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j o n   w u r s t e r

j o n & d i a m o n d  d a v e Jon is the one on the right.

Meet Jon

Jon Wurster was born and raised in the farmlands of southeastern Pennsylvania. He pronounced himself a disciple of rock after attending his first concert --a performance by The Carpenters at the Allentown Fairgrounds in the summer of 1973. Jon earned the eternal hatred of his family and neighbors when he began playing the drums just after his 12th birthday.

At age 14 he joined his first band, a new wave covers outfit called Hair Club for Men. Although the group drew tens of people at VFW halls from Souderton to Schwenksville, Hair Club soon packed it in due to the farming commitments of three of its members.

After graduating high school, Jon landed his dream job: dragging around 480 lb. drums filled with toothpaste from midnight to 8:00 a.m. at a packaging plant in nearby Kulpsville. By day, Jon practiced with Psychotic Norman, a Philadelphia-based underground rock band (think Minutemen meets Canned Heat) who would go on to record the much-maligned "Man Meets Fish/DaveyJones Water Cooler/Cosmic Rap" EP. To this day the EP holds the distinction of being the only record the band’s guitarist has 850 copies of in his basement.

In 1986 Jon pulled up stakes and moved to Winston-Salem, NC where he joined the roots rock band The Right Profile. Within months,TRP signed to Arista Records and was soon caught up in a tidal wave of rejection, depression and frustration. The band soon lost one of its founding guitarists/songwriters --Stephen J. Dubner, author of the bestseller, "Freakanomics" (I shit you not). Any hopes that things would go smoothly were quickly dashed when a suggestion that Dubner's replacement should sound like Robert Quine elicited a quizzical, “You mean the comedian?” from one of the band's managers. After completing half an album the band and Arista parted ways, the label graciously allowing the young rockers to keep any GTR, Whitney Houston and Carly Simon promos they’d managed to snag whilst visiting the company’s offices.

Jon spent most of the late-‘80s playing in The Carneys (a band that was essentially The Right Profile with a string of hired-gun guitar players), all the while selling the latest X-rated rap and hair metal cassettes to teenagers in establishments like Record Bar, Tracks and the appropriately named, Tape World. Jon's retail career ground to a halt in early 1991 when he broke his arm trying to wrestle away a “Body By Bud” poster from a crazed shoplifter. What else was there to do but move to Chapel Hill, NC and become a window washer?

That fall Jon joined the up-and-coming indie-rock band Superchunk. On a fateful New Jersey spring night in 1994, Jon met his future comedy partner, Tom Scharpling. Things got off to a rough start when Tom greeted Jon by shoving the drummer’s face in the Trenton City Gardens backstage toilet. Any blood that might have been set to boiling was quickly cooled when Tom uttered those 19 words that have since become the stuff of comedy legend: “I was just seeing if you were a pussy or not; you wanna check out my Chris Elliott fanzine?” A bond was formed and the two soon took their first steps into the world of radio hijinks.

Jon still drums for Superchunk and has performed or recorded with such artists as Jay Farrar, The Mountain Goats, Robert Pollard, Ryan Adams, REM, Rocket From The Crypt, Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple, Guided By Voices and others. When not rocking or working on Stereolaffs-related projects Jon writes TV commercials, film/TV screenplays and articles for music magaines like Harp, Modern Drummer and Reggae Digest. He has been described as "The Ed Shauhnessy of rock." He is unsure if this is a compliment.

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