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August 19, 2003


Arigon has returned from Washington State with a treasure -- a custom-made Birdhouse from Gary Bennett's Uncle Bob.

"I have received a lot of cool things in my time -- everything from a bottle of Kickapoo Joy Juice to a leather and horsehair beaded hatband. Never in my life would I have imagined coming home with a birdhouse," laughed Arigon. That's a photo of the birdhouse in Arigon's studio in Los Angeles -- right there with the bottle of Kickapoo Joy Juice, a Hatch Show Print, howling coyote and the DivaStarz Doll from friend Heather Johnson. Speaking Heather Johnson, she and her children gave Arigon an awesome Snow Globe, which had a photo of Arigon with Reed & Julianne (Heather & Bruce's beautiful kids!) at a show in Oregon a few years back. (When WILL that Diva finish developing all her FILM? We want to see the pictures of Nick Peters with the fiberglass Cougar in Cougar, WA!)

Arigon, along with drummer Nicholas Peters just returned from a nearly week-long trek through some of the most beautiful country on the West Coast. The performed a benefit concert with Navajo supergroup BLACKFIRE and Portland's own SPIDER MOCCASIN that raised money for the Native American Youth Center. The show garnered quite a bit of press and was well attended. Arigon and Blackfire got on like a "house on fire!" and will probably perform together in the near future. "Jeneda Bennally (the bass player with Blackfire) told me she had seen our band years ago at the Native American Music Festival held at Diné College in T'saile, Arizona. She thought we were great -- and well, I have to say the same for Blackfire. They ROCK!" said Arigon. Blackfire has a new two song EP that features some unreleased Woody Guthrie lyrics they wrote music to. Country artist Jim Lauderdale helped them put the project together. Spider Moccasin did a wonderful job making all the arrangements, all the while working at KBOO-FM as their Outreach Coordinator and writing new material.

The Meadow & Rental CarPart of the fun of their trip was spending time with friends. Arigon and Nick were hosted by Cathy Kehoe, her sister Susie and Gary Bennett's sister Mary Sue Gulzow. "We had an enjoyable couple of days and nights up in Cougar, Washington which is where Gary spent a lot of growing up time," said Arigon. [That's Arigon & Nick's "rental pony" parked in the meadow near Cougar.] For those in the know, Gary used to sing with BR549 and wrote a lot of the group's material before he moved to Nashville and worked at everything from logging to running a local pharmacy. "Cathy (Gary's mom) told me he wrote one of my favorite BR tracks "Pain, Pain Go Away," right here in the Meadow," smiled Arigon. Nick and Arigon enjoyed the charms of the Meadow, but were disappointed not to get a visit from area celebrity, BIGFOOT. "Well, maybe not TOO disappointed," she laughed. Read a report about a Bigfoot sighting near Cougar....YIKES! AAAY!

Arigon also caught up with Chippewa pal Leslie Jollie and her friend from Salem, Heather Johnson. Leslie has a young daughter named Heather that she brought with her to the Blackfire/Spider Moccasin show. Heather brought her two kids with her, Reed and Julianne all the way from Salem for the Portland Borders show.

Nick and Arigon also drove out to Warm Springs, Oregon to perform at the Museum. They also cooled their heels at the Ka-Nee-Tah Resort and did a live, on-air interview with Wayne Gilbert at KWSO-FM. They were joined by talented flutist James Greeley (who performed "Share The Road" at BOTH Portland shows) and brothers Duncan and Sean Brunoe. Arigon and Nick performed one other show at the downtown Portland Borders Books & Music. They had a rousing time and plan to get back to the Portland area as soon as possible.

Another great thing about the trip was visiting the home offices of Portland's CD Baby, an internet service that helps indie musicians sell their CDs online. As you know -- all of Arigon's CDs are on sale through August for only $9.99 each on CD Baby. Operations Manager John Steup is a big Arigon Starr fan -- and also a Blackfire fan, too. He was at the Portland show, along with fellow CD Baby employees TyKona and musician Freddy Trujillo (he has an excellent CD out called "Hawks & Highways" -- available at CDBaby or through his website CD Baby is a GREAT service to explore if you need webhosting (we're on their Hostbaby Service) or to get those CDs available to fans worldwide.

"To a lot of folks, performing for an audience seems like the ultimate in ego strokes," said Arigon. "Believe me, those few minutes on the stage don't often justify the hours it takes to get there sometimes. Yet, every once in awhile, people remind you why you're doing it," she said. To let you know how meaningful these gigs are to Arigon, Nick and the folks who enjoy the show - here's a note from Duane West, an Arigon Starr fan from Woodland, Washington:

Hello Arigon,

I've been thinking for the last 24 hours how to put into words that wouldn't sound corny just how much I enjoyed the superb performances at Mississippi Ballroom. First of all, I wanted to visit more but I was into the music and Blackfire was my first live experience with that music style. I kicked myself because I looked and you were standing close by and we could have moshed with Eugene [he's a DJ on KBOO-FM] to Blackfire for a bit.

