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June 25, 2003


That Diva has been logging lots of miles on the road. As y'all know, Arigon made two recent road trips -- one to Nashville, TN and one to Tulsa, Oklahoma. "I have never seen my name up on a marquee before," smiled Arigon. She snapped this photo in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she appeared with super talented singer-songwriter Darren Geffre. Guess they had a run on the letter R -- or did they mean to say Arigon was a "Whiner?" AAAAAAY!

My little glovey doveyThe trip to Nashville was filled with lots of fun, including visits with pal, singer-songwriter Gary Bennett and trips to the Opry Plaza to enjoy performances by The Derailers and BR549.

Did you know that there is a guy named Gary Bennett on the San Diego Padres baseball team? "It's always weird to hear people cheering for Gary at the baseball game," says Arigon's sister Gay Wahpecome. Arigon had fun acting up on the BR549 website, posting news stories from San Diego about Gary's new sports career. "We wanted to make sure everyone knew about Gary's new career," joked Arigon. That's why they brought Padres' caps for Gary (clutching the world's smallest trophy) to be seen in. Arigon was joined by friends Mackenzi, Jenny Sue and her mom Janis and Gay over at Bennett's house for a preview of several of his new tracks that will be included on a solo project.

Arigon with Gary's GloveNow, about that glove -- Gary has since loaned Arigon that baseball glove -- and so far, the glove has visited the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Tulsa, Amarillo and Albuquerque. We'll get all those photos up here eventually. "My dream is to have the glove photographed with the other Gary Bennett who is REALLY on the San Diego Padres," yukked Arigon.

The DerailersArigon also reconnected with Tyler Grant, the bass player who worked with her and Nick on BACKFLIP; Shirley Hernandez, her Chippewa friend from Los Angeles who was in town for Fan Fair; author Sandra Schulman who is also a board member of the Native American Music Awards; all her pals at the Bluegrass Inn; BR549 fans Jerald, Rob W and BR's websmistress extraordinaire SuSu Green; members of the BR family, including Tracy Herron, Chuck's wife Brenda and Cowboy Keith, his wife Heidi plus their new son Chick HeadCash; and of course, the guys from BR549 and the Derailers (pictured at right). Chuck Mead was even nice enough to join a group of fans at the Melrose Bowling Alley for a couple frames -- although he decided he didn't want to compete! Because he didn't join them, I'm sure that's why he was treated to a hair-pulling by Susu and Jenny Sue. No, they didn't really pull Chuck's hair...but the intent was there.

Speaking of hair, Arigon said, "We couldn't believe how long Shaw Wilson's hair was." Apparently, Shaw and singer/guitarist Chris Scruggs are in a competition to see who's hair can grow the fastest! We're betting on Shaw!Shaw and his Do They also got to see Gary's friend Court perform with his group down at Wolfy's Den, which is one of the many honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. They did several original songs, plus a cool cover version of the Beatles' song "Girl." They were joined by Gary's friends Marty and Camille & Al, who were in town enjoy the silliness that is Fan Fair. Arigon and Gay made lots of new friends and probably had just a little too much fun down on Lower Broadway.

After returning to San Diego, Arigon and her mom and Dad (Ruth and Ken Wahpecome) loaded up the van with instruments and gear and began the trek to Tulsa, Oklahoma. While they were on the way out, Arigon stopped in at Albuquerque's Studio 49, which is home to the national call-in show NATIVE AMERICA CALLING. Host Harlan McKosato had decided they needed to do another "spoof" show, which featured Arigon playing a Native psychic named "Vicki Starwoman." "I read people's fortunes with my sacred Bingo cards," laughed Arigon. John Potter, a columnist for The Billings Gazette joined her on the show via phone. Potter's character was a half Indian and east Indian seer named "Dr. Sirius Looking Bear," who was more than willing to gaze into his Crystal Balls and give you the "naked truth." Take a look at his column about the show on the Billings' Gazette website. It will give you an idea of the hijinks those Indian folks got up to on Native America Calling. Check back on NAC's website for an archived version of the show. It was a hoot!

Janene, Aunt Susie and JohnContinuing to Tulsa, Arigon and family were joined by Nick Peters. They were in town to perform a concert at the Chilocco Indian School Reunion, as Arigon's aunt Susie Alford (pictured with her daughter Janene and friend John) was being inducted into the Chilocco Alumni Hall of Fame. The show took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Tulsa and many of Arigon's family (including her sister Gay and cousin Gene Alford, Jr., Aunt Olelah Morris and David Morris) were in attendance to see Mrs. Alford receive her honor. Additionally, Arigon's relative James McGirt, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Chad Smith with Arigon, Nick and Bobbie GailNewly re-elected Cherokee Principle Chief Chad Smith and his wife Bobbie Gail were on hand to honor many of the inductees. Chad was bummed out he missed the Diva's performance, but had fun catching up and sharing election stories. Other cool people who came out to see the Diva were Kickapoo pal Jennell Downs (who left an election night rally to come see the show), Kiowa friend Cinda Hughes (who is also Miss Wheelchair Oklahoma), noted Creek artist Johnnie Diacon and fellow inductee Keith Franklin, an activist based in Albuquerque, NM.

