The Johnny Clay Band focuses its music on the USA and the troops who support it.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Johnny Acuña named his group the Johnny Clay Band because he used to live on Clay Street in Monterey and felt the name sounded “more Hollywood” than his own. Earlier this year, though, the Marine Corps vet – who served in Grenada and Beirut with the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit – considered changing the name of the band to 9/11.
His bandmate Pete Wise, owner of Wise Music in Salinas, thought it might work better as the title of a song on the new album they were in the midst of recording.
“Born on 9/11,” the opening song of the Johnny Clay Band’s first album of all original tunes, became the perfect title track for the LP with the mantra: “I’m proud to be American and I fought for freedom.”
The catchiness of the song, combined with its Southern rock feel, is reminiscent of the Allman Brothers’ “Revival.” The tune ends with a verse about Osama Bin Laden’s assassination: “Obama found Osama and the seals took him down/ But Al-Qaeda’s still around.”
The group will donate 50 percent of the net proceeds of the song, available for download at www.CDBaby.com for 99 cents, to various organizations assisting disabled vets. Twenty-five percent of album sales, meanwhile, will also be donated. CDs will be available at Saturday’s CD release show at the Moss Landing Inn, and also at Do Re Mi in Carmel and Wise Music in Salinas.
So far, $360 has been raised and Acuña hopes to raise at least $500 by the holidays for Wounded Warriors. If that goal isn’t reached, he’ll make up the difference.
“The CD is really not about me,” Acuña says. “It’s about everyone.”
The album isn’t all seriousness. That much is evident from the song “Wine, Weed and Beer.”
“There was a girl I liked who wanted some wine,” Acuña explains. “And all I had was a 40 ounce in my hand and something in my pocket that was kind of stinky and I felt a little embarrassed, but I thought ‘Wine, Weed and Beer,’ that’s a good title for a song.”
THE JOHNNY CLAY BAND plays 9pm Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Moss Landing Inn, 7902 Highway 1, Moss Landing. Free. 633-5398.