From his earliest days living in Manhattan to his residency in Washington, DC, John Hall has paved the way both musically and politically. In his candid, honest, and informative book, Still the One: A Rock n’ Roll Journey to Congress and Back, Hall hits the highs and lows of his musical career with the band, Orleans, and his endeavors in politics that won him a seat for the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives.
John shares words of wisdom in his forward, “…I tell young people who are wondering if they should pursue their musical or artistic dreams, ‘if you have to ask me, don’t do it!” Within the pages of his book John details his love of music, songwriting and performing in New York City, and how Orleans earned their moniker at the Montreux Casino. He also talks of Orleans’ success as a live club band and the integral parts that Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Brown have played, musically speaking.
Hall goes on to speak of his first taste of politics, uniting his neighborhood to take a stand against the presence of an illegal ‘car bone yard’ devaluing the property and community. This small victory would be a mere springboard for his future endeavors such as his environmental efforts, protesting nuclear power and advocating for America’s veterans. John’s personal account tells of a typical day in the life of a professional musician turned congressman, which is exhausting to say the least! He also shares the stresses of campaigning and what it truly costs to run for office. John shares tidbits of his personal life, both happy and sad, marriages, births, divorces and death. An obvious family man, Hall praises his wife, children, siblings and parents, all of whom have supported him through the years.
John’s book is enlightening, encouraging and using John’s own words, conveys a point to readers: that people of any age can change the status quo. For those who may not be politically savvy, the book provides a nuts and bolts breakdown of Washington and the obstacles encountered on the road to legislation. Hall’s tone throughout the book is humble, reflective and hopeful. For music fans and political aficionados alike, Still the One: A Rock n’ Roll Journey to Congress and Back makes for an engaging and informative read!
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Featured Image: Incoming class of 2006. See if you can find John, Gabby Giffords, Michelle Bachmann, Mary Fallon (Later Governor of Oklahoma,) now Senators Chris Murphy, Mazie Hirono, Kirsten Gillibrand.
Writer: Amanda Knight