Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection is a weekly column covering the music scene of Kailua Kona. This week she focuses on John Collins and his classic rock & blues band Overtime. Catch them this Friday, Sept. 6, at Huggo’s on the Rocks from 8-11 p.m. He also paints there every Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thank goodness there are so many talented musicians in Kona! I have lots to choose from for these weekly articles. Everyone likes something out there, so if you’re looking for live music, check out Huggo’s on the Rocks with entertainment outside, right on the sand near the ocean & lava rocks. I may have to start calling John, “Mr. Fun”…you’ll see why soon.
John Collins has been on the Big Island since the late ’60s, he finally moved to Kona permanently in ‘83. Overtime came about a few years ago by a chance encounter with Mark Tylo, a drummer at a multi band jam in the new industrial area. They were both in different bands at the time, but there was something that sparked between them at that meeting. John and Mark started playing together, with John on guitar, Mark drums and trying out bass players. No bass player fit until one day John happened to be in Ace Hardware purchasing paint supplies and ran into someone he hadn’t seen for probably 10 years. As they reminisced, John had forgotten Mark played bass. He said, “Hey! Wait a minute, you play bass, right?” Mark’s answer was affirmative, and Howard Burford became the last member to make up the Overtime trio. When Howard and Mark get in the groove, it’s magic.
Overtime loves playing classic rock and blues – the soundtrack from his generation. This band concentrates on fun stuff you can dance to. They’re happiest when folks are dancing and singing along.
John says, “We’re fortunate that younger folks seem to like what we play, after all, they grew up listening to their parents’ music, and that’s what we’re all about.” Their first gig was way back when Humpy’s had music upstairs. Currently, you’ll find them quite often at Kona Brew Pub and The Elks plus many private parties.
Plans are to continue doing covers and incorporate more Blues, country, and newer generation songs that fit their genre. They add new songs every week. Some groups they cover include Traffic, Santana, Dire Straits, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris Isaak, Ray Charles, Joe Bonamassa, Tom Petty, and some original songs, but that’s not their main drive.
Any joys or challenges of playing music?
For me, the joys and challenges of playing music are the same things. I like the fact that no matter how accomplished you are, you’ll always be learning your instrument. I enjoy the challenges of working with different people in a group watching the whole thing come together, or sometimes not, but it’s still fun.
What inspires your music most?
That fits right in with joys and challenges. Seeing people truly having fun and enjoying our music is what inspires me. I’m not deep and philosophical about my music. I’m not looking for some message, though there may be one there, I like to play things that feel good and are fun to play and listen to. As you can see, for me, it’s all about fun. Fortunately, the guys in the band feel the same. We are all about fun.
What got you started playing music?
Well, it all started when I was 13 and I got a guitar for my birthday. It was a 1959 Fender Duo-Sonic that I still have and play. That was a long time ago, but what got me going was about 20 years later when I got to Kona. I was fortunate enough to become a student of Jack Martin. In one year, I learned more than all the time before. I’m still referring to the info he gave me, and many times I still say, “Oh, that’s what he meant.” He’s still teaching me. Jack is the biggest influence in my music.
Your proudest moment?
Playing with LT Smooth, even for a little bit.
About how many days in a month do you usually play?
We’ve been lucky with private parties, so we try to play every week.
Any final thoughts?
If it’s not Fun, don’t do it! Overtime has to thank all of those who’ve followed them for many years. He says, “You’re the reason we keep doing this, plus the fact that we just HAVE to play. We love to see folks having fun!”
Thanks for sharing your journey with me, John!
Catch Overtime’s upcoming shows via their Facebook page.
Love Guru Uma performs solo acoustic ukulele – lately at weddings on the beach & sings in the 4-piece Uma Zuma Band, which performs rock, Top 40 and blues at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar Sept. 25 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. She loves performing any chance she can, including in a duo with her husband, with an upcoming show at Honokaa Public House Oct. 12 from 8-11 p.m. Uma enjoys staying busy as a substitute teacher, Uber driver, Tour guide and self-published author. She just completed Book 2 in a series of adventure love story and self-help reads entitled Love is Crazy – Lessons in Love: Creating your own Happy Ever After and Love is Crazy Satisfying. More at umaojeda.weebly.com.