Interview with JACK EADON
Xulon Press (2004)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (10/14)
Synopsis: While many people dream of becoming rock stars, Eadon says his “Got to Make It” attitude is hardly a get-rich-quick scheme; rather, it’s a “handbook for happiness in life—a diet based on a healthy lifestyle, not fads or pills.” Eadon is delighted that now even those young enough to be his grandchildren are grooving to his band’s ’60s sound. “I was lucky enough to grow up in an era of progressive, exaggerated change. That helped me see that life is NOT about maintaining homeostasis but rather, it must always be evolving. In the face of many lifetime challenges, I’ve persisted and evolved to meet each one of them. Life is in the Trying! That’s the message I want to pass on as my legacy.” For that reason, Eadon is making a special offer to his new electronic generation fans. For a limited time, he’s offering a special 3-Media Collector’s E-Edition for just $9.95. To access the 3-Media Collector’s E-Edition, visit www.hightail.com. Then read, listen, and watch—be inspired to adopt a “Got to Make It Attitude” and watch your dreams come true!
Susan: Welcome Jack, thank you so much for visiting with me! I think that by now you know that I am a big fan of yours, and I want our audience to know why! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing?
Jack: Nice to see you again, Susan. Thank you for having me. After careers as a rock guitarist, corporate marketing manager, and advertising photographer/owner of Eadon Photographic, I taught writing and photography for a bit, then began to write my American Drama Series, contemporary fiction. Now I’m rewriting each title, carrying Marcus Ramsay as the lead character from womb to tomb! At 5,500 pages, I guess the whole series will be my “War and Peace.” A virtual lifetime: sort of like that movie capturing coming-of-age boyhood in real time - except this a whole life!
In between all of it, I had a recurrent brain tumor and five brain surgeries, but that just encouraged me to always try something new! In the 2010 surgery, the surgeon did a good job finally removing the whole tumor, but because it had been wrapped around my entire brain stem, after the surgery I couldn’t walk, talk, or swallow! Since 2010, I’ve learned to walk again and have mostly beaten the facial paralysis that was garbling my speech. All I have to do now is go to New Zealand in March to have biofeedback swallowing therapy! The dysphagia (swallowing dysfunction) has been a Godsend in a way, though. I’ve lost 100 pounds, weigh what I did in high school, and have terrific blood/BP/cholesterol, and workout every day for 3-4 hours. I’ve never been healthier, and feel great!
Susan: Jack, your book “Got to Make It!” recounts your life as a “rocker in the 60’s.” Looking back to those years what is your most cherished experience during that time?
Jack: I didn’t really notice it as I spent ten years during my teens, but going to band practice and gigs every night really paid off—I recommend that type of living in my current ad campaign: “Live in Color.” I was learning the value of having persistence and applying it to something I love; what I call in the book “leaning.” I learned so much from that experience. There are some monumental scenes involving hundreds and even thousands of people; it was way over the top! In one chapter in the book, I describe the Saturday morning Khazad Doom, my band, kicked-off the Skokie, IL chapter of the 1971 Worldwide Hunger March. We played to a crowd of 15,000 that filled up a local shopping center parking lot. Wow, to have the band perched on ten by twenty foot risers amidst that crowd, clapping hands above their heads and singing along: that has got to be the biggest thrill of my life. Over-the-top cool.
Susan: What is that one thing that you hope readers take from this book?
Jack: While many of the “loud” scenes are pretty incredible and fun to read, the band persisted at little tasks day-after-day. All of that added up to make a huge difference in the long run. Chipping away at one small part of a rock eventually shatters the whole thing! That approach to life is one that I’ve since employed. I keep on going and get a lot done. Persistence works; seeking a short-term “easy fix” doesn’t.
Susan: Jack, I must ask, as a successful musician from the 60’s, what do you think about today’s rock?
Jack: I think it’s good, but it’s formulaic. Not as much experimentation with different forms of music, so the tapestry of music in the sixties and seventies was complex and rich. As bands have become more and more produced, the production has moved from right-brained to left-brained. In short, the recording is better technically, but it also lacks a certain freedom.
Susan: You published “Got to Make It” in 2008, when Indie publishing was just sprouting, how difficult was Indie publishing compared to your later years as an Indie author?
Jack: At first, I published “Got to Make It” with a so-called vanity press, long before Kindles, etc. So, I learned the rigors of publishing before I was ever self-published. Over the years, Indie publishing has blossomed. Now, it’s a more straightforward proposition. Currently, I am also publishing my books through IngramSpark, a worldwide publish-on-demand system that works pretty well. While I haven’t sold millions yet, I’ve sold my titles in Australia, Singapore, Japan, UK, Italy, etc. My current digital edition of “Got to Make It!” uses THREE media outlets that fit with today’s lifestyle. For $9.95 a person gets: a kindle of my book plus FREE downloads of the book’s companion CD, AND a 3-D animated/illustrated video to a re-mastered song I originally recorded in 1971. It’s quite a nice package and it’s priced right, that’s for sure!
Susan: Jack, you have gone through so much with your health ups and downs, and yet somehow you are always working on a creative project. How do you do it?
Jack: You know, I think a lot of what keeps me going is the experience I had with Khazad Doom. Keep on goin’ works. I think when someone doesn’t accomplish their chosen goals, it’s easy to see that they often expect too much of a result from too little effort. I think people want life to be easy! “Life is in the trying.” The thrill from the results themselves can be fun, yes, but they are short-lived. If you’re willing to try, you’ll live in color and be a lot happier and fulfilled.
Susan: “Got to Make It!” portrays healthy, young Jack. How have you changed through the years?
Jack: I think I’ve become more spiritual and thoughtful. I subscribe to the benefits of living in the NOW and relishing each minute, and being “mindful.” Some would say I’m a bit monkish, but I’m content. In the middle of a bad experience I can chuckle from an “observer” perspective and say, “All things must pass”—and they usually do! I think Buddhist sensibility is illuminating: “life is impermanent.” Every second is new. We are always in the present.
Susan: Are you still involved in creating music at all?
Jack: I love to listen to a whole variety of music, from classic rock to new age, and have a magnificent sound system installed in the ceiling throughout my home, controllable by iphone! There is always a slight echo in Casa Paz (what I call my HOUSE OF PEACE) that comes from having an all-tile floor. That makes the music sound really great. I also still play and probably now have the guitar I should have had back in the day: a Paul Reed Smith, Santana Edition—mmm!
Susan: How different is it to write music versus writing novels?
Jack: I would have thought that they wouldn’t at all be alike. Oh, contraire! Since many of the songs I wrote were stories, the structure and poetics are similar, actually. The main difference is that songwriting is much more akin to poetry. The common element is writing sensual elements that trigger imagination by using sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. In songs and books, you want to deliver a tapestry of your story. I want the reader or listener to be able to sense what I sensed! That sharing is why I like to write. I love to talk to readers in the sensual language we have in common and hear what they experienced.
Susan: Jack, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed chatting with you but before we go I want to ask you, what wisdom can you offer to those young musicians dreaming of making it big?
Jack: It’s like I wrote in “Got to Make it!” when I had a recurring dream with John Lennon: He encouraged me to put it all out there saying, “Don’t limit yourself based on your desire for perfection, put it out there and enjoy. That dream actually happened, by the way. So, I’ve always “put it all out there.” I’ve “got to make it!” Right?
For more information on Jack and his books visit: www.jackeadon.com