Brian ONeal: Dreams In Color | Indiegogo

I had the pleasure and honor of sitting in for the first version of this song. But this project is about an entire album of great, great music by my friend Brian O’Neal. I’m sure, many of you know him through his excellent music, as the man on the keys for KEM as well as the founder and mastermind behind the DO Foundation. Please show the love, as the saying goes, for Brian’s latest (music) project by sharing this and ideally making a contribution. The cost of producing a CD encompasses – amongst other things – renting a studio plus engineer, hiring and paying studio musicians (even when you’re a multiinstrumentalist as Brian is), possibly renting equipment, paying graphic design artists for the cover art, hiring a photographer and having a photo session, hiring a videographer and shooting several music videos, renting a location for the CD release party and fronting the expense for that including all marketing – next to other line items – that goes into that. I could go on and on and on and it might easily take an entire page of listing items the artist has to cover up front prior to making any money or just getting to expect a reasonable return on investment. This is why so-called ‘crowdfunding’ platforms like have become so popular: You’ll get what you pay for and all involved parties win! And I am convinced beyond a doubt that Brian’s upcoming CD is going to be first class quality (sssshh…. I am not supposed to say, but I think I’m safe to say I know so… :))

Show the love and spread the word! 😉 Thank you!


Advocating the Fallen – Why the DO Foundation’s Work Matters

I’ve been there. On the other side, where the mainstream of people live: In a career that conveniently pays the bills and if you’re lucky, has some personal reward in it for you, too. You take care of your responsibilities, drive a car or two, pay back a mortgage, pay insurance, pay taxes, feed your family and go with the flow. Every now and then there’s a little extra that keeps you from wondering too hard, whether any of this makes an awful lot of sense. But you keep at it, because your parents did, your peers do and ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. Right? And since you’re following the rules, you feel safe and sound and don’t pay too much attention to the eventual worry that might pop in on occasion. I’ve been there and done it, too, for more than 20 years, thinking I’d be alright.

Then, out of the blue, something out of the ordinary happens. For example, a short hospitalization that takes you away from home for a few days. You might get a neighbour to water the plants or check in here and there, but if you live alone, like most elderly do, your place is pretty much deserted for a short while. Now picture yourself coming back to your place, the cab pulls away from the curb, your suitcase or bag is placed next to you. And here you are, in front of the building, where you live, pulling out the key, looking forward to home, sweet home, you open up and – the place is empty! In your mind, you might immediately go “burglary!” and think of the next steps to take, only to eventually find out that you’ve been placed in the streets despite having paid your rent on time! You might go “crazy!”, but that’s exactly what happened to this elderly woman, who now lives in a nearby park (meanwhile she’s placed in a new home thanks to Paul Hughes and the DO Foundation’s efforts).

I myself got within an inch of this very situation in the winter of 2010. Ever since, former friends and companions have gradually receded from me or flat out told me to leave them alone (in all fairness: Some stay in touch with me, but I often can’t respond to invitiations). I always had a job since High School, played by the rules, stayed out of trouble during a period of playing music professionally, where trouble came knocking left and right. You could say I’ve held my nose above water in all these years, despite having carried a number of burdens I occasionally allude to here on this blog or on Facebook. At some point, the burden plus the pressures exceeded my strength and had me burn out from fighting 24/7, 365. Even former close friends and family never fully understood, what I was and am still going through. And now I’m a ghost, whose only way of socializing is through the social media. I don’t have allies or lobbies to vouch for me. And employing the instruments available through the legal system, I have to find that the system fights me whereever possible. If you haven’t been there, you can’t imagine the extent of despair, loneliness and plain brutal fear staring you in the face the minute you open your eyes until the minute you try to close them at night. That is, if you found a place at last semi-safe to fall asleep in.

That is why the work of a humanitarian like Brian’s and his entire team of volunteers matters so much! They give those a voice, shelter and hope, whom society at large doesn’t care about and in some cases probably doesn’t want to speak out. Humans helping humans is the last resort for many, who have run out of options, which in many, probably most cases aren’t the results of their own choices, but choices imposed on them by others. Where former friends or even family might close their doors in front of them, they got one last door to knock on: The DO Foundation headquarters in Detroit. This is why their work matters so much. If you want them to continue their work, here’s how you can support them.