Jeff Pike

Remembering Blue Jeans and Tom Petty

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017

  To me, the music of Tom Petty has always been like an old pair of my favorite Levi jeans. The kind I wore when I was a teenager and a young man. They always felt good, and the more you wore them, the better they felt. If you gained a little weight, then they would stretch with you. If you lost a pound or two, you could just tighten your belt and get on with the game. They never let you down. Of course, as time moved on, you might have taken them for granted when your Mom, Grandmother, girlfriend or wife had you try some brand new so-called designer Jeans. But you quickly learned the truth and went back to the real thing. As the good times and bad times moved on with life, they would hang right in there with you. A little worse for wear, showing some holes and a bit frayed at the bottom, but still fitting, hanging in there and keeping you cool. Or as cool as you thought you were, which was quite important, you know. They almost became a part of your body, a part of you. So much so that you could never dream of parting with them. You found comfort in knowing that you always had your favorite jeans to keep you comfortable through the day and that they would forever be there. Until one day either your Mom, Grandmother, girlfriend or wife throws them out, or they just finally fell apart with no warning. One day they are here. Next day they are gone. That is how I am feeling today about the sudden passing of Tom Petty. A daily comfort that I thought would always be with us is now gone forever, unannounced. Tom gave us pure and intelligent heartland rock and roll. He always delivered. He never stopped. He liked to play in jeans. Tom rolled with the changes like the coolest dude in school, man. For many like myself, he was a large part of the soundtrack of our youth, even if it was only on the perimeter, he was always there kicking serious ass with serious coolness. I got turned onto Tom Petty in 1978 with the release of ‘You’re Gonna Get It,’ but it wasn’t until the release of ‘Damn The Torpedos’ in 1979 that his music hit me right between the eyes...

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Headin’ out for the Labor Day Weekend Show…

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017

A1A at The Rock N’ Rails Music Festival Griffith, Indiana September 2, 2017   Another Labor Day Holiday Weekend is over, and I want to take a minute to thank everyone who came out and saw the band perform. We had three highly successful shows that were all extremely well attended. It was a fitting way to take out the season, although I am feeling a bit beat up today. The band played fantastic every night, and everyone had a great time. I have to say that after 26 years I am amazed at the huge number of people who continue to come to our shows and completely enjoy what we do. After so much time sometimes I forget just how much joy and happiness our performances give to so many people. I had a vast number of concert attendees talk to me this weekend. All of them expressing how long they have loved the band and how much our performances mean to them. It was quite humbling. I am very thankful and appreciative of everyone who has been part of A1A for so many years, both past, and present. I cannot stress to you how blessed I am to be able to play with the extraordinarily talented and world class musicians that I do. They give so much and push me to rise above my limitations which always make for a better show and sometimes a lot of laughs as well. I probably never thank them enough, but I want every one of them to know that what they have brought to A1A this year means more to me than I can say and that I would not have the incredible band I do without them. My 2017 A1A Heroes – every one a #1 in my life.   Audio Visual Production and Stage Management – Chad Stewart, Vance Kelly, Ansley Segraves and Mark Josephs   Band Management and Booking – Kathy Mullen and Vance Kelly Charts and Musical Director – Eric Baumgartner Background Vocals – Eric and Aretta Baumgartner and Taryn Carmona Drums – Wayne Viar, Adam Goodhue Steel Pan, Percussion, Madness, and Mayhem – Nico G. Bass – Rick Meeder Lead Guitar – Chris Blackwell, Jody Worrell, and Matt Alexander Keyboards – Eric Baumgartner and Dustin Cottrell Saxophone – Vance Kelly Trumpet – Todd Motter Trombone – Erik Kofoed The A1A Pirates – Tommy Morfoot and Joseph Foe Davis   Kathy Mullen – Band management, booking, merchandise management, plate Juggling, road manager, wardrobe, catering, transportation, stage decor and keeper of the flame. Ashton Pike – Social media, journalistic input, band blog, stage decor and merchandise management Rabun Hunziker and Jill Watson – Merchandise...

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August 13, 2017 – Celebrating the Life, Legacy, and Music of Dan Fogelberg

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017

  One warm spring evening in May of 1978, May 5 to be exact, I first heard the music of Dan Fogelberg.  I was on tour with my high school choir attending a mixer in Mobile, Alabama and I was 16 years old. I still remember vividly the house, the room, the moment, the turntable and the emotion I felt after hearing my first Dan Fogelberg song. The song was ‘There’s A Place In The World For A Gambler’ from his 1974 album ‘Souvenirs’. I immediately forgot about the party and sat down in front of the turntable for the rest of the evening playing ‘Souvenirs’ over and over until someone insisted that it was time to put on ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen.  I succumbed to ‘The Boss.’  No worries I thought because by now my life had already been permanently altered and I was in another mind space and musical world.  I had a new path and a new star to guide my way. Music has been my lifeblood as far back as my parents, and I can remember. Those who know and understand me are aware of how many musical artists have strongly affected and changed my life.  It is just a large part of who I am. Some are impressed, and some roll their eyes, but there is no denying that for better or for worse my soul is the amalgamation of many musical artists and styles.  I could list dozens upon dozens of musicians whose music is ingrained in me forever, but very few have given me serious life changing moments that forever affected my path, music, soul, and spirit. For the sake of keeping this short, I will share with you today that Dan Fogelberg, Gino Vannelli, The Beatles, Alice Cooper and David Cassidy top the list. When I returned home from that 1978 choir trip, I was a different young man. My vision of the musician and artist I wanted to be had now completely changed, much like it had in 1975 when I first heard the music of Gino Vannelli. The very next day I went out and bought every Dan Fogelberg album, cassette and 8-Track I could get my hands on, and they immediately became my Bible.  I asked my parents for an Ovation acoustic guitar for my Birthday that summer and my life changed forever. The first of...

