Punk rock canned food

Johnny Football Star plays last concert before departure, name change

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

The four members of Juneau punk band Johnny Football Star collected 300 cans of food when they set up an all-ages concert at The Elks Lodge in January. They brought in 200 more cans at a show in March.

They'll give the food drive one more shot at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 31, when they headline a four-band bill at The Elks Lodge downtown with like-minded punk bands Lifted and Down For The Count, plus What Remains, the solo, alter ego of JFS bassist and singer David Conway.

The all-ages concert, admission $3 or three cans of food, will be Johnny Football Star's final Juneau performance. The band will have copies of its new seven-song EP on Dave's Bedroom Records, Conway's home label. The band plans to move to Bozeman, Mont., this fall and change its name to We Are Ghosts.

Guitarist Dewey Peacock has a semester remaining at Montana State University, and drummer Dave Reed plans to enroll in a two-year film program there. On a map, Bozeman is one of those towns that seems to be six hours from everywhere. That should help Johnny Football Star/We Are Ghosts, as it tries to tour.

"It's not like a big hot spot, but hopefully we can use the summers to our advantage," Peacock said. "There's a lot more bands, and there's a lot more going on than here. It's a good platform to start off. It's a good way to move up from Juneau."

"We've already put money and time into this as it is," Reed said. "As far as equipment, we all have expensive stuff. We've been doing this and sacrificing our time."

Johnny Football Star officially formed in May 2002. Three of the members - Reed, Peacock and Quinn Bloom - had played together in various projects. Conway had played in a number of bands around town and hooked up with the group when he returned to Juneau from studying audio engineering at the Seattle Art Institute.

The band has stayed together for more than a year, despite Peacock's studies in Bozeman. They've sent him "scratch tracks" - snippets of songs that he can play along to, so he can learn the parts.

"When we practiced last summer, we were still getting used to each other," Conway said. "That's the time where you're like, 'Oh my god, is this going to work?' Then everyone started getting better at playing with each other. Now if we miss one practice a week, it's not going to break us."

About 225 people showed up at the first Johnny Football Star show in January with Down For the Count and What Remains. The canned food drive was Bloom's idea.

"We played that show simply by word of mouth," Conway said. "Kids in Juneau don't have much to do. The only thing you can do on weekends is party or go to a movie. You just try to open up another passage for them to go through. They can spend $3 and see a show."

"If kids are just motivated enough to get out and put on shows at places like The Elks Lodge, they'll at least earn respect and acknowledgment from the community," Peacock said. "There are some amazing musicians in town that will never do anything, just because there's not a lot of easy involvement."

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