My Dear Friends,
I'm sure you don't remember me, but we met in Denver, Colorado in 1994 on the Face The Heat Tour. I was wearing a Scorpion Tie.
This letter has been 30 years in the making and It's long overdue. You see, we are both, the band and I, at a place in our lives where it is time to end this particular chapter of our lives, and usher in a new beginning.
My friends I have spent the last 26 years in a very dark and painful place. But through all the madness and chaos, you all were right there with me. It's as if you had a portal or window into my life and pain. It seemed whenever life had beaten me down and I was ready to give up, you were somewhere putting pencil to paper and lyrics to music. Your music has comforted me and encouraged me in ways I can't describe in this brief letter.
Please indulge me for a short time. On September 21, 1991 I decided I had had enough of this world and all the pain I had felt. My wife, Jackie, had left in 1989 and taken our two small sons with her. It would be nearly 23 years until I saw them again. Anyway, I did everything I could to ensure I would not live to see the sunrise. I took my jeep high into the Rocky Mountains and drove it off the cliff near Wolf Creek Pass, nearly 12,000 feet. I had so much alcohol and so many different drugs in me its a miracle that alone didn't kill me. Before I went over, I unhooked the seatbelt to insure I would not make it. Well. when I woke up nearly 3 weeks later in Colorado Springs memorial Hospital, the doctor told me that the things I had used to ensure my ultimate death, had in fact saved my life. The alcohol slowed my heart rate and the fact that I was thrown out of the jeep and landed in 2 feet of snow, minimized the nerve damage. The cold had frozen the nerves. I couldn't do anything right
I should be paralyzed from the neck down after breaking me neck, back and both legs. And yet, 3 years later I had the honor of walking into that room at McNichols Arena and meeting you. God truly works miracles.
So, that brings me to the present. Sort of. Last year my mom had a major stroke back home in California and I had to rush home. As I was getting packed my phone rang. It was Jackie. She asked if I could help with our sons college tuition and if I would mind calling him. He had started smoking pot and she thought I could help. His birthday was coming up in a week also. Anyway, to make a long, but very special story short, I was able to go to his birthday party last July 16th. It was amazing! Jackie and I laughed and talked. Hugged and cried until the sun came up. We had fallen in love again 23 years after our divorce. My mom by the way, made a miraculous recovery within a week. God had orchestrated the whole thing to get me home. I know it.
Now here is where a world that I wanted so badly to escape from, gives a jerk like me a second chance at his dreams. A second chance at forever with the only woman I've ever loved. I used to think that shame and guilt and regret were the most powerful words ever spoken. Not anymore. Hope, grace, forgiveness, redemption and above all else...LOVE. These are more powerful than anything I've ever known.
Jackie has agreed to fly from Los Angeles to Chicago for your June 29th Concert. I will ask her to marry me for the second and last time. You see my friends, we were only 15 years old when we saw you for the 1st time in Los Angeles in 1980. It is fitting that we be together to give you a bittersweet goodbye. I wanted you to know how much of an impact your music has had on my once miserable life. Every album you released came at a pivotal moment for me. You gave me strength and encouraged me with your amazing gifts. Your music had slowly become the "Soundtrack of my Life" and I didn't even realize it. Looking back thru all the insanity and change, you, my Dear Friends, were always by my side. Helping me make it one more day. To take one more step. I'm eternally grateful.
Let me close by saying...I wish all the happiness and blessings to all of you in whatever the future brings you. I hope the next chapter of your lives is as amazing as the last one has been. I have a saying that I tell my sons when we speak..."We can't go back and rewrite the chapters of our lives that have already been written. But we surely can, with each others help and love, change the ending to the story."
Thank you for taking the time to indulge a hopeless romantic like me. I'm truly honored to have this opportunity to share this with you all.
The Soundtrack of OUR lives my friends. WE are ALL connected to each other by MUSIC..no matter our color or continent.. WE WERE BORN TO FLY!!