Belly of the Beast
We were young and far away from home, stuck in the Belly of the Beast. For those of us in bush it was a constant battle of survival. We invented comforts when we could, and our one speaker cassette recorders traveled with us to make life a little more tolerable, the single earpiece affording little, if any sound quality, but bringing the world to us nevertheless through our music. Not the digital stuff of today. Not the polished offerings our kids crank up, but the guttural 'Garage Band Rock' that was ours and ours alone. Credence Clearwater Revival Band, The Temptations, Hendrix and The Doors. Belly of the Beast is the instrumental equal of that time and style. It will take you back, just close your eyes and listen! The choppers will be your memory's gateway to the Belly of the Beast. Hey, it don't mean Nothin'. BELLY of the BEAST was always a work in progress with the music constantly evolving and changing as time dragged on behind the walls. And as the years passed, more and more veterans showed up telling their stories, playing their music on 'The Big Yard', and remembering Vietnam in their own way. Many of those veterans, while doing time for crime, were victims themselves of a war that will not go away. The finest jungle fighting force of it's time as reduced to so many aging warriors, and some of them brought the war home forever. Danny Fritz Caldwell decided that we needed a music of our own. Music that was updated in a digitalized format, recognizable in it's form and instrumental content, music worthy of cruisin', as raw as any high-tech garage band could ever be. The results are clear, crisp, layered and textured memories that become more vivid as the music slams, and then glides you through those times again. From the first track BELLY of the BEAST to L.Z. Howl and Saigon Retro '68, you know by their distinctive sound and feel that you're still there in a way, still locked in a loop like so many of the vets walking the prison's recreation yard. And as you listen to Nightfall's Little Room it becomes apparent that it could have been you that didn't make it back. Maybe you still haven't. Fritz and a couple of trusted Veteran Brothers have compiled this musical journal that asks some familiar questions through listening, and through the listening just might answer one or two. Maybe you're even at peace with yourself about the past. Good. Welcome home brothers. Enjoy. Jeffrey Cree is an artist of the first magnitude. He was also a Mud Marine from '74 to '77. His wonderful cover art and his other works offered in poster form speak volumes of his talent, spirit and espirit de corps. Fritz was a crew chief and loadmaster/door gunner in H-34's and Hueys with the Marines' 1st Division, 227th AHC, Danang from '68 to '69 and the Central Highlands of Vietnam from '70 to '71. The Executive Producer and Graphics Layout/Designer, Mark 'Doc' Lombardi was a Medic who lived with the Montangards in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and served with the 4th Infantry Division's various Civil Affairs Program teams in conjunction with the 5th Special Forces Group from '68 to '70. All are Incarcerated Veterans in Oregon's Prison system. All are active members of the OSP Veterans Association & Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 754 (Incarcerated). Again, welcome home brother. We hope you enjoy this offering of long held respect and reflection.