San Diego City Beat by Kinsee Morlan
John Cain has a maraca for a heart. The most Latino gringo you'll ever meet, owing largely to his love of Latin music. Cain's new book, "Life's a Good Gig," is a behind-the-scenes peek at the crazy, fun and sometimes raunchy world of a touring musician. The memoir is a perfect read for all the dreamers and air-guitar players out there who never figured out how to travel and play music for a living.
About the Book by Terry Webster
This is a many-faceted memoir spanning several decades in the life of a multi-talented individual. It jumps around a bit from entertaining stories about the lives of working musicians, which every working stiff can relate to, to discourses on art, music history, and travel in Latin America, which would appeal to music teachers, students, and travel buffs. Some of the stories have nothing to do with music but are interesting in their own right. Cain recounts some of the strange characters he has encountered during his lifetime. Some of the stories are funny, like the gig from hell; some spooky, like a ghost encounter in Spain; some poignant, like Tijuana street musicians; and some downright dubious, like a singing dog. His brushes with greatness, where he name-drops all the famous people he has met, are juicy gossip: illuminating and at times shocking. Like every profession, musicians have their own lexicon and jokes, and Cain has gathered them here, some with explanations for those the not familiar with the jargon. He also acknowledges the great musicians who have taught him and gigged with him. The companion CD is relevant, because you can hear the voice of the real guy who is spilling his guts to you in the book. He sings great, by the way!
Jim Gala- Acoustician, Sound Engineer, Jazz Musician - San Francisco, Ca.
This book surprised me. The author's historical knowledge of the evolution of music -on a global scale- allows the reader to better understand the origins of his or her current favorite musical genre. Another surprise is that this book thoroughly and compassionately investigates 'the least among us' by which I mean the author presents to the reader superb musicians with unique abilities whom the reader may have never heard of. This takes courage, because it's less of a gamble for a writer to rhapsodize a bunch of musical celebrities, some of which are sure to appeal to the reader, enhancing the book's commercial success. 'Life's a Good Gig' is a rare gem.
Jeanne Pezzi - Zihuatanejo Int'l Guitar Festival
The book was great.....I cried in one part, I laughed in many other parts and I learned a LOT!!! I am in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and was thrilled when I was able to talk to a "true" Mariachi, identify his "guitaron" and talk to him knowledgeably about his music and his instrument.....Thanks, John Jeanne Pezzi Zihuatanejo Int'l Guitar Festival
Dr. Cathy Hird - Melbourne, Australia
Congratulations John, Impressive web-site!! Just love your Book, so many familiar artists & memories. Your music is superb! We are SO fortunate to see & hear you in person in San Diego. The Australians were so impressed with you, as an Artist & wonderful Spirit. Wish you the Best. Hugs, CH
Joe Cruz- Television Producer, Los Angeles, Ca
An interesting account of a musician's journey through life in the music business told with wit and wisdom of the road. The author has a great story telling ability and you find yourself in the moment with him at each gig. Truly enjoyable!
Jose Molina Serrano- Band Leader, Musician, San Diego, Ca.
A great tool for any musician should be a must for any musician's gig bag, right along with the 'fake book'. You will never have another 'bad' gig, you will laugh your way through it with this book.
Josie and Paul - Great Britain
HELLO. The BRITISH ARE COMING! THE BOOK IS BLOODY HILARIOUS. JUST THE BEST WE HAVE HEARD AND SEEN IN CALIFORNIA ON OUT TRIP. LOVE YOU AND WHO YOU ARE, BE PROUD OF YOURSELF AND KEEP THOSE TUNES COMING. WE NEED THEM IN THE UK!
Traci Wolfe- Video Technician, Sherman Oaks, Ca.
'Life's a Good Gig' is a really fun and easy book to read. It's interesting and I learned a lot of things I never knew concerning the evolution of music. Although I am not a huge fan of Latin music, I do like to dance, so this book filled in a lot of 'blanks' for me about the origins of dance styles and rhythms. And, Mr. Cain's personal trials and tribulations, as a professional musician, are hilarious, touching, sometimes frightening and always entertaining!
Kathy Rank- Child Psychologist, Chula Vista, Ca.
John, I was able to settle down to reading your delightful book this week. I want you to know how much I enjoyed your sensual and visual imagery when writing about music, musical instruments and the talented musicians you have known. Each person you introduced came alive and your closing sentence of the segment on a particular artist was always satisfying....a good touch!
Mary Rayes - Former Actress, La Jolla, Ca
'Life's a good gig' is hard to put down. From beginning to end it holds the reader's attention with a clever combination of the author's background, fascinating people in the industry, exploration of various types of music and some incredible experiences of john Cain. It is never dull and gives the reader an intriguing glimpse into the world of working musicians. You will laugh, you will cry, but you will be entertained.