Have you ever wondered what John Rich sounded like before the fame, before the bottle chuckin', before the flashers and all that? Me neither! But I suspect you've at least wondered a little bit what he was like in high school, and if a cassette containing a song he recorded as a young lad were to turn up on eBay, you'd probably be somewhat mildly curious, like a 900 on a scale of one to a million. According to the auction details, this tape contains "the only known copy of his song, 'Back to You,' recorded around 1992."
After the jump, an email I got from the feller who put this little piece of analog history up for auction!
John and I had several classes together in high school in Dickson (Dickson County High School), and we had to do a demonstration for our Speech class. John performed a song for his presentation, and although I wasn't much of a country music fan at the time, I could tell that he was really talented. He mentioned something about making a demo tape, and I, being really into art, asked him if I could design the cover art, which he agreed to. I painted a small fluorescent painting of a cactus playing a guitar, and gave it to him. John gave me this tape after I gave him the cactus painting. I've always been into collecting stuff, mostly baseball cards, and I thought that I should hang onto it, just in case. I found out that he was in Lonestar a few years later, then he went solo for a while. I'd look him up online every now and then to see what he was up to with his music. I found out that he was in a band called Big & Rich before their first album came out, and I was at work shortly afterwards, and discovered through one of the weekend papers in Madison, Wisconsin, that Big & Rich were performing for a St. Jude's benefit show at the Dry Bean Saloon. I went to the show, and got to see John after his performance, and hung out with him for a while. I asked him if he remembered me giving him the artwork for his demo, which he did. He asked me if I still had the tape he gave me, and said that he didn't have a copy of it. He wanted a copy, and I gave him my email address, but he never emailed me, so I put it on ebay shortly after his "Horse of a Different Color" CD came out, but no one bid on it, probably because it's a crappy looking tape, and no one thought it was real. This is the second time I've put it on ebay, and I hope someone buys it this time.
And there you have it. Personally, I'm kinda interested in this "fluorescent painting of a cactus playing a guitar" because it sounds totally radical. Anyway, anybody got $1,400 for an opening bid? Let's keep this in Nashville where it belongs -- maybe Infinity Cat will re-issue it!
(Disclaimer: We have not independently verified that this is indeed a John Rich demo tape.)