Saturday, January 9, 2016

Chose to be a Survivor - NOT a Victim

Keith Dion has had an astounding career as a musician, songwriter, producer, and filmmaker.

But the story of what made this musician great goes much deeper.  Severely abused and then abandoned by his parents, he determined he would succeed.  He was inspired to become a musician by Jimi Hendrix and many years later he hooked up with Hendrix's bass player, Noel Redding.

Most well-known as being the producer, manager and bandleader for the late Noel Redding of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, he also has produced records for Arthur Lee and Love, and has played in New Zealand’s classic cult band The Ponsonby DC’s, as well as San Francisco alternative groups The Ophelias, 3:05 AM, and Corsica, producing records for all of them along the way.

Over the years he also recorded or performed with members of The Kinks, Thin Lizzy, Santana, The Counting Crows, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Most recently he’s released the very critically acclaimed collaboration with Jefferson Starship members Diana Mangano and Prairie Prince - Reno Nevada and Other Songs of Gambling, Vice and Betrayal as The Great American Robber Barons.

After both of his parents died in Reno, Nevada, the San Francisco-based artist discovered a whole new dimension to his musicality. “Their deaths made me face a lot of stuff, and I keep peeling back the layers and finding these dark aspects inside of me,” Keith says. “Every song on the album is about gambling, vice and betrayal, and we really mean it.”  

In this interview he shares his experiences of 30 years, playing with famous people and his record deals.  But, it took the death of his parents for him to start writing lyrics.  

In Snapshots of Heaven and Hell, he shares how he survived filicide and extreme childhood abuse at the hands of his Vietnam Era PTSD damaged father.

"As Bad As Things Are.....They Could Always Be Worse" - Keith Dion


After listening to his story here are links to his music that chronicles his career:

You Don't Know The Half Of It  -  The Ponsonby DCs 
From the forthcoming new album by NZ’s Ponsonby DCs. This one uses my father’s 8mm home movie footage from the Vietnam War – Tet Offensive, 1968. The two boys you see in the parade sequence dressed up as Marine Corp Officers are me and my brother Kevin – aged 4. We were used extensively by the USMC for recruitment / promotional purposes on TV, in parades and the print and news media in the early and mid-1960’s. Features legendary Tubes drummer Prairie Prince.

Reno Nevada - The Great American Robber Barons 

Title track promotional video from  Reno Nevada and Other Songs of Gambling, Vice and Betrayal CD / DVD release from Keith Dion’s San Francisco group The Great American Robber Barons. Using his father’s 8mm home movie footage from Reno Nevada in the mid-1960s, showcasing imagery from the fading glamor of Reno, and the dark underbelly of the 1960s and the Vietnam War. Dion has  created a thoroughly engrossing multi-media experience in this CD/DVD bundle. 

This is the classic song by Richard and Mimi Farina, which won 1st Place in the Music Video Category at the Hollywood and Vine Film Festival Dec. 2014

Keith Dion with Noel Redding from The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Trailer for upcoming Noel Redding biographical Film – “West Cork Tuning

Voiceover by KD on meeting and working with Noel Redding of The Jimi Hendrix Experience  which includes clips of the 1997 UK Jimi Hendrix Blue Plaque Ceremony and live clips from Noel’s USA Tours with Keith Dion’s group 3:05 AM. Selected audio sources from these tours were released in the UK and Europe as:  West Cork Tuning - Noel Redding with 3:05 AM.
This is now to be the basis of the upcoming Noel Redding Documentary Bio – West Cork Tuning: The Noel Redding Story. Showcased in Clonakilty Ireland in May 2014 to great media and local critical acclaim, including thumbs up from the Irish Cultural Minister, the Mayor of Clonakilty and the head of the National Irish Film Board ! 

At The Hands of the Robber Barons - The Great American Robber Barons 

An expose of the financial criminals that run our world – 

Conquistador - Keith Dion solo acoustic guitar performance  
Using my father’s 8mm home movie clips from the 1960’s of a bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico

Too Big For Your Boots - The Great American Robber Barons 
Done in Black & White, in a 1960’s French TV Style – reminiscent of Brazil ’66 !

Called "The new New Zealand National Anthem" by the NZ Press – a hit single in the 1980’s.

You can connect with Keith here:

Facebook - Keith Dion :
Facebook – The Great American Robber Barons:


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