We all have a personal statement to make. We make that statement by the way we choose to live our lives. Our hopes, dreams and desires abide in our hearts and in our minds and wait for us to set them free. We study life and wonder if we will ever accomplish our dreams… if we will ever turn them into reality. Some of us give up hope on our dreams early and choose to live a less adventurous, more mundane life with a plan that holds fewer risks. And that’s fine. Not a problem. It’s our life. We have a right to choose how to live it. But we soon discover that whatever we choose to do in life is still going to be a challenge and takes courage. And over and over again life proves that whether you’re working for yourself, working for someone else or whether you’re following your dreams or not, it’s not going to be easy. If we do decide to take a chance and pursue our dreams, we may find that sometimes it’s easier to do so while we’re young. It can be an especially powerful challenge to pursue our dreams when we’re older. It could be said that it takes more courage to throw oneself into the open arms of the unknown as we age. And we might find it to our advantage. You might want to go ahead, take the chance and do it anyway. Young or old, it takes a lot of courage and commitment to boldly go where we have never gone before. Stepping into the world of dreams can be a beautiful experience and it can also be a nightmare.
I've never particularly considered myself to be a pleaser. It has always been more important for me to be respected rather than liked. And to some extent, that can be difficult in a world where you create and expect to sell those things you create. But in my relentless pursuit of honesty, particularly candid honesty, I have found myself, over and over again, pressing against the sensitivities of people bound and determined to remain attached to one belief system or another. Mine has been, what I have hoped to be, a continuous journey of discovery. Over the years, I have hoped to live with less obedience and more of an intuitive understanding of seeing myself as one with the world. My deepest feelings tell me that laws, rules and regulations are guidelines rather than commandments carved by the finger of God in stone. We are all here to look after one another. To serve one another and to be served by each other. Love everyone and tell the truth. Tell it as you understand it and please be flexible enough to evolve.
I’m not from a wealthy family. We weren’t dirt poor, but as I remember, it wasn’t easy to make ends meet. But we loved each other and we were always in each other’s corner. I have Cherokee, Sioux, and Choctaw blood as well as plenty of European and British: Black Irish, Scottish and English. We are a close knit family. I chose to make the personal statement predominantly representative of my life as an author and writer. I had previously considered cultivating the life of a rock star, the landlord of a famous British music pub known as The Duchess of York, martial artist, skydiver, professional soldier, professional bodybuilder and powerlifter and Hollywood actor and soon discovered this myriad of skills and collected expertise may not be cut from the same cloth. It was also after I considered that traveling the world as a therapist, land developer, real estate investor and public speaker might conflict with one another in some way and possibly may not give me the inner stimulation and genuine fulfillment I sought. It was only after I closely examined my eighty-four page résumé that I finally made the full commitment to write. I was fifty years old. I have some stories to tell.
