Now that GMA is over, we bring you a video recap of some
of the week's events, including the band practice
session, NOTW clothes presentation, the acoustic guitar
practice, and the Rock for Life showcase.
A very special 'thank you' goes out to Anne Palmer of
PalmTree Productions for following John around for three
days, shooting video and capturing the week on film. She
did a great job and we all really appreciate her
is the last day of GMA for me... and I'm glad! After
three days of interviews, questions and all that - it
gets to be a little tiring doing all that talking. GMA
still continues on tomorrow, but my interviews were
packed into these past two days so I get a day off. I'm
ready to take a bit of a breather!
This afternoon was filled with a variety of interviews,
ranging from a daily newspaper, to a video website, to
Lifeway Stores - all kinds of different types of media.
Like yesterday, I was given the chance to express my
thoughts, feelings and anything else I wanted to say to
a variety of media, all of which I greatly appreciate
their taking the time to talk with me and giving me a
platform. I'm sure a lot of the interviews will appear
on my website. They always seem to find a way to get up
told we're having trouble uploading the video from
Monday night's showcase - but I'm sure they'll figure it
out and get it all up for you to see.
Well, I'm going to call it a night. I'm tired and I have
a full stomach from going out to eat at The Chop House -
all that talking really works up an appetite and steak
is one of my favorte ways to stop a growling stomach!
Finish that up with a movie after supper, and you have a
recipe for BED!
Guys, it's been fun taking you along to GMA this year! I
hope you enjoyed the ride and perhaps we'll do it again
John here! Whew... what a day! It was pretty much
non-stop from morning until night. But I'm lovin' it -
the media I've been meeting, the Alakrity boys, the
great guys in the band that came all this way to play
with me - it's been a really amazing day.
I started out with band practice in the morning - ran
through the four songs and everything just jelled
together so we really didn't even have to practice too
came the ride into Nashville for media interviews with
radio, magazine and television. Now, I've done a ton of
interviews, but there were some here today that came
with a really different approach - and I liked that!
They didn't focus on past accomplishments or current
projects, but wanted to hear about the real ME - my
thoughts, my feelings and yes, my fears and struggles in
life. I really had to think hard and dig deep before
answering some of the questions, and I usually don't
have to dig so hard! But hopefully those who will read
and hear my answers will not only see me, but the love
of Jesus as He works in and through our problems and our
lives (if we let Him!). I'm sure the interviews will
appear on my website when they're all completed; we'll
let you know when they're up.
Tonight was the Rock for Life showcase at Uptown 162, a
very cool club in downtown Nashville.
I did Beyond Belief with Alakrity again, which is alway
fun and exciting.
Then we took the stage with my band - I tell you - they
were amazing! We just kicked! The stage was rather small
so I couldn't move around too much
- and neither could they! But it was a great time and
hopefully all who listened enjoyed the set.
It really felt so good to have a terrific band behind
me. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind doing track dates,
but there's just something about a great band that's so
much more fun!
good friend John Lawry, Petra's former keyboardist came,
along with his wife Stephanie - it was very cool to see
him there. (Video) Quinton Gibson, who used to play guitar with
Petra also showed up - I haven't seen him in ages! It
was really great having friends showing their support
Make sure to check out the photos that are up so you can
see some of what went on today - I'm told video of this
night's set will be coming soon.
Tomorrow is more interviews in the afternoon, and then
that's it for me and GMA Music Week.
Take care, sleep well and we'll report back tomorrow!
Hello again! This is John and we're on Day 2 of GMA
Music Week. Today was almost as busy as yesterday and
just as fun!
We started out with a radio interview with my good buddy
Brian Mason. I thought I was only doing a short little
thing but I ended up there for two hours! It was good,
though - Dorla came along and was on the air too, which
was really neat. She usually doesn't come to these
things - I think it's a little boring for her - and it
was nice to have her there this time.
The McCain Guitar Pull in the afternoon was great as
usual - we all sat around the hotel suite room, sharing
our stories and singing our songs acoustically with
media people sitting on the floor and standing wherever
they could find a spot. Doing "Gravity" and "The
Grafting" acoustically was a bit different for me, but
my buddy David Teems did a great job - he's not exactly
a rock guitarist but he sounded terrific.
Right after that I switched gears and went straight into
rock mode with Alakrity at "12th & Porter" which is a
real popular music venue downtown.
The place had a full crowd and you really could feel the
energy! I had a blast playing Beyond Belief with these
guys - they knew how to rock the crowd and crank out the
tunes - it was great to be a part of that. The crowd
seemed to like hearing this new twist on Petra's
signature song - I love the excitement that these types
of events bring out.
I'll let my assistant fill you in on the details of the
day's event - since she likes to talk even more than I
do! Have a good evening ...John.
"Hey guys - I don't know where he got the name Dorie
from, but I never called her that!" adds John
(see - he can't stop talking either!)
