Jon Butcher – Wishes

When I heard this guitar intro I was surprised, to say the least. In the late eighties after hearing Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai endless finger tapping and scales on guitar.. this was refreshing. Jon Butcher sounded like he was inspired by Jimi Hendrix and it showed in this song….but he didn’t just sound like Hendrix in his other songs.

These comparisons to Hendrix were because of Butcher’s onstage appearance and mannerisms, patterned after Hendrix, and his choice for the band name Axis, which was a reference to Hendrix legendary album Axis: Bold as Love. Butcher’s stated influences are Richie Havens, John Lennon, Phil Lynott, Bob Dylan, and Taj Mahal and today he maintains that the Hendrix comparisons are superficial and has been quoted as saying “Being black, left-handed, and playing a Stratocaster created certain inevitable comparisons, particularly in the early days”.

This song peaked at #42 in the Billboard Mainstream Rock Song Chart in 1987.


It’s late at night in the neighborhood
And the thieves have all gone to bed
They can hear your heartbeat in the distance
As you lay down your weary head

But don’t worry, ’cause the dawn is breaking
In another room halfway around the world
And you can’t waste your life
Wishing upon a star

‘Cause if wishes were horses
If wishes were horses
If wishes were horses
Then dreamers would ride
Huh, yes they would

A girl lives her life missing
Some things that she never had
Spends too much time in the unemployment line
You see in her eyes that it drives her mad

Deep within her constitution
Her pride and her dignity show through
So she works that dream
‘Cause it’s all she can do

If wishes were horses
If wishes were horses
She says: if wishes were horses
Then dreamers would ride
Yes they would

Now I’m looking
All around me for the answers
And I know you’re looking hard too
I know what you’re thinking
Maybe wishes come true

If wishes were horses
If wishes were horses
I know, if wishes were horses
Then dreamers would ride

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Jon Butcher – Wishes”

  1. Back in the day I saw Jon Butcher Axis as the opening act for Krokus and Def Leppard. This was in 83 and Def Leppard’s Pyromania was the biggest album in the world next to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I’d never heard of Jon Butcher Axis and apparently no one else in Odessa had either. Everybody was restless for Def Leppard and Jon Butcher got booed off the stage. I hated that. I thought he was very good.
    The guitar intro is very similar to the intro to The Ohio Players “Sweet Sticky Thing”. Check it out if you don’t know it. Uncanny, I think–and very influenced by Hendrix. To me, Hendrix is all over Jon Butcher Axis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think sometimes it was for sport by some audiences but he stood out during that time because of his style.

      It does sound similar…I just listened to it. He threw in a few flouishes but yes it is very similar.

      Yes he doesn’t like to admit it but it shows. In some of his other songs he avoids it but yes…overall you can hear Hendrix.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah. What I know about Odessa came from others. I lived in TX for nearly a decade in Round Rock & worked in Austin.

        I worked with a guy that went to Permian. Graduated in the 80s. He told me about Friday Night Lights & the high crime rate.

        I’ve been around parts of Texas. It’s a big damn state. East Texas looks the most like NC. Once you get west of Bastrop County, all the pine trees disappear.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s been years since I’ve been in that area, so off the top of my head…No. I went there to party, see concerts and get away from the desert. I’m a Tennessean now. I’ve lived in Nashville for 32 years. But sometimes, I still miss Texas.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. TN is like 3 different places… West, East and Middle are all different from each other. Almost disconnected from each other…at least that is the way I saw it.


      4. Heh. So is NC. The mountain folks do NOT like the Piedmont people or the ‘Hoi Toiders’ (coastal people). They call us ‘flat landers’ & ‘leaf lookers’. Hoi Toiders don’t like the Piedmont or the Appalachia folks…they mess up their beaches. The Piedmont folks love to visit in either direction and we like to piss them both off. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. lol… I guess it’s the same all over. There is an underlying battle between Nashville and Memphis.


      6. lol no winners. Nashville is safer to go than Memphis…Nashville just over took them as the largest city in TN.


  2. Never heard this before. Beautiful, understated playing. Very soulful…lots of hendrix influence as you say but with a little more space. Great tone too…be shocked if that isn’t a strat through a marshall hehe Enjoyed this tremendously … great share

    Liked by 1 person

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