This is My Story
Thank You Bob Dylan – by Tim Danbrook: ‘I’ve loved Bob Dylan my entire adult life and wanted to thank him. It’s an Audio letter to Bob.’
Timothy Patrick Danbrook
Born December 23rd 1956
Grew up in the York region of Ontario Canada, just north of Toronto
Second youngest of five brothers and two sisters.
Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon. I remember the sound of his voice uttering those famous words. I heard them first-hand.
The Day John F Kennedy got shot. I had no real idea what the big deal was, I was a Canadian kid after all. But I do remember stopping at my friend Dave’s house and his Mom answered the door visibly upset saying the have shot the President. Really upset. I remember not knowing how to feel about it.
The day Martin Luther was shot. Me and some friends were standing in the driveway that led to the fields behind our house. I just remember Luke O’Neil, one of the older boys, saying all those white folks are going to have to hide in the sewers. We were kids and I had no clue what he was talking about.
One other memory I have from that period in my life was standing in the driveway with the same group of kids, in the late Sixties. We were all figuring out how old we would be in the year 2000. I was 10 years old and remember the feeling that it was so far in the future it would never come. That a pack of cigarettes would never reach a dollar. Hahaha, they cost 40 cents then.
I finished grade school when I was 15 because clearly I knew too much already! Truth is my standing in society was pretty low and school was no picnic because of it. The day I quit is easily one of the happiest days of my life. Went out the door got a job and worked seven days a week for fifteen years before I learned to relax a tad.
I spent my entire 16th year, 1973, in San Francisco and that likely effected me as much as any other period in my life. Watergate hearings. Watched them every day. One famous lawyer just fascinated me. He brought his grandchildren in to sit in the gallery while he was questioned people. Sam Ervin I believe. He kept saying I’m just an old farmer so your going to have to slow down a little. He was brilliant.
US pulled out of Vietnam. And I knew a number of American family’s that had been directly effected by that war. That was an interesting life lesson for a Canadian boy. Alright, in the middle of all the long haired hippie, peace and pot smoking, saw the Grateful Dead. Fell in love with Bob Dylan that year. Something about him fosters a kindred spirit feeling in me. I believe it had as much to do with the things he refused to do as it did with anything he did. He refused to return a call from the Nobel Prize committee because he is on tour. I just smiled when I heard that.
I returned to Canada at the end of 1973.
In August of 1975 I got married and over the next few years had my children and I started my career.
I was married for 33 years in total. The first one 13 years. Second five years third five years, forth 10 years and fifth and the most recent marriage in Cuba ended in less than a year.
For an old fella with a Grade 8 education I’ve accomplished a number things that i’m proud of. Beating a number of lawyers in the courts over the years, representing myself would be right up there on the list.
The following is a simple chronology from 1975 until today that kind of explains how my outlook on life developed over time.
1975 until November 1981
A number of construction jobs and a couple stints in factories
Nov 1981 Licensed Under the Ontario Real estate and Business Brokers license act to sell Real Estate in Ontario and I still hold that license today. Top sales first two years.
1983 Built my first three houses
1984 and 1985 built 20 more
In 1984 I built a house in King Township without a building permit and successfully represented myself through the courts against a lawyer that I would face a couple other times over the years. Most recently in my Own Town of Georgina four years ago and we skinned him alive.
1985 until 1989 Developed a number of not for profit housing projects funded by both the Provincial and Federal Government. In 1994 I founded and developed the only alcohol free cooperative residential housing project in Canada. Aside from the obvious benefits of that type of project my biggest motivator was that the Government told me legally I couldn’t do it. And two years later construction started, all government funded.
After my first divorce in 198I spent three years railing against a number of authorities for different reasons. I had money and way too much time on my hands. That stint of free time and way to much socializing culminated in three treatment centers in less than a year and a half for drug and alcohol abuse.
July 1991 After the last treatment center I moved down to downtown Toronto specifically to get away from the environment that lent itself way to much to bad behavior with all my buddies.
This was a turning point in my life. Somehow I knew that I had to go away and stick it out until I dealt with my demons. I had been a driven person since the day I left school and never really thought about why. Before the end of my first marriage I didn’t really drink much but a workaholic is just an alcoholic with a pager – so switching from one to the other was a natural transition.
