John Lennon once observed that "Life is what happens while your busy making other plans". Between working on keeping our homestead up to my standards of cleanliness, tending to our two Maltese princess type dogs and my wife of 25 years, I have been remiss in keeping this website updated as to my literary and musical progress and for that I apologize to what seems to be a growing legion of website visitors who have commented how much they appreciate the work I have put into this site.
The second edition of my history text/memoir The Tunesmith Chronicles: has been stalled by the research on the Pentagon chapter for at least a year. Finding a middle ground on tough subject matter has been difficult to me. My standards of journalistic perspective demand as much impartiality as I can muster given the subject matter. My wry sense of humor should keep you readers out there from being bogged down in the minutia. For those who are concerned about how your taxes get used for the Defense Department, you will appreciate the amount of detail I go into to explain just how complex and wasteful that bureaucracy has become between Congress, contractors and the Puzzle Palace. The Joint Service Fighter - the F35 has been a major roadblock in finishing up the section. So much data to filter through and prioritize. My approach to "Top Ten Things You Need To Know" will be tested and don't be surprised if that number stretches to more like 20.
If you haven't already check out the 1st edition of CHRONICLES: you may access it as a E book on Kindle at a reasonable price. It is 525 pages and covers a lot of ground.
The solutions at the end of the Pentagon section will be gleaned from my favorite non-profit Pentagon watchdog firm - The Project On Government Oversight > www.pogo.org/ as well as some from my own decades of experience dealing with the Pirates of the Potomac. It will probably get me in hot water from some high ranking people, but my sense of duty towards the future security of our nation has compelled me to risk my reputation towards keeping the public well informed and allow them to use this information to weigh what needs to be accomplished to correct the many problems from within our Defense Department.
If you haven't already checked out CHRONICLES:, feel free to Google it. The first edition, with many typos, and large print is available as an E Book, Kindle at a reasonable price or Amazon. The 2nd edition will be more accurate, a lot more comprehensive and with any luck at all, qualify as a textbook for college level courses on the impact of our time in Indochina, popular culture, sociology and American history, foreign policy, journalism and minority studies. It will include never before published photographs from acclaimed war correspondent Don North's personal archives during his many stints all over South Vietnam during that war.
Hopefully, I will have the time to add brief chapters on Military Sexual Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury. The two signature wounds for our military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want the 2nd edition to be relevant enough that college students who have classmates who served in those war zones and their families to have a better understanding of what our current generation of veterans are dealing with as they return to civilian life today. Organizations websites that deal with these issues, along with a working bibliography and list of quality documentaries will be in the back of those sections to make them as user friendly as possible for those assigned to write papers on that subject matter and want to get involved in our veterans quality of life.
The long delays in access to the recording studio have kept me from working on the final installment of my trilogy of CDs. You should know that I now have a Taylor 326ce in the arsenal with a mahogany top and sapele back and sides with the newer ES2 onboard pick-up & control system. For you guitar aficionados out there, It sounds like a vintage 1950s Gibson acoustic. I am running nickel plated phosphor bronze strings for that retro 1960s sound I have always admired but until now, never been able to acquire.
This may come as something of a shock to my long time friends and fans, I have purchased an Australian Pit Bull guitar kit to clone Gibson's classic ES 335 electric semi-hollow body 12 string guitar. It has a mahogany body and neck with an ebony fretboard. It will be stained a dark walnut like the models from the early to mid 1970s. Custom Lawler pick-ups will reproduce the Gretsch early 1960s Filtertron neck pick-up and Gibson's early 60's P-90 on the bridge pick-up. Both will be humbuckers. Tuners will be from Tusq, their specifically geared for each string RATIO tuners in chrome for the standard and black anodized for the octave strings. Black Tusq nut and a German ABM solid brass, chrome plated individual string adjusted bridge. I will be sure to do a video and post photos on Facebook and on this website to keep you up to speed when the 12 string is performance ready.
Some of the songs I will be recording on the upcoming FRONT & CENTRE will feature the new Taylor and the new GOTHAM electric 12 string guitar. Specifically > "Bottom Line" - a Brazilian influenced love song; "LZ Reunion" - a CSN inspired tune that deals with the lingering legacy of our Civil War and racial relations; "Body Count" - deals with our military suicide rate; overdubs on "Acoustic Guitar" - a thank you to the guitar for its therapeutic value and its place in my life and "Pointman" - about the transition from a war zone to becoming a family man, father, husband and mentor.
Again, thank you so much for all your kind words. Please don't include dating websites or other non-veteran related blogs on your email comments. If you are a college student and would like me to give a concert/lecture series presentation, have your department head or professor contact me. I have an endorsement letter from the University of Wisconsin - Madison you may download and forward from your email address. Travel expenses, meals and lodging must be included in the total cost negotiation. Let your profs know I have a Bachelor of General Science Degree with a double major in Journalism and English from the University of Iowa - Iowa City in 1987.