I mentioned the desire to become a rock star. I think if that blood has ever flowed through your veins, it will always flow. It may be held back by a dam, but it is still there. I began studying guitar when I was 12 years old. My Dad, Ernest H. Dover, was my first influence and my first teacher. He was a brilliant composer, song-writer and live performer. He recorded many vinyl records in the studio. He is my first and most highly respected musical inspiration. Dad was a genius. The first song I ever learned on the guitar, Dad taught me. It was Wildwood Flower. I've had many teachers since then. Olan Teal was one of my first teachers. I was 16 years old then. Through Olan, I claim the honor of having Roger McGuinn of the Byrds within my musical lineage. Olan was an excellent teacher and is still a brilliant guitarist. I have had many amazing people over the years that I had the chance to jam with and was exposed to brilliant talents and influence. One of those was Smokin' Joe Kubek. Joe and I were close friends when I was 18 and Joe was 17 in Dallas, Texas. Now that's a long time ago. We got into trouble together and spent time with Freddie King, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Joe spent the most time with Freddie, actually playing with him in his band. I just bought Freddie gin, enjoyed most excellent conversation and listened to his amazing guitar. My heart broke when I found out about his untimely death in 1976. When I was discharged from the US Army, I moved to the United Kingdom and worked for Carlsbro Music in England heading up the Guitar, Bass and Special Effects Department. It was there that I formed a band called MetalBeast - raw, brazen and edgy. I classified that as New Age Debauch-Core. It was 1989 and 1990. I eventually attended the City of Leeds College of Music with guitar as my primary instrument while in my 30s when I owned The Duchess of York in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The Dean of the Department of Strings Graham Wade, said that I had music in my blood after my audition was over. I sang and played Stairway to Heaven and an original blues piece entitled, Lamb Without Mint Sauce. Graham Wade wrote several books on Andres Segovia and spent a lot of time playing with the maestro. I was honored to be accepted into this premier college of music in Leeds. It was during this time that I met the amazingly gifted guitarist and composer, Barrie Gledden. Barrie gave me the strongest foundation in music, inspired me and reminded me that I could pursue whatever I wanted. Barrie could play the entire Steve Vai and Joe Satriani repertoir. But it was Barrie's original stuff I loved the most. Although, I must admit, I loved his rendition of Eric Johnson's Cliffs of Dover. Eventually over the years and after returning to the United States and running wild in Key West, Florida, I returned to England and formed a band called Cowboy Vampire in 2001. I studied Joe Satriani's book Guitar Secrets, various Guitar Grimoires and the Troy Stetina series from Hal Leonard, particularly Metal Rhythm and Lead Guitar and especially loved Troy's Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar. Troy Stetina is a wonderful person and an amazing guitarist and musician. He has been a tremendous influence on my playing and practice. During the course of my foundation woodshedding on lead guitar, I severly damaged the tendons and ligaments in my left hand. I ignorantly jumped from 5 hours of practice a day to 10 hours of practice a day, obsessed with the Steve Vai 10 Hour Guitar Workout. My left hand was swollen closed. I would immerse it into hot water, loosen it up, and continue to practice. Nothing was going to stop me. Once again, Barrie Gledden came to the rescue and gave me some excellent advice. He told me to stop - to heal. Finally, I heeded Barrie's advice. And I enlisted the teaching guidance of avant garde guitarist, Jon Gomm. Jon helped me to convalesce - however - I had damaged my left hand to such an extent that I required cortisone injections, ultrasound, countless drugs and acupuncture - to this day it has never been the same. I still have to be careful with practice and play. One of my most memorable occasions came when I met with Michael Shipp and Billy Bob Thornton while they were touring England with Billy Bob's debut album, Private Radio. This is a kind of 'cross-over' story because while I am a writer I will always be a musician and guitarist. Seeing them on stage in Manchester, England REALLY fired me up. Mike Shipp was so nice and it was crazy that he and I had never met before until that night although we both had attended the same elementary school, Caldwell Elementary, in Benton, Arkansas. To me, it was just nuts to had traversed thousands of miles across the Atlantic and then, by chance, fate, destiny, serendipity, or whatever, we met there. Billy Bob had a look at the screenplay I had co-written with a friend named Tom Golden, who I had met through two close friends: Finis Shelnutt and Gennifer Flowers. Billy Bob signed it for me, we had our pic taken together and the line of over a hundred people were finally