songs about Bigfoot and the stories of encounters with them has been a new
experience for me as a songwriter. It has been personally rewarding and has put
me in touch with some exceptional people. It has also challenged me to a greater
degree than ever before since I find myself on untrodden terrain like some
It was suggested to me that some of you might like to know
how Land of the Bigfoot got started. If so, this is for you.
Nashville I had written songs professionally in the 70s and 80s and became a
staff-songwriter for a major publisher there. I was writing mostly typical
country songs - a subject I was totally comfortable with at the time. In those
days I was fortunate to have had some very well known artists record some of my
songs, including Wynn Stewart, Don Gibson, Floyd Cramer, The Texas Playboys, Pat
Boone, Moe Bandy, The Cascades, etc. Of course I was proud of any and all of my
accomplishments, and was thrilled when one of these songs was performed at the
Academy of Country Music Awards. Eventually though, I retreated from the
Nashville scene, moved back to California, and except for a few gospel songs
written at a later date, I stopped writing all together.
I had hunted,
campted and fished California, Oregon, and Washington when I was younger without
ever having noticed a sign of Bigfoot. Maybe Bigfoot existed and maybe he
didn't! He simply did not occupy my thoughts back then and I probably didn't
care one way or another.
It was toward the end of 2009 that
I began to develop a great interest in this elusive primate of the night. The
more I delved into the subject the more convinced I became there was something
here! The fact that so many people from every walk of life had witnessed this
creature first-hand was the biggest factor for me. How skeptics could write off
thousands of people's sightings taking place over several hundred years
and keep a straight face amazed me. It seemed to me that the skeptics were the
ones wanting attention!
On a fishing trip to a remote lake
in the Sierra foothills recently I came across a broken tree that was about 6
inches in diameter at the twisted-break, about 8 feet off the ground. My son was
with me and asked ... 'What's out here that can break a tree like that?" The
break was old enough that any foorprints that might have once been there had
been washed away by the rain. I was'nt sure what broke the tree and said as
much, but it lies in an area where sightings have occured.
At a second Sierra
foothills lake later on, we heard what I felt was almost a duplicate of some
bigfoot calls someone recorded years ago in Washington state.
decided to jump in and see what I could come up with in regards to writing songs
about a very unique wild and hairy legend that I now knew had to be real. It had
been over 15 years since I had written a song! I knew from the beginning it was
going to be a challenge but the prospect of being able to combine my love of
songwriting with my favorite subject "Bigfoot" held the promise of some
enjoyable times. Since I no longer possessed the physical conditioning necessary
to go out and beat the bushes like a real sasquatch researcher needs to do I
welcomed an opportunity to help promote the reality in my own
I began to read and study on this creature that most of
the country said could not exist.
I watched every documentary I could get my
hands on, spent a lot of time on the internet reading about sightings and
encounters, and read many books on the subject.
I knew I was
going to have to tread carefully. I figured I had probably learned just enough
to make a fool of myself if I didn't watch what kind of a song I was writing.
So, the next thing I did was launch an internet-wide search to see what kind of
bigfoot songs were out there. The results were as I suspected, there were only a
few and most of those seemed to be folks just having fun with the subject. Of
course, there's nothing wrong with having fun with Bigfoot songs. Truth be
known, I'm envious of those who can write them! But I wanted to write a much
different kind of song. It seemed to me these men and women who are
researching Sasquatch take their work seriously. Maybe they'd like to us to take
them seriously too.
My first Bigfoot song never used any of
the words common as a name for Bigfoot. You won't find Bigfoot, Sasquatch,
Skookum, Wildman .... or any of his common names in this song! I purposely set
out to accomplish the writing of this song without the use of them.
to be more unique!
I had seen many names for the creature but none of them
were what I was looking for at the time. I remember then coming across an
instance where a Native American had called it the "Keeper Of The Mountain"
in a documentary. I knew I had found my song title! It was the
inspiration I had been looking for!
So ...the song is about a field
investigator's account of a close encounter with a huge man-like biped one night
that he keeps referring to as the "Keeper Of The Mountain", and no matter how
many times he's gotten close to it he still feels somewhat intimidated by this
hairy giant when it gets too close! (Are all squatchers fearless?)
other songs began to fall into place after that .... "The Mountain is Mine" came
along next as the voice of Skookum telling those looking for him to leave and
that "The mountain is mine!"
I was up late one night on the
internet looking to order another book on BF encounters and came across the
caption for "Valley Of The Skookum", a book by Sali Shepard-Wolford, a long term
witness. I thought ... "What an awesome title! This is really heavy!" I went to
bed, planning to order the book the next day, but found myself wide awake at 3
am with this title in my head ... "Valley Of The Skookum!" I had to get
up then, and by 5am had written most of the song and hadn't even read the book
yet. I got in touch with Sali and told her of the song, and that without her
title I would have no song so she became a co-writer with me.
I did order the
book after the song was completed and was not disappointed. I found it a real
page turner! I would recommend "Valley Of The Skookum" to any with an interest
My other songs began to fall into place .... some more
difficult than others, but none really easy. Writing songs now without going
over old territory gets tougher with each song. Often I will have finished a
song and recorded it only to decide later that it" just didn't have
Those go into a "holding tank" for further evaluation or
Some songs I had on my site were later removed because they were
simply not right. They needed more work. I am still working on those and hope to
have them uploaded soon.
"Land of the Bigfoot", the CD, has twelve
songs on it as does "Land Of The Bigfoot II",
which was the second CD
released. Both are available on this site.
I cannot say if there will be
other songs after these ... I suppose it will depend on whether the inspiration
is there and whether folks would like to hear more. But it has been a wonderful
journey writing them and I have enjoyed performing these songs at many of the
bigfoot symposiums and conferences around the nation.
Me ... I continue to
read all I can on Bigfoot and talk with those who pursue it. Of one thing I am
certain .... we're not chasing an animal! These are ancient beings who are
intelligent and living the life they choose. We need to repect
Thanks so much for your interest,
I got an email from one who had purchased the CD and enjoyed the
songs but had a question; he wanted to know why I often include an element of
danger in describing the Bigfoot or Sasquatch, as he felt they were normally
very shy and projected no real threat.
I chose to also answer that question
here in case you are one who might have had the same question in
Writing songs are a lot like making a movie. Ever seen movie credits
like ... "Based on a true story"? Well, there's a true story somewhere in that
movie but they also created some scenes and situations to enhance the movie and
make it not become boring. And this is what I must do with a song..... I
need to try to keep the song from becoming boring. Including an element of
danger in a bigfoot song helps make it more mysterious and dramatic. Whether or
not a sasquatch is a threat is really up to the individual in the field ....
they alone must make that decision!
Me ... I'm just a songwriter who loves to
write songs and loves the legend that is Bigfoot.