Five Firsts: J Yager of the Audiostars

J Yager
J Yager

NAME: J Yager
INSTRUMENT: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I ever bought? ABC by the Jackson 5. Nearly wore it out. But the first album I ever owned was The Partridge Family – a gift from my parents. And yes, I pretty much wore that one out, too!

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice” tour in 1980(ish?) at SPAC. I was a late bloomer to the live concert thing. But that show was awesome, and once I went, I was hooked on the whole concert thing!

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … Wow, I’ve really gotta think back… I guess it would be bongos! My mom gave me a set that I played in the church folk group at age seven. I was terrible. I think everyone in the group wondered why I was there. But my mom was the music director and choir director at the church. That’s why.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … I honestly don’t remember. But one clear, early memory was doing “The Lord’s Prayer” – the version that played on 1970s rock radio! – live in church. It was awesome. It probably had a lot to do with turning me into a fan of performing on stage!

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Executioner! Original name, huh? It was my very first band, in middle school and early high school. We weren’t very good, but we practiced a lot, and a teacher finally decided to give us a chance to play a “rec night” (Friday night dance) for the kids at our middle school. It was amazing being able to play AC/DC and Judas Priest onstage and have other kids sing along and be into it with us! It was fun being part of a band – a team that all worked together to make music.

And it was fun actually getting paid to play (a first) – though we only received $20 (total). I remember as we played more rec nights, we got more popular, and began spending upwards of $300 a show (funded by my inheritance of some money from my Grandmother) to rent big lighting and sound systems (from Bill Reinhardt’s Starfire Lighting in Schenectady), just to make the shows the way we wanted them to be. And then, after every show, we would spend another $75-$100 on pizza at the local Pizza Hut for any kids who wanted to come hang out with us. Great times!

J Yager plays a solo acoustic show at the Prime Bar & Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park at 5:30pm on Thursday (December 20). Then he’ll grab the microphone and step into the spotlight to lead the Audiostars in their free fan appreciation show at Vapor in Saratoga Springs at 9pm on Friday (December 21), followed by a stop at the Barrel Saloon in Albany at 10pm on Saturday (December 22).

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