Jamie Reno: Entertainment Industry Hall Of Fame

 

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Who is Jamie Reno?

Jamie Reno, 40, is the San Diego-based writer for Newsweek Magazine. A former media columnist for inside sports, he has covered music, sports, politics and popular culture for such publications as Sports Illustrated, People, the New York Times, Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, Us Magazine, Guitar Player, Premiere, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angels Times and USA Today. As a longtime correspondent for Newsweek and People Magazine, Jamie has co-written cover stories on everything from Heaven's Gate to Napster to Rick Rockwell. A lifelong musician (guitar, drums, piano) and athlete (soccer, tennis, basketball), Reno lives and works in San Diego, California, where he enjoys being in or near the ocean, movies, and spending time with his wife, Gabriela, and their daughter, Mandy.

 

When did he come down with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

On a sunny September afternoon in 1996, Jamie Reno was jogging along the beach near his San Diego home when suddenly he felt a walnut-sized lump on his neck. Curious but not overly concerned, he just kept running. A few weeks later, he visited an ear, nose and throat doctor just to have it checked out. Within days, that doctor had turned Reno over to an oncologist, who matter-of-factly diagnosed him with low-grade, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, an increasingly common, as-yet incurable type of cancer.

 

How could a healthy athlete get cancer?

Being 35, a non-smoker, a very moderate drinker, a healthy eater, a weekend warrior, and someone who had led an essentially trauma-free life, Reno could not believe what he was hearing. but, he says, "I could neither run from this nor charm my way out of it. I  had no choice but to face it."

 

What therapies has he tried?

Since then, there have been some rough times for Reno, from surgery to chemotherapy's largely thanks to his remarkably loving and supportive wife, as well as the rest of his family, his friends, and his editors and colleagues.

 

What has Jamie done with his life?

Turning sour grapes into wine, Reno, who is currently in remission, says being diagnosed with cancer in his mid-30s has prompted him to do a few things he might not have done. No, he didn't go to Disneyland, but he did write a children's book, "Snow On The Pitcher's Mound," and he played baseball again - semi-pro, hardball - after 20 years outside the lines.

 

What is "My Side Of Paradise" about?

And, most rewardingly, he wrote 15 new tunes on his Martin acoustic guitar and went into the studio to record "My Side of Paradise." A diverse but decidedly positive musical offering - there's everything here from ethereal rockers to majestic love songs to breezy jazz tunes -the album reflects Reno's thoughts on life and his experiences these past for years.

 

Who were the musicians on the CD?

Reno assembled an all-star lineup of musicians - some of them old friends, some of them new friends - to play with him on this record, including Wayne Nelson, lead singer of the legendary Aussie Rockers the little river band, Cici Porter, one of southern California's finest singer/songwriters, the best horn section west of Chicago, and many others.

 

What kind of music in on the CD?

A labor of love, this is a highly autobiographical musical journey, but, says Reno, who sings and plays guitar, drums and keyboards on the project, "I'd like to think that both the music and the messages here are universal. these are mostly pop tunes...nothing too elaborate or pretentious. Not too many hard-to-follow changes or 10-dollar words. these are populist songs that reflect my lifelong musical influences, everyone from Brian Wilson, Robert Lamm and Don Henley to Carlos Santana, Dan Fogelberg and Kenny Rankin. This is music you can take to the beach or listen to in your car or crank up in your living room while you watch the charger games with the TV sound muted - especially if Ryan leaf is playing!"

 

What is the message behind the music?

They may have been initiated by something dark and painful, but, Reno adds, "these songs were written as a celebration of life and are meant to bring joy to all who listen. I recorded this record to remind all of you, and myself, that life is so precious. Enjoy every day."

 

How will the CD promote solutions for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

With the release of this record, Reno is determined to increase public awareness of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. While it does not receive the same amount of attention as breast or prostate cancer, lymphoma, a brutal disease that attacks the immune system, is in fact the second-fastest rising cancer in the country. Some of the proceeds from the sale of this CD will go lymphoma research, a worthy cause if ever there was one.

 

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