No myth, no legend. Just some guy from Cleveland who's been writing and recording his own music since age 10.
If you grew up in the 60's and 70's, quite possibly someone in your family had one of those portable Magnus Organs, as was the case with The Rugan family. And while older sister Jean was learning standards such as "Spanish eyes" with the use of the accompanying music book, Jack took a different approach. He wanted to create his own electronic noise. And once the family upgraded to the once cutting edge technology of an "Optigan" in 1973, the 10-year-old set out to create his first song, now jokingly referred to as "Composition #1 in D major"(Listen here). From that point on, Jack was hooked on songwriting and recording his own songs. The earliest material, from 1974 - 1979 ranged from silly little love songs about the girl in his grade school class, to KISS-inspired early teen anthems such as "Let's go to the show" and "Skateboard" performed in the cutting-edge duo "It" which included his neighbor friend Jeff Jarosz. And by 1978, Jack was once again writing silly little love songs to the girl who was now in his high school class! Sadly, no recordings from this period were saved. All of that changed in the autumn of 1980.
While a senior in high school, Jack decided to start multi-tracking his songs in the most rudimentary of ways - using 2 cassette decks and bouncing the track from one deck to another while adding more instrumentation. The sound quality of these early recordings was far from good. However, nearly 100% of everything recorded since that time was saved! From 1982 - 1985, Jack performed as pseudo-lounge singer "Johnny-O" and released 5 cassettes during that time from. And here it is, nearly 2000 songs later, and Jack is still writing silly little love songs and multi-tracking his creations, now using slightly improved recording techniques.
As a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Jack developed his own unorthodox approach to guitar, bass, drums, and piano. The result is music that pays tribute to all his idols - The Beatles, Beach Boys, Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Webb - while maintaining a sound that is thoroughly unique.
Saul Glennon (saulglennon.com)
The origin of "The Glennons" dates back to February 1993. Following a 3 year break from writing and recording, Jack approached little brothers Jerry and Jim to put together an impromptu gig for Jack's 30th birthday celebration. Along for the ride was Jerry's high school buddy Adam Zieleniewski. Jack was also fascinated with Jerry's recent purchase, a Tascam portable 4-track cassette recorder and began experimenting with it on visits back to the Rugan household. Jump ahead a year and now armed with his own 4-track recorder, Jack once again began writing and recording. In September 1994, he completed his first cassette of original music since 1990. The new music had a somewhat different sound, incorporating more guitar instead of the keyboard driven music he recorded in the 1980's. As a result, Jack was looking to give the music a new identity. Inspired his entire life by British rock and pop, Jack wanted to pay tribute to his favorite band, none other than The Beatles. Recalling a Batman comic book from 1970 in which the story was a take-off on the infamous "Paul is dead" rumor of 1969, Jack named the new "band" after two characters in the Batman story, Saul and Glennon. Both obvious rip-offs on Paul and John. With the release of "No money for beer", Saul Glennon was born!
The original quartet played their first gig at the old Five-J's Inn on Fleet ave. in the Slavic Village section of Cleveland. The band consisted of Jack, brother Jerry, Adam Zieleniewski, and then brother-in-law Mike Elswick. Check out exclusive footage here!
Since then, "The family of Saul Glennon" has grown to include current members Jack, Mark Meluch, Chris Kocka, Rick Christyson, and Mike Pella. Saul Glennon alumni, which includes Jerry Rugan, Adam Zieleniewski, Joe Rivera, and Andy Ullman continue to participate in special events and recording of Saul Glennon albums. The entire catalogue is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other digital music outlets.