Jon Hammond plays organ, accordion, piano and guitar. He attended Berklee College of Music and is currently the host of daily CBS radio program “Jon Hammond’s Afternoon Slide” on KYCY 1550 AM.
Hammond performs in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons every month in addition to concerts world-wide. He is one of the premier B3 players in the world, playing professionally since age 12. Beginning as a solo accordionist, he later played the Hammond B3 organ in a number of important San Francisco bands. His all original group HADES opened shows for Tower of Power, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Michael Bloomfield. Eddie Money and Barry Finnerty, became musical associates.
In Boston he played the “Combat Zone” and in the striptease clubs during the ’70’s and the exclusive Wychmere Harbor Club in Cape Cod, where he was house organist and developed a lasting friendship with House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He toured the Northeast and Canada with the successful show revue “Easy Living”, and continued his appearances in Boston, New York. and Europe.
In 1981 Jon formed BackBeat Productions and his TV show “The Jon Hammond Show” became a Manhattan Cable TV favorite. Jon’s “Live on the street” saw him with Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Butterfield, Jaco Pastorius, John Entwistle, Sammy Davis Jr., Percy Sledge and many others. The weekly show is now in it’s 23rd year and has influenced the broadcasts of David Letterman and others. Billboard Magazine hailed Jon’s show as “The Alternative to MTV”. The Jon Hammond Show can be seen worldwide at various times streaming from www.mnn.org and on channels 56 and 108 in Manhattan.
T2C: How are you dealing with home containment in LA?
Jon Hammond: I am hunkered on down with my long-time Girlfriend in SF Bay Area.
T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lockdown between NY and LA?
Jon Hammond: In San Francisco it is less dense and pretty quiet, we can hear children playing outdoors, a lot of chalk challenge art on streets & driveways!
T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?
Jon Hammond: Going through a lot of old hard drives, catching up on correspondence and staying on top of the news like a blanket.
T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing?
Jon Hammond: I’m a long-time performer in nursing homes & hospitals, we can no longer deliver the music, and I had annual gigs in Europe canceled for first time in over 30 years.
T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?
Jon Hammond: Sad, Nervous, Trouble sleeping, I’m upset in general, not only because of the pandemic, but old yellow hair daily tearing down our beautiful Country and he walked back Civil Rights 60 years at least!
T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be?
Jon Hammond: I wrote a song some years ago to play in annual San Francisco County Jail gig, it is entitled: “Soon I Will Be Free” – sort of apropos during this time as we are waiting out a lot of things.
T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?
Jon Hammond: Be kind, check in on your neighbors folks!
T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self quarantined?
Jon Hammond: Head to Europe to visit dear friends of ours in Italy and Germany, Meet their new babies and give/get some hugs!
T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?
Jon Hammond: Watching documentary movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, doing a daily Hammond Report and practicing my instruments.
T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?
Jon Hammond: What have you got to be thankful for? A LOT! – Thanks Suzanna, it’s a great service you are doing with the T2Conline!