What's been most interesting to me throughout MY life has been the music and the art
that has helped to shape my mind and thoughts about life and the world around us. And the
people and pressures that cause us to look at things in certain ways, good or bad, right
And, in the spirit of synchronicity - the Divine Plan of God - the way things occur in
life aren't always linear in the lessons we're taught in life. For example, one song might
occur to you in your mind 10 years or more after you've heard it, and it takes on an
added meaning. It sort of peels the next layer of "the onion" on a given subject
of personal issue much in the same way talking to a coach or a counselor would allow.
One of my favorite stories about this comes from when I was working for Off Duty
Magazine in Costa Mesa, California, where I was the Assistant Technical Editor as well as
an entertainment writer. The magazine, distributed world wide to the military providing
information like Stereo Review, gave me the opportunity to interview a variety of artists
like Billy Preston (Andre Crouch, the Rev. James Cleveland and a whole bunch of other
incredible gospel singers were there too), the Brothers Johnson - I got to see Prince's
first "pro" performance at the Roxy, saw the Tubes performing the Todd Rundgren
produced album Remote Control, had an "extended" conversation with Ronnie
Montrose and got to see him live at the John Anson Ford Theater, was invited on a world
tour with Annie Golden (of the Broadway show "Annie" as well as a major
performer in the movie "Hair"... much more too.... and got to see Todd Rundgren
& Utopia, Brenda Russell, Chaka Khan and the Brothers Johnson at the Greek Theatre - a
place where, as a musician, I always wanted to go and play one song just to scare the
bajeebers out of me and get to laugh about it later. And there was Styx, Crosby, Stills
& Nash... and wow, it was fun, all courtesy of the record companies and yes, I
published the picture of Prince in the pink tutu... that's another story... :} I also
wrote about Ambrosia alot, and their managers/producers Teri and Freddie Piro called me in
to interview for a position managing their recording studio in the San Fernando Valley...
which is another cool story in and of itself.... Oh yeah, and Duke Ellington. That was
Anyway... I always thought it was best to write about music that was good, or at worst,
if an artist was expected to have a great album and it didn't live up to the specs, I'd
let people know what they should buy.
I was told I should write up a "pan" of some music because it would show a
"diversity" in my critiquing. So, one day, while listening for 10 seconds at a
time to about a hundred albums, I chose to criticize an album that had all the right
people on it: a special album that included Mike McDonald, produced by Michael Omartian,
an extremely talented and highly regarded producer for this new artist I'd never heard of.
So I panned it.
Of course, like a lot of people around the industry, I sold it to the local record
store (where a guy worked who I met a few years later as a co-worker)... and then it won
Album of the Year.
So, I bought another copy, and listened. And, boy, was I surprised. Now I treasure it.
The Artist was Christopher Cross. The Album: Ride Like The Wind.
And the song that caught my attention most is "Sailing".
More on this below.
The reason that song caught my attention is because it is a song that could describe me
at an early time in my life while I attended the Scotts Valley Baptist Church in the
suburbs of Santa Cruz, California. The Rev. Glennon Culwell baptized me.
My Sunday School teacher made wooden sailboats by hand, and, each time one was ready,
he'd take us out on their "maiden voyages". I'd sit on the front of the boat,
let the wind and spray blow into my face, and loved the thrill of sitting on the edge as
we went tack and turned around to head back into the Twin Lakes Harbor... That song
describes for how it was for me on the sailing trips that I loved.
They had a rock band at the Scotts Valley Baptst Church. It's how I ended up learning
to play Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun. I listened to my sisters
Of course by then, I already knew the Animals
version, having been in a band for which I wrote the lyrics for for their original
hits - they'd just play a melody, stick me in front of a mic, and I'd sing the lyrics off
the top of my head. I don't know who wrote them down or if they even did.
They kept wanting me to learn this song called Carousel but they wouldn't play it for
me... I thought, why won't they play it for me then? Oh well. I thought they were talking
about the movie Carousel (that my mother liked so much) with Jack Palance and Shirley
Jones (you know, the Partridge Family and all)... and I thought, what song in that am I
supposed to learn? Why? Never have gotten that answer.. :} Haven't listened to it
'til now if I find it..by the Doors?
