1. I fell several hundred feet down a mountain in the Swiss Alps when I was 16. My buddies and I decided we were going to go sledding, and I was flying through the snow so fast that when I got to where the snow met the rocks below, I didn’t stop. I cartwheeled for a long while, right up to the school bus-sized rocks near the valley. I was somehow able to stretch myself out and stop before I was dashed to pieces. I still have the scars.
2. I’ve been held at gunpoint/knifepoint more than once and have almost always been able to talk my way out of the situations. I once had three guys follow me into a dark alley after I played a gig and while I was carrying all my equipment. They blocked my path to my car and held knives up to my face, and I still managed to talk them out of the way and left with all my gear and my car. I got lucky.
3. Among others, I used to arrange for and perform with one of the Wailers. I was truly schooled in reggae during that time.
4. I was adopted into a Lakota tribe several years ago and learned more than I can tell from the experience.
5. I have been homeless in the winter, played for change on the streets of Downtown Minneapolis, and have sold scrap metal for food money. I also learned much from those experiences.
6. I had three of my front teeth knocked out while playing a gig on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I now sport porcelain caps.
7. I was an English professor for the better part of a decade until the economy tanked. I loved teaching.
8. I was the victim of domestic abuse and have written a book series about my experience. The first book comes out next month with Master Koda Select Publishing and is called “From the Abyss.” I hope to bring a message of hope to those who read it.