Keeping up with John Rumley

What the fuck is he up to

By Jason Hitchcock | Photos By Jason Hitchcock & John Rumley

John Rumley, a.k.a Rumley, a.k.a The Asshole, a.k.a MacGyver, a.k.a The Man of a Thousand Ideas. This Renaissance Man has been a member of the Denver nightlife in one aspect or another for a vast majority of his life. Keeping up with his activities can be rather hard. He has played many different instruments in many different bands. Urban Leash, Tone Thugs, Mau Mau 55, (who became Pygmy Love Circus)  Poison bone, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Tarantella, Munly, The Hush, and currently he plays with The Buckingham Squares. He has also filled in with The Fluid, toured with 16 Horsepower and Dogs of Pleasure. These bands are all well worth Googling. John’s hard drive sits in his garage/sound stage/studio full of music he’s recorded, homemade skits, fake commercials, short films, as well as music videos he created for his bands and gigabyts of photos he’s taken of anything that catches his interest. If he’s not at home working tirelessly, you can probably find him in his workshop building guitars or banjos for Denver musicians as well as musicians halfway around the world. John is an experienced Luthier and his one of a kind hand made guitars are very sought after. This ultra busy entrepreneur also does master repair work at the Denver Folklore Center (1893 South Pearl Street, Denver 80210) fixing every kind of stringed instrument heard of.

John’s career as an entertainer started at the age of 5, dancing ballet in the Denver production of The Nutcracker Suite, at Bonfils Theater, (2526 East Colfax Avenue. Now the Tattered Cover) where his dad was one of the preformance directors. Talented daddy, Mr. Rummley Sr., was also the modern dance instructor for Denver University. Whenever they needed extra child preformers for a show, John’s father would have him and his brothers join the acting  or dancing ranks. Productions like Epidaurus Ancient Theatre, Medea And The Golden Apple or even Zorba The Greek, his father had them preforming in whatever came up. John practiced ballet every Saturday morning for three years, something he loathed but did anyway. He continued performing in plays, hanging out in the prop rooms and dressing rooms and spying on half-dressed ladies until he was in the 7th grade. Around that time he started to become more involved with other not so artistic interests.

Because of his father’s dream of having a Partridge Family-like band, his dad purchased his children musical instruments. Instead of the drum set John wanted, he was given a Mandolin that he absolutely hated. Years later that mandolin would get him into his first band Tone Thugs, where he started writing music and songs of his own (“Mostly” he says, “because I wasn’t good enough to play other’s music”). But with the help of Patrick Bowers, a long time friend, he became a better musician and started to learn other instruments.  This lead to him to play with several different bands including Slim Cessna’s Auto Club.

There are several things you might notice if you’ve ever been to John’s shop at Denver Folklore Center. It’s not the stack of guitars, banjos, stand up basses, or the random cool shit that he has pulled out of dumpsters or found at the ARC or Goodwill (like that creepy little banjo playing clown he has displayed on a shelf). The biggest thing you notice is his collection of  over 4000 DVD’s and VHS films. They vary from old B films to new releases to classics. GoodFellas or All That Jazz are two flicks that have a high probability of being shown on his little TV when you visit John or come to pick up your instrument.

John’s love of film started at a rather young age with photography. He learned to develop his first photographs in his familys dark room located in a closet right outside his bedroom door.  He remembers the magic of watching the pictures slowly develop. His interest grew and he obtained his first film camera. That, and the access to DVI and Final Cut Pro led him to get his start in creating music videos. John’s talent grew and his intrest in shows like Johnny Carson and The Dean Martin Roast, made John’s newest endeavor the next obvious course of direction. His newest project Late Night Denver lets John’s wild imagination grow to it’s fullest potential. The You Tube show allows him to use all of his knowledge of acting, directing, film.special effects and costumes. His personal prop room is full of some of the coolest shit you’ll ever see.

Late Night Denver

“That’s right folks. Get comfy. You’re here at Late Night Denver. Now, a big round applause for your host, Mr. John Rumley”. Denver’s new late night variety show born from the mind of John Rumley and his co-host Heather Dalton. With the goal of putting Denver nightlife on the map and giving local bands, comedians and all of the super talented people of Denver the recognition and attention they deserve. John likes the idea of Late Night Denver, hanging out, playing make-believe and having fun with friends. It may be one of his most fun, interesting projects to date!

John’s lust for life never ceases. A non-stop action man with 3 kids of his own. He still drives motorcycles through his house. He has even been known to shoot old civil war muskets loaded with paper outside his front door. John has lots of stories to make you laugh or go “No fucking way!” Late Night Denver guests will have a lot to live up to while chating with John Rumley.