The first rock song I wrote by myself was called "Slow Suicide" that the band
turned into a 20 minute jam at the Scotts Valley Elementary School - about my father -
couldn't play the guitar yet... got kicked out of the band. They kept playing my songs...
threatened them with a lawyer... 'course, I didn't do it... I was only like 7 or 8 or 9...
They took me back into the band, and the "tough guy" who got me kicked out then
went on to get everyone in the school to sign the petition for class president to get me
into the election... I never saw the petition. I got elected, though.
Lynn Collins and J.J. Wofford on Lockhart Gulch Road in Scotts Valley... we were a
three-some. Lynn and J.J. were excellent musicians. They introduced me to Lynn's guitar
teacher, Sam Straub.
Interestingly enough, the last night our band was to perform before we moved to Oregon
when I was in 8th grade, our strobe light stopped working just in time for us tobreak down
our instruments and allow some ther guys to play. I don't for sure, but they played
Sunshine of Your Love perfectly, one group played Backdoor Man, another played I feel Free
I think, and reflecting back, I feel certain that the guy with the bandana and the guitar
was Jimi Hendrix... Clapton too. I just thought they were good, a little weird they'd
interrupt our gig like that, but I went with the flow. And loved it.
Turns out, there was a place across the street from the church that the church members
would complain about all the time called "The Barn", owned by a man named Leon
Tabori (who got run out of town). The Barn had a reputation for being somewhere musicians
playing in San Francisco at the Fillmore would drop into to party, relax and jam a
bit away from the crowds and fans and cameras.
I heard someone mention the guys who came to play that night had been hanging out
there. Didn't have a clue. Me and Beaver Cleaver. :}
A year or two earlier than that, I had a music class assignment to write a song on my
violin. So, I got out another one of the cardboard sheets from my sister's nylons, as they
were sold back in the early 60's, and wrote a simple melody that I turned in, never got
comments back on, and I don't think I ever got it returned to me. But it was fun.
A few weeks later, I asked if they would let me learn to play the saxophone. Never got
a response to that either. For some reaon, Mrs. Soule acted like she thought I didn't know
how to read music. Mainly, though, after playing the music a couple of times, I just
memorized it. They could tell us where to pick up in the orchestra and I'd just play
along, doing my part note by note watching everyone else and studying the conductor.
Geez'.. all that from a few songs. But wait, there's more.
A few years back at Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington, I was attending a
class called "Writing for Life" - in preparation for my 2004 Presidential
Campaign for President.
One evening, we had a sort of "Show and Tell" class and played "Slow
Suicide" for them... then we all proceeded to have a discussion with people less than
half my age, about how many of them had experiencd the distress of having a parent or a
near or distant relative suffering from severe alcoholism: the deterioration of health,
emotional trauma, maiming and death... I was shocked tha tthe preponderance of them raised
their hands and sort of grimaced and hid their faces in sadness.
But I was most taken by 8 Native Americans who talked about their experiences: one of
them laughed and said about the U.S.'s use of chemical weapons... he said they had a joke
on the reservation about how the U.S. used chemical weapons on them. And the chemical
weapon is alcohol.
Everyone laughed and then became silent.
Back to the Christopher Cross Album
When I wrote the review of that album, I was required to find something wrong in an
album that in many ways could have been all about me. And maybe it was, in the context of
my life, the experiences I've had, the requests it makes. You'll want the album. I cherish
It's a good lesson in how we can see good or bad, love or hate, joy or pain in
anything... and how the music we listen to provides a soundtrack for our lives... the
context, emotion and time-sync for all we've felt, been and become. It's all about
This next part, though, is for the many musicians who may not understand what I didn't
even understand until just a few years back with the release of James Taylor's October
Here's what it's about. It's about how we, as artists, write music about - a dream, a
vision, an emotional moment in time, about someone or something we would want to love
without even knowing the "Imaginary Lover" we were writing about. And then, like
songs I wrote more than 40 years ago, they end up being songs that completely fit the
context of the declarartion of the new world, and the love and honoring of God's Plan for
Many of you may have written songs about my life in detail. What a surprise. Maybe to
both of us. I think I've channeled George Harrison, before his death, and Buddy Holly.
