MONREAL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL BEGINS

The international jazz festival at Montréal began recently to the enjoyment of the fans. “I wanted to stick it to people,” the man born John Lyon said during a recent telephone interview. Lyon and bandmate Steven Van Zandt (now better known as Little Steven) were “very aggressive about that New Jersey being a joke state thing,” he said. “We thought ‘We’ll show you.’ We’d go onstage and the horns would hit that big chord. It was not like another band hitting two guitars. And I was a wild performer on stage. Iggy Pop was one of my heroes. So between Steve wanting to prove himself and me wanting to prove myself, that was the real bond. We really wanted to say ‘This is good and you have to pay attention.’”

Lyon is still out there with a current version of the Jukes, keeping the art of playing horn-driven R&B alive. He and the group expect to do about 100 shows this year, he said. “I’ve always enjoyed the movement, the feeling of freedom, the lack of responsibility,” he said. “Also, I collect old records, so we stop at junk stores and flea markets and look for old vinyl. It combines a hobby you love with a career: music and music.”