John Barrows and Gary Radford from The Professors reunite with former vocal star J to perform an acoustic set in the Student Center Pub at Fairleigh Dickinson University. J performed a string of old Profs favorites such as "I'm From New Jersey," Foucault Funk, "Waiting for the Big One," and, of course, "You Oughta Know" (the uncensored version). Barrows and Radford premiered another new song, Crisis of Confidence, which Jennifer sang on sight. Radford also performed a song from his Sosostris days, Cadenza, based on the poem by Ted Hughes. The poem was recited by English Professor Geoff Weinman and the vocals were performed impeccably by J. The trio were joined on stage by the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Martin Green, who performed, from memory, the eight minute version of Don McClean's "American Pie." The stripped down sound of Radford on acoustic guitar, Barrows on harp, and J on vocals, was a major departure from the normal Professors sound of driving, electric blues-rock.
The audience was very enthusiastic about the performance and demanded two encores.
Clearly, a new musical form for The Professors had been discovered.
John Barrows - Harp/12-string acoustic Guitar
Gary Radford - Acoustic Guitar
J - Lead Vocals
Martin Green - Acoustic Guitar
Geoff Weinman - Recitation of Ted Hughes' poem, "Cadenza."
- I'm From New Jersey (John Gorka)
- Five Long Years (Eddie Boyd - Eric Clapton)
- Hide Your Love Away (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- All My Loving (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- Foucault Funk (Gary Radford/Stephen Cooper/
Marie Radford/Michel Foucault)
- Cadenza (Gary Radford/Ian Marshall/Ted Hughes)
- One of Us (Joan Osborne)
- Waiting for the Big One (Peter Gabriel)
- American Pie (Don McClean)
- You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)
- (Nobody Likes) Happy Songs (John Barrows/Gary Radford)
- Crisis of Confidence (John Barrows/Gary Radford)
- Weird Sisters (Mark Linkous - Sparklehorse)
WHAT THE STUDENTS SAID
We know them as our professors. Bits of their personalities are sometimes revealed to
us in their classroom lectures. Slowly, we piece together their hobbies, their passions,
their talents, their philosophies, and their dreams. We can imagine what they might be like
on the weekends, during their free time, when they are not assuming the exterior persona of
college professor. But we rarely have the opportunity to actually catch a glimpse of our
professors' true, inner selves.
On Thursday, April 6, the English and Communications professors gave their students
a chance to learn something more of their alter egos when they stepped out from behind the
podium and into the limelight. In a two-hour variety show, the professors revealed their
secret talents as they sang, strummed, and recited to their hearts content. The highlights
of the evening included J's pop-y rendition of "American Pie," Radford's rocking
guitar licks, and Acting Dean Green's stirring, though somewhat lengthy, rendition of
Beowulf in its native tongue.
Students of J, Radford, and Green were probably not too surprised at their performance
choices. Lehr's classes are already accustomed to her high-energy, exuberant personality.
In her informal introduction sessions at the beginning of each semester, J has
shared with her students her love for skiing, aerobics, mountain biking, and even
extreme sports like rock climbing. Her numerous in-class references to modern-day culture,
including TV shows like "Friends" and "Will and Grace," revealed her personal interest
in pop entertainment. Her rendition of "American Pie" and Jewel favorites seemed to perfectly
fit with her youthful and outgoing profile.
Radford's students have always loved their professor's philosophic and even psychedelic
style. His in-class boastings of having seen Pink Floyd live duing the band's peak have
awed his self-styled hippie students. Students know him as a profound thinker with a definite
cool, sixties streak. His bohemian rock riffs, therefore, were a perfect compliment to the
vision that students have of Radford.
It's always interesting to see what the older generation is up to. They've weathered society's
fast-forward surge into the millennium along with their fitness-crazed, guitar worshipping
sucessors. Who would think that between stock investments, retirement planning, and baby-sitting
grandchildren they'd be writing poetry and song lyrics? Yeah, it's true. And this is no
out-dated, Honeymooner-rerun, Beowolf type of listening. It's some pretty happening stuff.
Dressed in all black with the M.C. sporting some "sheiky" shades, they just might give the
Smashing Pumpkins a run for their money.
Perhaps the delight of the evening was the musical performance by "The Professors." Two
funky guitars, a capable songstress, and one wicked harmonica tore the roof off with their
finger-poppin' originals. With a Grateful Dead-esque folk sound, "The Professors" had the
crowd in a toe-tapping universal sway. It gets better. Joan Osborne and Alanis Morissette
were reincarnated on stage via the slim blonde songbird. With the help of a Grade A sound
section, the lyrics of "One of Us" and "You Oughta Know" came alive. Yup, and she said the
"f" word too, loudly. So, bye-bye miss American pie, there are some new fishes in town.
The performance held at the Pub on Thursday, April 6th, was great. The English
Departmen set this performance up, and they didn't disappoint the audience. This performance
was a combination of music and poetry. Faculty of the English Department were the main
performers. Some of the professors who performed are my professors, and so I was pretty
excited to see them perform. J and Radford did a fantastic job with the
music. They performed all sorts of songs. The poetry was pretty good also, but the
highlight of the evening was clearly the music.
Professor Radford and J did a fantastic job performing the music. I had heard them
perform on tape once, but I never had the opportunity to see them perform live before this
event. Two other professors were in the band as well, and they too did a fantastic job.
The professor with the harmonica sounded like Billy Joel in the song "Piano Man." His
performance was absolutely stunning. The band covered a few great songs during the
night. They performed big hits like "American Pie," "You Oughta Know," and "What if God was
One of Us." They also performed some new songs that were great. Professor Lehr has a great
voice and she showed why on this night. Her perfomance of Alanis Morissette's "You
Oughta Know" was absolutely incredible. Professor Radford's performance on the guitar was
reminiscent of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
This page last updated January 14, 2014 by Gary Radford.
Many thanks to Kurt Wagner, Marie Radford, and Jon Oliver.