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Biography
DEZ DEL RIO

I was born in Southeast Texas on December 18th, and grew up in a little town not far from the Texas-Louisiana border.

 

As a young boy, I remember hiking the dark forest surrounding the ten-acre woods my family owned. Armadillos, craw dads and snakes made their home there, and alligators lurked in rivers not far away. You learned at an early age that if you walk to deep into the swap, you might never come out again.

 

I survived a near death experience at age three, got bit by a rattlesnake at age 13, and got my first electric guitar when I was fourteen. Texans pride themselves on their musicianship, music legends like Buddy Holy, Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughn are born and buried there, and I was determined to follow in the foot steps of all those that had come before me.

 

I formed my first band at age 16, wrote my first song at 17 and began playing clubs and bars in and around Texas at 18. The Foxy Lady and Fat Dawg’s are two bars I remember.

 

In the summer of 1979, I spent two weeks in Hollywood for senior vacation and witnessed my first punk rock show The Damned at the Whiskey A Go Go. I fell instantly in love with the West Coast, and knew I would return to California someday to stake my claim.

 

After returning home from Los Angeles, I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a short while where I had a job betting on dog races, but had to leave Alabama in a hurry, and returned home to Texas under questionable circumstances. Following this teenage debacle, I moved to Austin Texas, and with my band "Human Drama", played Austin’s early eighties punk rock music scene.

 

Now known by my nickname "Haji" I moved to San Francisco, California on October 5th, 1984, and have lived here ever since. Those early days in S.F. were spent rehearsing in basements, sleeping between the record bins at the record store and standing in line at the Rasta Temple for a bite to eat. My first band in SF was a pre-Goth death rock band called "Our Lady of Pain". We wore stiletto boots, make up and ratted our hair. We had no money or place to live occasionally, but did have a notorious reputation for boozing and abusing drugs, and the girls loved us for it. All my friends were either, musicians, junkies or groupies'. They took me in and looked out for me, but never tried to turn me in to an addict. I was one of them, but was not one of them.

 

In the mid-eighties, the Zodiac Killer was still free to kill. The Night Stalker Richard Ramirez prowled the streets of San Francisco, and in the nearby countryside Charles Ng and Leonard Lake were operating a sex torture chamber for young girls.

 

In 1985, I was thrust into the middle of a morbid murder trial. It seems one of Marin County’s prominent bankers had murdered a prostitute, and my girlfriend at the time, acquainted with both the murderer and the murdered victim, was summoned to testify. To make a long story short, the bank vice president was convicted of second-degree murder and released from prison sometime in the mid to late nineties.

 

Toward the end of 1986, after several near death heroin overdoses by Our Lady of Pain’s lead singer Alin Black, I decided to throw in the towel and left the band.

 

In 1988 I did a short stint as guitarist for a rock-rap group called "Joe Mamma".

 

In 1989 with my girlfriend by my side, I survived San Francisco’s second great quake. That same year I reunited with Our Lady of Pain singer Alin Black, and formed my third band in San Francisco the "SF Dogs". The Dogs were a kick ass, high octane rock-n-roll band. Excluding a record contract, we had everything a rock-n-roll band could want: attitude, reputation, girls, and groupies'. We threw Hollywood parties that would make Led Zeppelin proud.

 

It was during my tenure with the SF Dogs that I first desired to write and tell a story. About what, I knew not, but there was a story brewing inside me, nonetheless.

 

In 1993, The SF Dogs, after three short years, disbanded.

 

In 1994 I joined a recently formed glam-slam rock band called "The Lipstick Killers" the bands name would later be the inspiration for the title of my first book.

 

In 1995 I found myself reconnecting with the funk music of the seventies, but still a rock-n-roll guitar player at heart. From this fusion of musical genres, came my fourth band, "The Merchants of Chaos" which I consider one of my greatest achievements as a guitarist, and a songwriter. The Band’s lead singer a 21-year-old rapper from Florida was lyrically gifted and a political visionary. The band was easily ten years ahead of its time. The Merchants of Chaos evolved into The Kill, then Da Kill then disbanded.

 

After devoting more than 20 years of my life to music, I needed a break. I was 37, and needed to make some money, so I started a business, and after a few years burning the midnight oil, enjoyed some moderate success. By the time the business had run its course, I knew deep down I was an artist and always would be, my desire to create art being greater than my quest for gold. I had walked barefoot through hell, and came out whole on the other side, content to live my life doing what I love and loving what I do.

 

By 2005, no longer able to deny or ignore my urge to write, I began my journey into the wonderful world of words, images and imagination, and although I personally consider myself a storyteller more so than a writer, writing has become my passion and my pleasure.

 

Consequently, from all I am, have been, and will be is born my first novel "The Lipstick Killerz".

 

Yours Truly,

Dez Del Rio

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