I have a laundry list of debauchery for that time period but it would serve no purpose to go through it at this juncture. However a couple of examples might be useful. More than once I came out of drunken black-out in a foreign country a little hazy about how I got there. Once I realized what had happened I would go looking for a party since I was there anyway. No idea how I didn’t get killed, truthfully.
During the tail-end of that three year fast-train to the depths of hell there was a big whack of drug use. Cocaine mostly, crack cocaine, mescaline but I never liked weed. Never liked being that relaxed. And of course no tumble from grace would be complete without a good number of women of questionable character.
I consider that two years in Toronto among the best in my life. I attended 400 12 step meetings in 14 months. Personal psychotherapy for childhood sexual abuse issues among other things. I learned a great deal by doing volunteer work every chance I got. The getting was definitely in the giving. My children visited me in Toronto and supported my recovery efforts like it was the most natural thing in the world. Pretty amazing really.
I moved back home to be close to my children in 1994. I was a happy camper. I cannot emphasize enough that I came back from the City a different person. Settled and comfortable in my own skin, less driven and more purposeful. I Haven’t had a drink in 27 years. Unlike my father who drank his whole life. I clearly made the decision not to do the same because of it.
As far as travel is concerned I have been to most countries in Central and South America and the Antilles. Landed in Cuba 20 years ago and been going there five times a year ever since. Went to Thailand and Cambodia a few years ago with my two brothers. Wasn’t fussy on it.
For the last 15 years I’ve been a relatively happy person, raised a step-daughter and I can say categorically that getting my two kids and my stepdaughter raised without screwing them up is by far my greatest achievement.
My daughter is a regional director in the local courts. My oldest grandson has finished university and is currently picking up his final credits to peruse a chartered accountants career. My oldest granddaughter is currently in Spain as an exchange student learning Spanish, she 16 and fluent in French too. Her younger brother just entered high school at the top of the student honor roll.
My son, much like myself, struggled through school because of an inability to settle down and concentrate. He pushed through, graduated high school and took courses for industrially-regulated inspections. I have no idea how he did it but he is in high demand for his industry and I making easily as much or more per annum then I ever did. He has had my grandson named Blue and my granddaughter Madeline whom I write songs for them.
My step-daughter is finishing her last year of high school and has been accepted to five colleges. She is following a career in border security. I was fifty years old and she was six when her mother and I got together. When I raised my first two kids I was an old-school strict hard-ass. I can tell you that my stepdaughter straightened me out pretty quick. Old school doesn’t cut it in the 21st century. So we made a deal. Eighty’s and ninety’s in school and I spoil the hell out of her. It worked.
The two themes that have been consistent throughout my adult life are helping those in need and doing the right thing, no matter how much it hurts. Fairness, It’s all subjective but if the pursuit is an honest one its not that hard to figure out.
At the age of 59 I decided to get into music. I just wrote and recorded some music. Some I had written earlier and some was new. Over the winter three years ago I recorded about nine songs at a local music store owned by an old friend of mine.
In the spring of 2016 while I was in Cuba with some musician friends of mine I was introduced to a videographer named Barbaro. I had written my first Old guy song named “Painted Blue”. I’ve been doing videos for fun with him ever since.
1: Painted Blue. It was filmed in an old antique train station in Cuba. Even the air was Blue. It won a songwriters contest. It’s a song about the color of your soul. I believe your soul is the essence of your being. When the effects of your life’s experience at any stage, are washed away the stains that remain are the color of your soul. In my case its blue. Some are melancholy yellow some are pink and wrapped in ribbons. It’s As individual as fingerprints.
2: Methadone Doctors: F****king Scum Lowlife Doctors” I’ve had a number of friends and family members over the years that have needed help and they went to the local methadone clinic. The doctors that run these places carry 2000 to 2500 patients four times the normal average and bill the government between two and three million dollars per doctor. Meanwhile these people who reached the bottom and show up willing to do whatever it takes to get better, get no help. Its disgusting.
- Anger’s not Pretty: This one was pretty straight-forward. It is currently being used in Columbia… I was carrying some anger over the break-up of a marriage about two years ago and couldn’t shake it. It was rotting my guts and I couldn’t let it go. I was whining to a crotchety old musician friend of mine about it and he said ‘Timmy you’re a musician write a song’. True story and he was right. So I walked around the island in my Kitchen strumming my guitar and singing over and over the first phrase that came to mind. Angers not pretty. Anger is the face of a soul in distress. It hides behind your eyes waiting to be displayed for anyone stupid enough to question its justification and of course justification is the vehicle by which it travels capable of lightning speed if need be.
