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Jonny B. Russell and the Troubled Way Zones

Influences

Iron Maiden

Discography

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“I’m a disabled Navy vet with schizophrenia,” says Jonny B. Russell, who began playing guitar at age 14. “I’m currently taking the medication Abilify, and I’m doing well; I have been stabilized.”

Beginning in 1987, after joining the Navy (which he calls “the world’s biggest gang”), Russell entertained troops in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Kenya, Africa, and several theaters of war. After his honorable discharge in 1997, he formed the Troubled Way Zones, with the stated intent “to make music bikers like to hear.”

“The Hells Angels appreciate our songs like ‘Ride to Live’ because it represents individualism,” says the 45-year-old, who cites Iron Maiden as inspiration and kindred spirits. “We speak to and celebrate individuals who think for themselves, who love hard rock, and who like to ride and have a great time...and maybe they even have a chopper bike in their living room.”

Russell has long embraced the biker life. “My sister’s boyfriend used to give me rides to middle school on a sick-ass Triumph chopper bike, and from there I rode on different Harley-Davidsons and dirt bikes.”

Russell says certain San Diego neighborhoods have not embraced him. “I lived for six years in an apartment on 54th and Dawson in Southeast San Diego, but I was completely harassed by [the police]. On December 23, 2009, SWAT raided my apartment...they even brought a tank!”

He says the police incursion was a case of mistaken identity. “They were looking for someone in apartment 15. We were next door in number 19, drinking, on my birthday. Whatever happened to the police getting to know the families, instead of kicking the door down and using exploding bean packs? Even after the police realized they were in my apartment, they handcuffed us to this young gangbanger named Soldier and his girlfriend.”

The neighbors were arrested, while Russell and his fellow birthday celebrants were released.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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