Apr. 12, 2016


Greetings to all,

Wishing everybody is having a nice evening at home, or at work for some. I had a wonderful day with the guys, finishing up another back yard project. It was a landscaper’s ideal weather day here in the desert, 72 degrees, partly cloudy! It was snowing back east I hear!

Yesterday I said I would share a little more of my personal life with you good folks. So here it is. Maybe it will explain me a bit more, and how I came to be the person I am today. For the better or for the worse, most of us humans are products of our environment. I am no exception to that rule, in fact, I probably epitomize it.

Both my parents have passed away within the past two years, so now I feel free to express my true feelings about my upbringing, and how it has impacted me as a person.

My parents were both Mexican nationals from the state of Sinaloa. A beautiful costal state on the pacific side of Mexico. My Father was born in Mazatlán, and my mother in a nearby village. Somehow their worlds collided some 400 miles to the north in Emplame, Sonora in 1955. At the time, my father was a 29 year old railroad worker, travelling from town to town, maintaining the steam locomotives of the day. A man of the world, he was well seasoned as a hardworking, hard drinking, ladies’ man. At  his age, he was considered overdue for a wife. Especially in the macho culture of the nineteen fifties Mexico. Im sure my grandma put some pressure on him to settle down and start a family. But I think he was having too much fun being a bachelor!

My mother, on the other hand was living a miserable existence. Losing her mother at 6 years of age from tuberculosis, she and her three siblings were quickly absorbed into a readymade step family. The second oldest of twelve children, and the oldest girl, she was looking for a way out of her Cinderella like world. Forced to quit school at 8 years old to help raise her younger siblings, she was desperate to escape her plight.  At fourteen, she swore to her father that the first man who winked an eye at her, she would be as good as gone! That wink of an eye belonged to my father. Again, he was 29, she was 15. Not that uncommon in their world. So they eloped to Nogales, Sonora.

That’s where mine and my sister’s lives began. The fourth of my parent’s seven children and the older of two boys. When I was 14 months old, we immigrated to Tucson. Unfortunately for my mother, she went from the frying pan to the fire. Although my father was now settled down and raising a large family, he still maintained a bachelor like life style. If a man could have his cake and eat it too, my father would have been the poster child. Again, not unheard of with our culture back then, even celebrated at times. He was a hardworking man, and never failed to provide for his family, but worked even harder at his addictions. Alcohol and women.

 My mother was by no means an equal partner, but was simply there to tend to the king and his castle and to raise his offspring. My father, who in his defense was raised a child of chaos, had many demons of his own. Abusive, violent and moody, he controlled every aspect of our life. And with that, transferred his emotional baggage on to the rest of us kids. My mother bore the brunt of his dysfunction for 18 long years. Finally In 1973 she found the will to extract him from our world. I still remember the day he was asked to leave for good. It was like the entire weight of the world was lifted from our tiny little shoulders! I was 11 then, and I could say that up to that point, it was by far the happiest day of my life. Sad to say, although we were now set free from the monster that was my dad, the damage was irreversibly done. Walking wounded was what we all were. Saddled with. P.T.S.D., low self- esteem, depression and addictive tendencies to name a few. That’s what was he left in the aftermath of the failed marriage. And now my mom, 33, was a single mother of seven kids.  Uneducated, unskilled, not able to drive and barley speaking any English, she went right to work as a motel maid to support her children. Never to marry again, or even date another man, she dedicated herself tirelessly to her kids and grandkids, until the day she died in 2014.

As for me, I struggled as a teenager to find my place amongst my peers. Feeling awkward and unconfident, especially around girls, I threw myself into sports. When I used to look in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. Most of the girls agreed! I hated taking pictures and as I grew, I manifested all my father’s physical traits. I hated being compared to him all the time. But I couldn’t escape the DNA running through out my body! I realized that I couldn’t help but look like him, but I was going to do my best not to act like him. No matter what it took!

In the eighth grade I got a part time job at the local drug store after school. I hung out with my close friends, played basketball, football and road my bike, like a normal kid. Still I longed for a father figure to share my joys and to express my fears with.  By then my dad was living in California, with his new family. I knew he would not be of any help anyways.

