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JD Perry Explains Absence From Final Valencia Show

Former Valencia guitarist, JD Perry has released a statement regarding why he didn't perform at the band's final show at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA last night (December 28th).

"To put things into perspective for my absence at the farewell show, here’s my side of the story…

I left Valencia in May. I was unhappy with the the lifestyle, the grind, and where Valencia was at that point in the band’s career. I had other passions and interests that I wanted to pursue so I decided to part ways with the past eight years of my life, and the band understood. I moved to Atlanta to pursue a new life, but we still kept in touch. All was well.

I first heard from George about the farewell show in August when the band visited Atlanta, but nothing was set in stone yet. Some time had passed, a dear friend made his true mark on the world, and the show was announced shortly thereafter. I did not hear about the show from George or any of the other members, I found out through the Valencia newsletter.

I was taken back by not being told beforehand or that I was not invited to play, so I sent an e-mail out to the guys asking to be a part of the show. I requested to play the whole show along with the inclusion of the new guitarist - it would not be a rotating deal, rather all 6 members would be a part of every song. I was out of the band for six months at this point, but I still felt as though I was an integral part of the group. I helped write and played on all three records. I put my blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices into the band for the past eight years so I felt that my request to play the whole set was not too out of the park. I received reply e-mails from only Dan and Shane. The guys said they didn’t feel “comfortable” with me playing the entire set since I wasn’t in the band anymore and Trevor (who is a good friend of Valencia’s and has filled my spot on guitar since my departure) had done the band a great favor by playing. They offered the idea of featuring me on a few of the hit songs and not the whole set as I requested. I contacted George (as I am closest to him than the others in the band) to see if their response was the general consensus. He agreed with Shane and Dan’s response, encouraging me to not take on the mentality of “all or nothing.” I felt replaced and upset with their wanting me to only play “the hits” so I said, “No, thank you.” I did not hear a response from Brendan.

About a month had passed since I spoke to the guys about the show. I was still stuck in my decision, feeling as though I deserved to be on stage for more than just a few songs, but I did my best to not let that stand in the way of friendship (which in hindsight, I could have done better). I came across a picture that George posted on the internet of the warehouse where Valencia rehearses with a caption along the lines of “getting ready for the show.” At that point, I realized that I would not be able to rehearse long enough with the band to play the entire set. I wrote the guys another e-mail apologizing for my perspective, and that I felt replaced and unwanted, and I would gladly play a few songs at the farewell show because I truly just wanted to be a part of something that meant a lot to me.

Last week, Brendan contacted me to tell me about the set and what they had planned for my inclusion. They offered me the encore set - 5 songs off of the first Valencia album, This Could Be A Possibility. To close the conversation, he also said that if there were other songs I’m interested in playing to let them know and they’ll see what they can do. I was not entirely happy with their offer of only 5 songs out of a 25 song set, but I didn’t want to cash my in chips and make that known just yet since Brendan offered the idea to pick more songs. I looked at the set he sent me, compromised on some songs here and there that looked like they could not be moved around, and came up with the idea of playing about half of the set. I asked the guys if I could open and close the set. I was asking for four more songs on top of the 5. There were others in the middle of the set that I wanted to play, but I was willing to compromise.

I received an e-mail reply back from Dan stating, “I thought we’ve been over this already.” I knew the rest of the e-mail wouldn’t be in my favor.

George also replied saying that he wasn’t into the idea of having me come on and off the stage as it gave the appearance that I was a “touring guitarist.”

Shane and Brendan did not respond.

I felt very offended by all of these responses (and the lack thereof). I felt like I was being treated like an ex-band member who had been out of the band longer than just 8 months (4 months of touring) and not a friend who is asking to be a part of something bigger than our egos. I no longer wanted to be involved in something where no one wanted me to be there. Offering me only 5 songs is a slap in the face. I understand that I left the band, but I do not think that asking to play half the set was breaking any arms or rules. This is Valencia’s last show and I felt like I was not allowed to be an integral part of it because of reasons that I do not understand.

I thought we still maintained a friendship?

I thought it could be a money issue? Having to pay me would mean less money for the band.

I thought it could be a hate issue? Maybe they are happier not having me in the band.

I truly do not understand why they are telling me “no” time and time again.

The practice issue would not be much of an issue because I would have made it for Monday and Tuesday night’s rehearsal, not to mention that I’ve been playing these songs for 8 consecutive years. Throughout Valencia’s career we would practice the set without some members, but the day before tour we would have everyone there and get it down to a T without any following issues.

Now another part of the story:

I have been living in Atlanta since May with my girlfriend, Paige. In October we experienced a small fender-bender and could not afford to fix the damage right away as the insurance company quoted $2,500 worth of damage. Our deductible is $1,000 so we set out to save money to get it fixed in time for a 12-hour Christmas drive to my parent’s home in Philadelphia. In a change of events, Paige lost her steady-paying job about a week later due to cutbacks. I did not have a job at this point and was still living off of my savings. We both had to get jobs ASAP to make this holiday and Valencia show trip happen. I landed myself a two-month Temp job (mid-Oct to mid-Dec) which contributed towards our bills and Paige found a Nannying job towards the end of November.

The second week of December arrived and we managed to set aside some money, while I had some extra money coming in up until the last week in December. I made the executive decision to get the car fixed so we could make the trip up and back to Philadelphia without problem. We were cutting it very close with money, but I was determined to see my family for Christmas and to be a part of the Valencia show (at this point Brendan hadn’t called to tell me I was only playing 5 songs).

The car was set to be fixed by Thursday, the 22nd. Some work responsibilities occurred keeping us until Friday and, of course, the car was not ready on Thursday anyway. Friday morning arrived. I looked at my bank account to make sure all was well to write a check for half of the car payment and Paige would pay the rest upon pick-up. I realized we were not able to pay our deductible due to a miscommunication with my bank, the insurance company, and a personal check. We figured out a plan to wire money owed to me, refilling my account enough to make the trip possible, but all of the checks and transfers would not be cleared for at least a week (well after the farewell show.)

Brendan contacted me on Thursday evening to tell me about their encore idea. I went along with it and set to discuss my feelings with Paige the next day after sleeping on it for a night. I came home around 12pm Friday afternoon, discovered our money debacle, shared our feelings about the Valencia situation, found out the car wouldn’t be ready until later that night, and it just seemed like all hope was lost. We would not be able to make it home to my family in time for Christmas Eve dinner, which is when my family celebrates Christmas. I did not have much money to my name so my paying for our trip up and back was out of the question. The icing on the cake was Valencia’s treatment towards me not as a friend, but as an ex-member. I did not want to ask my parents for the money to drive up and back because I felt like I did not have a reason to go home anymore. We were missing my main family dinner due to car troubles, I could not afford the trip on my own, and my friends were not being friends. This is why I am not there at the Valencia farewell show, on stage or in the crowd.

I wanted to share this with everyone because all 2,300 people who have bought a ticket to the farewell show and to all who have dedicated the last eight years of their lives to Valencia’s music deserve to know - not just a short explanation by Shane on stage stating, “JD really wanted to be here but he couldn’t make it out tonight.” To be honest, I don’t want to be there. Not anymore. Not after the way I have been treated by people who I have called my friends. I thought about trying to make the trip (despite all of the unfavorable circumstances) because not only do I owe it to Valencia’s fans and to Max, but I owe it more to myself to stand up for what I believe is right, just, and moral.

Thank you friends and fans.
JD Perry"

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