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Jeff Pike, A1A and The New Parrot Head Documentary

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017

    Jeff Pike and A1A were a huge part of the Parrot Head Phenomenon from the very beginning. Check us out along with a little bit of our early story in the first ever official documentary about Parrot Heads. One of the most loyal and dedicated fan bases in music history are the fans of Jimmy Buffett, affectionately known as the Parrot Heads . The legendary history of how this amazing sub-culture came to be will now be told in the original 90-minute documentary Parrot Heads. Directed by Bryce Wagoner, the film chronicles the birth of the movement when a young musician named Scott Nickerson, a big fan of Buffett s music, decided to put an ad in a local paper to corral any Buffett fans in the Atlanta area for a get together. What began as a small group of friends that would hang out on weekends has now grown into a worldwide organization known as Parrot Heads In Paradise, which promotes the message party with a purpose and has raised more than 40 million dollars in charity donations. Traversing the globe from Key West to Paris, Costa Rica to California, the international phenomenon is greater than ever and has even sparked its own genre of music, Trop Rock (short for Tropical Rock). Featuring never before seen interviews with Jimmy Buffett himself. You can pick up your copy today – Just ‘click here’ Also available on Netflix...

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Goodbye To An Old Friend

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016

It is a beautiful and crisp December morning here in Atlanta. It is the kind of morning that makes you feel good to be alive when you walk outside, look into the sky, breathe the chilly air and upon exhale watch your breath fade quickly out of sight. One second it is there and the next it is gone. I was outside this morning meditating on those thoughts, pondering my own problems and filling my heart with gratitude for the day when I heard that I had lost an old friend during the night. My heart sank and my eyes filled with tears when I heard of the passing of Stan ‘The Man’ Bowen. I have known Stan for well over 20 years or more, ever since the beginning and initial success of A1A. Looking back there was rarely a performance, convention, phlocking or get together we played where Stan wasn’t onstage with us sometime during the evening. From the very first time I met Stan and we got to know each other I realized what a kind, gentle, caring and authentic soul he was. We shared many good times, laughs, drinks and music over the years. I will miss him. Stan had a rare uniqueness about him that I don’t see much of these days. He was a friend to all with a big heart, big spirit and a contagious smile. As sad as it is to lose Stan during the Christmas season I feel in a way it is appropriate. It is a time to celebrate life, birth and new beginnings. Stan has been reborn and is celebrating the season much better than we are able to at the moment. May this thought bring his friends and family some sort of peace and comfort in the days to come. Jeff Pike December 15,...

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They Know, You Know and I Know…..

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016

I was speaking to a friend of mine the other day about how so many people tend to mourn musicians, artists, actors, actresses (and  I am sure with any vocation the same connection can be made, Military, business, etc.) whom they have never met or had any interaction with. This topic has always intrigued me and today I want to share my thoughts with you on this often debated emotional mystery. I believe that through music and the arts it is possible for humans to discover deep and inarticulate awareness about their personality, character, values, dreams, wishes, regrets, appreciation, love, addictions, fears, strengths, admiration, etc. The list goes on and on. Through music and art you grow and as you grow through life, music is right there beside you. Well, for most people. So over the course of time many songs and artists can become part of our personal history. They have the possibility of somewhat becoming a permanent part of our soul and DNA. A constant if you will. Music takes us places only we have privy to.  Music gently takes up permanent residence in parts of our soul, which no one else can gain access to, it makes our hearts feel deep feelings that only we know and can articulate to ourselves.  Music can be a safe haven, a close family member, a friend, a lover, a fantasy, a drinking buddy or a lifetime full of memories. Music can be whatever you want it to be.  It is the universe’s largest wormhole – a faithful and reliable time machine. The artist and/or songwriter in question has all of this power in your life so you feel a ‘natural’ connection to them- and when you lose one it can hurt, some more than others and sometimes quite badly. Recently and over the past two years we continue to lose what seems like an unprecedented number of inspirational and legendary musicians and artists. I realize people die every day who are not in the media and it is just time moving on, yet somehow it feels different. I think we take for granted the strangers who have found their way into our soul and spirit. We feel they will always be here for us to lean on, a constant comfort in our life that will never change and when we lose one, regardless of their age, we feel a...

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