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Class Reunion © / Blog

The Class Reunion Story: JAD

Born in Chicago, IL on April 30, 1967 to Greek and Polish parents, Jonathan Allen Demas was raised on the North Side in the Wrigleyville/Lakeview area. A Cubs fan since the age of 4, he went to every opening day game until he was 17. Jon bought his first record in 1975 at the age of 8. He got into music at a very young age and in high school attempted to form his own band. He got together with four of his friends and formed a band (of drummers). Due to everyone's interest in playing drums, the band did not take off as planned. Although, he had ambition, he did not have the courage to pursue it. Trying out for the high school choir was rained upon when not only was he laughed out of joining the choir, he was told never to sing in public, again...by the teacher. In 1996, he took guitar lessons, but found that he could not do certain types of chords due to a football injury to his left hand. He had destroyed the ligaments to his ring finger. Two years of rehab he had to endure to get use to using his hand, again. In 2007, he was reunited with ex-classmate Mark L. Sánchez (aka Shaggy Docious) who happened to play guitar and had been performing in coffeehouses years prior to their meeting. This turn a light on in Jon's eyes and decided to take up the bass. With the help of Barry Manilow and Bill Joel records, Jon learned to find his voice and starting singing again. Years after John Lennon was killed, Jon became a Beatles' fan. He and Mark have been the heart (Jon) and soul (Mark) of Class Reunion since 2009 when they formed the band with ex-classmate Dave Cheesman on drums. *to be continued*

The Class Reunion Story: Shaggy Docious (part 2)

Music was not always Mark's interest, at least, not in the sense of him being a musician. Although, Mark learned to read music in first grade, he did not take an interest in playing in a band until he was about 13 years old. At age 15, he learned basic guitar chords with the help of music books. Mark belonged to a lip-syncing-type band until a fellow classmate asked him to join his band, Illinoise Circle. Mark played guitar, bass and drums with Illinoise Circle for nearly a decade until artistic differences presented itself a problem with his songwriting partner. Mark spent part of the and of the 20th century playing coffeehouses, which is where he adapted the stage name Shaggy which was given to him by the guys who introduced him to coffeehouse scene. A friend used to call him Shaggydocious and Mark decided to split the name in two and so, Shaggy Docious was born. Mark was one of three popular musicians during his coffeehouse run, especially with the songs "Day" and "Life Goes" (written by him and his former songwriting partner), and "Tired of Being Alone" (written by himself). All written during the 1990s. He also had a hit with "How Does a Boy" (written by himself). This one he wrote in 1986. Mark went into hiatus from 2001 to 2009 when Class Reunion was formed. He recorded an All-Spanish CD in 2001 called "Mi Chiquita" of which there are copies in Mexico and throughout the Chicagoland area. He also recorded a single from said CD called "To Liz (Mi Destino)." It is the only recording that he and his former songwriting partner ever recorded. *to be continued*

The Class Reunion Story: Shaggy Docious

Mark L. Sánchez (aka Shaggy Docious) was born Sunday, June 26, 1966 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to Puerto Rican parents. He is 2nd generation on his father's side and 1st generation on his mother's. He his also the 4th oldest grandchild (the 2nd oldest male) to his paternal-grandparents and the oldest grandchild (the oldest male) to his maternal-grandparents who he did not have the privilege to know. Mark's upbringing was not without obstacles. His mother abandoned him, along with his younger brother, when he was 5 years old. *to be continued*

The Class Reunion Story

A group of students meeting regularly to study a subject under the guidance of a teacher + a gathering of relatives, friends, or associates at regular intervals or after separation = Class Reunion ( a meeting of former classmates). The Chicago-based garage band Class Reunion came together for what was to be a one-time jam session amongst ex-high school classmates Mark L. Sánchez (aka Shaggy Docious) on guitar, Jonathan A. Demas (JAD) on bass, and David Cheesman (Monster Cheese) on drums. Mark and Dave met in ROTC, when Mark transferred from Lake View High School (in Chicago) to Theodore Roosevelt High School, in 1981. Mark and Dave were in various classes together during their high school days, including US History and Studio Art (where they met Jon in 1983). Plus, Mark and Dave had Driver's Ed together and they were both in the an afterschool curriculum called the Afterschool Players. Outside of school, the three did not associate together at one time. Either, Mark and Dave hung out or Mark and Jon hung out or Dave and Jon hung out. Only once did the three hand out together during the 1980s, and that was when they were working on video by Jon, for a song called "The Stranger" by Billy Joel. After this video was made, the three lost contact with each other, except Jon and Dave who continued to hang out, even into their adulthood. *to be continued*

New album

"Class Reunion completed yet another album. "No Drums Allowed" has been completed now for about a month. This album as you might guess has no drums on it at all. We took a lot of time to pick the right songs for this project. Songs to include are: "Angel Heart", "Let Me Go" and "Hero" just to name a few. If intrusted in obtaning a copy, just send an e-mail to jondemas@comcast.net and request one. It's that easy. Thanks so much! JAD

Class Reunion / America's Got Talent

America's Got Talent is holding additions here in Chicago at McCormick place on January 26-27, 2013 and Class Reunion will be auditioning our talent for them, wish us luck please!!!

