John McManus

John McManus

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

The folk rock of Dylan, the rock of the '90s and alt-country combined with catchy melodies and image-filled lyrics. Love and heartbreak are discussed here and what it means to find yourself along the way.

Biography

John McManus’ musical spark was lit when he saw Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV when he was 13 years old. By the time he transferred to Penncrest High School sophomore year in 1995 he was an art major and the following year took a guitar class. Ever since he has been invested in his creative and artistic personality and goals.

Recording in 2003 in just ten sessions, Side One contained five original songs. John produced the five song CD. Side One was released on February 20, 2004.

Since the release of Side One, John has been played and has guest hosted WSTW’s Hometown Heroes with Mark Rodgers. The Platform of Our Lives and To Your Own Surprise from Side One have both been played on the show. John has also been booked and has performed in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Recently, The Platform of Our Lives was selected as a winner of a songwriting contest by independent label Realize Records. Paul Lewis is recording the song for his next CD.

The Belle Sessions---John’s 14 song, 54-minute follow up----was written and recorded over the span of four years. Not only does The Belle Sessions contain far more sophisticated instrumentation---the addition of electric guitars, percussion and vocals by Emily Rawson---it also contains advanced production. But what the listener takes away from The Belle Sessions is the evolution of John’s songwriting. This CD contains far more images in its lyrics and changes in melody.

The Belle Sessions is an intimate and moving portrait of a relationship in three stages: falling in love, losing love and finding yourself.

Produced by John McManus and Steven LaFashia, The Belle Sessions is the CD John has always wanted to and always knew he could make. Influenced by a range of artists such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Smashing Pumpkins, Ryan Adams, Wilco, and U2, John strived to find his own artistic direction and voice.

Lyrics

The Platform of Our Lives

Written By: John McManus

Do you want to
Think you ought to
Have a round with me

Do you want to
Think you ought to
Spend some time with me

Don't walk away
And leave me standing
On the platform of our lives
Cause I can write a million songs
To break your heart
But can I write one
To make you smile

So you see now
All these questions
All these memories

When you look back
Do you see that
Nothing's as it seemed to be
To you and me

Don't walk away
And leave me standing
On the platform of our lives
Cause I can write a million songs
To break your heart
But can I write one
To make you smile
To make you smile

Don't worry
Don't waste your time
On what you already
Left behind
Don't stop to think
Or hesitate now
It's already over
But you didn't know
Did you know

So you see now
This is ending
This is meant to be
And tomorrow is the beginning
Of another day
Another way yeah

Don't walk away
And leave me standing
On the platform of our lives
Cause I can write a million songs
To break your heart
But can I write one
To make you smile
To make you smile
Can I make you smile
Can you make me smile
Can I make you smile
Can you make me smile

San Diego

Written By: John McManus

ey there little girl
I've been thinking of you
Devon misses you
And Media does too
Just go out there and follow your heart
One day you'll get a better start
You're so crazy
I'm crazy for you

Oh my little belle
Send me a postcard you're doing well
And tell me that Love is Hell

You didn't mean to hurt me but you
Had to desert me
You said
You were never in this

She took my heart to San Diego
Said she couldn't live with me here
She took my heart to San Diego
Said it's nice this time of year

She got on that plane
United 2193
In five hours she'll be there
A new home without a care
But don't hesitate
Or force yourself to wait
You're on your own
Just like you've always been

But when you unpack your bags
In your brand new place
Wish I could see
The tears fall down your face

She took my heart to San Diego
Said she couldn't live with me here
She took my heart to San Diego
Said it's nice this time of year

So just go dry your eyes
And find another guy
See if he can stay by your side
She never really had a home
Six years on the road
Saw the world
But never felt loved

Oh except from my heart
But now it's time to part
Did you know
You had me from the start

She took my heart to San Diego
Said she couldn't live with me here
She took my heart to San Diego
Said it's nice this time of year

Come back my love from San Diego
Cause I can't live here alone
Come back my love from San Diego
Twenty-four can be a better year
Can be a better year

Clarity

Written By: John McManus

Clarity
Clarity
When will these visions become clear to me?
Just outside
On the rise
Is the beginning of a new insight

What will you think?
What will you say?
When tomorrow comes
And it's the same day
And in the same people say
Some things never change
Take a look around
Only yourself's to blame

Clarity
Clarity
When will these visions become clear to me?
Just outside
On the rise
Is the beginning of a new insight

When all we do
The price we pay
To cut someone down
To feel OK
Go on your own today
Write a new page
And leave us behind
Just like you always say

Clarity
Clarity
When will these visions become clear to me?
Just outside
On the rise
Is the beginning of a new insight

Get off the road
And make your own
The secrets that are sewn belong to you and you alone
And now you see
The true to be
Something different than you'd want it to be

Clarity
Clarity
Someday this will all make sense to me
Cause all we need
Is you and me
Begin the beginning of possibilities

I'd Love to be You

Written By: John McManus

I wonder how I look inside your mind
I've been wondering for quite a time
Do you wonder how you look to all your friends?
I guess you'll never know till you ask them

I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you
I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you

Baby I can't sleep tonight
The thought of you is on my mind
Please make it stop
Self destructive or not

I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you
I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you

But it's nothing to you
After all the things I put you through
Never meant to treat you bad
Best be apart that's what we have

I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you
I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you

But all of this will pass
A burned up photograph
The radio softly plays
As my memory erases

So now it's time for this one to end
Goodbyes I'll never say again
Hope you like this song for you
Like the others never to get through

I'd love to be you
I'd love to be you
I'd love to be you
At least then I'd see you

13th and Main

Written By: John McManus

n a cold and rainy October morning
I wish I was asleep in your bed
Had to get up and go to the airport
A couple miles from town
And since you've been gone I've been looking for a place
And these feelings I start to embrace

And I've seen a face
That radiates my world
And I've seen a face
That radiates my world
But I could never stand in your light
A light that shines from the inside

Red and orange bleed from the sky
As we start our Monday morning drive
I got plans to keep
And bills to pay
But the thought of you
Makes me want to stay in a conversation for hours
I never thought you would have the power

And I've seen a face
That radiates my world
And I've seen a face
That radiates my world
But I could never stand in your light
A light that shines from the inside

Twenty-four reasons to start believing
In loving a strangers face
Dear 23 you never met that much to me
Another year of disillusionment
So get in the car and we'll go for a drive
And you can sit at my right side
And I'll start to forget
I thought love was dead
Till it slapped me in the face

And I've seen a place
That radiates my world
And I've seen a face
That radiates my world
But I could never stand in your light
A light that shines from the inside

Never needed you so bad
Take you home to meet Mom and Dad
You've seen the world but now you see
The lonely, weary and we
The lonely, weary and we
I never thought life would change
When I got to Thirteenth and Main

Discography

Side One (February 20, 2004)
The Belle Sessions (October 8, 2008)

Set List

From Side One:
Anthems From My Bedside
The Platform of Our Lives
Innocence is Far Away
My Serendipity
To Your Own Surprise

From The Belle Sessions:
The Belle Sessions
San Diego
A Memory to Me
13th and Main
Summer of '92
I'd Love to be You
Clarity
The Good Times
Sweet Virginia
We're the Same
Now That it's Over
Wednesday Night
Love is Grand
Goodnight

I am always writing and performing new songs and have begun planning for the next CD.

Covers: Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Jesse Malin, Wilco, U2, The Beatles, John Lennon, Nada Surf, Goo Goo Dolls just to name a few. The list goes on forever.

I can play anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.