I was born in California to a self-proclaimed “Texan” from San Jose and an underage beauty queen, but it was only after moving to Idaho that the forces which have shaped my personality really coalesced. At the age of 5, Fate apparently decided that I would eventually ride Harley Davidson’s when the Hells Angels roared past my home along the West Yellowstone Highway, prompting my dad to firmly and loudly proclaim that I would, “Never be that kind of trash!” but would instead become a lawyer – a proclamation which he repeatedly laid down my entire life. Little did I know that he himself was at one time an outlaw biker and rumored to have been a Hells Angel and Gypsy Joker in his younger days, but I couldn’t have known his motivations at the time. He was, and remains, a mystery to me.
Neither a Cowboy nor a Mormon, I was doomed (or blessed) from the start to be a social outcast. The closest companions I had were family pets and, even more significantly, photos. In my dad’s Field and Stream and Ducks Unlimited magazines, science and history books and the occasional encyclopedia, I escaped into the wonderful stories and pictures that I could draw and stare at for hours on end. This is where I began my love affair with the photo.
Music also became an important escape. Every Sunday I’d initially get out from under the “Fire and Brimstone” with the American Top Forty and my good friend Casey Kasem, but after my older sister left , I was left with a vast collection of 45’s and LP’s which turned me on to bands like AC\DC, Ted Nugent, and The Police. The older I got the more I gravitated to the harder stuff like Quiet Riot, Dio, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Metallica, King Diamond and Slayer, all of which became a welcome refuge for a kid who’d already been labeled as a “weirdo” or “dark child.” When I first got my hands on Shout at the Devil and saw Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx, they looked exactly like I felt. I knew I’d finally found people I could relate to, and I began pursuing a life as an actual musician rather than just a music fan.
Of course, I probably shouldn’t leave out that “The Monster Mash” was a big influence on all of that too.
Somewhere along the way, my inability to do as I was told by the church, the schools or pretty much any other institutions or figures of authority that cared to chime in, along with an overwhelming desire to stick it to anybody who told me I was worth less than them, ingrained in me the pure, surly determination to lead me through a whole lot of rough and interesting places and become the “Biker Trash,” sleazy musician and photographer I am today, who has found a satisfying measure of success in all my passions and is able to live the good life and take on projects that I find personally interesting and fulfilling.