Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish -- you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog! 

                  -- Emily Dickenson

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!
I posted this little Emily Dickenson poem that had a profound impact on me in the 4th grade. I never forgot the expression "public like a frog."
I'm a tortured Gemini. On the one hand I need a certain amount of fame to continue doing what I love - performing & singing.
 On the other hand, off stage I DO NOT crave fame. Anonimity is good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

JIMMY JAMES LIVE AT THE NEW RAGE IN WEST HOLLYWOOD

My friend Ryan O'Conner runs a fun Broadway Musical night at The legendary RAGE nightclub. At the corner of Santa Monica & San Vicente, the club in recent years had fallen out of favor among West Hollywood clubs. But now with New management the crowds are coming back. I'm excited to be bringing my little show Broadway musical tributes to this venue. RAGE has the best sound system anywhere.     
Here's the set list I have planned:
The New RAGE
December 8, 2014 • 9p / No Cover • West Hollywood, CA
Set List for this Musical Monday:
• CORNER OF THE SKY - Tribute to PIPPIN
• ANOTHER SUITCASE IN ANOTHER HALL - Tribute to EVITA
• STRANGER IN THIS WORLD - TABOO - Tribute to BOY GEORGE
• MEMORY - CATS - LIVE CHER IMPRESSION (Rare performance)
• SOMEWHERE - LIVE BARBRA STREISAND IMPRESSION (Rare performance)
• HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS - LIVE JUDY GARLAND IMPRESSION

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

UPDATE SCHEDULE. BUZZ FEED MARILYN MONROE WANNABEES


Been working on a lot of projects. The TV pilot I shot in August is still being shopped.
So it's not over - yet. It's my 3rd pilot so a pilot is just a pilot intil someone buys it and green-lights it.

I met someone in Palm Springs who is so talented with music. We kinda started collaborating. Just back and forth via emails with mp3s. We'll see if we can make something happen.

Here's my schedule so far. And after the schedule underneath, check out my BUZZ FEED mention.
Kinda cute. I've now entered the 17 year mark of retirement from my Marilyn Years. And that's how many years I did do the MM act. The math is crazy...I'm only 32 years young.

GIGS: JIMMY JAMES SHOWS!
I still have DEC 1 - 11 available! Call if you're interested in booking my Christmas Show! We'll work out a deal 212-714-5300 or JIMMY@JIMMYJAMES.COM
..............................................................................
NOV 12 - PRIVATE EVENT (Sold Out) LOS ANGELES, CA 8p
NOV 15 - PRIVATE EVENT (Sold Out) - PALM SPRINGS, CA 3p
NOV 16 - FEDOR’S FASHION SHOW (Sold Out) PALM SPRINGS, CA 1p
NOV 21 - ZIG ZAG at The STANDARD HOTEL WeHo - LOS ANGELES, CA 10p
NOV 24 - PRIVATE EVENT - LOS ANGELES, CA 8p
NOV 25 - STREETBAR - PALM SPRINGS, CA 9p
DEC 12 - MARY D. FISHER THEATRE - SEDONA, AZ 7p
DEC 13 - MARY D. FISHER THEATRE - SEDONA, AZ 7p
DEC 14 - MARY D. FISHER THEATRE - SEDONA, AZ 2p
DEC 15 - PRIVATE EVENT - SOHO HOUSE - LOS ANGELES, CA 1p
JAN 16 - PURPLE ROOM - PALM SPRINGS, CA
JAN 27 - STREETBAR - PALM SPRINGS, CA 9p



BUZZ FEED article:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/immortalmarilyn/the-best-photos-of-marilyn-monroethat-arent-12dgq 

The problem I see with look-a-likes, and why I never wanted to be compared to them is they never try as hard as I did. Without the make up and the carefully constructed wigs and dresses, I did NOT look exactly like Marilyn when I was out of drag. It's true I had a similar face structure but I worked - so hard on every single detail that would define the famous Monroe "look." I worked very very hard to achieve the look! Every single detail mattered to me. In the past I've tried to help look-a-likes and it's pretty amazing how they're too lazy to pay attention to the details even after I try to show them the techniques I know.

I had so much love and respect for Marilyn, I chose to end that part of my show so that I would never be seen degrading her image. I also had respect for myself. I did not want to be seen as a sad performer who was trying to hold on to something whose time had past. I retired the MM part of my show in 1997.

