Jon is the one on the right.
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
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.