A few years ago, I was caught in a dilemma. I had $300.00 dollars burning a hole in my pocket. I was just about to move from Memphis to Nashville, in a serious attempt to improve my career prospects. This was the situation. I could either buy a word-processor or a computer. It seems pretty silly now, but you have to understand, this was 1998. I had never used a computer before in my life. I didn't know how to turn one on. I didn't have any idea what they could do. I thought they were pretty much, just glorified calculators.
Well, my beloved Teresa has three wonderful children from a previous marriage. They lived with us, (2 of them still do) and they are the reason I decided on the computer. I didn't want them being the only kids in their classroom who were computer illiterate, so we bought a little eMachine PC for $250.00 dollars.
We took it home, set it up, and I fell in love with it. What had I been thinking? A word processor? Had I gone with "just" a word-processor, I wouldn't have been introduced to the wonderful world of computers. Now, I'm almost a computer evangelist.
I was hooked.
We had a very slow dial up connection, but even so the Internet opened up a whole new world for me. I got the computer bug real bad. Somehow I stumbled onto the fact that all these web pages were created by this weird looking code. It intrigued me. I went to a site to learn more about it. Shortly thereafter, I created my first web site. I loved it. A platform with very few restrictions. The last bastion of freedom of expression seemed to be the Internet.
HTML IS FUN, but that was the easy part. It was really cool to type a little bit of code, launch my browser, and VOILA! A web page. Just about the time I had mastered a fair amount of HTML, the standards movement was getting started. So they up and changed languages on me. No longer could I just work with a passing knowledge of HTML, and a good WYSIWYG editor. No, I had to learn XHTML. Still, it was pretty straight ahead and made a lot of sense. Only a handful of rule changes, so no big deal. Oh yeah, somewhere in my web design travels, I discovered FLASH, so now I just had to learn Actionscript. Then, XML, then PHP, then CSS, then SQL, and a ton of other acronyms. You may ask, where does this guy get the time to study all this stuff. Well, I fly a lot. I was on the road all the time with either Freddy Fender, Jo-El Sonnier, or doing my own shows. I bought and read everything I could on computers and programming. Now, I could really make the web come alive by integrating Flash animation with my music. So, I created FLASHSONGS and AVCDs. The problem with all of these great little ideas was that I didn't have any type of backing to make them profitable. We came close though. We formed a corporation called Webhead Music, Inc., and we had backers ready to lay down some cash. My advisors told me that in no time at all we would be going public, selling stock options, and I'd be rich. We were all set to be a part of the dotcom boom. Then something happened.
The dotcom bubble burst.
We missed out on riding the bubble by not more than a couple of months. By that time, I could have sold some of my stock options and pretty much retired. They didn't inform me that a lot of people might get hurt by this. In fact, it never crossed our minds. It never crossed a lot of people's minds. Our timing was off by a hair's breadth. Anyway, I moved on.
Build me a site.
A few musician buddies of mine saw my site and liked it. They asked if I could do one for them, so I did. Then one thing led to another, and all of a sudden I was creating sites for people left and right.
A hobby and part time job.
Well, I continue to be fascinated by the potential that the Internet holds. Google is a Godsend. Google is THE BEST SEARCH ENGINE, bar none. It allows me to do comparison shopping online. I can look up classic works of literature. I can find out the annual rain fall in Chile, if I'm a mind to. It's pretty cool stuff.
What next webhead dude?
Well, I'm a musician/singer/songwriter/ first, but I sure think having a hobby like web design can help me promote my shows, keep in touch with my fans, and let people know I'm alive;) I'll continue to design sites for some of my friends, when I have the time. Meanwhile, I'm trying to write that next song. You know, the one that will help buy me a swimming pool. Everything on this site was created by yours truly with mostly FREE software. The tool I use most is a little program called NoteTab Light. It gives me everything I need to hand code a site. I do use a couple of commercial products, but they're old versions. Fireworks 3 for graphics. I can't afford the new versions, and I sure can't afford Photoshop. $649.00 dollars is just too steep for me. The video encoding tools that I use for this site are also FREE. Real Producer 10 is absolutely FREE. Call me cheap, but it works.
Here are a few sites I've designed:
Oh yeah, and this guy!
Still more stuff...
- Being taken seriously.
- How my father became a star.
- So, you wanna' be a country star?
- Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
- You'll eat what you're served...
- The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
- It's great exposure.
Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.
- Charlie Rich
- Freddy Fender
- Smokey Robinson
- Jo-El Sonnier
- Randy Meisner
- Billy Swan
- Flaco Jimenez
- Augie Meyers
- Doug Sahm
- Jerry Lee Lewis
return to top