AKA Grafitti Man (Remastered) John Trudell

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  • 1Rockin' The Res03:33
  • 2Grafitti Man04:04
  • 3Restless Situations04:21
  • 4Wildfires05:09
  • 5Baby Boom Che05:20
  • 6Bombs Over Baghdad04:20
  • 7Rich Man's War05:52
  • 8Somebody's Kid04:01
  • 9Never Never Blues02:47
  • 10What He'd Done06:01
  • 11Beauty In A Fade02:39
  • 12Tina Smiled06:01
  • Total Runtime54:08

Info for AKA Grafitti Man (Remastered)

John Trudell is a Native American songwriter/poet, and an outspoken activist for human rights and environmental issues. AKA GRAFITTI MAN showcases his remarkable spoken-word brand of rock & roll, praised by musicians such as Peter Garrett, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and Jackson Browne.

In the mid-80's, Trudell came together with legendary Kiowa Indian guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and formed Grafitti Man; their first cassette, AKA GRAFITTI MAN, was produced in 1985. While the tape was sold only by mail order, a copy reached Bob Dylan, who called it "album of the year" and played it over the PA before concerts. Following Davis' death, Trudell enlisted guitarist Mark Shark as the musical backbone of Grafitti Man; the band spent part of 1988 touring the US with Midnight Oil.

AKA GRAFITTI MAN includes material dating back to Trudell's work with Jesse Ed Davis and the cassette of the same name; as well as more recent material, much of which was co-produced by Jackson Browne, who also serves as the album's Executive Producer.

The album features Trudell's powerful personal and political statements, as well as his method of incorporating indigenous themes and musical traditions into a rock context.

„Poet John Trudell's first major release incorporates rock & roll, blues, and traditional Native American music to create a compelling backdrop for his views on society, love, loss, and life in this country as a Native American. The opening track, "Rockin' the Res," kicks off the record with an Indian chant, before a barrage of drums, bass, and guitar set the stage for Trudell, and the tone for the rest of the album. Although this is spoken word, musically these pieces are songs and not meandering ideas. Trudell's lyrics, voice, and timing also fit well with the music and never seem forced. The title cut, with its scenes of the streets, materialism, and corporate America; "Bombs Over Baghdad," his condemnation of the Gulf War; and "Baby Boom Che," which concisely sums up an entire generation with Elvis as their leader, are among the many highlights. This is an evocative piece of work that rocks. Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson, and Steven Soles (Alpha Band) guest on vocals. (Brett Hartenbach, AMG)

John Trudell, vocals
Jesse Ed Davis, vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer
Mark Shark, vocals, guitar
Quiltman, vocals, drums
Sherry Blakey, vocals
Carol Eckstein, vocals
Adrian Garcia, vocals
Kris Kristofferson, vocals
Renée Geyer, vocals
John "Juke" Logan, harmonica
Jerry Jumonville, saxophone
Billy Block, piano, percussion
Bill Payne, piano
Doug Legacy, organ
Mike Utley, organ
Jennifer Acosta, synthesizer
Rick Eckstein, bass, drums
Gary Ray, drums
Chad Cromwell, drums
Wally Ingram, percussion
Jackson Browne, background vocals
Steven Soles, background vocals

Produced by Jackson Browne

Digitally remastered

John Trudell
was born in Omaha and grew up there and on the Santee Sioux reservation in northeast Nebraska. He served in the Navy on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam from 1963-67. After the Navy, he studied radio and television production in college at San Bernadino. Then he heard that Indians had taken over Alcatraz Island, and he found the purpose of his life.

The occupiers claimed that the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the U.S. and the Souix tribes returned all "retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land" to the Native people from whom it was acquired. Since Alcatraz penitentiary closed in 1963, the Indians said they were simply reclaiming the land as theirs.

A week after the occupation started, Trudell packed up his pregnant wife, Lou, and their first two kids and caught a boat ride to the island. He used his background in broadcasting to become the spokesperson for the activists. Lou gave birth to his third child on the island.

Trudell and daughter TaraIn the Art Kane photograph, Trudell is the young man at the far left foreground. He's feeding his daughter, one-and-a-half year old Tara. The activists found amazing support from Bay Area residents. The dockworkers union threatened to shut down the port of Oakland if the Native Americans were forcefully removed. Volunteers fixed food that was "smuggled" onto the island by boaters. Lawyers volunteered their services, and doctors volunteered their services – and that is how the Trudell's third child was born.

Trudell has remained active in Native American causes. He became the spokesperson – he doesn't like to claim to be a leader – of the American Indian Movement from 1973 to '79. He was a central figure in the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington DC. LaDonna Harris was active in resolving that occupaton. In later life, he became friends with rock star Jackson Browne and began recording and releasing a series of albums and CDs. He died in December, 2015.

This album contains no booklet.

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