Maroon 5, the American pop rock band has been blasting our airwaves for a few years now. As with every team effort, there are those whose efforts sometimes go unnoticed. In this case, one of the many important cogs in the Maroon 5 wheel is its lead guitarist James Valentine. Having played in several bands during his career in the music industry, a career that spanned more than a decade, we take a look at his biography to learn more about the events and experiences that led him to be the musician he is today.
Biography of James Valentine
Born on October 5, 1978 in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, he was one of five children born to his mother, a former beauty queen. His full birth name is James Burgon Valentine. He was one of five darlings born to Robert Young Valentine and Shauna Burgon Valentine. They had two boys and three girls.
Her father, Robert, was a professor of Latin American Literature at Brigham Young University and her mother, Shauna, was a teacher who had to quit her day job to care for her children. She was also a former beauty queen. The Valentine family was a devoted Mormon family while attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Young Valentin engaged in many services as a child and it was during this period that he began to play the piano. He attended Lincoln Southeast High School and was an Eagle Scout. As a popular figure among the students, he also managed to lead the Student Council as president.
When it was time to go to college, he attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He also attended Berklee College. As stated earlier, Valentin was interested in playing the piano as a child, but his first interest was the drums. However, he began to play the guitar and it was with the string instruments that he found fame. One of his first major gigs in high school was an invitation to play with the University of Nebraska Jazz Ensemble.
Valentine has often been spotted with a few bands in Lincoln, including Montag, Mondello, Kid Quarkstar and Happy Dog. Happy Dog later morphed into The Square and it was with them that he moved to Southern California in 2000. In LA, he made ends meet by hosting private guitar lessons for music lovers. At the time, Kara’s Flowers was in a period of rebranding and James Valentine was helping out as a guitar teacher. He was then approached to be the band’s lead guitarist. The square was going through a period of tension and upheaval and Valentine left to join Kara’s Flowers which was renamed Maroon 5 soon after.
The group consists of Ryan Dusick, Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden and James Valentine. Maroon 5 soon released their debut album, with songs inspired as a direct result of Adam Levine’s recently failed relationship. The album was titled Songs About Jane.
One of the Valentins of connects from his days at Berklee College of Music, John Mayer, played a key role in Maroon 5’s exposure. Their fame began to grow when they played a top spot for the tour. Mayer’s summer in 2003. From then on, Maroon 5’s rise stabilized on the world stage.
Besides his Maroon 5 commitments, JamesValentine was also part of another group, JJAMZ. The group consists of James Valentine from Maroon 5, Jason Boesel from Rilo Kiley / Conor Oberst, Alex Greenwald from Phantom Planet, Michael Runion who is solo and Z Berg from The Like. The group name is an acronym formed from the first letters of each member’s name.
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The band was formed to escape their respective bands. James later had to leave the band due to his commitments to Maroon 5, but it wasn’t until they released their debut album Suicide Pact in 2012. Around the time Valentine left the band, JJAMZ changed hands. name for Phases.
Throughout his career, James Valentine has managed to carve out a niche for himself as one of the most gifted and talented guitarists of his time. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and albums containing his funky flaws abound across the world. Besides playing the guitar, James is also gifted as a percussionist.