Singer-Songwriter, John Batdorf’s newest single “Beep Beep” is a tribute to The Beatles. It describes his journey of learning, love and discovery through the music of this legendary band. His career has spanned decades and entertained us along the way. He was able to take a few minutes out of his schedule to speak with Equality365. Please check out his new album. It is available wherever you buy music. It would make a great gift for the music lover in your life this holiday season.
Could you tell me a bit about yourself as a musician?
I started taking guitar lessons at age 6 and later learned the piano. I could always sing, I used to sing in nightclubs when I was 6-8 years old. My father was a musician and he used to have me sit in! I’d sing “Hound Dog”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, etc. Music was always in my blood and by the time I was fifteen I was in a band with older guys and we went to California to seek out stardom. Three years later, Batdorf and Rodney were signed and produced by Ahmet Ertegun, president of Atlantic Records. My main instrument, until I was seventeen, was the Wurlitzer electric piano, but hearing the Buffalo Springfield record “Bluebird”, I was so in awe of the acoustic guitar solo that I put away the keys forever and mastered the acoustic guitar.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
The first band that made me want to pursue music as a profession was The Beatles. Until then I was more into sports, but that all changed. I learned how to write listening to those incredible records and even more so, how to write great bridges. Lennon/McCartney were the “bridge” kings!! Later when the west coast folk rock thing happened, I leaned more toward that direction. It was so unique and so “California,” my home state.
Could you describe your musical style for me?
My style is a hybrid of all the great influences I had growing up, I call it “West Coast Folk Rock.” I still think that era from 64-76 was such an awesome time to grow up; the talent bar was set so high at that time. It was a special time with special music.
How do you stay creative?
I love writing. I don’t need to stay creative, I just am naturally. I have music playing in my head constantly and have since I was a teenager. It’s a gift that I have been so blessed to have been born with. I can’t imagine a life without it.
Where do you draw your inspirations?
Life has been inspiring songwriters forever. As I have gotten older, the songs have gotten more refined and very deep at times with subject matters that I wouldn’t have ever written about as a young man. I love how the songs have changed. I have written many songs with Michael McLean and when we write, it sounds like one guy writing which is such a difficult co-writing skill. When two skilled writers are in a room together, amazing things can happen that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had finished an idea by myself. Most of my songs start as a guitar motif which leads to a chord progression and onto a melody and lastly, lyrics.
Could you tell me something funny or quirky about yourself that most people don’t know?
I love to fish, play racquetball and softball. Not quite as much as music but right there with it. When I was a studio singer/composer in the mid-80s through the 2000s, I played in leagues and participated in many tournaments. I am a sports junkie and I am very competitive.
What is currently your favorite song to perform live? Why?
I love playing Beep Beep from my new CD. It makes everyone smile!! Listen here.
Who do you dream of collaborating with?
Paul McCartney or Stephen Stills
Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my life as a musician and continue to love it to this day. I couldn’t have ever envisioned myself at age 18 still loving what I do at 63, I’m still living the dream. It has been a magically charmed life and career.
Great info about John Batdorf:
Singer-songwriter John Batdorf, known for his work with Batdorf & Rodney, and Silver, is pleased to announce the release of his new album Beep Beep. The new album follows along in the deeply personal feeling seen throughout his catalog of music, opening up his heart with lyrics personal enough they feel like journal entries. The songs range from touching and warm, to raw and comedic, often reflecting John’s everyday life. Producing great chorus sections with catchy phrases that inspire the listener to sing along, Beep Beep is a joyous and uplifting album comprised of 11 great songs, all written and produced by John.
“Beep Beep is quite a pleasant listen, sparked by Batdorf’s songwriting, arranging, and storytelling skills; he may not be a household name like Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, or Roger McGuinn, but he’s right on par with any of them,” writes Wayne Riker in the San Diego Troubadour.
The title track, “Beep Beep,” was the first song written, and the catalyst for the whole album. The song, which was written about John discovering music via The Beatles in the 60s, is a tribute to the legendary band’s technique and feel. “I was so lucky to have grown up listening to this incredible band that launched so many other great bands and did indeed change the world forever,” John Batdorf.