I learned two things during the writing of that song. Angers not pretty being one, and Anger like any disease is the property of the carrier.
Until you own your anger you can never let go of it. Justifiable anger is the epitome of the disease. In the twelve and twelve book of AA step 3. It says that justifiable anger is a luxury not afforded alcoholics. People that live in their head can rationalize and justify almost anything and a conscious decision not to go there is the only remedy that I’m aware of.
4: Jesus Buddha and Muhammad. This is a song I wrote and recorded out of love for my mother. It is founded in the fact that she has passed and what remains is her spiritual form. There is a relationship between the influence left by the loved ones who have passed, and our inability to be good stewards of the Earth. We think that because we are at the top of the food chain, its all there for us. The truth is it’s the other way around. Being at the top of the food chain should be viewed as a responsibility for the well-being of everything under you. One day real soon Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube and a few others are going to form a world board and develop a world constitution that resolves all problems. Starting with nobody eats until every child in the world is fed. Sorry hungry children are a pet peeve of mine.
5: Tim’s Thank You Bob Dylan: I’ve loved Bob Dylan my entire adult life and wanted to thank him. I
6: My Grandson Blue An old man’s tip of the hat to his son in celebration of his grandson. It carries the belief that my great grandfather Is alive and well in the spirit of my grandson.
7: She wore no wings. It is a song for my granddaughter Madeline. It’s founded in the belief that we are all born in a state of grace. We were all angels… this song is a sort of explanation of the relationship between where the angel goes. I believe our souls are the natural part of us that is with us our whole life and if you allow it to it will guide you it will. Guardian angel, soul, call it what you want. We are no different than any other species on the earth except we have the option of not listening to the part of us that is natural.
8: My Elaine Man oh Man I was so in love with this Cuban girl, you just have no Idea. My last wife. One lesson that is mentioned in this song is the fact that I was abused as a young boy and as an adult confused – but the love of my children pulled me through and prepared me to love. True story. For some reason in my young life the only thing that my demons would not touch was my children. That was sacred.
9: Be a little kinder. It’s pretty much what you would think from the title. Learn a lesson from our dogs. If you get three squares and a place to stay, show a little gratitude along the way. The sky is blue for those of you don’t know. ( stop and smell the coffee). In the hearts of the ones we love is where the good stuff Grows.. ( priorities in order. )
10: You Piss me Off. Wrote this for my fourth wife. Love is like a mirror and if you don’t like what you see. Go away and learn to love yourself. Then come on back to me. Disapproval in the face of someone you love is like seeing a bad reflection of yourself and the invalidation can go to the core of who you are.
- Dead Native Mouse Cheese: this is a work that is currently in process. For the longest time I have had a hard time understanding how my mother’s church, the Canadian Government would literally commit genocide against native Canadians.
The prime Minister met a little Native mouse and all he need was a little piece of Cheese.
The prime Minister had 50 Lbs so he stomped that mouse and said I’m keeping this all for the queen and me.
Dead Mouse cheese is a delicacy of Royals and Aristocrats
Crooked politicians of the Colonies and their Circle of big fat rats.
Its made from the blood sweat and tears
Of shackled slaves and their indentured Peers
Native Children and there Mothers Tears
And its served by Big fat Rats.
I’m almost done and am in the process of recording it. I only hope that I do the issue Justice.
12: Stick it where the sun don’t shine. Wrote this in 1973 when I was sixteen. No real explanation needed. Clear statement directed to the Government and any an all other powers that be.
- Never been to heaven: Nice Didi Little bit of Gods peace, soul searching and a child’s innocence preserved in the breaking of the dawn.
That about wraps it up so far. There’s a few others but enough is enough. This has all come to fruition in the last two years. Its been a whirlwind but amazing fun. My whole adult life I’ve loved building homes, negotiating deals and a hundred other things … but music is my passion. Cant wait to see where it takes me next.
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Angers not Pretty
Jesus Buddha and Mohammad
Tim’s Thank you Bob Dylan
My Grandson Blue
She Wore no Wings
Be a little Kinder
You Piss me off
Dead native mouse cheese is not completed yet.
The high cost of low living. Great sax work
Ain’t Misbehaven Old Fats Waller tune. My fathers favorite, only cover I have recorded
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