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It's music time! This collection is a sampler platter of some of the music I've created over the years.

You can click the download graphic to grab the mp3 files to keep forever and ever, or scroll down further to stream the songs right here in your browser.

Below the player you'll find the stories behind the songs.  If you like these, I hope you'll check out the rest of the albums they come from too.

  • Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction Hits
    Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction Hits

    22 of my best songs in a handy dandy genuine artificial leather carrying case featuring an easy-open lid made of the world's finest plastic. These songs will solve all your problems. Can't find a job? Car won't start? Kids pissing you off? Lawn looking a little brown? The solution to all your worries in right here. (Everything past "22 of my best songs" is a lie.)

  • Here Comes My Baby
    Here Comes My Baby

    When I was a kid I was way into Greek mythology. I liked the names.. Zeus, Athena, Poseidon… And when I was a teenager I dated a girl who had one of those cool mythological names. We didn’t last that long, but I wrote a song about her.

  • Rudolph the Blood Soaked Reindeer
    Rudolph the Blood Soaked Reindeer

    A reboot of the traditional Rudolph story in which Rudolph, tired of being bullied, acquires firearms and plans to make his presence violently known. Does he actually do it?

  • Rock Formations by Roadside Attraction
    Rock Formations by Roadside Attraction

    Zip file containing 9 songs from the album Rock Formations by Roadside Attraction. Click the "Read the rise and fall of Rock Formations" below to see how this album nearly made and ruined my career.

  • Super Dan by Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction
    Super Dan by Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction

    The tale of a super hero who's only super when he's blackout drunk. Or possibly just a drunk dude at the bar with a load of tall tales to tell.

Read the Rise and Fall of Rock Formations... +

Rock Formations was a milestone event in the career of Roadside Attraction.  And some milestones are both good and bad.

Normally I would give you insights to these songs, but I didn’t write the lyrics for any of them, so I’m honestly not sure what some of them are about.  But from a musicians standpoint, I’m really proud of “Flat World”, “Trust The Sun”, and “Secrets”.  Be sure to check those out.

Before this release we had put out 3 cassette releases.  Yes, it was that long ago… The first two were homemade jobbies known only as “The Red Tape” and “The Green Tape”.  Both are now extremely rare, except for the few leftover ones I kept for myself.  I’ll probably get those digitized and put in here too. The third cassette was “Time and Patience”, recorded in a marathon one-day recording session.

I wasn’t the singer at this time.  Just a guitar player.  The guy who wrote the riffs.  I would not gain my current attention whore status until years later.

After those 3 tape releases came the big moment… our first compact disc!  We’d been playing these 9 songs at shows for about two years to make sure they were as tight as we could muster.  We had time booked over multiple days at a cool studio.  And we were spending a lot of money.  I don’t remember exactly what our budget was.  I’m probably thrusting those memories deep into my subconscious for some therapist to yank out later.

The sessions were like most… fun yet super tedious. Recording sessions are a lot of tuning and knob twiddling with brief moments of actually playing music.

So we got our finished baby in our hands after weeks of work.  We came up with the brilliantly creative idea to call it Rock Formations and put our heads on Mount Rushmore on the cover.  We found an artist who, I believe, we paid $300 to draw that extremely questionable album cover.

Then a club owner looked at it and said, “You know Deep Purple did this same cover idea years ago, right?”  Uh, no.  We didn’t.

So we started selling it at gigs and sold the first 1000 copies in a few months. Not bad.  Then we got the brilliant idea to do a radio campaign with a radio promoter.  Now, if you happen to be in the music business at all, you’re watching that last sentence happen in slow motion and saying, “Nooooooooooo!  Stoooooooooooppp!”

We got hooked up with a guy named Paul Loggins.  In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s Kenny Loggins’ cousin.  THAT Kenny Loggins.  Your Mama Don’t Dance, Danger Zone, Pooh Corner Kenny Loggins.

I was doing my due diligence (wrong as my results were) on Paul Loggins and he claimed to have worked some of Kenny’s records to radio.  So I found a way to email Kenny Loggins from his website to check out the claim.  Assuming I’d never hear back, of course.

Two days later I got an email from KENNY FREAKIN’ LOGGINS!  He said Paul had done a pretty good job with his records.  But who cares… I got an email from KENNY FREAKIN’ LOGGINS!

