Jon Jesse Beckenham
Jon Jesse Beckenham was born in northwest London in 1941, on 11th February. This makes him come under the star of Aquarius and the way his life developed ended up being very much along this kind of path. But it wasn’t evident early on in his life. At school his main subjects were the scientific ones and he did well, being several times top of the class. Everyone expected him to turn out to be a scientist or some kind of engineer. That is, except for himself, for he had no idea what he wanted to be. If you had told him at the age of 14 that he would become a singer, songwriter and a roving street musician he would have just given you a disbelieving smile and said “Really!” For until then there was never any sign of him having any particular artistic talent, let alone that of being a singer. However at the age of 15 his being an Aquarius exploded out of him on hearing Elvis Presley singing his first big hit “Heartbreak Hotel”. To his surprise he found himself happily thereafter singing along with Elvis. After that every day when he arrived home from school he would turn on his record player, put on an Elvis record and sing along with him. That was the catalyst which brought out his true character and at last he knew what he wanted to be, a singer like Elvis! It was a calling that never left him!
The rest is a long, long story stretching over a period of more than 50 years! For various reasons his dream of becoming a well known singer like Elvis never came true. Maybe he was just unlucky, or maybe it was because he simply didn’t get to know the right people. Nevertheless he was successful in that he was always able to use his musical ability to the full. Several times the direction of his life changed due to unexpected events. The first was an invitation by two German girls to visit them in Germany and which, after an unbelievable ‘message from above’, turned him into a songwriter at the ripe old age of 33. Ten years later at the age of 43 he became a street musician while on a holiday in Australia. You could say since the people were not coming to him, he was going to them! It turned him into a ‘Busker’, as street artists are called in England, and he has remained one ever since. He ended up doing three busking tours around Australia, in 1984, 2004 and 2009, the latter being his ‘25th Anniversary of being a Busker’. But also he has behind him more than a quarter of a century of performing on the streets through 11 European countries. So many times he has noticed how happy he makes people with his street singing and this alone has been reward enough and filled him with the motivation to keep him occupied with it for so long. As for becoming a big name singer, it was not for want of trying. Over the years he sent off hundreds of letters to publishers, recording companies and agents only to find hardly any of them even sending him a reply to thank him for his interest. So it was that 50 years after first hearing Elvis he found himself collecting his many songs and musical adventures together to produce four websites of his artistic achievements. This, the first one, tells you about and presents his wonderful compositions.
Jon Jesse has many beautiful songs for you to listen to and interesting and sometimes amazing musical stories to tell. Reading his stories and listening to his songs by means of his four websites gives you a clear insight into the quite unique artistic world he has been living in and it’s interesting to note that none of it was planned, it all just happened along the way. Most wonderful of all is how even at his age of over 70 he still hasn’t given up and continues to follow his dream and keep to his belief in himself. He even still goes out on the streets and sings. But then, when you are still able to make people happy when you pick up the guitar and sing, why should you stop!
Tracks and playlists liked by JonJesse