The Story So Far

Jeff Spevak walks on waterOr, I shook Johnny Cash’s hand.

Yeah, I shook the hand of Johnny Cash. He was a big man. I did a shot of whiskey with Bo Diddley and sang with Tina Turner for about 11 seconds. A Cleveland-area native (lifelong devotion to the Indians may explain a perpetually gloomy demeanor), I’ve also lived in Texas, Idaho and New York.

Four decades spent wrapped in newspapers like a market-fresh red snapper, including the last 20 or so years as a music critic, have brought me a handful of shiny plaques that serve as coasters in my home, including the most-recent acquisitions, five first-place finishes the last six years in the New York State Associated Press Association Features Writing Contest. I’ve been published in High Times and Musician magazines. In April 2012, I self-published the biography of a 93-year-old veteran, Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic Century of a Sailor. After nine months, it had sold 1,000 copies, not bad for a little regional effort. I’m currently finishing another non-fiction book and two fiction manuscripts. A friend of mine, Scott Regan, has published a collection of his drawings of musicians performing at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, and supplemented them with haikus that I wrote at those shows. The book is called Jazz Lines.

Loch Ness Monster? No. An alien spaceship crash at Roswell, N.M.? No. Ghosts? No. A hollow Earth populated by a secretive race of sentient beings? No. Bigfoot? Yes.

I collected antique pipe holders for a few years, until I decided a dozen or so were quite enough, because they all look pretty much the same, and I don’t smoke anyway.

My lime-glazed smoked salmon finished 9th out of 89 competitors (just behind the Danish National Barbecue Team) at the ’09 Memphis in May world barbecue competition. I have grilled a 48-pound hog. I like wine and dogs.

“He’s very intelligent and funny too!”

– Lucinda Williams, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and heartbreaker