I think most people have a love-hate relationship with social media. But I’m sure many will agree that it’s always fun to catch up with people they haven’t seen for ages. When I first met C.J. Gunn (ne Christopher James Gunya), he was a little punk from Cleveland with a big mouth and a heart of gold. Now he turns up one book, one straggly beard, hundreds of tattoos, and 20 years later. I’d say we had some catching up to do and I was happy to have had that opportunity last week.
Born in Cleveland in 1974, Gunn had a tumultuous childhood and ended up losing both of his parents early on. A natural misfit, he turned to the punk scene for a sense of belonging. By the early 90s, Gunn had played in a variety of punk bands in the area. He was great at networking and ended up getting the attention of many local acts as well as national ones passing through nearby cities. One band that was a huge musical influence on Gunn and whose members would become recurring characters in his rock and roll life was The Ramones. When Gunn heard that drummer Marky Ramone was playing in Cleveland with his band The Intruders, he did everything he could to get on the bill with his band The Subtones. Not only was he successful doing that, but he also was lucky enough to get on two more dates opening for The Intruders in nearby towns.