John Gellman's Photo

Verified Profile

  • Payment verified
  • Phone verified
  • Government ID not verified
  • Address Verified

Accepting Guests

  • 93% response rate
  • Last login 1 day ago

Join Couchsurfing to see John’s full profile.

Overview

  • 188 references 148 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Zulu
  • 100, Male
  • Member since 2013
  • Photographer
  • College, & from my own mistakes
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

If you are an international traveler, or have an interest in music, photography, or the arts, hit me up.

CURRENT MISSION:

Mission? I don't need no stinking mission.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME GENERIC REQUESTS. Personal requests only. Asheville is such a popular destination that I receive more requests to host than I could possibly accept. Well, I did before the pandemic. Now, not so much. Still, I do not consider generic requests that can be copied/pasted and sent to anyone. If you want to stay with me, please read my entire profile and write me a personal request.

ABOUT ME

I am fully COVID vaccinated, including a third Omicron booster shot. (That's five vax shots total!) If you want to stay with me, I will only host travelers who are vaxxed or can assure me they are negative for Covid.

I'm a photographer. Check me out at my website. WWW.JGPHOTO.COM I also help manage a local alt/rock/pop band.

Most of my friends are musicians, photographers, artists, writers, and even a potter, which is kind of like a pothead, but not quite. Also a carefully curated selection of vagrants, scoundrels, and hippies. I'm divorced and live alone. I have two thirty-something kids who live elsewhere. I'm a practicing omnivore, however I am tolerant of vegans and vegetarians, as long as you don't eat too many veggies around me. I can point you to any of the local farmers markets, but be prepared to see me eating a medium-rare bacon cheeseburger right in front of you while smiling and dripping juices on my shirt. Actually, I am tolerant of most everyone, tho Trumpers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, white supremacists, or unvaccinated folks need not apply.

Among the hundreds of surfers I have hosted during the last several years, if there is a gender identity or sexual orientation I haven't encountered, I can't imagine what it could be. I'm comfortable hosting everyone, and I offer a safe, welcoming environment for all.

IMPORTANT - I actually prefer short notice and even last minute requests. I GENERALLY DO NOT CONSIDER REQUESTS TO HOST MORE THAN FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR ARRIVAL (unless I already know you). I just don't like making advance commitments that tie me down. With short notice, it is helpful if you INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER in your request. Text me at 828 three zero 2 one niner 88 if your request is truly last minute, like within an hour or two of your arrival.

MY ONLY FIRM REQUIREMENTS for surfers are 1.) if I accept your request, WE MUST TALK to confirm arrangements before I give out my address. Not text, not email - a real phone call. Borrow a phone if you must, but call me. I will provide my phone number if I accept your request. My bottom line is: no talk, no surf. Try not to sound like a serial killer when we talk. And 2.) Include information such as a CS profile or a Facebook/Instagram page regarding any companions traveling with you who will be staying with you at my place.

NOW HEAR THIS... I am a night owl. I am likely to stay up late. If you must turn in earlier than 12-1 AM, I am probably not the best host for you.

TWO OR THREE GUESTS at a time for one to three days is all I can accommodate. I have occasionally hosted surfers for longer if we really hit it off after you arrive. I absolutely cannot host your pet, pets, or service animal, no matter how small, well behaved and adorable they are, or how much you love them.

IF YOU ARE A MUSICIAN headed to Asheville to busk, I am involved with the Asheville Buskers Collective, and I can provide information about local busking laws, (which are a model of friendliness towards buskers) customs, etiquette, and the best places to busk. Feel free to contact me for information about busking, even if you don't need a place to stay. If you ask, I can send you a PDF brochure about busking in Asheville.

I moved to Asheville because I like living among liberal free thinkers, hippies, and musicians. So if you are the hippie sort, you will be right at home at my place. I do prefer my guests bathe regularly. If you are stinky when you arrive, I will likely hand you some soap and a towel and send you directly to the bathroom for a shower. I do not mean to imply that hippies are stinky. But Appalachian Trail hikers. . . well that's a different story.

MY PHILOSOPHY

I don't philosophize as such. My outlook can best be described by the following quotes:

I've got principles. If you don't like 'em, well, I've got others. - Groucho Marx

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. - Dalai Lama

All dogs are therapy dogs. - Facebook meme

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. - Eleanor Roosevelt

If you wait until you can do everything for everyone, instead of doing something for someone,
you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody. - I. Dunno

When we were younger, we always wanted to change the world, or thought we could. Now, I think
we're smart enough to know we are just here to help the neighborhood. - Rick Danko

I had a lot more fun being 20 in the 70s than I’m having being 70 in the 20s. - Joe Walsh

Inspiration is for amateurs. Being a professional is all about showing up and getting started.
- Christoph Niemann