Meet The AlfordsThe celebration for "Aunt Susie" (that's Aunt Susie surrounded by her children Janene, Diane, Yvonne and Genie) continued way into the wee hours. Stories were told about the old school days and about Chilocco "Nighthawks" -- students who dared to break the rules and have a little fun! Arigon and her family had a marvelous time swapping stories and ended their time in Tulsa with tearful hugs.

Nick, Tia and ArigonBefore ending the Tulsa coverage, special note must be made of Tia Chapman, who is the nice young lady (and Arigon's cousin) who runs the Yahoo Groups Arigon Starr Fan Club. Nick and Arigon had fun chatting and joking with Tia, making sure she know just how much they appreciated her hard work. Thanks, Tia! You ROCK! If you haven't already joined up -- do so. There is more exclusive Arigon stuff to be seen there, plus a message board and chat room.

The crew moved on to Albuquerque for a show at the Golden West Saloon, which is right next door to the El Rey (hence the marquee!). John Longbow and Trina Martinez's company NTM Productions put on the show. Arigon also did an interview for "Native Scene," which is a local public access show produced by Shawna Sunrise. They were also joined by Evy Todd, who is a friend and publicist for the local PBS TV station. Some of the many highlights of the show were Arigon and Nick joining Darren Geffre (his debut CD is coming out real soon!) and his band for a few numbers -- and the after-show karaoke. Nick performed the Elvis Presley hit, "In The Ghetto" and brought down the house! It was a refreshing trip for all concerned, and you know they'll all have loads of memories to cherish for a long time to come. Thank you everyone who made the trip possible and so worthwhile, especially the Arigon Starr fans who travelled far and wide to catch her and Nick live.

June 2, 2003


Lots of fun things have happened since we last updated the website. First off -- here's a photo of Nicholas Peters with his "Nicky" Award, which was mentioned in our last update. He looks very "Joan Crawford," don't you think? Speaking of Joan Crawford, did you know that one of Nick's favorite films (other than all of the Beatles films) is the trash classic "Mommie Dearest?" Arigon loves that movie, too -- especially the part right at the beginning when they do the "reveal" of Faye Dunaway portraying Joan in her dressing room. If you haven't seen it -- rent it at your video store for some very cheap laughs.

Chuckie Played GuitarSPEAKING OF CHEAP LAUGHS...

Arigon has written a new song which is an "Answer" song to "18 Wheels And A Crowbar," which is a BR549 song. BR's track details the actions of a crazed Truck Driver with a very bad case of road rage. For those of you know Chuck Mead and Shaw Wilson (the writers of the track), you know they are both very twisted guys, and we mean that in a good way. [Chuck can quote dialogue from "A Hard Day's Night" AND the bizaare David Lynch film "Blue Velvet." Shaw is a very talkative fellow who can bend your ear on most subjects for hours at a time.] Arigon has been doing a lot of songwriting research on classic country song formats and came across the concept of the "Answer" tune. "Back in the day, Hank Thompson recorded a song called "The Wild Side of Life," which talked about wild, wanton women who frequent cowboy bars and the trouble they cause for the male patrons," said Arigon. "Well, Kitty Wells came back at that with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," which reminded the male audience that there were plenty of wives waiting for their men to come home from those Honky Tonks. I have always enjoyed listening to '18 Wheels' and decided that I needed to ANSWER that song with the consequences on that poor ol' Trucker's family!" We're not sure if this track will surface on a future Arigon Starr CD, but we're presenting it here for your inspection. The song was recorded in San Diego at Arigon's last Borders Books & Music Show and received an enthusiastic response. We love being able to present exclusives to our readers -- so check out this page to listen to "A Trucker's Widow."


Recently, Arigon took some time out to check out the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which took place on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles. The Westwood campus looked just gorgeous that day and was also set to feature a number of Native performers. The legendary poet/activist John Trudell played a set there, in addition to a cool Native dance troupe and members of Southern California AIM. Trudell really puts on a great show and the folks who handled the sound did a great job of balancing the excellent musicianship of John's band with his potent spoken word performance. Did you know that John Trudell was in "Smoke Signals?" He played the wacky DJ broadcasting from a Trailer on the Rez. He was also in our favorite Indian movies, "Pow-Wow Highway" and "Thunderheart."

