We at Power Pop would like to wish a very happy birthday to John Murphy of Shoes!
Murphy was a scrawny, quiet kid with killer art skills and a massive record collection (which he shared with his younger brother) when the guy sitting next to him in sophomore English, a tall jock he didn't know named Gary Klebe, looked over his shoulder and saw the caricature he was absent-mindedly drawing of the teacher. Gary asked him if he wanted to draw pictures for a satirical high-school magazine he and some of his friends were putting together, and John agreed. Nothing came of it immediately, but when junior year began, Gary walked up to John and handed him a copy of the magazine, Lime.
The friendship between the two blossomed, and by the time they were headed to college, they'd decided to have an imaginary band. They had a name, Shoes, and they drew comics to each other fantasizing about how famous they'd be, though they didn't have instruments, let alone any idea how to play them. An idea it stayed, until Jeff, John's younger brother, bought himself a TEAC-3340S four-track recorder. He needed a band to learn how to use it, and so John and Gary buckled down and actually tried to figure out how to play for Jeff, and with him, and the three moved forward together.
Now, John and his bandmates are finishing up an
as-yet-untitled record(link goes to their new website), due sometime next year, probably about the same time I finally get my book, Boys Don't Lie, a History of Shoes, out into the world. It's the first new Shoes music in 17 years, and they're giddy as hell about it, I can tell you that much. (No, I haven't heard anything, in case you're wondering, but I heard plenty about it.)
Over the last two years, I've logged a lot of time with John Murphy, and he's a warm, funny guy I like a lot. Warmest greetings from all of us here to him.