Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2014 Contents B3
JUNE 8, 2014
"This might sound a little arro-
gant, but I was born to do this." So
says life-long rock n roll guitarist,
singer and songwriter Joel Beazer,
AKA "Reckless Johnny."
Beazer has played with several
bands across the US and UK, but
his musical journey led him right
back to to T&T. You can find his
latest music project, the rock band
Brain Coral, in Tobago. The band is
named after the world s largest brain
coral colony, which is in the waters
Beazer got his first taste of rock
music at around nine years old while
growing up in Mayaro and Rio Claro.
"It s my mother, really. She had
records and I started playing Frisbee
with them. Talk about licks!"
In school a friend gave him his
first cassette tape: Appetite for
Destruction, by Guns N Roses.
Beazer s still a fan and calls it "the
best rock and roll record ever. It really
helped me understand rock."
At 14, he picked up his first instru-
ment, a guitar he had for weeks
begged his parents to buy. Not long
afterwards he formed his first band.
"I was so into music that I forced
myself to play. There was a guy who
lived upstairs from where we rented,
Stephan Mahabir, who taught me
my first chord---a C chord---and from
there, that was it."
His first band, Eve s Apple, he
formed with two classmates after
moving to San Fernando to go to
Asja Boys College.
"I was the only one with a guitar.
We had a logo and everything, and
at that time we really didn t know
how to play sh--," Beazer joked,
"...but we played sh-- together!
Every morning we bonded, I would
tell them how I wrote this song and
we d play it."
Then came Foolscap Binders
(named after the notebook paper
binders), followed by Infernal, a death
"My first real band was Korre,
which turned into Alexes Machine.
That was the band we formed in
UWI, there were flyers everywhere,
we had a huge following and we
were rehearsing every day." The band
made a live and a studio album, and
got media attention.
"Around that time, everything was
moshing. Playing five years of head-
banging music? Your teen angst runs
out. I had more things to write
about," Beazer said.
His desire to write more thought-
ful and introspective music led to
the formation of Astral Garden,
which he identified as the phase of
his life when he wrote the most
music. With Astral Garden, Beazer
went on to record a four-song EP
and did a showcase for Sony and
Universal through the first DeciBel
conference. They got a lot of great
feedback, but nothing materialised
from the opportunity.
Touring the US
"After that, I really wanted to do
this music thing. I sold everything,
sold my car, quit my job as a graphic
artist and I jumped on a plane, went
to New York and crashed by my
He worked as a session guitarist
with two bands, Dust to Dust and
Pure Dream Ladder, and toured the
southern US with Minerva Veil.
The best moment of his musical
life was going on tour with T&T
band Orange Sky, he said. The tour
of the US lasted four months. Beazer
came back home and got deeper
"I could hear the songs in my
head," he said, and credits jointpop s
frontman Gary Hector with the
advice that "the best way to get
your song across is to just sing it
yourself." Beazer now has some 70
songs of his own.
In 2012 he went to London to play
with the band Fast Lane, where he
stretched his vocal ability even more.
There he played the Kilburn Festival
Showcase, and, in London, the Sal-
isbury Live show.
After that period, he hooked up
with Sil Israel, and worked his music
out with an electronic composer,
eventually recording a ten-song
album under the title Gene Locust.
Tracks from the Beazer/Israel col-
laboration were frequently played
on the Total Local radio show on
95.1 FM, T&T s signature station
for rock and alternative music.
Enter Marsha Farfan.
"I knew Orange Sky," said Farfan.
"They used to rehearse in my house
when I was growing up in Cascade.
I kind of grew up with them."
Other signature local bands devel-
oped out of the Farfan s Cascade
house of rock. "My brother Darren
plays the guitar. He formed the band
Nylon Pool with Jason Apparicio.
They used to rehearse in my house
Farfan linked Beazer with Appari-
"When she told me about Jason,
I ended up going to Tobago and I
met him at a surf competition,"
Beazer felt he and Apparicio were
kindred spirits and he immediately
wanted to form a new band with
Apparicio---whose stage name is
Then, Sid Mohammed, dentist by
day and rock bassist by night, who
also surfed with Apparicio on week-
ends, came into the picture.
Birth of Brain Coral
With Mohammed s solid bass
lines, Apparicio s command of reg-
gae and ska riffs and Beazer s heavy
rock/punk style and original songs,
Brain Coral was born.
Brain Coral has a huge sound and
its repertoire is versatile. The band
mixes heavy punk songs with lighter
more relaxed, reggae-infused hard
"With Brain Coral I ve learned
that you can be searching all over
the world for something, and then
you find it right here at home. Noth-
ing beats having your own kind of
vibe and playing your own sound.
It s more fun and it s real," Beazer
Beazer believes in the strength of
his current musical project. Even
though the band has played together
for less than four months, they were
recording literally from the first day
of rehearsal and haven t stopped
Farfan, Brain Coral s manager,
confirmed that Brain Coral will soon
be recording two or three of the
Beazer originals in Jamaica. She also
believes that the UK and Europe are
searching for an original and authen-
tic sound, which she believes Brain
Coral can provide.
"I love Brain Coral and I think it s
going to go far. I really want to have
a long run with it," Beazer said.
The evolution of a rock 'n' roll band
Brain Coral members Joel Beazer, aka
"Reckless Johnny," singer/songwriter/
guitarist, Sid Mohammed, bassist, and
Sil Israel, percussionist.
PHOTO COURTESY SCOTT HOMER/SEKRITIV
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