On the morning of January 1, 1972, a friend in San Francisco drove me south out of the city onto Highway 1. We said our goodbye and I began what turned out to be a 7-year musical odyssey in Latin America and the Caribbean. With approximately $400.00 in pocket, a backpack with some basic necessities, a guitar and harmonica, I faced south, stuck out my thumb, and began my journey towards my destination, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

To support myself during my seven years of travel I would share my music at every opportunity. I entertained people young and old on the edge of a town or village while sitting on the side of the road waiting for a ride. I played in schools, universities, municipal halls, with new friends, national theatres, street corners, night clubs, senior centers, television and on beautiful beaches, forests, jungles or deserts.

Here is a story that happened at Puerto Williams, South America’s most southern community. If you look at a map of southern Argentina and Chile you will observe Puerto Williams on Isla Navarino, to the southeast of Ushuaia. I arrived at Puerto Williams on a Chilean navy ship that carried troops and supplies to the island on its regular 6th month fall visit. I had secured boat passage by offering the Admiral in Punta Arenas, Chile the opportunity to provide musical entertainment for the special guest passengers aboard the ship. I also offered to perform a concert on the island. The trip itself was spectacular as we sailed through the glaciers and islands of the Beagle Cannel. We stayed on the island for two days before returning to Punta Arenas aboard the ship. On the first evening ashore there was a huge outdoor party for the outgoing and incoming military personnel. Pits were dug and sheep roasted. This, along with fresh baked bread, Chilean wine and the island beauty provide wonderful memories. On the second day I played a concert on the local radio station and later a second concert in the community auditorium. That whole experience was great fun and I can also claim that I was the first person to perform concerts in the southernmost community in the world.

The above story was one of many marvelous adventures I had during my 7 years of travel. Those years were a true musical odyssey. The adventures continue on.

Back to Biography and Stories