Once upon a time, there was a homeless man who lived in the park, drank beer, played guitar and sang to the moon. Folks in the desert came to know this lonesome wolf as the Moondog - a tall, strange fellow who sat out on street corners singing his funny and outlandish songs to anybody who would lend an ear. Things got a little rough out there, so Moondog decided to clean up his act, put together a band and began performing at the local saloons..... And so was born the Dog of the Moon.
Dog of the Moon is the stage name of singer- songwriter Aaron Carl Swensen of Jerome, Arizona. Inspired by the musical legends of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan & Neil Young, Dog of the Moon specializes in his own cosmic blend of 'Country Folk Rock Blues with an Outlaw Hippie Attitude'. His unique collection of original tunes include slow, reflective ballads, mid-tempo country ramblers and heavy, outrageous rockers. Upon hearing Dog of the Moon, one may recall a time long ago when life was simpler, people were friendlier, and the music was much more meaningful...
Do not miss this exciting opportunity to have the Dog of the Moon work his musical magic upon you.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A DOG
I landed on Earth the same year that man landed on the moon. America was swept up in the chaos of Viet Nam, the Love Generation was coming to an end at Woodstock, and I was busy trying to figure out what the hell it meant to be a human. I learned real quick that it's a big pain in the ass! I had a hard time trying to learn the rules of the game, and I immediately set out on a glorious path of rebellion. Fuck what everybody else did, for I was going to make up my own rules. Needless to say, this attitude held me back in a number of ways. The other kids always seemed one step ahead of the game, especially the little 'ass-kissers', the ones who got everything they wanted by playing up to authority. I knew that I could never be like them so I didn't even bother to try. Why would I want to waste my time on such a pathetic endeavor?
As the rest of the kids got molded into shape, I stayed in the shadows and watched the craziness of the world unfold around me. Humans had to have an answer for everything, and they organized this information into a laborious enterprise of boredom known as school, where children were rounded up like cattle and taught that everything could be explained by science and mathematics. Nature was reduced to a number. According to this view, there was only one reality where mankind was the undisputed master of the universe, and any attempt to think beyond this form of logic was highly discouraged. In other words, they were feeding us a bunch of crap. Having been born a dreamer, the world that existed in my head was much more fascinating than the bullshit around me, so I developed a strong imagination and chose to spend most of my time there. In school, the teachers tried to discourage me, but daydreaming was the only way for me to escape the mundane world of modern man, so I refused to listen in class. The freedom of human thought and development had become my silent crusade.
One day I woke up and found myself in a pool of sweat with a bunch of cactus needles sticking out of my ass. My family decided that life would be better in the desert, but in my state of disillusionment, I was now living in what I felt was the lonliest place on Earth. I became even more withdrawn from the world of people because now there were none to be found. Where the hell was everybody? Life in the desert consisted of hiding from the sun in a big air-conditioned box and keeping your nose out of other people's business. Severe boredom hit me upside the head and I became an active participant in vandalism. For some reason, destroying shit became a whole lot of fun. My idea of a good time was finding a large construction site and letting the frustrations of my youth tear apart somebody else's future residence. I was now growing up to be more than just a handful of trouble.
As the initial thrill of destruction wore off, I pursued a different hobby with a renewed zest for life.....drugs. Yes, substance abuse was the cure for these lonesome blues, and the underground culture that sprang up around me became the perfect companion to my rebellious nature. Life in the desert began to blossom. I picked up a guitar and learned how to strum a few chords. Since school started to get in the way of my two favorite subjects (drugs & music), I dropped out to stay at home, eat acid and write new songs. After a while, my parents told me that I needed a job, so I dug a hole in the desert and ran away from home. The plan was to live underground as an outcast of this mad society, but the cops ruined that dream and I was sent to a rehab where I began a love/hate relationship with something called AA.
The next few years were spent alone, battling my demons, never gaining any control over my life. I gave up the fight. With no responsibilities, drinking became my number one priority and I set out to live the life of a rock star without the benefits of money, women or fame. After a few more lost years, I picked up the guitar again and started playing in front of grocery stores for beer money. At least now I had a little bit of ambition. This began my adventures in the underworld, and I set out to meet a crazy cast of characters along the way. With the exception of having some of the worst hangovers this side of death, life had become a big party, and the only thing I wanted to do was wander the streets and drink myself into oblivion.
The days disappeared into an alcoholic blur. My time was now spent wasting away in Eldorado Park, which was home to an assortment of fellow drunks, outlaws and social misfits. Life was good there for a while (laughing, singing, smoking and drinking), but soon the cops came around to spoil the fun and attempted to run us bums out of their pretty little town (beer permits, breaking park curfew, dogs off leashes, glass containers, drug paraphernalia, outstanding warrants, fights, etc.). Did we budge? Hell, no! Every day we'd be back at the park and every day Officer Swanson and Pedley would rear their ugly heads. There were many arrests and court battles along the way, but the party finally came to an end and I had to break my ties with the Eldorado Park Mulehead Corporation. My funny family of bums moved off into different directions; some died, some went to jail, some headed north for the summer and never came back, while those of us that remained sat around and did the same old shit. The magic of the old days was gone for good.
Life grew tiresome. After getting kicked out of every bar and party that I attended, the end of the road was not far in sight. I checked myself into a halfway house and made an honest effort to clean up my act. I polished off my songs and started a band. I was fortunate enough to find a rhythm section in the good company of Count Bulldog and Professor Badnote, and together we took a long detour on the road to nowhere. Although we played a lot of shows in the Phoenix area without much fanfare, our music found a happier home up in the hills of Jerome. Our first show in Jerome was at the Biker Jamboree, where I managed to break a 21-month run of sobriety (yippee!). After that, we started playing at a bar called the Spirit Room on a fairly regular basis, and wound up doing an eight year run at the annual Halloween Ball. Eventually, after almost a decade of playing together, the lack of direction took its toll on the band and we disintegrated. Shortly thereafter, a conflict of interest with my day job led me to the ultimate decision to retire from the concept of work forever.
In retrospect, although I have entertained regret over my decades of excess, I also have the treasure of my memories to look back upon and smile. Yes, there were definitely some dark times, but the sun always seemed to rise again, and with it, the beautiful rays of light. I am settling into a cozier chapter of my life and I feel truly blessed to be in the position that I am today. I have found an incredible amount of love and support for what I am doing. The band has returned to playing on special occasions, but for the most part, Dog of the Moon has become a solo act. I appreciate everyone that has helped me along the way, and I hope that someday I can repay you. For now, my music and love is all that I have to give.....
Life has only begun.
Every day is precious.
It is a priveledge to be alive.
Every day is precious.
It is a priveledge to be alive.