John Faye: The Book Of Your Life

John Faye is emotionally hungover.

The release party for his new memoir, “The Yin & Yang of Everything,” wrapped only a few hours earlier, and he’s still making sense of the half-reading, half-rock show featuring a cast of bandmates, songs and stories spanning three decades.

“I have this tendency to lean into these ideas and involve my friends, and they have taken such incredible leaps of faith with me,” he says. “So I’m feeling really lucky.”

For a guy with a three-leaf clover tattooed onto his bicep, the sentiment is apt.

John was born in Newark, Delaware, the son of a Korean mother and Irish father. The loss of his father at age six only fomented a sense of mixed-identity alienation and isolation. Somewhere between his mother’s love of  John Denver and his own affinity for Dead Kennedys, John and his band, The Caulfields, found their way to an mid-90s major label deal with A&M Records. Despite alt-rock rotation for the angsty “Devil’s Diary,” the band flamed out before their second album gained traction.

But John persisted, finding his way through the music, reviving, reinventing and reformulating himself in all sorts of iterations: solo, duo, trio, professor, husband and father. For 30 years, John’s been a card-carrying member of music’s middle class, the troubadours, rockers and crooners out there every night, whether radio’s listening, MTV is watching or not. 

“Whatever makes other people happy is great,” he says. “But I always want to strive for something. And it’s served me okay so far.”

For more on the book of John’s life, download this week’s Friends & Neighbors podcast on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get yours.

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