So, on Kenny’s word, we did a deal with Paul.  Which means I can actually blame Kenny Loggins for a mountain of debt.

The base price for a radio campaign was 3 or 4 grand, I believe. We voted to split the cost among the band members.  As we got started, we found out there were other costs we didn’t know about.  One of the ways a record gets on the air is the band/label/promoter will buy items for the radio station to give away.  So Paul would call me and say, “We need to buy 20 boom boxes for these stations to give away.”  This was well before iPods, kids.

The costs were mounting quickly.  But stations were picking it up.  We decided to go with “Flat World” as the single.  It’s still one of my favorite of my own compositions.  Reggae, Latin, and Rock all mixed up in a Brian Wilson-influenced pocket symphony.  A station in Hilo, Hawaii was the first to start spinning it. Then some easter stations jumped in.  I was now getting up early in the morning to do phone interviews with morning shows.

I remember one with a station in Louisville, KY.  And the guy had such a heavy Kentucky accent, I couldn’t understand a damn word he said.

Keep in mind, we hadn’t thought to get distribution for this record, so if people heard it on the radio, they couldn’t actually buy it anywhere.  Buying on the net wasn’t really a thing yet.  And, as we found out later, most of these stations were probably very tiny with few listeners anyway.

We needed to get on the road and do some gigs to make some of this money back and capture a new fanbase.  We got hooked up with a booking agent named Joey based in the midwest. Joey (a lady) was hot on our record and ready to book us a tour.  This is that “Holy shit, here we go…” moment that bands dream of.

The record began to hit some minor charts.  Back then, Gavin Magazine was a big music industry trade mag.  We hit their Up and Coming chart at #33, smack dab between Brandy and U2.  We were on the same chart at U2!  And one spot above them!

Then it began… Our drummer, Rafael, decided to leave the band.  He couldn’t hang in and didn’t want to tour for some reason. Drummers were the bane of my existence for years until I started playing with Joe Chavez.  There were many before Rafael and many after.  But this was a horrible time for him to bail.

Then our booking agent’s life began to fall apart.  Deaths in her family, illness, financial troubles.  And while she swore she was still working for us, nary a gig was booked.

So now we’re at a dead standstill.  No drummer, no agent.  And the radio promo bills are piling up to a grand total of $10,000.

We eventually had to stop the radio campaign because it was too expensive and we couldn’t fill the drum seat with someone who could hang in for all that goes into being in a band. I regularly harangued my remaining band mates for their share of the radio promo costs, but I eventually ended up paying about $8000 of it myself.

With those kinds of bills and the loss of momentum, we eventually parted ways and I restarted Roadside Attraction, first by myself, then with a new group of guys.  After paying off the radio bills, I saved up another $10,000 to sink into my next CD (my first as a singer), Ribbed For Your Pleasure, the album that changed everything for me.  And a story for another time….

Steve Glaze, the recording engineer for the Rock Formations sessions, sent me this recently discovered photo of me (on the right) with Rafael Guerrero (drums) and Tim Baker (vocals) during the recording of the album.  I don’t even remember owning that shirt.

I have a couple boxes of Rock Formations CDs left from the original release.  All are brand new in their shrinkwrap.  And I would much rather you have one than me.  The price of $4 includes shipping and pretty much the pressing cost of the disc. I don’t make any profit on that.  By my girlfriend would love you for getting them out of our house. 🙂  Just click the buy now button to purchase one through PayPal.

I have a couple boxes of Rock Formations CDs left from the original release.  All are brand new in their shrinkwrap.  And I would much rather you have one than me.  The price of $4 includes shipping and pretty much the pressing cost of the disc. I don’t make any profit on that.  By my girlfriend would love you for getting them out of our house. 🙂  Just click the buy now button to purchase one through PayPal.

 




 

 

Stories Behind The Songs

Whale Blubber (from Ribbed For Your Pleasure) – This song was inspired by a single line in the Jim Carrey film, Me, Myself and Irene in which the characters have a somewhat ridiculous, yet serious, conversation about commitment. It seemed to me the best way to enhance the idea was to set it as an overly serious 80’s style power ballad. Oh so dramatic, yet ridiculous at the same time.

Two Of Me (from Ribbed For Your Pleasure) – What happens when a guy with split personalities falls in love with a girl? Well, when one personality is a super nice guy and the other is a homicidal maniac, things can get pretty messy.

