It all started on July 3rd, 1971…yep, that's my birthday. I was an only child and my good old momma' was a single parent until I was nine years old. Before my mom lost her hearing to an incredibly high fever, she would put on her vinyl records and sing to me all day long. I remember all through elementary school she would have me dance with her in the living room where she taught me "The Twist" and "The Mashed Potato".
Mom always taught me to live out loud and to never be shy because, "Life's too short to not participate." My mother once told me that being "rich in love" is far better than having lots of money and she was right. Although she never heard me sing professionally, she would watch the expressions on the faces of my audience and find joy in knowing I was making people feel so much emotion.
One day after a show my mom mentioned her dream of opening a home for battered women and how if I continue with my music, maybe I could fund the charities closest to my heart with it. This is why I've chosen to give half of everything I make to charity, to make up for all the times mom cried for joy (and because she couldn't hear me on stage).
One thing I remember about my mom is her ability to make up songs on a daily basis, she often sang songs that she made up on the fly. I've decided to turn one lullaby she wrote for me into a recorded song entitled "I will watch over you". Keep an eye out for that one cause I'll most likely link that track to "Toys for Tots". By the way I was once the Toys for Tots Coordinator for New Mexico and was in charge of collecting and distributing to needy kids everywhere, I really miss that job. :)
Just before middle school my mom met my step dad and although he called me names like "meathead" and "bonehead", I knew it was out of affection especially because he was a retired sailer. Many of my family members were veterans and they represented every branch of service. I really looked up to my uncles who were Marines, they seemed to be the coolest of the bunch. I was once given a toy for Christmas by "Toys for Tots" and a Marine in his Dress Blue Uniform and from that moment on I just knew I wanted to earn that title and wear those blues! ;-)
Upon moving to what we call, "The North Valley", I quickly fell in love with all the animals that my step dad had on his little "mini-ranch", as he used to call it. Watching animals grow to adults and then having babies made me realize how "self aware" they were. Pigs, hogs, ducks, geese, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens and turtles were my life. Every morning I would wake up early before school to feed the animals and it didn't take long to create emotional bonds with all my new friends. :-)
My mom was always amazed at the way the animals and I would interact and would tell me, "One day you'll work with animals for a living, I just know it." Unfortunately my dad was more of a farmer and often harvested the animals I was closest to just to remind me they were food. In my heart I knew I didn't agree with my dad's point of view on animals because he never got to know them like I did. As of today I'm still trying to be a vegetarian but sometimes I slip and disappoint myself.
After high school I joined The Marines and was really looking forward to seeing the whole planet. I served from 1989-2000 and not once did I get to leave this awesome country with The Corps. All in all I served just under twelve years and the opportunities I received in the military never included combat. Considering my first four years of service was as an 0351 ground pounding infantryman, I was really disappointed that I never got to blow anything up except for in training. I did however receive over a decade of experience as a sergeant of Marines and once it was time to become a civilian I was ready to accomplish anything. OORAH!! :D
Upon my authorized freedom from military service I became a counselor for kids at a facility in New Mexico called "Desert Hills", this is where I first learned to play guitar! There was a young man who had a guitar and by allowing him to teach me a few chords, his life was changed forever…and so was mine. It wasn't long before parents of the kids I supervised were asking me to play out in town where they could get a beer and bring friends. The rest is history and hopefully someday, "legendary".
Being a counselor was fulfilling but unfortunately it didn't pay the bills. Compiled with the fact that I started dreaming of punching some parents in the face for hurting children like they did, I knew it was time to go. I found a better paying job and eventually moved to Denver, Colorado where I knew I'd have a better chance at doing something with my music.
Since 2003, I've been wandering around colorado trying to figure out "what and who" I am. I floated through a few bands as a lead singer but in the end I knew that my solo career is where my passion lay. Giving away half of your sales isn't very appealing to many people so I've decided that after my next single, "HELL YEAH", I will pay friends and studio musicians to help me record the full versions of my songs and stay a solo act.
As for the future? I simply want to "start and animal rescue and petting zoo", "live happy" and "give". One day I will be on my deathbed and nothing would make me happier than being surrounded by family and friends both human and non-human. I've grown used to the idea that we are very mortal and time is a luxury.
It seems to me that the true measure of a man is his ability and history of touching the people he was lucky enough to know in his lifetime. I don't want to live forever…but I hope my music does. I hope my music funds the charities I love long after I die. I hope that hundreds of years from now there will be a young person singing one of my songs and a crowd cheering for their choice of music and their ability to convey the same emotions I put into writing it. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to witness it from the flip-side.
SINGER / SONGWRITER / U.S. MARINE / PHILANTHROPIST
So here you are, checking out my website and wondering who in the blazes is One Bad Munky? Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then sent out to see the world as a U.S. Marine. Well, I got the see the country at least. I've never been outside of the U.S. except for a few trips to Mexico for some cheap shots with my friends. :)