Muchos Thank You’s

Primeramente (First and Foremost)

I give thanks and praise to the Lord. I also give thanks for Bob Marley (RIP) for including that powerful sentiment in one of his many powerful songs, “One Love.”

Gracias … A Mi Familia

The utmost of thanks and love to: ‘Ama, ‘Apa, Celi, Mari, Theresa, Sofia, Joseph and the rest of the Alvarez, Trevino, Ramirez, Fernandez, Michalak clan.

“Pero, sabes que? We got something better than a rabbit’s foot, Holmes. We’ve got familia!”

From the final monologue by the character, Cruz, in the 1993 film, Blood in, Blood Out.

Gracias … A Los Artistas Who Lent a Hand (and a pen and some spray paint)

Thanks to my editor, Ire’ne Lara Silva ( ) for contributing her keen insights, allowing my voice to still be heard in the writing and taking time from her own artistic work to help me with mine.

Thanks to Federico Archuleta, Graffiti Western Artist, ( whose design serves as the cover image of this rock-n-roll journal. He supports the community in so many different ways, including offering support to Eastside Guardians, the community advocacy group noted in the “Take Action” tab. His artwork is so much a part of the Austin landscape that he himself deserves to be given “Icon of Austin” status.

To my Tocayo, raul r salinas, Austin and Chicano poet-laureate (RIP). I use poems that he penned in Ch. 8 and the Afterward. Con much respeto! He served as an inspirational figure and font of knowledge to me, to folks from all walks of life and to many other folks that I greatly respect. He was a prolific composer and purveyor of knowledge who called himself "the cockroach poet" because he kept speaking truth to power and yet the "powers that be" couldn't get rid of him. Local cultural workers have kept his bookstore, Resistencia Bookstore, and his literary program, Red Salmon Arts, going since his passing in 2008. Check it out and support this ongoing labor at

Gracias … A Gateway Church (

“Come as you are.” - This is an invitation that I recall hearing at Gateway Church about 17 years ago when our friend Juanita invited Theresa and I to Sunday service at Gateway. Their unique take on this classic phrase is “come as you are … but don’t stay that way.” Thanks for the many different ways you’ve supported me in “not staying that way.” Particularly through the Online Campus, truth be told!

Gracias … A Los D.J’s

Thanks to the disc jockeys on the rock music radio stations in Austin who I’ve been listening to while I have been writing this book: B-Doe, Captain C.J., L.A. Lloyd, Loris Lowe, Andy Langer, Jason and Deb (& Nick), Dudley and Bob (& Matt). While the sub-genres of rock may be different, the love of music is the tie that binds us all. Thanks to B-Doe specifically for his signature phrase…rowdy rockers! Hopefully, it’s a signature phrase and not a patented phrase.

Part 1 – Acknowledgements & Omissions

Chapter 1 – In this chapter, I mention how I’ve always had difficulty with reading and reading comprehension, and how the tutoring I received via the school district’s migrant program helped me to appreciate reading more (or, moreso, I learned to appreciate the learning that comes from reading). I’ve never been much inclined to read for fun (except for sports illustrated, a random science magazine or the occasional quantum physics book), but in the process of writing this book, I’ve read more books for fun than in all of my previous 45 years combined. I’ve come a long way from those migrant program days, so thanks to all of those educators who helped me and so many others needing help!

Chapter 2- I’m not sure why Loverboy (the band) didn’t get a mention in this or any subsequent chapters. Since I listened to them all through high school and college, I felt I should give them a shout out. “Loving every minute of it!”

Chapter 3 – For this chapter, I can only thank the Universe itself (along side all of the artists mentioned). When I created the name for this chapter, I Dream Therefore I Am, I literally had no song list or outline for the chapter. After all is said and done, it turns out to be one of my favorite chapters. Thanks to all who “dare to dream” because it encourages others to do the same!

Part 2 – Acknowledgements & Omissions

Chapter 4 - When I started the process of writing this book, I had no idea how it would turn out. I didn’t realize how important Metallica and Rage Against the Machine would be in the story that I would come to tell. If I had to do it over again, I’d pick my five favorite songs from my five favorite bands, with Metallica and Rage being the two additional bands. A raise my cup and say “skol” (good health) to you!

Chapter 5 – The album Undisputed Attitude by Slayer was on the original list of albums that hit you "like a ton of bricks" that I wanted to mention (because it totally does). With the way the chapter unfolded, there was no room for what I wanted to say without veering significantly off topic.

Chapter 6 – Albums I did not get to reference, but really wanted to incorporate, were Lateralus by Tool and Murder of the Universe by King Lizard and the Wizard Lizard. Each would probably take a full chapter for me to explain. I also wanted Foo Fighters to get a mention here just because of the sci-fi reference in the band name itself, but I'm still searching for a sci-fi themed song (Dave....I have a few ideas). Also, in this chapter, there was originally a section about the comic book series, the Watchmen. When I started writing about the X-Men and my favorite female super heroine, Jean Gray, the comic book section of the chapter took an unexpected turn. So, no DC Comics angle … yet!

Part 3 – Acknowledgements & Omissions

Chapter 7 – In this chapter, I mention a few rock stars who died before their time and what we might learn about life from those whose lives were so committed to and/or inextricably tied to the creative process. I was supposed to include a discussion of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go there for some reason. So, it is here that I offer much love and appreciation to Kurt, his family and the members of Nirvana. Kurt taught me the importance of perspective: thinking that maybe “I’m just happy…” and not that I’m ….

Chapter 8 – This was initially going to be a chapter about Austin musicians at first, and then it morphed into my Latin Rock chapter. Thus, I couldn’t include everyone that I originally intended to mention, specifically David Garza, Vallejo, Vitera, Wille Nelson, Bob Schneider, Gary Clark, Jr. and Spoon. Thanks for your authenticity and courage to do things your way! Also, in the best instrumental category, I wanted to include one of my favorite instrumentals, Just Like You Imagined by Nine Inch Nails, but it is not specifically a guitar instrumental ... but an incredible composition nonetheless!

Chapter 9 – This chapter looks nothing like my original outline. I don’t even know how to describe what I feel when I think about this chapter. I’ll just thank the Universe like I did for Chapter 3. In Chapter 3, the Universe charted a path that I could easily follow. For Chapter 9, the Universe just slapped me around until I abandoned the path I had pre-selected and got on the path I was supposed to be on. Chapter 3 was the most pain free to write. This was the most painful to write!

Part 4 – Acknowledgements & Omissions

Chapter 10 - I feel like I didn't do justice to Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. For that, I apologize. From the Deadheads and die hard Dylan fans, I would most certainly love to hear what else from their repertoire relates to the themes of this chapter.

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