Whatever you do, do NOT take shortcuts.
THE LOVE IS IN THE DETAILS.
This is me doing a local commercial (1983) for GOLD UNLIMITED Jewelry store in San Antonio, TX. It's still there!


My 1st Billboard. In conjunction with the commercial. "...I got these rocks at GOLD unlimited"
San Antonio, TX. 1983. 


Summer 1992 Photo by: Mike Chapman
"JJasMM" This was shot at The Provincetown Inn, Provincetown, MA
Hurricane Bob had just blown through town causing so much destruction. I used that gloom and sadness in my acting here of MM to project the pathos in the eyes - the face. Usually before all my photo shoots I would concentrate the night before what I wanted to give to the camera.
The love is always in the details. 



Thursday, October 16, 2014

DIGGING INTO THE ARCHIVES IS TEDIOUS BUT REWARDING

I've been in San Antonio for a while to celebrate Mom's 80th Birthday! 
At the same time I've been busy scanning photos from my archives (I have thousands). I was ALWAYS and avid photographer. I was keenly aware that time would pass and photos would tell a story. My father was an avid photographer as well. That's where I must have picked it up.

Looking back is great therapy to remind me of how much I've accomplished.  I'm reminded of how determined I was to make something of myself. I had NO time to waste. I was not much of a party person. I was extremely ambitious in my early 20s. While friends of mine were happy to be in bars drinking and throwing darts, I was so anxious to leave Texas and be something. I was getting on TV and being written about in magazines. I'm hoping to do a documentary of my "Marilyn Years" So I'm doing the preliminary work. I'm looking for the team to get this made. In the meantime, I'm preserving these photographs digitally.

So sweet too to see pix of Mom and her support for me over the years. She has been through everything with me -- the ups and downs... I'm so lucky I've had her in my life I could never have asked for a better mother.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I LOVE U!

Here are some scans from my archives:
 
 1986 my 1st Summer in Ptown.
Hanging out with Walon Flowers & Madam. This was a magical time for me after leaving my endentured servant days of Atlantic City, NJ.

 JJasMM in the Provincetown parade. With the singer MC of my show Bubba.

 Performing in the basement of the Pilgrim House Hotel. The legendary Madeira Room.

 1987. I was too fat. I checked into a fat farm after this Summer. I tasted success and it tasted so good!

 Crazy closing night Summer of 1986.

This is The Crown & Anchor's main room. Circa 1990. I forgot about this dress in the trunk of a New York cab. So sad. Gone forever.

Visiting Mom from the road. I am rich beyond measure because of her.

 I love this picture! Mom came to Hollywood to see me perform at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at the legendary Cinegrill room. I just found this photo. Never knew it existed. Circa 1989 or 90.

 My Mom as a little girl in Laredo, TX. Josefina de Llano. She told me the little care was a light green. Circa 1936.

 Mom goofing around with a blond wig. She's a true brunette. Blond is not her color. Circa 1962.

 Mom at a party. Way back in the day. Much better as a brunette. 

 Dad, Jim Johnson, holding Baby James out like I'm flying. He tried this with my 2 sisters and 1 brother but they would all cry in fear. I look at my face here and see everything I am -- Fearless, ready for adventure, strong, forward and happy for the journey. I think I liked this because it felt like I could fly. I used to have dreams of flying before I was ever on an airplane. Then I started my career and eventually I flew everywhere.

Baby James (Bitch don't ask me what year).

Friday, October 10, 2014

PALM SPRINGS ONCE A MONTH GOING STRONG

Every last Tuesday of the month (except December).
THANK U PALM SPRINGS! 2 & 1/2 years and going strong!
My show at STREETBAR Sept. 30th was so much fun! Packed! So many people from everywhere find their way to my little 'Work-in Progress' performance.
Working out some eclectic material made for a fun show:
Love The One You're With - Jimmy James
"History Repeating" - Shirley Bassey
"Emotion" - Samantha Sang
"Missing" - Everything But The Girl
"Don't Be Cruel" - Elvis
"Single Ladies" - Liza Minnelli
"Me & Bobby McGee" - Janis Joplin
"Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me" - Culture Club
"Summertime Sadness" - Lana del Ray
"Don't Leave Me This Way" - Cher
"Together In Electric Dreams" - Jimmy James

