Batdorf and Rodney
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Batdorf and Rodney


Band Folk


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"Still Burnin'"

Batdorf & Rodney - Still Burnin' (Reunion Album)
In November of 2007 John Batdorf and Mark Rodney came to visit Mike Marrone at XM Radio in Washington, D.C. and the result was this wonderful Batdorf & Rodney reunion CD. Track one is brand new as is the last track on the CD but the rest is a remarkable re-recording of some of the all-time fave B&R songs. Special thanks to the very cool Mike Marrone for helping keep the dream alive. - Dean Sciarra

"Batdorf and Rodney"

It was 1972. I was living in Washington DC and I had 5th row tickets to see Bread at Constitution Hall. Their music had taken over the airwaves in those days. It was a hot ticket. I got there a little early and found these long haired guys setting up the stage - for Bread to perform - or so I thought. When guitars, amps, el al were ready these "long hairs" plugged in and started playing music that had a double "wow-factor" in that it was truly great stuff - no doubt about that - but there was something else that we all picked up on that night - Batdorf & Rodney played great rock songs with extended solos and jump-start licks - on acoustic guitars. There were no electric guitars in sight.

The interplay between John Batdorf & Mark Rodney was jaw-dropping - and the audience responded. We all knew we had seen something very special that night. I've never forgotten the experience - the way they played and the brilliance of their music. That was the first time I'd heard of Batdorf & Rodney. The memory has never left me. I've been a fan for more than 30 years and I always will be.
- - Dean Sciarra -


Off The Shelf
Batdorf and Rodney
Life Is You
Somewhere In The Night
Still Burnin'



The History Of Batdorf and Rodney (The Batdorf Version)
The hard part about writing a "history" of a music act from the 70's isn't getting the facts right but actually acknowledging that all this happened over thirty years ago. You see, as I write this the memories are all so fresh in my mind it seems like it happened yesterday.
In the summer of 1970 at the ripe old age of 18, my girl friend and I packed our bags and left our apartment in Hollywood for Las Vegas. It was time for a change of scenery, and it didn't hurt that her parents had a home there. They were devout Jehovah's Witnesses and I am sure they were thrilled to have a hippie musician who'd been shacking up with their runaway daughter in LA move into their home. But the power of music can never be underestimated. Once they heard me sing they warmed up to me and I used to do shows for them and their friends. (For the record, no pamphlets were distributed during the performances).
I soon found employment at the University of Las Vegas in a coffee house. Although I'd played music all my life I did have a few other marketable skills that helped me get the gig: I worked in the kitchen, served drinks, cleaned up the place, even worked the cash register. But singing was more fun. As with most coffee houses of that era, each night featured various singers and songwriters. Before long I became the headliner. I did two or three sets a night depending on the crowds. Then, as a special reward for packing 'em in I had the priviledge of cleaning up when the show was over.
One night Mark Rodney's younger brother Jeff showed up and liked what he saw. He went home and told his brother that he HAD to go check out this guy at the coffee house. Apparently he told Mark my distinguising features were: "he sings really high like a girl and plays really cool original music." Mark showed up the next night and watched a set and was impressed. Although both of us had been from LA and actually went to the same High School, Mark had been living with his dad Red Rodney who owned a home in Vegas. Red was a famous Jazz trumpet player and I'm convinced he passed on that great musical feel to his son.
Mark introduced himself during a break and asked if he could sit in on the next set and play some guitar. That was the first time Batdorf and Rodney played. I loved the way the guy found such cool and tasty guitar parts that took the songs to a better place. Oh yeah, and it was fun.
We decided to rehearse and see what would happen. We practiced everyday either at Red's house, the park, or up at Mt. Charleston. We got really excited about this sound that was happening as we played, and we weren't alone. Soon we were packing them in at the coffee house. The manager there was so into the sound and the potential that he took us to a College entertainment show in Fresno to show off what UNLV had going on campus. We were a big hit and before long we had people wanting to join us, manage us, promote us, you name it. We were getting the offers.
We were feeling really good about what we had to offer and wanted to record it. On October 24, 1970, Mark and I were joined by our roadie Dan Bisker and a few others and we went up to Mt. Charleston armed with our guitars, a stereo cassette deck and two mics. We played a set of originals and really liked what we heard. Mark and I decided that we wanted to go back to LA and see if we could get a record deal.
Before we made the trip I wanted to protect my original songs that we'd be showcasing around LA so I decided to mail the cassette of the Mt. Charleston recording to myself as a certified letter and never open it to show proof of when these tunes were written and by whom. They call it a poor man's copyright. I wrote down all the titles and made a note that I had written the songs and went to the post office. (That letter remained unopened until recently. Listening to that performance was truly a "trip" down memory lane.)
About a month later, Mark and I, along with my girlfriend and our roadie packed everything we had into my VW and set out for LA. A friend of mine and ex-drummer, Gerry Pasternack had an apartment in West LA and let us sleep on the floor until we got something going. As I'm writing this I realize that it sounds like a nineteen seventies cliche of hippie musicians chasing a dream, but it's how it happened. I suppose the reason our story sounds like a cliche is because so many of us during that period pretty much chased the same dream in the same VW.
Before I went to Vegas and met Mark I had been in a few bands in LA and had met Ahmet Ertegun the President of Atlantic Records. He would periodically come check out those early bands but never signed them. On a whim I decided I would call the Beverly Hills Hotel where Ahmet stayed while he was in LA and see if I could talk him into listening to us. He took my call and invited us over. Atlantic was signing the Stones at that time and all the big shots were there when we showed