the playing and Patrick also solos and plays tenor saxophone and joins in with the playing. See photos below.
I’m very proud of them. They both attend College full time. Joseph is an Honors Student and is Majoring in Physics and Math. Patrick is an Honors Student and is Majoring in Marine Biology and Psychology. I wouldn’t have missed having kids for the world. They have "always" come first in my life. The worst person in the world is a "deadbeat dad". They run away and only take good care of themselves.
I am working on a compilation album of all my songs and have written over 80 songs. I have also been recording and producing my songs myself at my home studio.
I have recently written a song
called "Rockin' Little Mama". This song describes the "typical 50's looking and dancing gal" that is ready to roll and is a type of swing song with a touch of Jerry Lee Lewis and
rock-a-billy added. I currently have a few of my original songs available to share with you "FREE" on my album for downloading. All you have to do is go to "bandcamp.com" and put in
Joe Neumann Music in the search.
The downloads are totality free and easy to download.
A couple of my song commercial jingles that I have written and recorded for a couple companies during one of my sessions at the studio in New York have been aired on TV and radio. I was also introduced to Brian Setzer who happened to be there recording in one of their studios.
I've been playing a long time now. Nothings has changed with me through the years. I never really did pay attention to time very much as it was going by. I play better and sing better. I'm a little older now but still "charming and adorable". I have some difficulty seeing peoples faces at a distance. I still think and act the same way I always have, still immature and silly which is good for us rock & rollers and oh yeah, I still gots my hair!
I'm really having a great time performing and doing the music which has always been a part of me that I have been doing all my life. I can't imagine not doing this in my life. Without it, I would be living a "fake life". I just wouldn't be me or living the life that's me.
I take a break whenever possible
while I'm working at the recording studio. I always have a lot of ideas on songs that I work on at home that I bring back with me to the studio for my own songs and for other musicians songs. I also do some guitar work and backing vocals on other musicians recording. We all got a surprise visit from Joe Walsh from the Eagles band at the studio. He invited us all to go with him out to lunch with his group and then we went with him and his group to Mohegan Sun in his tour bus for the VETS Rock Concert that he was playing at. He's a real nice guy. I met a lot of new friends with music connections and got a few invites.
Joe Walsh told me he also produces
records and knows Ringo Starr and played in his band. We all had a lot of jamming and hang out time after the show and over that whole weekend. I’ve been meeting a lot of musicians and friends since I’ve been recording at the New York studio. I’m glad I never made it big. I like to be able to go out wherever I want to and play at concerts and do shows without all the pressure.
Our current full 90 minute video is available on YouTube. Just enter Joe Neumann Musician on YouTube.
I brought a copy of my friend Randy's "original" song with me to the New York studio. They liked it and bought the rights from him to present it to artists for a few thousand dollars but he still owns the song. He sure was happy. A few interesting things happening. My original songs have slowly been getting around to other agents in the music industry and I've been getting a few nibbles at a few of my songs. Especially three of them. "The Lonely Xmas Tree," and "Pour Me Another Glass Of Wine" and "It's Just Another Christmas Again" are being checked out by a few country artists. One of them I heard is Willie Nelson.
I have been receiving so many emails. I will eventually respond to each one individually. Here are a few responses to some emails questions I keep getting asked. I do prefer my solo performances over my full band performances because there isn’t so much pressure performing solo and they are a lot more personal and have smaller crowds. I also like playing Gretsch vintage guitars. I use a Roland GR30 guitar synthesizer when I perform and I play it live while I play my guitar. Places I like are going to vinyl record shows, guitar shows, flea markets, visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. I like plain strawberry filled donuts, and I "love" the smell of Tabu perfume from the 1950’s and I can recognize it anywhere if someone is wearing it. I have blue eyes and I’m old enough to know better. My dream night out would me being at my spot on a starlit summer night along the shore with a warm breeze softly blowing, enjoying strawberry doughnuts with a cup of coffee.
I have an agent now I met at the studio in New York. He wants me to do some concerts performing "only my original songs" "Solo". He's working on some upcoming future bookings.
My "Pages Of My Memories "solo"
performances of only my original songs have been great! I've been meeting a lot of nice people. I also explain why I wrote each one of my songs before I play each one like "Hey Joe, I'm Joe", "Someone Special", "Summertime In Our Lives", "Lead Me On", "Your Mine", "Flowers And Letters", and "Cos' You Know". They really enjoyed my story on my song "Stupid Me", especially when I told them it's all about stupid me.