 I struggled tremendously through puberty and had to figure a lot of things out on my own. My mother was not emotionally equipped to help me deal with my load. Nor was there any other adult in my life. The same went for the rest of my siblings I suppose. Many kids the world over are experiencing the same challenges, or worse.

In high school I joined the cross-country and track team my freshman year. Finally I felt like I belonged to something special. I discovered the love of running long distances and enjoyed the fellowship with my teammates.  It really helped me cope with my emotional deficiencies and kept my mind busy most of the time. Overall I could say that through those tough years, I never felt depressed or too lonely. I developed a sense of independence and self-reliance that I still carry on to this day. Running and exercising helped me get strong mentally, as well as physically. It taught me endurance, sportsmanship and perseverance.

Still, by the time I was a junior, I was missing something. I just didn’t know it, until I saw the new freshman girl on the team. Boy was she pretty, I though! I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her all the way back to school after a race. And more importantly, she was looking back at me! Dora was her name and my life was about to change forever!

So tune in next time friends, if I’ve kept your interest.

Have a pleasant evening, and thanks for your support!


Apr. 11, 2016

Juanjohn preforming in China town Honolulu

Apr. 11, 2016


Hello Friends,

 I hope all are well, where ever you may dwell!

I think I covered most of the major concerns about the gigs experiment the last few post. Now that it’s less than a month away from launching this journey, I know the time will just fly by as I wrap up some final jobs, and make my needed preparations.

Now that I have explained the purpose of my adventure, I want to use this time and the next few posting to tell you a little about myself. I really have been back and forth on whether to open up to everybody about my private life, or to just stick to the subject, which is this unique journey!

Some of my readers know me well, but most and hopefully many more do not. I decided to share a little of myself, my childhood and my recent path that have brought me to this exciting time in my life. Even some of my closes family and friends might be surprised by what I will reveal in the next few post. I will break my story up in a few segments over the next few days, hoping not to bore any of you good people to sleep!

I will start with my name. Obviously Juanjohn is not my real name, it is, sort of. My birth name is Juan. Juan de Dios Bayardo. Translated means “John of God”….don’t laugh! Thanks to my grandmother, that’s the name I had to answer to every roll call of every first day of school, for twelve years! On the Mexican calendar, March 8th is my saint’s name, San Juan de Dios!  It could have been worse, like Tiburcio or  Proceso! Talk about having to live up to your name! You can pick your nose and pick your friends, but you can’t pick your name, your parents do. The neighbor used to call me “Juan Diablo”, just to make jest of my name. I suppose you‘ve already guessed Juan and John are the same name. Like Maria and Mary or Jim and Santiago. So why do I use both? You might ask.

I haven’t always. Here’s the story. Way back in 68’ I was in the second grade. My school mates always had trouble pronouncing my name. They would call me “Wan” or “One” and it would frustrate me to no end. One day during recess, the teacher, Mrs. Hagan, R.I.P. (Nasty old lady!) got fed up hearing me all the time correct my fellow students. She pulled me aside and asked:

“Juan, what do you want to be called? Juan or John?” she asked.

“John?” I replied. Somewhat puzzled.

“Yes. Your name is John, in English. I will tell the class to call you whatever name you pick” she said.

Wow, I never knew that up to that point! At home, Juan was the only name I ever heard. But I knew who John Wayne and John Kennedy were, and that name to me sounded cool and regal! Especially for a 6 year old little barrio boy. So jumped on it!

“I want to be called JOHN! Mrs. Hagan.” I declared with joy.

“Are you sure?” Mrs. Hagan said.

“Yes, yes!” I shouted.

Then she turned to the class and got their attention.

“Class, listen up everybody… From now on Juan wants to be called “John”. So everybody get used to calling him by his knew name. Okay.” She announced. Then she back down behind her desk.

I felt like a new person. Like I had just won some kind of prize. My classmate of course were a bit confused by the new rule, but like most 6 years olds from my generation, we just did what we were told. No questions asked. I miss those days. So do the teachers I bet! So I ran home and told my mom the good news. She didn’t seem to understand why the change was made, or comprehend why I was so excited about it. She went back to folding clothes. I was so proud of my new name!

And so the name John stayed with me for the next 42 years. I worked in the late 80’s into the 90’s at a supermarket called Smith’s. There everybody knew me as John, including an older meat cutter name Ron. In 1999 Ron quit and ended up at Safeway. Fast forward to 2010 and I just got hired at the same Store as Ron.