Earth, Wind & Fire - I'll Write A Song For You (Really :})
But then, it's the same experience as when I've written music and certain people really
see themselves in at, as if it were written specifically for them. I know you know what
I'm talking about - those songs that are so universal in their message that everyone feels
a part of them is described and expressed in them.
And one special note: there are some of you who did know you were writing to me. It's a
bittersweet experience. Like with Todd Rundgren: yeah, it's a b**** having to be loved by
you too... but there is an example of the mirroring or holograhic nature of it all. What
you think is about someone else could be turned right back around on you and be just as
complimentary or just as rude or crasse as it is to them.
Nonetheless, you still love them for being someone who inspired and awoke you to many
wonders.... like Michael Jackson's Man
In The Mirror... I related to it, could have been about me, and it was about us all,
and him and Him. (Good King Wenceslaus :} Say hi to Jermaine for me. I love him too)
These songs comprise a mini version of the soundtrack of my life. And I mean mini. I've
spent thousands of hours listening to thousands of albums. I wouldn't even listen to the B
sides of albums just so I could go back years later and hear something "new" by
my favorite musicians of all kinds. And, when listening to Michael Tomlinson's albums, I
one day noticed that some of the cuts that touched my heart the most were on cut 7. Now,
I'm discovering it's also cuts 4 and 11. Synchronicity - The Police. Isn't that something.
It will be and is for you too.
So, let's call this your homework...
I request that you write down the names and artists of your
favorite songs over the years, then sort of sort the list chronologically, and then
consider what these songs written by God's Angels meant to you then, mean to you now, what
you were experiencing when they became significant to you, and imagine what message God
was and is trying to tell you as you listen, and how it applies to your life - who you are
as a being - now... and how you would describe the circumstances and experiences that
caused you to become the way you are. And, what choices you made because of these
BTW, I call them Charlie's Angels :} My Dad liked to be called Charlie, but that's
another story, or tangled web, for another time... era.. century :}
The Beatles - Do
You Want To Know A Secret
Music my brother (and the Lucille Ball/Here's Lucy Shows and The Beverly Hillbillies)
went out of his/their way to introduce me to (the one who looks so much like Wayne Newton,
that Wayne Newton once pointed him out in the audience and introduced him as his brother
Wayne Newton - Red
Roses For A Blue Lady
And of course, Roy Clark on Lucy and the Beverly Hillbillies. Yesterday
When I Was Young
And Tennessee Ernie Ford doing 16 Tons. We'll get Dennis Kucinich to do a cover version
of that song for you... Oh yeah, he already did. :} 2004 wasn't it?
And my guitar teacher, Sam Straub, asked me if my mother had asked me to learn a song
for her, and I was sort of hurt and embarrassed, because no, I really thought it was
beautiful and I wanted to sing it for myself... the Beatles Version of 'Til
There Was You , straight from the Ed Sullivan Show. (The 4th song in this soundtrack
:} Ya got my name. Look up my number
Of course, I didn't even know it was from a movie I really liked alot, The Music Man,
in which I later appeared in 1970 at Soquel High School (Hi Helen Oretski, I love you) as
Ewart Dunlop in the Barbershop Quartet, for which I received an "Oscar" from my
classmates in the Thespian Society. That was the same night I invited Tommy and Dickie
Smothers to join us in the party from the bar (they had/have a vineyard in the hills of
Scotts Valley where I used to play, and I used to gaze at the hillside alot before they
developed their vineyard, thinking of what it would look like if it was covered - I think
I envisioned a vineyard, maybe a lush green forest - when I lived on Burlwood Drive in
Scotts Valley, all of which also sort of relates to a song on the James Taylor October
Road album about Ireland that I first heard him play in concert at the Nissan Pavilion in
Manassas the night after being rear-ended in a car which resulted in Allstate very rudely
refusing to pay for my medical expenses. (The same kind of injury John Kerry had
repaired just before the 2004 elections). And all of that relates to the fact that James
also wrote a number of songs from the October Road album that are about me and my
ewebsite... that's going to be another story I tell and can't wait to hear the other side
And that's the kind of thing you also need to listen for in you soundtrack. And I
haven't even gotten past the 5th song yet.