Loved you and Nick's show.

I have been looking for a way to show my little friend Jeff Zumstein to be proud of being an Indian. Thanks for inviting everyone to move up closer to the front. He asked me to go down front with him and loved the evening. A spark was ignited. I'm at a loss for words. Thanks to you and all the great people who made the evening a sucess. May God bless a shining starr named Arigon.

Duane West

p.s. As we left Jeff's house to go to see you last Tuesday, I thought to myself this will be a special evening. We were both stressed from the drama leading up to our late departure. Those feelings vanished long before we got to Portland. I still get emotional rembering the evening. Hey, I wasn't the only one in the room with long hair for a change either. I'll keep you posted on Jeff. You have met his mom, Nanci. She works at Jollie's with Leslie. He is loved and adored by family, teachers, and anyone who knows him.


Arigon's pals Eric Martin and John Gregg have added a cool link, plus clips from an interview she did on their wonderful site, the American Indian Radio on Satellite. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the network provides hundreds of hours of programming to a nationwide network of American Indian radio stations. Go check out their site and see if there is an AIROS affiliate in your area. If you're going to Schmetizun this year (that big ol' Pow-Wow in Connecticut from August 21-24), be sure to say HEY to John Gregg, Peggy Berryhill and Mary Sando-Emhoolah for us. They are covering the event LIVE for AIROS this year.


Arigon recently got a phone call from Ellen Deitch at Palm Press Inc., a company that makes interesting greeting cards. "Some of our cards have photos of trailers on them. I came across your site while searching for sites with Trailers and enjoyed reading T, The Trailer Magazine. I sent out a postcard to the address listed in the masthead. Yep, I sent it all the way to Trailer Station, Tennesee and was suprised when it was kicked back to me with a "No Such Address" stamp on it. I then scrolled down your page, found the Wacky Productions contact info -- and I just called you to tell you that YOU GOT ME. That page looked so real I thought it must be an actual magazine." Palm Press Inc. does have some really cool cards with Trailer images on them -- but unfortunately, T, The Trailer Magazine is just something we made up here at Starrwatcher Online. Tee, hee!

As most of you remember, the magazine is on the pages we have devoted to BR549 and features Gary Bennett and his "compound" in Cougar, Washington.

August 1, 2003


Here's another magazine for you fans on the East Coast to track down and add to your scrapbook. "The Aquarian," which is a free weekly distributed in the New Jersey tri-state area is running a review of BACKFLIP in their August 9th issue. How did it come to be? Well, when Arigon visited Nashville back in June, she hooked up with journalist Al Muzer and his gal pal Camille Thomas at the Grand Ole Opry. [That's Arigon with Nick Peters and Gary Bennett from last year's show in Portland, Oregon.]

Camille and Al are longtime BR549 fans and Camille recognized Arigon from her frequent posts on the BR549 website. Arigon and her sister Gay (with their pal Mackenzi Johnson in tow) ran into Camille and Al at Gary Bennett's house. "Their truck had broken down on the freeway and Gary picked them up, got their auto to a local garage and was entertaining them over at his place," smiled Arigon. Bennett -- as many of you know -- is one of those people who'll drop everything to help out folks in need. "Gary played them 'Salmon Song,' and a press contact was made," laughed Arigon. Al and Camille are also old school punk rock fans and really enjoyed yakking with Arigon about the good old days of The Ramones, Blondie and other punk pioneers in New York City. Here is an advance copy of Al's review:

Former Manchester/Lakehurst resident and full-blooded Native American Arigon Starr prefers an intriguing mixture of Poly Styrene, Yoko Ono, the Slits, Cramps, Patti Smith and Dead Kennedys influences over the traditional chants and gentle, water-like musical flow of her Kickapoo ancestors.

Highlighted by the blistering "Salmon Song" and a shining, Skynrd-like call to arms called "NDN Man" -- musicians performing with the multi-range, multi-instrumentalist on this ultimately rewarding effort include BR549's Gary Bennett, Don Herron and Chuck Mead, as well as drummer Nicholas Peters, guitarist Jeff Ruiz, keyboardist Ben Moore and bassist Tyler Grant.. (
~ Al Muzer

Manchester? Lakehurst? For those of you who know your Diva-Lore, Arigon and her family spent two years in New Jersey when her dad, Ken Wahpecome was stationed at Lakehurst Naval Air Base. "That was back in the day of the Pine Acres Trailer Park," said Arigon. "Camille and Al said that the Trailer Park is still there! I could tell you some stories about that place. I learned how to ride a bike there and had my first bike accident there, too! I was a pretty uncoordinated kid, but sure had a lot of fun trying to keep up," she laughed. As for those "influences," Arigon said, "I never in my life thought I would see my name and Poly Styrene's in the same paragraph. I'm impressed!"

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