To all of my family, friends both old and new, and fans of our shows…
By now, most of you may already know that we have relocated our family and business on to a great new opportunity in Las Vegas. As the owner of an entertainment company and an entertainer myself, this is a dream come true. Tragedy struck in Las Vegas, however, and I would like to share the story with you. This may seem like a sad story, but it's not, it's gonna be a good one. Read on…
Since I first visited Las Vegas more than a decade ago, I knew that I was home...that I belonged there. As an entertainer, people and places reach out to you in your dreams and beckon you like the call of the sirens. Las Vegas had always called to me.
In mythology, the sirens would sing to the sailor to draw him to the rocks, and for an entertainer the song for many is that of fame and fortune. Las Vegas was calling me, but not for those reasons. My call was to make a difference…to create a reaction…to inspire an emotion or forgotten memory…to just perform in the place I was born to be in.
Last year, I was finally ready to answer the call and set about preparing for the move. My wife Anna, my three small children and I set aside extra money, cleared much of our life’s inventory of “extra” through garage sales and donations to charities, and got ready to move to Vegas. I retired all of my Midwest shows with a bang, wrapped up contracts, closed out long relationships with my clients and began totally renovating our house for sale. It became a massive undertaking, but one with the endgame in mind.
It was a ton of work, but the plan was in place and we would be able to hit the ground running. When the house sold, we would have the money to find a new place in the Las Vegas community, as well as money to set up our New Vegas show with local entertainer Deron DeStephanis as my #1. Songs were written, the business plan was carved out, calls were made, and the anticipation grew.
In early September, Anna left in front of me with the kids and our dog Dudley and arrived in Las Vegas while I remained in Geneva to finish up fully renovating and modernizing our 100-year-old house. Anna would set up meetings with new clients, meet with the new friends we developed through the Frankie Moreno Army, and arrange to enroll the kids in school, while I sheet-rocked, renovated, painted and pounded.
She pulled my show van and show trailer filled with everything of value that we owned across country and through the mountains, white knuckling all the way. I was very proud of her. After two days of driving, they arrived in the evening, checked into a hotel and walked across the parking lot for a late meal, getting back into their rooms at about 11 p.m.. By 7 a.m. the next morning, everything changed.
With only a small overnight bag between the four of them, they went down for breakfast and to get a few things out of the van. It wasn’t there. Neither was the trailer. We were robbed of everything we owned in barely a heartbeat. Welcome to Las Vegas. The sirens indeed had pulled the ship into the rocks.
All of our belongings, clothing, valuables, papers and documents, heirloom beds from the children’s great grandmother, my mother’s first diamond ring that she gave Anna on our wedding day and over $5000 in cash were sealed in the trailer. The contacts and contracts I have accumulated for my 24 years in business were in there. Laptops, the kids’ hand sewn quilts from grandma, school papers and pictures, and their piggy banks with all of their savings from birth were in there too.
The entirety of Anna’s office was in there too, with the names and numbers of our Las Vegas contacts. Anna’s professional and practice saxophones were in there. Antique dressers, a $3000 set of restaurant cookware, my Great Grandfather’s diamond willow coat rack, speakers, lights and show equipment were in there. I could go on and on. In short, we lost everything of value we owned, including the cash to temporarily set up our lives. To make it even more difficult, the robbers used the information from our office and hacked into our bank accounts and tried to drain us of everything, freezing our assets.
With no papers, birth certificates and records, we struggled to find a school that would let our kids in, so they were stuck in a hotel room for more than a month while it all got sorted out. But I told you this was not a sad story, didn’t I? It isn’t. We will recover. We will build a new life. We will build our new show that is going to tear up Las Vegas. This is the beginning of a GREAT story, but it's going to take time and help to recover.
To that end, we have set up a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/jonny-amp-anna-bird039s-theft-recovery with two twists to encourage you to donate: our new community will benefit, and so will you!
We are prepared to account for every penny we raise, and will be donating it all back when the new show gets off the ground. Whatever we raise we will donate to causes like wounded veterans, aging seniors groups, homeless shelters, and music in schools. Although we haven’t settled in on a specific charity yet, we will be doing so in the near future. There is also a benefit for you.
For any donation over $75, you either get two comped tickets or two comped drinks at a future show. We want you to see what you were a part of…what you invested in! For any donation over $150, you’ll get those tickets or drinks plus a signed copy of my “New Boundaries” CD and a signed and numbered copy of my new “Vegas or Bust” cd (in production) filled with great songs specifically written for the new show.
For any donation over $250, you’ll get everything else plus an invitation to a private party by the pool with yours truly with food and beverages on me. We’re gonna do this, and I want to bring you along!
To the friends, fans and family who have supported me through the years, thank you. You are why I do what I do, why I wake up every morning with a purpose, and why I have never, ever, EVER given up on this dream, no matter what or who stood in my way. Like I said, this is not a sad story…this is just the beginning. Join me for the ride!
To keep track of our progress, as well as updates on everything exciting about our new shows in Las Vegas, sign up to be a member of the FLOCK today.
Finally to my Midwest community, we will miss you! A lifetime of memories have been made, but with plenty of room for new ones here in Vegas. Come out for a visit, and we'll make some together!
Share this with your friends and family and feel free to donate if you can. Many blessings and THANK YOU!
Jonny is the best entertainer I have ever seen...period!