And then, in 2002 when I started contacting CNN about its news coverage... Lou Dobbs,
of course... (an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth) there was this evening when I went
to bed right after watching The Music Man... it was fun. The next morning, I turn on
the tv, and the first thing I see is a DirecTV ad starring Leslie Nielsen (who I always
loved in his old cops shows and loved his comedy stuff... like the golf commercial?? Was
it for real?) The started: Stop watching movies you know all the words to... :}
Course, that was after the Postman Ad... and Oregon.... You know, the Kevin Costner Movie
that inspires me... Kind of like Ulysses S. Grant.. wanted to get to Oregon, but never
did. I always said I wanted to get to Oregon. I noticed once they had a town called
Paradise, right down the road from Sunshine :}
OK. Synthetic Synchronicity on. :}Also called Psyops. Or training. Or both. Or the
electronic fence. A technological demonstration... More on those later.
Oh yeah. That was right after DirecTV started playing all my favorite movies from a
list I posted on my website... :} I accepted that as acknowledgement that they were paying
attention to me. I don't know, are they good guys or are they bad guys? The Bible says,
deception after deception after deception. Boy is that another story... ya just never know
a book by its cover. Think about that.
There's one more story about that time period that fits in to this particular
synchronicity that really cracks me up. For a while, on cable tv, they'd have music from a
local radio station playing, and they displayed the weather all the time, and everyone
once in a while they'd play a travel movie, and I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great
if we could record songs from albums, and put them to video, and play them on the cable
channels instead of the boring stuff?
A short time later, my mother Jacqueline Marie Rehn (Horn) was working at a small
restaturant at the Scotts Valley Kings' Shopping Center called Sam's Broiler. I'd go there
to eat sometimes in the afternoons on weekends and stuff.. turns out that a few of the
members of the group Harper's Bizarre worked there too when they were in town.
They were one of many groups who had hits, but said they couldn't afford to be hits
because they got paid so little that they couldn't afford to travel and make a living. So,
they quit. They had the great hit Anything
Goes. Loved it. Didn't understand it, until years later, sort of, when I played
the part of Patrick Dennis in the play "Mame". (Chris Matthews apparently said
hi to Ellen Degeneres for me. Nemo... Nemo...)
One day, I was eating some food at the broiler, and a guy came up to me... a bus
boy/man, who my mom identified as being in the band. I mentioned the concept to him.
A couple years later, Dick Yount of the group launched a music service on the Santa
Cruz cable channel that began what became the "format" and "medium" of
MTV. I invented MTV. I think.
Interesting the RKO/Hughes/Turner/Time-Warner connection though, given my favorite
radio station was KFRC in San Francisco later down the road. The genius program director
there whose techniques I studied intently was Les Garland, who went on to found MTV. JJ
Jackson worked at both places too. And there's this Eric Chase DJ that I studied alot on
KFRC who seems, for years, to have moved to a different radio station wherever I've
moved to. One time in Seattle, I called him and asked him where I was moving to next. I
didn't have a clue. He didn't seem to appreciate the question.
Like Alan Alda said in the TV show MASH: I don't get left drift. Which is why if you
talk to me in code, I don't get it. Actually, I just don't want to. Thank God God said
that anyone doing His work would not do so in secrecy. No, really, thank God.
And, after all, secrecy is the problem these days, isn't it?
Want My MTV. Dire Straits. Loved it. Especially the microwave oven part. I don't know
why. OK, maybe it was the money for nothing and chicks for free, but I'm over that. PS:
The Cosmos has alredy been started. There's actually much more to THAT story too. That was
for Paul Tompkins and Keith Olbermann's amusement.
God does work in mysterious ways, and He has a sense of humor, he's not particularly
politically correct, and he seems to really like this code stuff. He
and I are going to have a talk about that :} Stevie Wonder - Have A Talk With God.
And I can't help but chuckle a little when I recall that at an awards dinner honoring
Robin Wright for Results, Inc. - a K Street lobbying firm on
behalf of the impoverished - the year before the award went to Marianne Williamson who
I also sat with - I was seated next to Nobel Prize Winner Bette Williams, honored for her
work with homeless,
traumatized and impoverished children in Ireland and Russia. Youssou N'dour -
Joko, From Village To Town - How Come? (featuring Wyclef Jean).
