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Interesting careers AFTER music

20 Apr 09 - 01:47 PM (#2614965)
Subject: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Wesley S

I don't know if many of you are familar with a musician named Skunk Baxter - but he's an excellent guitarist that played on many of the most popular recordings by Steely Dan and later - The Doobie Brothers. He was appearing at the Dallas Guitar show over the weekend and his bio in the program mentioned what he had been up to lately. I thought it was a joke. It wasn't. So I was wondering if you kew of any other musicians who went to do something interesting and different than their work in music.

Anyway - about Skunk Baxter:

Defense consulting career
Baxter fell into his second profession almost by accident. In the mid-1980s, Baxter's interest in music recording technology led him to wonder about hardware and software that was originally developed for military use, i.e. data-compression algorithms and large-capacity storage devices. As it happened, his next-door neighbor was a retired engineer who had worked on the Sidewinder missile program. This neighbor bought Baxter a subscription to an aviation magazine, provoking his interest in additional military-oriented publications and missile defense systems in particular. He became self-taught in this area, and at one point he wrote a five-page paper that proposed converting the ship-based anti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gave the paper to California Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began.

Backed by several influential Capitol Hill lawmakers, Baxter received a series of classified security clearances. In 1995, Pennsylvania Republican congressman Curt Weldon, then the chairman of the House Military Research and Development Subcommittee, nominated Baxter to chair the Civilian Advisory Board for Ballistic Missile Defense.

Baxter's work with that panel led to consulting contracts with the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He now consults to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community, as well as for defense-oriented manufacturers including Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC"), Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. He has been quoted as saying his unconventional approach to thinking about terrorism, tied to his interest in technology, is a major reason he became sought after by the government.

"We thought turntables were for playing records until rappers began to use them as instruments, and we thought airplanes were for carrying passengers until terrorists realized they could be used as missiles," he has said. "My big thing is to look at existing technologies and try to see other ways they can be used, which happens in music all the time and happens to be what terrorists are incredibly good at."[citation needed]

Baxter has also appeared in public debates and as a guest on CNN and Fox News Channel advocating missile defense. He served as a national spokesman for Americans for Missile Defense, a coalition of organizations devoted to the issue.

In April 2005, he joined the NASA Exploration Systems Advisory Committee (ESAC).

Baxter was a member of an independent study group that produced the "Civil Applications Committee Blue Ribbon Study" recommending an increased domestic role for U.S. spy satellites in September 2005.[1] This study was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on August 15, 2007.[2]

He continues accepting studio work; his most recent such work involved tribute albums to Pink Floyd and Aerosmith. He also occasionally plays in The Coalition of the Willing, a band comprising Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to the United States; Alexander Vershbow, US Ambassador to South Korea; Daniel B. Poneman, formerly of the United States National Security Council and now of The Scowcroft Group; and Lincoln Bloomfield, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. On June 19, 2007, Baxter jammed with former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's band Beats Workin at the Congressional Picnic held on the South Lawn of the White House.

21 Apr 09 - 03:48 PM (#2615806)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Wesley S

Dean Torrence of "Jan and Dean":

Besides his studio work, Dean Torrence became a graphic artist while Berry recovered from his car wreck, starting his own company, Kittyhawk Graphics, and designing and creating album covers and logos for other musicians and recording artists, including Harry Nilsson, Steve Martin, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dennis Wilson, Bruce Johnston, The Beach Boys, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Linda Ronstadt, Papa Doo Run Run, Canned Heat, The Ventures and many others. Torrence (with Gene Brownell) won a Grammy Award for Album Cover of the Year, for the group Pollution in 1973.

21 Apr 09 - 03:51 PM (#2615809)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Wesley S

Richie Furey of Buffalo Springfield and Poco:

After two tours during the late 1970s, he hung up his rock and roll shoes in favor of a call to the ministry.Since the early 1980s, Furay has been senior pastor of the Calvary Chapel in Broomfield, Colorado, a Christian church in the Denver area.

21 Apr 09 - 04:26 PM (#2615840)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Will Fly

David Laibmann - one of the original geniuses of ragtime guitar (with cousin Eric Schoenberg) - had a classic album, "The New Ragtime Guitar" in the early 70s. Then became something like a Professor of Marxist Philosophy and Economics at New York University. Then re-emerged with a DVD of his ragtime guitar stuff two or three years ago.

I used to think, "Whatever happened to David Laibmann?" Now I know...

21 Apr 09 - 04:49 PM (#2615867)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Susanne (skw)

Watt Nicoll. He became a motivational speaker after his folk career and - as far as I know - is still motivating ...

22 Apr 09 - 09:00 AM (#2616240)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Wesley S

And of course there is Billy Connolly who started as a folk singer with the Humblebums { Connolly and Gerry Rafferty from Stealers Wheel }and then ended up better known as an actor and standup comic.

22 Apr 09 - 10:07 AM (#2616256)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: George Papavgeris

And how about Tom Lehrer? He continued teaching Matchs for some time...

22 Apr 09 - 10:15 AM (#2616261)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: Vic Smith

George Papavgeris wrote

And how about Tom Lehrer? He continued teaching Matchs for some time...

But then Tom was always a bright spark!

22 Apr 09 - 11:10 AM (#2616289)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Last I heard, Tom Lehrer, who had graduated from Harvard at 18, magna cum laude, had retired as a lecturer at University of California, Santa Cruz - the perfect venue for a mathmatician with his penchant for social commentary. Now, so 'tis said, he "hangs around" the Santa Cruz area and, most particularly, the University campus, both of which offer appropriate soil for his fertile intellect and wit. I rather wish he would share some of his accumulated wisdom with us once again.

22 Apr 09 - 04:15 PM (#2616497)
Subject: RE: Interesting careers AFTER music
From: folkypaul


Wasn't there a musician in there before Rafferty who ended up back on the tools in Glasgow?