John Morgan, aka "President Bush" showed up in the
second hour as strains of "Hail to the Chief" welcomed
him into the studio. Amidst the comedy and laughter were
also some serious commentaries on fear and the giants
who overwhelm us in life. See video clip
Download interview part 2
Shortly after arriving back to the Schlitt home there
was another interview with Bill Nance of "Hands of
Time," a new radio program focusing on the early artists
of the Christian music genre. Once the program goes live
we'll be getting a copy of the interview for you all to
an hour or so of down time it was off to the
Rennaissance Hotel and the McCain Guitar Pull. This is a
"Nashville thing" that started in the country genre - no
one really knows how it got started there and no one
really knows the meaning of the words "guitar pull" -
but McCain Publicity adapted it to fit their own needs.
A guitar pull is where a group of artists sit in a
cirle, explaining a bit about their song followed by an
acoustic performance while members of the media watch
and listen. It's very informal yet very intimate.
John was the first one to sing, selecting "Gravity" as
the first number.
The crowd greatly applauded and appreciated his music,
as they did with "The Grafting."
After more than two hours we had to leave to get to the
next event, which was John singing "Beyond Belief" with
the band Alakrity at "12th & Porter." The sidewalks
outside the venue were lined with people moving in and
out of the building - the small stage was open to the
outside, while the larger stage inside was more in the
vein of a concert setting with high-tech lighting and
Alakrity announced their 'guest singer' you could feel
the hesitation in the crowd, as if to ask "John Schlitt
of Petra? Really? He's here?"
When John came out and took the mic for his part on
"Beyond Belief" you could distincly hear the crowd
cheer, finally realizing that this really WAS the Voice
of Petra on stage. It was a great moment - for both the
band AND John. His voice was incredible, never skipping
a beat and sounding even better than the original
Tomorrow is a full day of interviews, followed by John's
own showcase with a brand new band. Get ready for a very
special sonic surprise - Monday night in Nashville,
everybody! Greetings from Music City USA! This is John,
and today was the beginning of a very busy next few
days... I'm so glad you're checking in here to read
about the day's events and to come along with me for GMA
Music Week 2009. It's hectic, but I'm looking forward to
the interviews and all that goes with it. I'm especially
looking forward to my showcase on Monday night! As a
singer, it feels so good to have an excellent band
behind you. If you can get to Nashville, make sure to
check us out - this band ROCKS!
Since I'm not much of a blogger - I guess that's what
they call it! - I'm going to turn that portion over to
my assistant, Sue Dempster, who will fill you in on the
daily activities. Thanks so much for your interest, and
keep checking in! ...John
day began with two band practices in anticipation of
Monday night's showcase and also Sunday night's singing
of Beyond Belief with Alakrity at their showcase, along
with a presentation by
(Not of This World) clothing.
Around noon the controlled chaos began at the Schlitt
homestead, with Alakrity rolling into the basement with
their practice gear, followed by the band members and
family, a variety of managers, a videographer, and an
assortment of people that just kept coming through the
door! Every time the phone rang John answered it with
"Grand Central Station!" And it felt like it - as the
band rocked the house, working out the music portion of
the set, representatives from NOTW arrived to present
John with a new line of clothing and a wonderful banner
for Monday's showcase.
While the band rocked & rolled below, the rep wheeled in
her rack of shirts, jeans, belts, shoes and hats above.
"I'm loving this!" said John as he ran back and forth,
modeling the clothing - and having a ball haming it up
with both funky and funny poses for the videographer.
It was hard to believe that this was the first time
these musicians had ever played together as a group.
With strains of The Grafting, Gravity, Only Men, and
Wake the Dead echoing through the neighborhood, John was
in top form - as was the band. Those in the house were
treated to a special mini-concert as Darik Peet - Lead
Guitar/Vocals; Phil Carper - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals; David
Teems - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals; Jonathan Johnson -
Keyboards/Vocals; Michael Hill - Bass/Vocals; and Jason
Palmer - Drums; worked out the kinks and came away with
what is sure to be a crowd-pleasing performance.
Naturally all this work makes a man hungry, so by
mid-afternoon everyone was ready for a break and took
off for lunch.
With full stomachs on their return, the band and John
finished up their practice and pronounced the set ready
for Monday night's showcase.
As the solo band packed up their gear, Alakrity stepped
up and worked through their Beyond Belief number, with
John jumping in to lend his vocals to Petra's signature
By 7 p.m. all the practicing was finished, the rest of
the gear was packed up and it was time to take a
breather with management and two remaining band members
by kicking back, talking music and it's future - and
John's future too in an every-changing industry.
As the group took off to see what a Saturday night in
downtown Nashville looks like, John, Dorla and myself
headed out to a more relaxing evening with a late supper
at John's favorite Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda.
After a hectic yet exciting day, it's now time to call
it a night.
Tomorrow comes pretty early with a live radio interview
at 8 a.m., an acoustic two-song showcase in the
afternoon and Alakrity's Beyond Belief performance at
night. Stay tuned for more to come... good night!