Monday, July 21, 2014

JIMMY JAMES - Famous - The Slideshow

I forgot about this music video we put together for my song: FAMOUS from the album JAMESTOWN on iTunes, Amazon etc...
I wrote the song based on our cultures obsession with fame. BTW it was released before Lady Gaga's album. I did not copy her...lol

Saturday, July 5, 2014

SAN DIEGO, CA SOLD-OUT

I played MARTINI'S ABOVE 4th in San Diego on July 3. I was SOLD-OUT! This is a very nice cabaret, restaurant with a bar that serves 50 different martinis! July 4, I drove back to L.A. There was NO traffic. I made a pit stop to Carlsbad. Seams like a beach town. I gotta Google this place. I hear they have nice beaches.

I drove all the way to my friend's house in Sherman Oaks in the hills where he was having a 4th of July party with a pool and karaoke machine inside. Food, fun & friends. I finally made it back to my apt at 1:50p.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

STREETBAR in PALM SPRINGS STILL GOING STRONG!

Today I drove back to L.A. from Palm Springs, CA (2 hour drive). PS was about 108 degrees! Ouch!

Last night at STREETBAR was great. I was in such good voice. My 'Work In Progress' show has been going on for over 2 years - EVERY LAST TUESDAY OF THE MONTH. I have fun working out my new material and freshening up the classic material. There is no cover charge so the pressure is off, although, I always get nervous working out new material. I don't like to make amateur sounding mistakes. The bar owner is very happy with the revenues my show is bringing in. I'm happy to have a place to practice live! Very valuable to me. I did a similar gig like this in NY for 5 years ('95-2000). These kind of performance workouts fortify me as a performer. So when I play gigs where people are paying money, I really give them a good show with well practiced material. I'm fortified in my performance.

After the show last night I socialized for a bit and the owner asked if I would want to do my shows at 9p instead of 8p? I jumped for joy..."Yes!" I have always felt that 8p was a bit too early. 9p is going to be better from now on.

I took a quick dork pic of me "backstage" in the office/ liquor room before I went out on stage. I have such flashbacks to the days I did this at PIECES in the West Village in NYC.

My stays in PS are sponsored by CASA OCOTILLO. It was too hot to go outside (108 degrees) so I just stayed in my room watching TV and preparing the music set list for my show. Here's another dork pic of me just hanging out in my room.

Here's a my Set-List at STREETBAR June 24, 2014:

SUMMER SUN .... JIMMY JAMES
SUMMERTIME SADNESS....LANA DEL RAY
FIRE & RAIN.......CHER
DISCO DIVAS MEDLEY.....ALICIA BRIDGES, SYLVESTER, ANITA WARD, BETTE MIDLER, DONNA SUMMER & more...
60s GIRLS MEDLEY....CONNIE FRANCIS, LESLIE GORE, NANCY SINATRA, PETULA CLARK, LULU
SINGLE LADIES......LIZA MINNELLI
WANNA BE EVIL
SPANISH EYES CRY
FOR ALL WE KNOW......KAREN CARPENTER
8 DIVAS (DANCE REMIX)


After the show I escaped to Melvyn's restaurant hidden at the INGELSIDE INN. Amazing get-away from everything. A New York-like classy old school environment. Piano bar / dining area and they serve food until 11p! So instead of IHOP or Jack-In-The-Box, I find my way here. Gentle piano plays old school in one room while I dine next to it. I'm the only one in the room. The bar is open until 2am! I really like this place. They make a fantastic chicken pot pie bigger than JLO's ass. Shouldn't I have shared this with someone??? Oh well...

Before I left Palm Springs, I payed my respects to LIBERACE'S church. It's a lovely Catholic church. I prayed. I'm very Thankful for the blessings I have and have had.
 Getting ready for my gig in San Diego, CA. Love that town. I return to MARTINI'S ABOVE 4th where they serve over 50 different Martini's. Dinner / cocktails & me! A winning evening!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

FIND ME

SO MUCH GOING ON! I get too superstitious to talk about it. However, I'm still not working on music and that bums me out. I need a producer who is VERY GOOD at making the beats so that I can write over that. Who wants to collaborate? Send me some samples of your work to: FULLBLOWNRECORDSINC@GMAIL.COM