Songs from "Music-Nation": "Echoes of Love"

This song is just one of 33 songs that I wrote for any one particular girl. Only for two other girls did I write, at least, 10 or more songs. The original version of this song had the lead singer echoing himself in the verses, until I decided to record it, for the first time. In the new version, the lead singer holds the note on the last word of each line and the back up singer(s) echo(es) him. Played in the C scale (I compose many of my songs in the C scale), it has a slight nostalgic sound, circa 60s (more or less). Please, enjoy. Shaggy Docious

Songs from "Music-Nation": "E to the G, Am, C"

This instrumental was written in October of 2000 during the the World Series between both New York teams, Yankees and Mets (both are my favorites). At the time I had just come from smoking a joint with my roommate. When we returned to the game I picked up my guitar, which I always kept by my bed, and started playing the E and the A strings in a old rock-n-roll style fashion with a more hard rock edge. At the time, it did not have a name, I just used to play it whenever I got bored. It was not until I showed it to Jon that I gave it a name. This is an unusual tune because it has two bass parts. Although, playing in the same scale, they are playing two different riffs. The original version is kind of sloppy, but in years to come we will master it better so that the listener can hear the two bass parts. Other than that, it is one of my favorite instrumentals that I have written. Shaggy Docious

Just Diddlin' (origins)

During the Christmas season of 2007, I was spending a lot of time at Guitar Center, in Chicago, playing guitar after guitar after guitar. After taking a couple of guitar classes a few years back, I found 3 chords on the guitar that sounded great together. I was a big fan of Buddy Holly in the way he could play chords fast and cool-sounding on the guitar. In the summer of 2008, I played these chords for Shaggy and our drummer Dave Cheesman. Shaggy helped me organize these chords a little better and helped me with the count, in terms of timing. The middle part of the song, where it sounds a little like a build up, was created by Dave on his drums. I later added the "G" chord, in the opening part of the song, and ended the same way in later recordings. Dave and Shaggy also helped me name the song, as "Just Diddlin'" was just that what I was doing when the song was being created and the song was born. The opening "1-2-3-4!" I took from The Beatles "I Saw Her Standing There" with the same manner that Paul McCartney does the opening count for that song. It just seemed to work here as well. I thought about adding lyrics, but it didn't seem like lyrics would've made the song sound any better. It's the first song that I have total credit on and I am proud of this song like it was a first-born child. Hopefully, "Just Diddlin'" will be a Lawyer or a Doctor someday and make me proud. Well, I'm already proud of my "first child" and it's a fun song to play, too. JAD

Songs from "Music-Nation": "How Does a Boy"

I have been writing songs since 1981 and most of the songs I write are love songs inspired by girls that I have met, and have been interested in. I have noticed over the years that if I write more 3-5 songs inspired by a any one particular girl, she must be very special to me or I would not have written songs for her in the first place. "How Does a Boy" is one of those songs that I have written for one of three girls who may have meant more to me than I can imagine. I wrote "How Does a Boy" in 1986 for a girl called named Beth Ellen Cash. I met her in high school, at least 3 years prior to writing "How Does a Boy." I met Beth after I saw her spying in on my art class, of which Jon (aka JAD) and I were classmates, along with Dave Cheesman who plays drums with us every once in awhile. I started checking her out and making friends with and I almost dated her, but I was a teenage alcoholic and that messed up anything that could have been between us. During the three years that I have known Beth, she moved to North Carolina and than back to Chicago. During the time that she was in North Carolina, I dropped out of school, but I often visited the old school. One day, during one of those visits, I ran into Beth. Even though, I had sobered up for Beth, I had also fallen off the wagon, but once I saw Beth again, I gave it the old college try, as they say. I wrote "How Does a Boy," along with others, "Riding" being one of them (that is another story) because I wanted to know how a boy, although I was 20 years old at the time, could win her over. Unfortunately, her mother thought I was too old for her ( I am only 3 years old than Beth), which led to another song. "How Does a Boy" is one of my favorite ballads I have written because of its dark overtones, especially on the bass part. The melody of the verses is actually what the bass plays, in its dark form; the bridge (there is no chorus) is just a slight more uptempo before it suddenly drops back into its dark ballad format. Afterwards, it ends as it begins, with the guitar playing just the notes of each chord. Look for the story behind "Riding" which was also written for Beth. Shaggy Docious

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