 I guess they had told him days earlier that a new guy was starting, and that his name was Juan Bayardo. They told him that he had worked together with me back at Smith’s. Ron did not recognize or remember ever working with someone called Juan.  Three days later I showed up for my first shift! And Ron instantly knew who I was. At Safeway I applied with my birth name Juan, as I always have when Im filling out legal forms. The supervisor who hired me just called me by my applied name. Ron then yelled out when they introduced me to the crew.

“Hey, is John, not Juan” he told the supervisor.

“Hi Ron, long no see.” I said extending my hand out.

“What the hell, when did you change name dude?” Ron asked, as he shook my hand.

“It’s my legal Ron! It’s the same name bro, just in Spanish” I explained.

“Well these guys have been telling they hired some guy named Juan, and that he knew me from Smiths. I told them I didn’t know or had ever worked with any freakin “JUANS.” He explained.

We both laughed the rest of the day as we caught up on things, and he started calling me Juanjohn ever since! I liked it, and decided to use it for my Facebook page. Later when I lived in Hawaii, I used it as a stage name when I was doing some open mic nights at a couple Waikiki and China town clubs.

Now it’s attached to my Gigs adventure. Well there you have it. Tomorrow I will go back to my youth and first marriage. I hope you found it interesting friends.

Good night, and sleep well.


Apr. 9, 2016

My immigration picture- 1963

Apr. 9, 2016


Hello Guys and Gals,

Today is such a beautiful day here in Arizona!  I hope everybody is having a nice Saturday where you live. We don’t get rain too often, so we enjoy every drop the good Lord bestows on us desert dwellers!

My sister Angela just left my home here in Oro Valley, after spending her afternoon doing a photo shoot with me and my tools. She is a professional photographer and a very creative individual. I will be posting some new pictures tomorrow, after she photo shops them a bit. She has to remove all the ugly, and wrinkly portions of my battered, sun baked mug!  I think you’ll like them.

As I mentioned briefly on my Idea page, Im trying to garner some local media attention here in Tucson for my trip. Easier said than done Im discovering. After a dozen or so calls and e-mails, the response has been luke warm up to this point. There still is time left, and I hope to hear back from some before I depart.  However I have heard back from the Dollar Shave Club, and the Spanish Newspaper La Estrella. I also received an invitation to appear on the Spanish channel Azteca for a short segment a one of their talk shows! I will be taping on the 23rd of April. I’ll keep you posted.

Which brings me to the subject of the day. The Latin angle. I promised myself from the beginning that this Blog, this adventure, and entire experience will be for the sole propose of entertainment! I do not want to venture in to the political, social, or religious realms with my audience. As important and relevant as those and other topics are, they represent exactly what I hope my journey provides. An escape for some of my followers! We as a nation, in my opinion are constantly bombarded by so much of that stuff, that it robs us of much of the everyday joys in life. Even the most popular sites like Facebook and Twitter are now mostly filled with one if not all of these topics constantly. It sucks all the beauty and fun out of people.

That being said, I am a person of Latino descent and I do speak fluently, read and write in both languages. My reaching out to Spanish outlets and writing a Spanish blog is simply to attract a larger following. The Hispanic community, again in my opinion, is lagging behind a bit with this type of communication venue. Namely blogging. That is the reason I chose to use my ability to write a dual language format. No other reason.

I also have many relatives in Mexico who do not have the means or the legal ability to freely travel in this great country, so they can see and experience a lot of America along with me if they chose to follow me on my journey!  

I know that if I am successful with my adventure, some may point to the fact that a LEGAL Mexican immigrant, like myself, can be proudly celebrated for the accomplishment! Especially in lieu of the current political climate experienced by many immigrants in this era.  However, I would take greater pride and satisfaction with such a feat if I was recognized for overcoming the challenge as a person or citizen of this world, as opposed to a person of a select color or heritage! I’m proud to be from Nogales, Sonora Mexico, but that does not define me as a person. Good or bad, my character does, and should.

Well, that’s just what I feel deep inside. Feel free to chime in at any time, I really hope to start a dialog with you good folks. Have a wonderful evening, and stay safe!

Adios amigos, Juanjohn