For the general edification of the far too many of you who know me from Shinola, I hereby offer up this visual tour of my illustrious background. You can click any of the cute li'l pics for a better gander.
I was born in Salinas, California, and bred midst Okies and Mexicans. Early in life I learned to dress well, grin big, and defend beleaguered homesteaders from Land Office polecats. You can see I had a pretty Hoppy boyhood. I was at first a sure 'nuff straight-up straight-shooter, but later, when it came time to straighten up and fly right, well, I never did figure exactly how that trick worked.
The next great thing that happened to me was li'l Charlotte Jayne Hickenlooper. Ain't she neat? Before she one day just up and disappeared she so inspired, and bashfuled, and tongue-tied, and awkward-awed me, that I eventually took up songsmithing just to express myself.
Well, first thing you know I'm a rock & roll star. Hey, Mama tried.
I wound up playing in a group called Snail in nearby Santa Cruz. Beach Boogie Bingo. I picked, and grinned, and self-expressed. I partied endlessly trying to shake away that introverted monkey li'l Charlotte had set upon my back. As therapy, this worked pretty well. As a lifestyle it was pretty demandive.
But living in Surf City did add some color to my life. This is me there on a hill high above it all right after I was discovered by big-city music moguls. I made a couple of albums for Shelter Records, and some stuff for Warner Bros. Soon I was touring the country and peddling music like biscuit mix. I worked with excellent and famous pickers, some of them household names: Ajax Kelly, Windex Willie, Drain O'Malley, Kenmore Craftsman--well, Kenny was more like a household appliance. I could go on with this, but I am basically a pretty merciful guy.
Twenty years after she disappeared, my no longer so li'l Charlotte Jayne reappeared. After a round of Pinot Noir and conversation she redisappeared. That kinda made me blue. I thought I was self-expressing pretty well that night, but no...
After that I bought a tie and got married. Not to both of these gals - just Christina in the middle - and moved away to Nashville, where I was told I was "too country", then to Reno. Music City was a disco fiasco, The Biggest Little City In The World, a divorce capital. I wound up solo in Santa Cruz again, expecting there to age disgracefully. Boy, I sure gave it a try. But eventually I slowed down some, though I never stopped self-expressing wherever I could.
Which brings us to this wee place: and many, many others like it. In them I honed my self-expression endlessly, ever attemping to communicate something to someone. Or something. I got pretty good this way, til at last I was ready.
Which brings us to this full-grown Charlotte who checked in right on time come another twenty years since last we'd met. This time she stuck around. I guess by now you see what it is I'd been awaiting, and for what, self-expressing. It sure wasn't fame and fortune.
Well, ready for Charlotte is ready for anything. I, formerly slothful and prone to nonconvention, am now days an ambitious, up-tempo guy looking to spread myself around, see the world, and make some bucks. I get normaler daily.
You too can contribute to my scheme, yessir, and it will benefit us both. Your bucks will be very useful to me, and as I've heard, if you are not useful, you will feel useless. You want that? And, don't forget that I am, as I say, getting pretty good at this self-expression thing.
So -- buy me, friends, and buy me big. CDs Thisaway!!!