A Pensacolian has taken the reins of a band that’s been performing in the city for years, and now he’s putting them through the wringer with an escort service.
John Wahlstrom, who’s known as JW, has been escorting rock stars since the 1990s.
He says he’s been working for years to create a secure escort service that won’t break the law.
“You’re not gonna break the laws if you’re using an escort,” he says.
“It’s an easy way to get around, to be honest with you.”JW says he can’t keep up with all the touring bands, so he’s starting his own service.
“I’ve had the same problem with the Grateful Dead for years,” he explains.
“You’ve got a group of musicians that are going through the same thing.
I just started doing it because I wanted to see if I could make it work.”
John Waltchick, who owns JW Escorts, says he started out working for the Grateful Soul in Florida.
“It was an underground music scene, and they were all young and naive,” he recalls.
“There was a whole generation of young people that didn’t know any better.
I remember they were like ‘Hey, what’s going on?'”
That group included Billy Corgan, the frontman of Nirvana.
Corgan had an affair with his girlfriend and ended up getting a divorce.
He later left the band and started his own band called The Cramps, and JW was in the band.
“Billy and I got into the same relationship, and he went off to the Grateful Sea,” he continues.
“I remember I was like ‘We need to do this together.'”
That led to the birth of The Cramp, which has been touring the U.S. for the past several years.
“The Cramps have been a staple of rock music since they were first formed,” Wahlstroms says.
“A lot of bands get caught up in the same trap.
They get caught in the bubble of what they’re doing, and when they try to break out of that, they find themselves in a whole different, darker place.”
The Cramp says it’s not just about the music.
“We’re trying to be a little bit more honest with ourselves,” says JW.
“We’re not the same band.
We’re just trying to make it better.”
Jill Dolan, a singer-songwriter who’s been a fan of the band since the beginning, says she has seen JW’s service evolve from a one-person business into a multi-member team.
“They’ve taken it from being a one person operation to a multi member operation,” she says.
She says they’ve made a point of creating a personal relationship with each musician.
“Every time they bring someone up on stage they say, ‘Hi, I’m Jill Dolan.’
And they say a few lines, and then you can just go out there and hang out,” she explains.
The Crump says they’re looking for performers who are willing to work with them.
“When I heard about JW I knew I wanted this, this and this, and I want this, I want that,” Dolan says.
The band says they’ll be booking the escorts and hosting the shows at the same venue.
If you or someone you know needs an escort, you can call JW at 407-848-0085.