Hi, His Name Is Jonny Polonsky! Want Some Guitar or Songwriting Lessons!


Back in 1996, I came across this CD called Hi, My Name Is Jonny that was priced-to-sell and looked decent enough.  Being that the internet was still this funky contraption that required a computer, a land line, and a great deal of patience, we adventurous music fans had to put our money where our ears were and hope for the best.  I mean, some stores had listening booths, but if you were there, you remember the missing or broken earpieces, the cords connected to nothing, and the fact that CD's like Jonny's were rarely found among the featured titles.  Still, $6.99.

I took a leap of faith.

The next day, I cruised into work and laid Hi, My Name Is Jonny on my buddy at work.  He was a huge Frank Black fan, so I figured he might dig Jonny's tunes, as Black had produced some early demos and was instrumental in getting Jonny signed to Rick Rubin's American Records.  He freaked and for the next year, we just kept the CD in the boombox and took turns hitting "play".



It was the kind of album that launched careers into the stratosphere.  My buddy and I literally waited for the rest of the world to join us in singing along to sure-thing mega-hits like "Love Lovely Love" or "Evil Scurvy Love".

Well, long story short, it didn't happen, but Polonsky has continued to churn out some of the catchiest and most exhilarating melodic alt. rock (I hate the term "power pop" for the pervasive connotation that anything labelled as such is lightweight and not worthy of serious consideration) to a small, but devoted following.

He's also played on albums by Tool's Maynard Keenan, the Dixie Chicks, Veruca Salt, Pete Yorn, Dan Wilson (Semisonic/Trip Shakespeare), and Tom Morello.  Oh, he also played on recent albums by Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash that Rick Rubin produced.

Long story short, the internet has come a long way in the two decades since Hi, My Name Is Jonny first hit record store shelves and, as a result, someone looking for a guitar or songwriting teacher can literally hire an industry veteran like Jonny Polonsky. That's a far cry from a time not so long ago when you had to rely on the creepy old guy who ran the empty music store on the edge of town.  Or worse, the guy who gives lessons out of his apartment with plastic on all the furniture.

Yep, thanks to good old-fashioned technological overreach (and Skype), you future guitar heroes and songwriting phenoms can sit face-to-face with Jonny Polonsky from the comfort of your own home and learn your craft from someone who has actually been there and done it.  Via his Facebook page, Jonny is advertising a "Summer Slasher Sale" on all lessons - $50 for 45 minutes!

That's what we in the biz call a win/win.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

1 comment:

  1. First heard him on a CMJ compilation and immediately went out and bought Hi, My Name Is Jonny. I still play it, and love everything since.

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