Waiting for John

To understand the real and lasting impact of live music, sometimes you have to strip it down to its honest core — a couple of acoustic guitars, a timeless lyric, three band members sitting in a kitchen and singing to their most loyal fan.

I saw all of that Wednesday night at a rocking house party hosted by two of the coolest septuagenarians I know.  Dick and Sue Zeihen and their friends became Waiting for John groupies back in the 1970s. They followed the band throughout Wisconsin. Dick, a graphic artist, even designed the Waiting for John logo and collateral marketing material.

“We were the only band we knew that had our own stationery,” said lead singer John Gorski, whose sweet tenor voice sounded exactly the way it did when I first heard it as an enamored 10-year old girl sitting in the pews of St. Therese church. “Everyone else had to write on hotel stationary, but we had our own, with first and second pages.”

Battling back from successive strokes, Dick doesn’t get around as well as he used to and, when the band heard that their No. 1 fan was struggling a bit, they offered to reunite for a pick-me-up concert.

Their set celebrated music, friendship, and joy. It took us all back 40 years or so and we reveled in the trip.

If you want to see the real and lasting impact of live music, take a look at the beaming faces of a sweet retro band and their No. 1 fan.

All three Waiting for John
Waiting for John members Donny Schindhelm, John Gorski and Rod Reynolds still play as well as they did 40 years ago when they performed original music and folk rock cover songs.
Dick and his band
“You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” Here they are with Dick, their No. 1 fan.
Laura and her crush
“So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.” My friend Laura and her childhood crush.
“And everything will bring a chain of love.” Our hostess Sue gave the band a gift of gourmet because, she said, we’re all nuts about you.
Pam and Dick
“And you know wherever I am, I’ll come running to see you again.” This is Dick and Pam Reynolds, wife (and high school sweetheart) of bass guitar player Rod Reynolds, who was only 15-years old when Waiting for John first launched.
Janet and Rosie
“And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson” On the right is Rosie Reynolds (mother of Rod), who loved that Simon and Garfunkel song…until she saw the movie. On the left is our friend Janet.
Don Schindhelm
“Laugh about it, shout about it when you’ve got to choose.” Donny Schindhelm upped the cool factor in our neighborhood when we were growing up.
Rod Reynolds
“And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you’ll know by.” Rod still plays in a band called Baba Ghanooj.
Just like any other concert, there were active cellphones all over the place. It was a special night and everyone wanted to capture it.
The logo
I mean, really! How cool is this logo?!

Here’s a little taste of the magic….

5 thoughts on “Waiting for John

  1. How honored, and humbled, we all are to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I was fortunate to play with two incredible musicians and have the support of folks like Dick and Sue. Not often you get a chance to post one high on your memory list. Thanks for that!

  2. It was our pleasure to play for Dick and everyone again. And it’s always fun going through the old songs with John and Donny. I hope we can do it again soon.

  3. Thank you for sharing this memory of Waiting For John. I, too, adored them during my grade school days at St. Therese. I still have church bulletins with their logo on the cover saved as mementos from their concerts at St Therese’s Activty Center. Please keep me posted if they ever play in this area again.

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