John “Juke” Logan; Players & Groovers
Hi everyone. Happy Fall! It feels good to be working on our movie again. I have been working on a documentary with my friend Juke for almost a year now. The idea to do this started about five years ago, almost as soon as I met Juke and started to hear some of his stories and I realized what a great story teller he is. He reminds me of an animated grasshopper, because he jumps around so much in his stories; one idea leads to so many others.
Our documentary is called John “Juke” Logan: Players & Groovers. It is of course, about Juke, and about being a professional musician for over forty years. Spanning four amazing decades, from the 60’s to the new millennium, what it was like to work and tour and play across America and Europe with acts such as Leon Russell, Dobie Gray, Albert Collins, Screamin’ Jay (pictured) and so many more. It’s about the relationships a Player has with his audience, the Groovers. It’s also about how not being a “star” can be a good thing. To quote Willie Dixon, ” I have seen things that kings and queens have never seen. That kings and queens don’t even know about”.
Being on the west coast, in TV land, led Juke to some unique opportunities. His session work for one composer in particular, led to Juke being involved with the Roseanne Show for eight years and creating the distinctive harmonica sounds that millions of people know and love. That led to work on Home Improvement and being a member of Tim Allen’s Tool Time band for that show’s long run. Then there was his collaboration with Ry Cooder on the film Crossroads. All amazing opportunities.
We have been shooting interviews when we can, here in LA and at Juke’s pad in Joshua Tree. It has been going kind of slow due to Juke having had esophageal cancer and working around his treatments.
This summer he was declared cancer-free, and we celebrated big time. Juke even had a big party for his 66th birthday out in Joshua Tree in September. It was a great night and I interviewed a lot of his old friends and musical partners in the 1947 airstream trailer Juke has been refurbishing.
Unfortunately our joy was short lived. A few weeks later after some follow-up tests, cancer was again discovered in his esophagus – for the third time.
So now Juke will undergo another round of chemo treatments to try to, as he says, “send these bastard cells back to hell where they came from”. We will work around his health and his treatments as we try to shift and shape this movie into the cool story it is.
In a few weeks we hope to have our teaser video complete and launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to tell this story. This will be a huge undertaking, involving many people and many favors. It will be a full time job to tell this story in the manner that it deserves. It’s a challenge I gladly look forward to taking.
I will keep you updated here and on the soon to come Players and Groovers website, facebook page, twitter handle, etc.
Thanks for checking in and I can’t wait to share more news about this soon.