Sometimes I look in awe at the work other people are doing, and tell myself that if they can do it,
then so can I, and then I proceed to spend the next week on the couch watching other people
do beautiful things that I could be doing. - Sweet Danger Zack

The decisive moment – Henri Cartier Bresson (Photographer)
Some moment I couldn’t explain – Robert Frank (Photographer)
The decisive moment I can't explain - Me

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. - Leonard Nimoy
(Or, in a photograph. - Me)

Never assume that people who are in charge know what they are doing,
just because they are in charge. - Thomas L. Friedman

As I see it, there are two kinds of people in this world; people who love delis,
and people you shouldn’t associate with. – Damon Runyon

The difference between genius and stupidity is there are limits to genius. - (this just in) not Albert Einstein

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I love meeting new and interesting people, but i prefer to host travelers, not locals looking for a place to stay. I have hosted much more than I have surfed. I didn't plan it that way. That's just how it worked out. Living in a place as cool as Asheville probably is a contributing factor. Hopefully, that will change when I hit the road in search of cool people and places to photograph.

COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I have hosted many nice folks passing through Asheville, who have surfed my couch or air mattress, and survived my clean sheets, towels, coffee, and home cooking. I love to travel, but I can't remember the last interesting person I met in a hotel.

Interests

Photography, home-roasting coffee, cooking, finding good restaurants, photography, surfing (the internet), traveling without an itinerary, hiking less than 5 miles, photography, independent book stores, helping others, and hanging out in downtown Asheville. Meeting new and interesting people. (Did I mention photography?) I also like walking and playing with my dog.

  • photography
  • cooking
  • coffee
  • gardening
  • reading
  • live music
  • alternative lifestyles
  • hiking in the mountains
  • music business

Music, Movies, and Books

Movies - I can recite Blazing Saddles, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, and Almost Famous. Coen Brothers movies. Quentin Tarantino movies. Mel Brooks movies. Mike Nichols movies. Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, Bridge Of Spies, and most recently, LION, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and ElCamino. Almost anything written by Aaron Sorkin. Guilty Pleasure: Independence Day.

Music - I'm genre fluid, but mainly classic rock, Americana/folk and some jam bands and newer indie rock. Guilty pleasure: Southern rock. Tho there's no guilt involved with my enjoyment of the Outlaws and Blackberry Smoke. And Chilltonic, the funky alt-pop local Asheville based band I help manage that sometimes hangs out and practices at my place.

Books - primarily nonfiction. I have read too many Lincoln biographies. The New Yorker magazine. David Sedaris essays. Books by Michael Lewis. Guilty pleasure: Tom Clancy novels.

TV - Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and other good stuff on Netflix, especially documentaries and Louis CK standup, even though he masturbates inappropriately. Also, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Guilty pleasure: Law and Order. Character flaw: NFL football. Let's face it, I like watching huge men concuss each other.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Well, to begin, I outlived Queen Elizabeth. (It remains to be seen if I can outlive Keith Richards.) I stood an arm's length from Duane Allman while he was playing slide on his 1959 cherry sunburst Les Paul. I took some of the only pictures in existence of Duane making the bird tweeting sounds like he did at the end of Layla, and one of those pictures is on the cover of his daughter's memoir, and is also licensed for use by Gibson Guitars. I've got nice unpublished pics of Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and many others. I have done photos for over 20 album covers, and a Rolling Stones box set containing many of my photos will be released sometime soon. I once saw Frank Zappa and Richard Nixon on the same day. Also, I'm a pandemic quarantine stereotype. Like most men, I grew a quarantine beard. I've never had a beard before. I also got a puppy. That's more than one thing, but who cares? I'm old. Shit happens. (Especially since I got the dog, though she is now two years old and completely housebroken.)

Teach, Learn, Share

I'm an old dog looking to learn new tricks (and new recipes). I can explain and teach just about anything you want to know about photography. If you are a photographer, and you bring some image files, we can make a print or two for you on my very high-end digital printing setup. Otherwise, I am experienced enough to dispense lots of worthless advice, suitable for going in one ear and out the other. I can share long pointless stories and great recipes. (The recipes all have a point.) Will shoot a portrait of any willing host or surfer. If I had a nickel for every Facebook profile picture I have taken, I could buy myself a cup of coffee at Starbucks, except I would never buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I can teach you how to roast coffee if you're interested. Btw, I'm not really learning Zulu, but Yiddish wasn't on the drop-down list. (I'm not learning Yiddish either.) I am fluent in sarcasm, so if you are always polite and respectful, I can help you break those habits and release your inner smartass.

What I Can Share with Hosts

Conversation over a meal or a cup of coffee. I find this is one of the best ways to get to know each other. Need a new Facebook profile pic? I'm your guy. Fresh home roasted coffee. I like to leave a print of one of my photographs as a gift for hosts.

Countries I’ve Visited

Canada

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

Join Couchsurfing to see John’s full profile.

My Groups