A Million Thanks for Fifty Years

A Million Thanks for Fifty Years!

I turned 50 years old Tuesday 2/19/13. I see it as a sort of accomplishment.  My mind and body have taken some abuse over the years but I’m still moving, grooving and growing.  I heard some great “fifty” jokes and advice this week.  People obsess on numbers.

A toast from the Lovebettie family to mine Christmas 2012!

Cue up Bob Seger’s “Feel Like a Number” and check out some of the numbers in my life.

1963 – I was born then and share a birthday and birth year with a lot of great people.

1981 – the year I graduated from Moon High School just west of Pittsburgh, PA

150+ – people extended their best wishes to me Tuesday and it felt wonderful!

412/724 – the area codes where people still call me John, Johnny, the Camsman:  and I love it!

1+1 – one wife for 23 years, one daughter for almost 21

7,627 – miles logged running Gigspots in 2012 (probably closer to 10K but can’t deduct it all!)

100+ – live music events attended in 2012: How do you think I celebrated my birthday?

Between 2/13 and 2/18 I drove 500 miles to four different venues to see 22 different bands.

Wednesday’s and Friday’s shows were The Kalob Griffin Band: where they were born at Café 210 West in State College and at Lancaster Dispensing Company where I first heard them.  That made 12 KGB shows in a year.   I wrote about it for FigLancaster.com.  They could be this decade’s Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and on the verge of a thirty-year career.  See them local while you can!

Saturday night was Pirate Rob’s Birthday Bash at Rams Head Live in Baltimore: the big one, in the Power Plant complex at Inner Harbor.  It’s a super sick party with 19 killer bands and 1,500 tickets.  I helped sponsor the show and had all-access passes.  It was very rock and roll! No other indoor show features this much talent on one stage.  It helps me not to miss Rich Ruoff’s annual Blues Festivals at the Chameleon Club which were always on our shared birthday weekend.

Sunday was the Tri State Indie Music Awards at World Café Live in PhillyRon Gallo emceed, The Dirk Quinn Band rocked as house band, and seven other acts played between sessions of awards.  Sweet Leda played and won MD Indie Band of the Year and the Groupie’s Pick awards.  I got to present them the first and I’m proud to be their friend and fan.  I helped them become a presence in central PA.

Sweet Leda rocking the TSI Awards 2013

0 – number of miles I travelled on my actual birthday 2/19/13.  I was ready for a break!

#1 – The reason I wrote this blog was to thank you all for being a part of these fifty years.  I invite you to stick around for a few more and ask you to support Gigspots by giving it some attention.  My mission is to support the arts, encourage young people and help us all find some social leisure to enjoy.  If I can save you a buck or help you make a few, I’ll do that too.  You’ll never be just numbers to me.

Welcome Aboard to Intern Scott!

Gigspots has added its first intern: Scott Davis of York College of PA.  He is guest blogging today.  Please give him some feedback!

Greetings, all! My name is Scott Davis, and I’d like to thank Sam Campbell for bringing me aboard as an intern for Gigspots.com and allowing me to use his space to write this blog post!

As a Professional Writing major and Marketing Minor at York College of Pennsylvania, the Gigspots internship has undoubtedly begun on a positive note (insert punch-line drum fill). Whether it’s managing the Facebook account, promoting bands and venues, trying to bring new bands onto the website, or researching tourism, marketing, and music in general in Pennsylvania and abroad, the internship appears to be a perfect fit.

Of course, there has been a bit of a learning curve – understanding and adjusting to the local music business, trying to pique people’s interest in bands and venues, etc. – but I view these things as positive experiences. Two weeks ago, I met up with Sam at The Cove in York, PA to grab a bite to eat and see The Infidels play a show. Anytime I can eat a delicious pulled pork sandwich, drink some beer (generously on Sam’s tab. Thanks, Sam!), and listen to music… that seems like an OK job to me.

I feel that I can offer a good deal to Gigspots in helping the site and business grow. Besides my educational pursuits that I mentioned before, being a fan of music makes things easier. At any time of the day you can find me devouring a wide range of music from all over the spectrum – indie, alternative, rock, hardcore, hip hop, punk, jazz, folk… anything! Likewise, I’ve been playing guitar for nearly ten years and drums for nearly seven. I think and listen like a musician, which certainly can’t hurt when interning for a music website!

Well, that’s my spiel. I hope to continue writing here through the course of my internship and providing all the wonderful readers with some thoughts to digest. Below is a little breakdown of what I’m feelin’ and not feelin’ in the music biz.



  • Sam and I will be attending a show from The Wayfarer Experiment in downtown York, PA this Friday night at Bistro 19. The Wayfarer Experiment is an acoustic, folky rock group that’s been gaining some momentum around Pennsylvania. Looking forward to catching them live.
  • Local Natives’ performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this past Tuesday. Their new LP Hummingbird is really quite good and they sounded even better live. Go listen if you haven’t!
  • A possible Outkast reunion? I hardly venture beyond ‘90s hip-hop, and even if I did, I’m sure I wouldn’t find a band I enjoy as much as Outkast. Big Boi and Andre 3000 have been doing their own things (quite well, at that) for the last six years or so, but a reunion for their 20th anniversary since releasing their debut album would be quite fantastic!
  • Singer Brian Fallon of New Jersey, Springsteen-inspired punk rockers, The Gaslight Anthem, announced that he would be doing his own solo project in between The Gaslight Anthem and his other band, The Horrible Crows. Quite excited to see what he can offer on his own.


Not Feelin’

  • Arctic Monkeys, one of my all-time favorite, couldn’t-get-sick-of-them-if-I-tried bands, recently announced they’d be doing some shows in the ole U.S of A. I excitedly clicked to the tour dates and found that they aren’t playing a single show in the EST time zone. Thanks for nothin’, you scallywags!
  • Fall Out Boy is reuniting. Did anyone miss them? Well, I should at least be happy for the legions of people who loved them in 8th grade.
  •  I can’t afford a ticket to California for Coachella.
  • The biggest name on Pitchfork’s Music Festival is R. Kelly. I was kind of expecting more….


My Weekly Digs: A Ten-Song Playlist

  1. “Bring it on Home to Me” – Sam Cooke
  2. “Fell In Love With a Girl” – The White Stripes
  3. “Hard Times” – Toy Soldiers
  4. “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” – Arcade Fire
  5. “It Never Stops” – Bad Books
  6. “A More Perfect Union” – Titus Andronicus
  7. “Jigsaw Puzzle” – The Rolling Stones
  8. “Constant Conversations” – Passion Pit
  9. “That’s What My Heart Needs” – Otis Redding
  10. “Yer Fall” – Hey Rosetta!