Sherman Book CoverAlso on deck was wacky author Sherman Alexie, who was part of a panel of minority writers talking about the state of current fiction.

Sherman was his usual oddball self, cracking wise and making lots of good points throughout the lecture. He had fun teasing Arigon about her posse (which was CEO Janet Miner in an "Arigon Starr" t-shirt) and posing for photos. We've just picked up a copy of his latest book "Ten Little Indians," (you can buy the book at by clicking on the book jacket) which is just out from Grove Press Books.

There was quite a line of fans at his booksigning (which was sponsored by local LA Bookstore Book Soup) and in line for the Sherman's Ten Little Indianslecture. Sherman, we didn't see a lot of "skins" in line for the lecture -- probably because everyone was out at the Pow-Wow. Hmm...traditional dancing or a book-signing?

Guess where you'll find the geeks! And we mean that in a GOOD way!

Taloo, Wambli & ArigonArigon also saw her pals Andrew & Aimee Vasquez and the wonderful Taloo Carillo (with son Wambli), plus a bunch of other old pals. If you get a chance to come check out this book fair, be sure to bring your walking shoes and a canteen. Not only is the UCLA Campus enormous -- it's practically filled with booksellers, authors (Kiss' Gene Simmons was in the house!), and all shapes, sizes and ages of Angelenos.


All of you Arigon fans know that she just loves Gram Parsons, the ill-fated music pioneer who died from a drug & alcohol overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn in 1973. Well, it's not how he died -- but rather how he lived that Arigon loves, just for the record. She recently stayed out at the Joshua Tree Inn which is now owned by two MEGA Gram Parsons fans (yay for Margo and Yvo!).

Joshua Tree Inn"I drove out just for fun and decided to stay at the Inn. When I got there -- they only had two rooms available, one of which was the infamous ROOM NO. 8," smiled Arigon. "Everyone knows that room is haunted. It's in a bunch of books, articles and online!!!" she squealed.

Well, just to prove she was brave enough, she took that room and stayed overnight.

"Yep, I had WEIRD dreams and defnitely saw some shadows. Overall, though, Gram's ghost is a plesant fellow and as long as those kind of things don't rattle you -- you'll have a fun time checking it out." [Sounds like she needs to call "Coast-To-Coast AM" when they do Ghost Story night!!!] She took a photo of the log that's in the room for guests to chronicle their "experiences" in the room and the key to the room.

See anything ghostly in that photo? Hmm.....that's for YOU to decide!

May 12, 2003


As many of you know, Nick Peters is the reigning Mr. Gay San Diego and is well-known for all of his work with Bienestar, a Latino Gay & Lesbian organization. At the recent "Nicky" Awards, which honor outstanding achievements in the Gay and Lesbian community in San Diego, Nicholas received a "Nicky" for "Outstanding Community Volunteer." The awards were voted on by the public -- and Nick was a crowd favorite, just like he is at Arigon's shows. For those fashionistas who need to know WHO he "wore" to the event at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego -- he rented an authentic "Zoot Suit" and caused quite a stir!

You might have also seen Nick around town at various fundraisers for Bienestar, performing as "Lupillo Rivera." Nick put together a lip-sync act after being told by many people in the community how much they look like each other.

Lupillo!!!For those of you lucky enough to have been at the recent Borders Books & Music show in El Cajon, CA, you would have heard Nick actually SING a Lupillo song, "Tu Recuredo Y Yo," which is a lover's lament, fueled by Tequila! Nick brought down the house with his Latin vocal stylings. Who knows? Nick might turn up on "Sabado Gigante" before you know it! Here's a photo of the "real" Lupillo Rivera, who is apparently from Long Beach, CA.


Arigon will be hitting the trail again in June, with shows in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She'll be appearing as part of the Chilocco Indian School Reunion on Friday, June 13 in Tulsa. This should be a great show -- and it's only $5.00 to get in! Come on down and listen to some new Diva tunes. She will also be onstage at the Golden West Club in Albuquerque with fellow singer-songwriter Darren Geffre on Monday, June 16th. We hear she'll also be dropping by some radio stations while she's trekking the I-40 -- so watch for her in Navajo Country and who knows where!


Yes, those rumors are TRUE! All of Arigon Starr's CDs are NOW available through Borders Books & Music. Don't see that copy of WIND-UP or MEET THE DIVA at your local Borders store? They will *Special Order* it for you. If you have friends who are clamoring for BACKFLIP -- send them down to their local Borders Store. Your location might not have a copy on hand, but they'll be happy to order a copy for you. It's easy, just head straight to the Information Desk and let them know you want your Arigon Starr CD.


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