John P. Strohm

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As a high school student in Bloomington, Indiana in the early 1980s, John P. Strohm began to develop his musical style and love of independent music while drumming in several popular regional hardcore bands. The independent spirit and relative musical freedom of the hardcore culture at the time led him to the conclusion that he needed to move to a "proper city" to pursue his musical ambitions, leading to his move to Boston in 1985.

In his first year at Berklee he and drummer/girlfriend Freda Love (also from Bloomington) met Juliana Hatfield, a piano student from Duxbury, Massachusetts. The three formed the Blake Babies in early 1986 with Strohm and Hatfield co-writing most of the material, and within months began recording their first album.

The Blake Babies proved a modest success in the Boston area and won the three nineteen-year-olds some coveted gigs, including opening for the locally popular punk band the Lemonheads. The Blake Babies and Lemonheads struck up a fast friendship, and soon Strohm began drumming for the Lemonheads in addition to his guitar duties in the Blake Babies.

By the end of 1988 Strohm chose to leave the Lemonheads and concentrate on the Blake Babies. The Blake Babies released two albums and one E.P., along with a posthumous best of collection, on Mammoth, and all received critical acclaim and became college radio staples. The Blake Babies announced their break-up in 1991, but continued to tour into 1992.

By the end of the Blake Babies, Strohm had developed as a singer and songwriter to the extent that fronting his own band became a natural progression. Strohm and Love formed Antenna in 1991, consciously moving away from the pop sound of the Blake Babies in favor of a harder, more guitar-oriented psychedelic pop sound. Strohm and Love eventually parted ways both romantically and as musical partners; however, Antenna managed to release two solid, acclaimed albums on Mammoth before disbanding in 1994.

After a brief but modestly successful Blake Babies reunion in 2000 through 2001, resulting in the excellent album "God Bless the Blake Babies" in 2000, Strohm gave up any serious musical pursuits and went to law school in his adoptive home town of Birmingham, Alabama. He is now an attorney in Birmingham representing, among others, numerous musician clients. He plans to release an album in late 2005 or early 2006, and continues to perform and release music as his busy life as an attorney and father of two small children will allow.


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