Wednesday, October 28, 2009


There's the story that goes: ....A man and his son are standing in a cue.., a line, awaiting a future event and the son is impatient..., asking continually, 'What are we going to see ??!', ...'When is it going to happen???' Finally the father lovingly turned to the son and said, "THIS is IT."

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." But as it is, you boast in your arrogance ; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:13-17

I just returned from a most prophetic evening. In part it was the viewing of Michael Jackson's last offering to the world, the rehearsal footage of the impending THIS IS IT Tour. I would have bet you before I left that this blog was going to be written through tears with pains of regret for all that Michael didn't get to do and for his life being cut so short, seemingly gone too soon. I know that's how I felt when I heard of his death. I cried something wicked as I viewed his funeral and the subsequent burial. But what I feel in this moment is nothing but joy. Joy for a life that was so profound, so meaningful and what he left behind as witnessed in this film should inspire us all to get up off our proverbial bee-hinds and go to work to heal our world, save our planet and love, love, LOVE our neighbors. If we think we're here just to procreate and not truly CREATE something lasting and beautiful with our God given talents, then Michael did die in vain.

You'll witness what Michael truly represented in it's purest form is hard work. The labor of love that he was pouring into that production was monumental in scope and depth. Images, vintage film, cutting edge CGI, the music, the dance, the vocals.., it was an undertaking that a lesser man wouldn't dare attempt, or have the legacy of music to build upon. He was in great form, so all the naysayers can return to their respective caves who never knew Michael but felt compelled to tell us all how weak and feeble a man he was. Whatever pains he supposedly had are non-existent in this footage. You'll see him dance.., get caught up in the spirit of his music.., you'll see him gently correct and teach and inspire by just being in the room. You'll see dancers who were pre-teens when he CREATED the moonwalk mesmerized to be so near the very one that inspired them to dance. Amazing.

I encourage us all to do more with our gifts and talents. This isn't new, I've blogged about this before. The urgency this time around is just a gentle nudging that THIS IS IT. THIS MOMENT is the only one we've been promised. EVERYthing else is wishful thinking. Viewing this documentary tonight wasn't the highlight to my day, however. This morning, I listened to all 39 of my previously recorded songs, uploaded the best 21 for free on a website, prepared a future release of a 26 song anthology called The EDEN Project that will soon be on all the major digital sites (second week of December) and started the concept for the next EP that will pave the way to a new sound and direction for me. I shared all of this in real time with a fellow musician and brother who was literally across the ocean from me in WALES, while at the same time stopping to pray for my spiritual brother in dental school in Denver for the intense workload he's adjusting to daily. And moments before I went into the theater, I decided to take a walk around the block only to meet a young man visiting Albuquerque for the next three weeks only and in short measure made a new friend and brother, who opened his heart to me as we both shared the experience of watching Michael perform. And none of this was promised to me when I awoke this morning.

See this is why I can't be sad, today. There's so much of life ahead and MJ is forever going to be apart of whatever I do from these days forward. In the assurance of that, he lives on.

I know those he shared his final days with feel that certainty even more.




Saturday, June 27, 2009


I don't know what I am going to say, but I felt that I needed to say something about the one and only artist that I actually had as a poster on my wall as a kid.

As much as I would like to say I was a fan, in fact is, I love the Jackson 5. Marlon was born the same year as me, making Michael our younger brother. I was sad when Jermaine chose to stay behind at Motown and marry the owner's daughter and abandon his brothers in their move to CBS Records. The last Motown release, 'Moving Violation' was one of their best releases, 'till that debut on CBS with Style of Life, Blues Away... and 'LIVING TOGETHER'.., where I knew Michael was singing directly to Jermaine. It's hard to explain what it meant to see this 'family' of brothers and later sisters, live and work together. The tours, the saturday morning cartoon, the countless magazine covers.., all the fun they appeared to be having. Everyone wanted to be one of the Jacksons or at least be related to them.., and my sisters wanted to marry at least one of them every week! This one family gave us hope.., gave us joy and made us want to be them. As they matured, went their separate ways.., we all lost a little of the innocence along with them as we, too, matured and went through our share of troubles. Seeing little Michael soar beyond anyone's imagination was thrilling.., and terrifying 'cause you just know that when a star burns so fast and so long.., it has to be extinguished at some time. But, his star seemed to get a second life after weathering so many accusations, deserved or not, 'cause in the end, he was still standing and for that resilience, I applauded him. I remember sharing with someone who was planning on attending his shows in London that I just prayed he would get one last time to shine for so many who had counted him out, rather gleefully, just to remind us of his contribution to this artform. There's not a young band, certainly male pop star that hasn't been influenced by Michael or The Jackson 5. Don't even attempt to argue this point. For him to die of a broken heart, however induced, is exactly the ending he was destined for. When he sang, "I'll Be There", he made a promise and a pledge to a world that didn't even know who much they needed him. His songs are all over the airwaves again, and the number one downloads on all the music sites so in the end, he acheived what he set out to do..., to blanket the world in music again, his ultimate gift. I promise you, this music, the depth and breathe of it, will be analyzed for years to come. ONE MAN, ONE VOICE, changed the world as we would know it had he and his brothers not burst onto the world stage.

GOD BLESS Joe and Katherine Jackson for doing all you knew to do give your family a chance at success. I don't write to validate your choices, but to thank you for doing the best you could for the times we lived in then.

To HIM Whom much is given.., MUCH MORE is required, to live up to those gifts.

Did Michael do his best, all the time?
No, it's obvious he suffered, personally.., but musically, I find no fault in him.

REST, Little Brother Michael

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Just think.., without this document, President-Elect Barack Obama would NOT be able to take office or even be considered a full citizen of this country. Contrary to common thought, July 4, 1776 is NOT independence day for any African American and when you read this document, nor is September 22, 1862, the actual written date, but the first of January, 1863. However, there were exceptions even in this proclamation that kept many in slavery through the end of the century and true civil rights would be hard fault in 1964, over a hundred years later!! That means technically for the African American, we're living with only 45 years of true freedom and independence that placed us on equal footing with those first mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Imagine running a race with someone who has a 188 year start! This is the power and significance of this upcoming January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day for one who spent the first seven years of his life in a segregated country then six more in segregated public schools. Which makes my personal 'emancipation' date, September 1, 1969.

Looks like this marks my 40th year of freedom and President-Elect Obama's ....?

He was born August 4, 1961. You do the math.

President-Elect Obama is being sworn in as President with his hand squarely placed on President Abraham Lincoln's Inauguration Bible. A gesture that underscores a man who has done 'his math'.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.