Here's a list of dates that have just been compiled...More to come...
JUN 24 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - STREETBAR
JUL 3 - SAN DIEGO, CA - MARTINI'S ABOVE 4th
JUL 8 - SAN ANTONIO, TX - PRIVATE EVENT
JUL 12 - SAN ANTONIO, TX PRIVATE EVENT
JUL 28 - SAN DIEGO, CA - MARTINI'S ABOVE 4th
JUL 29 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - STREETBAR
AUG 3 - LONGMONT, CO - COORS CONVENTION CENTER (Fashionista fashion show)
AUG 17 - LOS ANGELES, CA - PRIVATE EVENT (Wedding)
AUG 26 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - STREETBAR
AUG 31 - MILWALKI, WI - ...........TBA
SEP 1 - LOS ANGELES, CA - PRIVATE EVENT (Labor Day Party)
SEP 17 - LOS ANGELES, CA - PRIVATE EVENT
SEP 30 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - STREETBAR
OCT 3 - SANTA FE, NM - PERF. ARTS CENTER
OCT 28 - PALM SPRINGS, CA - STREETBAR


HAPPY FATHERS DAY Dad :)
James Johnson
Gone since 1998 but never forgotten.
Follower of Martin Luther King, Jr. Worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Texas for years. Supporter of Equal rights in the work place. Good lessons.



Monday, June 2, 2014

FASHIONISTA LIVE AT MICKY'S IN WEHO!

JUNE 2, 2014
I am making my debut appearance at MICKY'S in West Hollywood to sing FASHIONISTA - Live!
For over a year this club has played my song as an overture to their drag shows on Monday nights. I'm very flattered. So I called them up and said, "hey, why don't I come in and sing the song myself to open the show?" They agreed. So if you're in the area come by. It should be a fun night. 10p.

And by the way watch out ABBY. You might be next. You've been playing my song too! LOL!
Isn't it about time I come sing it Live for you?!  How about 4th of JULY weekend? ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO! PALM SPRINGS! WEHO! FASHIONISTA!

 MAY 23, 2014:
I AM FINALLY PERFORMING IN SAN FRANCISCO!
For my entire 30 year career San Fancisco has eluded me for some reason. I am playing at REBEL.

 MAY 27, 2014:
Continuing on to Palm Springs, CA. It's been my 2 year anniversary. Every last Tuesday of the month I work out my new material. There is NO COVER! I love getting in the trenches and working out the new songs or routines.

 JUNE 2, 2014: Kicking off Gay Pride in West Hollywood at MICKY'S Monday night show...
On Monday nights for over a year now in West Hollywood, CA there are 2 clubs that always play FASHIONISTA before their shows as an overture - The ABBY and MICKY'S! I'm flattered BUT I think it's high time I barge into MICKY'S and sing my song LIVE!  I finally have some time to let those bitches have it. I'm excited. The shows are fun there.


More stuff in the works...I've been in Texas scanning and scanning photos from my archives to save digitally. Stil working on making that documentary of my Marilyn Years. Let's see if I can give you some sneak peaks:
Only for you...
Test Polaroid for National Enquirer story Marilyn "Manroe" circa 1990.

Photographer unknown. Jimmy James as Marilyn Monroe. Backstage at The Pilgrim House circa 1987. Yikes! Don't tell anyone. Some of these images are special but unfortunately I only have the contact sheet. I try to scan at a high resolution so that I can see them better and reproduce.

Performing at The St. Regis Hotel for Sir Elton John's AIDS Foundation. I was so nervous. He was a little cold at first then he cracked a smile and seemed to start liking the show. This made everyone else like me. Afterwards he called me over to his table and kissed me on the lips! Yes THE ELTON JOHN! Hugged me and I have that picture too.

This is my sweet loving Mommie who came to visit me at Bally's Hotel Casino in the mid 80s when I worked in the show 'An Evening at La Cage' as Marilyn. I did this for 2 years until getting my break in Provincetown, MA Summer 1986. Getting my own show in Ptown was what really got my career cookin' and then later landed me on so many popular TV talk shows. I got fame fast because back in those days there were only 3 or 4 channels so I got ABC, NBC, CBS & FOX.

Wish I could show you more but I gotta get to bed.
xo
JJ


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

RING MY BELL for WORLD OF WONDER

I shot a RING MY BELL for WORLD OF WONDER.
It should be available this Sunday April 27, 2014.