As a musician and 46-year survivor of gun violence, music is the narrative in my life that is significant and key to my survival and healing. In 1972 my brother Tom was gunned down in his own bed by an intruder. Tom was my brother, friend, mentor and who I wanted to follow in life, as he was five years my elder and we spent every day together ever since I could remember.
Guitar playing was the activity we shared most in our last years together as he taught me my first song by Bob Dylan, “Hey Mister Tambourine Man.” Music became the way through my trauma and devastating loss, and ultimately led to my profession as a composer, performer and teacher of music.
When I hear the songs we listened to or played together, my thoughts turn to Tom as I know he was responsible for so much of who I am today and why I fight every day for gun violence prevention.