John Dillon – Music

My Story

You might say I’ve led an interesting and varied life. From being an outsider in elementary school to playing lead guitar in my high school rock band. From being kicked out of two prep schools to being celebrated by my peers for bringing the counterculture to our small Pennsylvania town. From soaking in the Woodstock mud to hitchhiking and riding freight trains across the USA, eventually settling in a New Mexico new age spiritual community. From the depths of despair and addiction to a life of spiritual connection and partnership with the love of my life.

My professional life has taken a few twists and turns as well. From being a construction laborer and electrician to becoming a marketing executive in my family’s fourth generation wholesale floral business. From playing music in bars to building custom guitars for the stars. From co-creating the syndicated public radio program Art of the Song to sharing my learnings in a book, The 20-20 Creativity Solution. From being music director and accompanist for Si Kahn’s musical Mother Jones in Heaven to writing songs for political change in the era of Trump. 

For over 50 years, music has been the one constant in my life. Now I combine a selection of original songs with a few covers and connecting anecdotes to tell my life story in Life’s for Learning: My Musical Memoir.

A few songs I’ve written and produced

Co-written with my son Jackson: Millertown Road
 Fireflies light up the dusk, after the rain
 So much that I used to trust to mask the pain
 Times went by and I ran away 
 And in my mind I would have stayed 
A song for 2020: Hold on Tight
Hold on tight we're on a carnival ride 
Spinning out of control
The world keeps turning faster 
And I fear we’re gonna to roll
Hurricanes are taking a toll 
And they’re battering our southern coast
The news is coming at me like a firehose 
And my overloaded brain is toast
Gotta hold on tight... hold on tight 

Listen to my newest song Ghostly Endeavor on Patreon!

We recently did an interview with Tekla Waterfield and Jeff Fielder for Art of the Song. I was particularly inspired when Tekla talked about doing “morning pages” as prescribed in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. With that gentile reminder, I decided to do morning writing again. I started by trying to remember my dreams and detail them in my writings. I discovered similarities in the dreams in that I always seemed to be trying to get somewhere and there was always some kind of resistance to getting there… kind of like walking through jello. Each dream became a verse in a brand new song that I wrote and recorded. I hope you enjoy Ghostly Endeavor.

Sometimes I get there
Sometimes I don't
A ghostly endeavor 
Just tryin’ to get home

Listen now on Patreon!

John Dillon – singer/songwriter/producer
Handmade Dillon Guitar 12-fret 000, koa/spruce, 45-style abalone trim