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Help A Displaced And Aging Metal Guitarist...Just A Little

Organized by: Bill Rhynes

Bill's Photo


At 13, Bill had a dream. To make music and play guitar for the enjoyment of millions. A lofty dream, sure. But you have to remember, in the late 70's, almost any schmuck who could tune an instrument and find three other guys who could also tune their instruments actually had a shot at the bigtime. People didn't have Xbox back then, or Facebook, so they went to concerts. Bill worked hard, polishing his chops, and becoming a sought-after and respected performer in local circles.

Having slept on countless couches and stealing swigs of beer of other people's bottles when they weren't looking, Bill chased his dream whole-heartedly. Suffering from a learning disability which hindered his ability to comprehend fundamental mathematical concepts and thereby limiting his career choices, Bill kept chasing that dream long after many of his friends in the business gave up.

Some of them married rich women, some inherited their dad's companies, but Bill never became bitter (well...not much). Bill was so focused on success he avoided long-term employment and relationships to remain available for the demanding performance and travel-oriented lifestyle of a pro rocker. No time for 9-5, no time for love, no it was a lonely road.

Bill came close to real success a couple times. Suddenly, after years of toiling in garage bands and playing in dirty bars, Bill landed a gig with the fellow who originally sang for a band called Metal Church. They gigged and wrote, but the singers voice had suffered a lot of damage from screaming by then, and also grunge had just taken over the world, leaving thrash metal bands digging in dumpsters.

Bill re-grouped, yet again, ever hopeful and filled with the love of his craft, he had become a proficient songwriter and saved enough money driving a taxi cab to buy some recording equipment. Bill has since shared hundreds of his songs on the internet, mailing demos and giving away CD's to anybody who might listen.

After years of toil and rejection which would make others suicidal, Bill kept on playing the guitar.

One sunny day, he got an email from a girl he used to know. Not just any girl, but his first true love. They were young and stupid when they first met, so it didn't work out. But here she was again, newly single and talking to him on the phone. A few months later, he asked her to marry him, and alas, that dream DID come true.

She was a metal head too. A real thrasher chick. Never changed, but she had gone to school while Bill was playing his own music along with some Metallica and AC-DC covers in the shadowy realms of the rock underground. She was a professional, and highly respected in her community. Bill moved to North Carolina, where she lived and they lived in happily there where he would play guitar for her to her hearts delight. "All I ever wanted" she said "was a long-haired metal guitarist". Bill was bald by now, but still, every bit the guitarist he spent so many years becoming. He still dreamed of landing a pro gig, and kept writing, networking and posting free music on the internet. But living in the mountains of N.C., there were few opportunities for Bill to find a band to jam with. Bluegrass and gospel dominated the area's musical tastes, and Bill stayed in his room, plugging away.

During this Time, one of Bill's networking contacts manifested into a two-week west coast tour with one of the Northwests most notorious shock-rock bands. Bill's wife was supportive of the entire thing, and Bill had a blast even though it took months for Bill's family to recoup from the expenses of living on the road for two weeks. After all, They were not an economically successful band, just a notorious one. A feather in Bill's heavy metal cap, nonetheless.

Bill came home, and after several months, a shadow came over their world when Bills wife began having heart troubles. She was forced to resign from her high-stress job and take a break. Needless to say, the bills mounted, and life became difficult for the two metal heads. Bill began to curse himself for not being more practical in his youth. His wife was released by her DR. to go back to work, but nobody was hiring in this small area, and she took a job far beneath her education in order to scrape by. Bill applied for work too, but there were even less opportunities for an unskilled, middle aged guitar player from Seattle.

This is where the story hangs, and where YOU can make a difference.

Is it YOUR problem? Hell no.
Should Bill have gone to school instead, many years ago? Perhaps.

Anyway, Bill and his metal thrashing wife (Crystal) have decided to move back out west, to Bill's home state Washington. There is much more work available to both of them. Also there are opportunities out West for Crystal's two kids that don't require them to say things like "Would you like more Barbecue sauce, hun?"

Crystal had been accepted into a graduate program to get her masters degree, but it will be tough in the meantime. They are going under little by little, and Bill has already sold a bunch of musical equipment and several of his firearms!

Hell, back in WA, even Bill, at 48, could still find a rockin' gig (there's bands everywhere out there) and Crystal's earning potential with her masters' is some serious scratch. Until then, it's a balancing act in trailer town, and not an encouraging one. Bill has his Mesa Boogie amp on Craigslist (he waited half his life to own a Mesa Boogie), but he will be able to pay a couple bills if he sells it. :(

So, if you ever had a dream, or ever held a place in your heart for metal, get that credit card out and throw 'em a buck or two. Karma will come back to you every time, and you can also help Bill get his family back to Washington state where metal is making a comeback...or he could become a local blues hero (he got a little chubby in the last few years) at least he won't have to learn to play Gospel music on a fiddle for a bunch of drunk rednecks yelling "Freebird!!!"


Organized by

Bill Rhynes

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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