600 songs, one guy

Joud Bayeh | reporter

John Rush, or “The Human iPod,” is a personification of multiple talents.
He plays guitar, harmonica and can sing more than 600 songs from more than 200 bands.
“I’ve always just had a good memory,” Rush said. “The guitar parts are all pretty easy to remember, because I hear the melody in my head, but the lyrics are the hard part. So, I picture them as a story and if I can see the story, I can sing the song.”
Held by Student Activities Council (SAC), at the U-club in the Overman Student Center on Tuesday, April 16, the Human iPod made an impression on the crowd of about 30 people.
Zach Wagner, member of SAC and sophomore in construction management, says that he thinks everyone had a good time.
“It seems like John has a big talent; (he’s) a human rolodex,” he said. “The audience was active, engaged, and enjoyed it all the time.”
Jessica Leone, SAC entertainment chair and sophomore in business management, says Rush brought a lot of people out and put on a good show.
“He’s covered over 37 states,” she said. “He’s been to Pittsburg five or six years before, and we wanted to do a variety of music.”
But the Human iPod also has some limitations. During the show, the public could write down the songs they wish to listen to, but some of them he wasn’t able to play.
These limits excluded country songs, Maroon 5, Johnny Cash, Celine Dion and also “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.
“That is the kind of song nobody should try to play,” Rush said of the song.
Erica Gutierrez, junior in social work, was a little disappointed with the show.
“I asked for Johnny Cash but he couldn’t perform any (of his songs),” she said. At the same time, overall, she says she enjoyed the show. “It was interesting, he did a really god job performing and he was a great singer.”
Lindsay Lewis, sophomore in Spanish and business, says she liked the variety and the fact that the Human iPod took requests.
“It was nice to just sit and listen to music for a while,” Lewis said. She highlighted Rush’s render of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”
“I really enjoy these events held by SAC,” she added. “Because they are free for students, it is a great way to hang out and spend time with friends.”
Using the technology as an ally, Rush profits from the “looping” system.
“I hit a button when I’m playing guitar and it starts recording, then I hit the button again and it starts playing it back over and over (so) it’s a continuous loop,” Rush said. “So, I’m able to play on top of it.”
Marisa Ortiz, sophomore in elementary education, was inspired by the performance. “He has an awesome voice and his guitar tricks were awesome,” she said. She added that she now wants to take guitar classes. “Whoever didn’t come, missed out.”

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