1973 Gretsch 7609 1973 Gibson L6S
Guess who? Peek-a- boo, I see you! This is where I get to tell you about myself. My full name is Joseph Neumann. I was 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 I was "pure" (true and honest) and when
I was born that I was born with a "veil". 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.
"Life is a song. Sing it! "
All the songs I have written are about my memories and actual life experiences. The "best" example of this I have is from a past relationship
I had below. Some of the songs from this experience I had are mentioned below and are also posted on my "Original Songs" page located above.
And so it begins...
As I continued down my musical career, I thought it would be a good idea to actually record a couple of my songs and make a record and try to get the radio stations to play my songs.
It was during this time that I met "my gal". It was the first time I ever fell for someone and we had it all just like Bogie & Bacall in the song, "Key Largo". My gal loved music just like I did and was a little silly like me which I thought made us the perfect couple.
"I was so wrong". She was bad, I didn't know it. Her big smile never did show it. This "happy time?" in my life inspired me to write the songs "Cos' You Know", "My Woman Is Mine" and "Summertime In Our Lives" posted on my "Original Songs" page.
Then suddenly in 1979 my Mom started getting sick and wasn't going to get well. Things then started to fall apart for me. I couldn't handle this.
I was very upset and confused and lost direction of my life and didn't care about anything for a little while. My gal didn't seem to care what I was going through during this time of my life.
I decided to push forward with my recording plans because my Mom would have wanted that so I went into the recording studio for the very first time and I recorded two of my songs. The first of my original songs that I
recorded was recorded in 1981 called “Love’s Little Heartaches” and "It Can Happen Anytime Of The Day". A lot of work, money and effort went into this project with no success. I remember stopping by my home town radio station WICC in Connecticut and talking to WICC and being given a very difficult time when I asked if WICC would play my record even though I had performed at numerous fund raising events through the years that their radio station was also apart of.
I also remember radio station WDJZ in Connecticut that was run by Frank Derak who knew me from some of the fund raising events I had performed at. He was very kind to me and played my record often on WDJZ radio.
As bad as everything was already going for me at that time in my life because I was worried about my Mom, I was performing at a beauty pageant at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Connecticut. After I performed I was backstage and I was introduced to a
crazy gal who wanted to meet me by
her boyfriend who was supposed to marry her that I wish I never met. She became very obsessed with me and started stalking me. I wasn't a big celebrity but I remember the problems
Jodie Foster and John Lennon had caused by a stalker that was following them around. The stalker somehow found out where I lived and started stalking me at my house and at other places. Later when the stalker saw I had a gal she started coming around even more and even stopped at my
home very late at night deliberately just to harass me and try to break up my relationship. I thought the best way to deal with the stalker was by talking to her. I spent hours talking to the
stalker trying to reason with her calmly to leave us alone because she seemed very violent and aggressive and I didn't want to anger her. I wasn't worried about myself but I was afraid she might harm my gal. She just wouldn't go away! The stalker became very obsessed with me and would sometimes even show up suddenly when I was out with my gal and cause all kinds of problems for me and my gal. I didn't know what to do about the stalker back then to make her go away. I wish I knew about restraining orders back then. If I did, I would have had one placed on the stalker and would have had the stalker arrested. My gal was very unfair to me, even though I got no help or advice from my gal on how to handle the stalker, I got "all" the blame for the stalker being there even though I was "always true and honest" to my gal.