Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 13

I was trawling through today's candidates, and got fascinated with the story of Jeff Baxter. He is the seminal 70's rocker: mutton chops, giant shades, nickname of "Skunk" (he's never said why, but consider that he was one of the Doobie Brothers...)

Before he joined the Doobies, he was one of the founding members of Steely Dan, and my favorite part of all the Steely Dan songs I like. I mean, without the guitar parts in songs like "Ricky, Don't Lose that Number" and "Bohdisattva", you got music to mallshop by.

He also was around for the best that the Doobies had to offer: playing steel guitar on their first platinum single "Black Water," and recruiting the most successful lead singer, Michael McDonald. Here's a ten-percent true story about how it all went down.

After the Doobies, he became a studio musician, while he discovered his new love, for missle defense technology. In the Reagan years, he parlayed his fascination into a new career, as a defense consultant. In 1995, he was nominated by a Congressman to chair the Civilian Advisory Board for Ballistic Missile Defense. In the last administration, he played on the White House lawn with his latest band, The Coaltion of the Willing, whose members include US Ambassador to South Korea and Hungary's ambassador to the US.
Here's a different coalition: Skunk and the other Doobies, rockin' out "Take Me In Your Arms..."

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