The misfits are here. Don’t mind the blurriness.

a stack of cds

At long last, the first thing i’ve ever done that comes with a proper booklet is all packaged and ready to go. Hello Julia. I’ve been a little busy today folding inserts and putting jewel cases together, as you can see.


It didn’t really hit me just how packed with text the booklet was until I was holding the finished product in my hands. There are no suggestive pictures of me inside. Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for that sort of thing. But hopefully there will be a few things of interest in there for those who are curious about where some of the songs came from.

I grabbed the opportunity to take a few shots at usurpers from my musical past in the booklet. Not that there’s a very good chance any of them will ever read the words directed at them, but still. Score!

One thing I’d like to point out for anyone who bothers to read the thing — I caught this after the fact, and it isn’t exactly a typo (I don’t think I made any of those), but it’s something I should have worded differently.

Early on, while discussing the song “Bloody Chicago (Morning)”, I write that it doesn’t sound half bad for being “one of the first things I ever recorded, using equipment that was still foreign to me at the time”. The emphasis should be on using equipment that was still foreign to me. That comma shouldn’t be there, because it makes it sound like this was one of the first things I ever recorded, period. And that’s very far from being the case.

What I should have written was something more like, “This doesn’t sound half bad for being one of the first things I ever recorded digitally.” I’d been recording albums on cassette tape for quite a long time at that point. They just weren’t things anyone ever got to hear, and it was exciting to finally be able to record in a more professional way, or at least in such a way that the end result would be on a CD instead of a cassette.

Glad we got that cleared up.

The important thing is I’ll be able to start spreading this thing around tomorrow, sending CDs out in the mail, giving them to people in person, and all of that fun stuff. For anyone who was sitting around thinking, “I hope that weird guy who made that weird CD with a Chicken Angel Woman on the cover puts out a bloated collection of songs that have fallen by the wayside over the years and throws in a thick booklet completely free of photographic content,” your prayers have been answered.


  1. i absolutely love this photo — so glad you’re using it for the misfits cd! yay, i can’t wait to get my mitts on one (or two)! whohoo!

  2. It’s a-comin’! Hopefully it won’t take too long to get to you…should go out in the mail tomorrow. Or I guess technically it would be today. I’m not sure how much mileage you’ll get out of it, but I had fun putting the whole mess together, and it’s a nice feeling to finally be done with it after wondering if I was ever going to finish the thing or figure out how to sequence it.

    It cracks me up how much reading material there is. I imagine some people might open the CD case and be a little perturbed that the booklet is just page after page of words, with no pictures inside. I did think about putting some images in there of “studio” spaces I’ve had over the years, but I don’t have many good shots of the old spaces, and the space I’m working with now is impossible to capture properly in just one picture. Maybe if I got one of those 360-degree camera things…

    And Leesa — I’m a big fan of that picture too. Grandpa had some kind of eye with an old Polaroid camera. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for a cover image, but I wanted to avoid using a picture of myself. I did have an idea to get a picture of me lying down, submerged beneath CDs and tapes of “unreleased” music with only the face exposed, but I didn’t have the patience to make that happen. Then I saw that picture and thought, “Those kids look like misfits. In a good way, of course. Hey…misfits!” And there was my album cover.

    I’m going to try and swing by Margaret’s tomorrow with some CDs, so if you’re around I’ll give you one, and if not I’ll leave one there for you.

  3. totally, absolutely, wonderfully good misfits. yes, this is the perfect photo and a perfect fit for your collection. looking forward to listening to the hours of goodness — thanks for dropping one off to margaret for me — or giving it to me in person if i’m around. thanks!

  4. Today I had the pleasure of listening to CD’s 1, 2 & part of CD 3. It took me back to when Johnny was exploring and developing his unique talent that was influenced a bit by those persons in his life at that time. I love the song Husk for it’s raw energy and guitar work and because it reminds me of my youth when things were carefree and lustful. There are many many songs on these 3 CD’s that I like and I loved reading the booklet and looking at the cover picture. Great work again Mr. West! Very very proud of you…. keep going and makin great music..

    On a different note I heard a whisper in the wind tonight that there may be a live show sometime in December with some dear friends who may be playin with you. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that it happens.

  5. As Jesus once told me about playing live “when you are groovin and jammin with friends” “thou shall be safe as music is thy shield from all”. I think you can find this passage in the Testament that has yet to be found.

  6. I got a copy the other day and then salivated over it until I could listen to it the next day. I love that there’s an endless supply of Johnny West music to keep me company on those lonely nights in the office writing papers and marking assignment by kids who barely know how to form a sentence.

    Keep ’em comin’ Johnny.

    Also, Nostalgia-Triggering Mechanism…AWESOME…good work

  7. johnny west has a web presence.. awesome! when you were in oac, i was in grade 9… i remember hearing papa ghostface at air jam at walkerville. since ’06 ive had my hands on a copy of brand new shiny lie i scored from CJAM. awesome music, man. so how does one go about getting copies of your other stuff?

  8. Owen! I remember you! Long time no tango.

    As far as I know, the only way to get most of my music is through me. Unless there’s a shady underground operation going on with people trading bootleg copies of my stuff in exchange for video footage of Ashlee Simpson reading lines from Shakespeare. Scary stuff, man.

    I’m happy to give you any CDs you might want, though. I think there are still copies of the newest album at Dr. Disc, so if you’d like you can grab one from there. You can’t pay for it, though, ’cause it’s free.

    Having an internet presence is a funny thing. Back when I had a proper website, I didn’t really get much of any traffic. Granted, I didn’t advertise the site or play regular shows or anything, but still. You would think having three W’s before your name and “.com” after it would lead to lots of hot and sweaty action on the net. Meanwhile, there I was under the sheets, ready and willing, shouting, “Where the hell is you? Where is you be? Come love me, brave winter coat accessories!” But that day never came.

    Strangely enough, now that I have this blog-thing, it feels more like a proper site than the other one ever did, and I’ve had more hits in a period of months than I did in a few years of having the old site. It feels more “me” somehow. And this way it’s easier for me to post pictures of myself that will profoundly frighten anyone who happens to come across them. Everybody wins!

  9. John, I’m surprised you remember/even knew me.. I think we only met a time or two through my friend Michael Sabo. Guess I’m no anonymous fanboy anymore hahah. I was probably the little Walkerville newbified junior-grade-kid who was told stories in awe of rockers John West and Gord Thompson while personally apathetic to anything WCCA (since I had no goddamn artistic talent). I clearly remember the stories of how you played your guitar flat, lap topped.

    But yeah, a couple of years ago I spent a night or two with Adam Peltier at CJAM, who religiously played Brand New Shiny Lie to the late night crowd. Josh Langille and I became fast fans, rocking out to Strange Cats, on the road in various parts of the city.

    I’ll give Dr. Disc a try! Thanks for zee infos!

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