Asshole (from Raising A Rockus) – Do you have that one person at work that you just can’t stand? Just looking at them makes you want to rip their head off and force feed it to their grandmother? In this song we’ll calmly discuss three of these people: The Brown Noser (aka Assistant Manager), The Office Gossip, and The Inept Moron. My biggest goal with this song is to see someone actually marching around their office singing this at the top of their lungs.

Hey Little Goth Girl (from I Know I Shouldn’t Say This, But…) – Where I live, a lot of goth kids come from rich dotcom families. And, while they wear black and look depressed all the time, they also drive BMWs and listen to Nine Inch Nails on their zillion dollar stereo systems. Which begs the question.  WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SO DEPRESSED ABOUT? In looking for a protagonist for the song, I was trying to think of who would totally not understand the goth scene. That would have to be a Dixieland Jazz player, with his striped shirt, straw boater hat, and happy little songs. So he asks, and tries to identify with the poor girl at the same time by musically “speaking her language”.

LCW (from I Know I Shouldn’t Say This, But…) – Everyone knows that one girl. The heartbreaker. Behind her she leaves a trail of shattered hearts and bitter words. It’s about time someone called her out for what she really is. Ladies, this can go for the guys too. But for obvious reasons, I sang about a girl.

Blue Collar Anthem (from A Nut Unbroken) – Sometimes those old songs that you love so much lose their ability to bring you back up when you’re down. And for a bit you’re resigned to your place in the universe, mundane as it might be. We always hope it’s just a passing phase though.

Get Any (from What Color Is Your Laugh?) – You know when you get home at night after a long day and you offer up a warm embrace to your loved one? And they give you that special look that tells you exactly what kind of night it’s going to be?

Share My Pixie Dust (from Raising A Rockus) – Sometimes you fall in love with someone you weren’t expecting to. Maybe you wanted “rich and stable” and got “musician” instead. Relationships like that take faith, trust… and a little pixie dust.

What Santa Wants (Single Only) – A tale of alcohol, drugs, prostitutes, firearms, and Santa Claus.  This is the song that got us banned from playing San Jose, CA’s Christmas In The Park ever again.

Afrodizzyac (from Raising A Rockus) - This is the true story (no, really!) of an international super-spy, Afrodizzyac (known for his fantabulous hair and love of the ladies), and his ongoing battle to thwart his arch nemesis Left Nut’s plans to kidnap and make sweet sweet love to every woman in the world. You won’t be seeing this story on CNN. Too hush hush…

Brown Ring Around The Collar (from Raising A Rockus) – There’s a terrible disease that afflicts most of our society. It’s gone unchecked for too many years and we’ve decided to shine the light on it in hopes of helping others. That disease is called “Stupid”. And it’s rampant. We’re not talking ignorance. That can be fixed with education. We’re talking downright dumbasses who shouldn’t be allowed to breed.

Bad Porno Sex (from Be Yourself…Unless You’re An Idiot) – Relationship and sex experts always talk about using games and role-play in the bedroom to keep things interesting. Here are my ideas on it.

Geeks Don’t Care (single only) – Women are always trying to look hot to attract the right guy. And right under their noses is a class of men that don’t care how hot they are. Geeks. Geeks don’t care if you’re super hot. Geeks care that you don’t have a penis.

Dodged A Bullet (single only) – A friend asked me to write a song for her new baby about the miracle of child-bearing. I said, “You haven’t heard my songs before, have you?” Here we go…

I’m Not The One (single only) – A story of expectation and betrayal.  And a rare serious song in my catalog.

If I Were A Girl feat. Tah Phrum Duh Bush (single only) – What started out as a parody idea for Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy”, morphed into something else completely.  This is the story of what would happen if I woke up one morning as a woman. Yes, same hair.

Here Comes My Baby (single only) – When I was a kid I was way into Greek mythology.  I liked the names.. Zeus, Athena, Poseidon… And when I was a teenager I dated a girl who had one of those cool mythological names.  We didn’t last that long, but I wrote a song about her.

Rudolph The Blood Soaked Reindeer (single only) - A reboot of the traditional Rudolph story in which Rudolph, tired of being bullied, acquires firearms and plans to make his presence violently known. Does he actually do it?