- Storms Over Africa
Bette kept insisting to me that I
needed to publish a newspaper or something in the future that focused on good news. I
told her it had been tried before, and it didn't really work because people didn't get the
same thrill and stimulation from good news like they do from bad news, and they could be
reading the good news, hear about some bad news and then forget to go back to reading the
Strangely enough, in this moment, it occurred to me that that sort of sounds like what
happened to the reading of the Bible and the Holy Scriptures of all the other prophets and
And that is part of the synchronicity (that's been making me giggle so much, mostly),
the Matrix of God to have been protected by the Templar Knights, the Oracles and codes in
the Plan of God that truly makes this a revealing to us all - including me - because the
truth is, most of the time I don't even understand why I say what I do. I say things, and
then I look at the words and see a deeper meaning, and think, wow, did I really say that?
Did I really write that?
And I say, that when you begin to examine the soundtrack of your life and the art that
moves you, you'll
begin to see more of what I see (Phil Collins - Through My Eyes), experience more of
these personal epiphanies and insights and the healing will begin uniquely and thoroughly
within us all as we share this period of transformation to individually becoming the
realization of the full potential of God's plan to be one, always giving love, providing
joy, nurturing families and creatures and beings of all kinds throughout the cosmos.
That truly is infinite wisdom. Stevie
Wonder - As (Always)
God Bless Us All.
PS: It may seem that I use the word God loosely and lightly. And I might even have a
different concept of who and what God is than many. We'll discover that answer together.
My inside sources constantly ask me to think about whether my father was a man, a servant
of God who professed to be an atheist, but whom our Pastor Rev. Culwell claimed
truly was a Christian... to look and see if he was my "Joseph" and not God.
I generally tend not to dwell there or question this because - although I do not take
that inquiry nor the power and omnipotence of God lightly in any way - it, frankly is not
of great concern to me at this time. Not because I don't want to know. But because we were
all instructed to not be concerned with questions like "where heaven is", what
God looks like and and how the cosmos began, because it would be someone or something or a
spirit not easily comprehended, and that it's important to embrace all such questions as
if we knew nothing in order to ongoingly allow for something - that which actually is a
cause much greater than ourselves, and which is concerning all of our selves as one.
I ponder the meaning of the phrase "made
in His image" and laugh and cry at the images I receive. Images like someone
painting at an easel, building like a sculptor or a carpenter or potter... someone who
makes all things in a microcosmic projection of each facet of God and our selves that
ripples out into the world from the tiniest atom to the tallest mountain and into and
through every being and creature in the cosmos, star and planet and breath of fresh air...
The Bible says that God is perfected in us. That does not mean He Is flawed or that we
are responsible to fix Him, nor is He determined to "fix" us. It means that He
is aware and willing, and requests that you also be, to evolve and reveal and learn and
grow with each other as one from and to one another, moving forward in time to when He
truly will be with us on the planet we call Heaven in every way conceivable.
That is why he granted the true liberty of choice, calling upon our desire for divine
grace, our instincts for survival, having faith in the fact that all are created equally
and with a purpose for pleasure and productivity, that we are all born pure of intent and
heart and soul filled with goodness, and that His forgiveness of our transgressions is His
way of taking responsibility for allowing
such grace that we may be human, with the inherent knowledge of what is good and bad,
right and wrong, without judgment and with compassion and true and full community. In
every way. For every one. The time is now.
There is truly abundance for all. James
Taylor - Carry Me On My Way
For me, the knowledge of God is like most people I would presume, at least in the idea
of the commandment to honor thy father and mother. They are each Gods - we are all Christs
of men" - just as we are that we create and nurture and cause and grow and create
and nurture and cause and grow having that special, pure and intimate sense of what it is
to love some being that has been co-created with a part of you and with a part of another,
it to be what it is, and all
and everything that we can be.
That's a pretty good image to envision, to share and empower.
Tomlinson. Let Us Dream.
Amen and Amen.
A Special hello and thank you to Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah McLachlan and all the
others who have cooperated, participated and worked for the Bridge