able to move forward and speak with him. That screenplay, 'Walker's Mill', is still waiting to be made into a movie. One day... that's what I understand: One Day. But... if you want to hear some jagged-edged guitar that will cut right through to your soul, you really need to listen to Michael Shipp. A bit more descriptive from Mike's website, "With a sound and a stage presence that’s a throwback to the exciting days of seventies arena rock, those who’ve had the good fortune to see his scorching live show inevitably compare SHIPP to ALVIN LEE of TEN YEARS AFTER, MARK KNOPFLER, KEITH RICHARDS, DICKEY BETTS, JOHNNY CASH — and, of course, BILLY GIBBONS" Rooster Boy does a lot more than crow. Back when I was really active in martial arts, my Sensei, Finis Shelnutt and my close friends Buddy Burrow, Kenny Hall and I used to kick each other hard in the guts - in the ribs - in the groin - and in the head. It was the right thing to do. Which is probably some of the reason why I do the things that I do today. Kenny Hall is a great drummer. He used to drum with Michael Shipp. It's kind of a crazy thing when you bring three drummers into the same room at the same time. Billy Bob Thornton, as well as Michael Shipp and Kenny Hall all intimately know the skins. Michael, Billy Bob and Kenny recorded together in Billy Bob Thornton's studio. They did a really freaking awesome tune, Razorback Boogie. Things change. Bands form, reform, rearrange and modify their sound, presentation, image and story. I love it. I love Michael Shipp. I love Kenny Hall. I'm proud to call them good friends. I'm really looking forward to the next time Billy Bob and I get together. Hey - I just want to play some guitar with him while he stands - or sits - and sings Angelina. I have been in a few bands, Osirus Mantra was the first name I ever came up with for a band. I formed Jupiter while living in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany while I was 23 years old. I recorded a solo album during that period entitled Robin Dover's Issue of Blood. In 2009 I formed Gimme More Beer Brothers with my now deceased and very close friend Richie Milucky. We recorded a lot together. Richie WAS the King of Beers. Therefore, most of what we wrote was about drinking beer. I also had a solo project going at the same time called, Sirius. Most of Sirius was instrumental guitar inspired by supernatural and extraterrestrial experiences. Eventually, in this website, there will be a page devoted to the music. I am currently working on a 72 minute piece called The 72 Levels of Heaven and Hell. I'm seriously considering the resurrection of MetalBeast. In addition to the people I have already mentioned, it is worth noting that I also consider these souls to be extremely important influences musically: George Harrison, Glen Buxton, Jimmy Page, Alvin Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Ralphs, Jan Cyrka, Joe Satriani, Darren Hurst, Jason Becker, Buckethead, Paul Gilbert, Eddie Van Halen, Aldo Nova, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton. This list of genuine influences is building. I really don't think I play like any of these amazing players, but I have been accused of singing like either Bob Dylan or Axyl Rose and I'm great with sound effects.
I penned my first short story when I was eight years old and began my first novel when I was fourteen. I have written over twelve novels; a screenplay; a fictionalized account based on a true story, presented in the form of a novel, regarding the Iran-Contra Affair and the tangled web that became the Clinton Administration; twelve short stories; a speech that was delivered at Oxford University; six magazine articles published in the pages of Oui Magazine regarding Sexual Politics; the foundation for a comic book series based on one of my characters; and wrote and recited a poem at Gennifer Flower’s wedding. Some of these one million five hundred thousand words are about to be released upon an unsuspecting, vulnerable world. Brace yourselves.
I have always been attracted by physical culture. I began bodybuilding when I was 12 years old. I ordered the old original Joe Weider's Mr. America Muscle Building. I also became attracted to strength events and power lifting. I also began studying martial arts when I was 12. It was a busy time in many ways because through all of that, I suffered with Bronchial Asthma. Tough. I studied with Finis Shelnutt, a truly gifted martial artist. My best buddies while I trained were Finis, of course, Buddy Burrow and Kenny Hall. I joined the American Taekwondo Association, earned my Brown Belt and was six months away from testing for my Black Belt. I have held active memberships with the ATA, World Tae Kwon Do Federation, International Tae Kwon Do Federation and the Action International Martial Arts Association. Eventually I was taken away from it all through genuine drug abuse. I became obsessed with injecting drugs. You name it, I was doing it. Eventually, I was captured, jailed in Carthage, Texas and watched my closest friend at the time, Wayne Lee Crossley, hang himself in the jail cell next to me. Wayne was on the FBI's Most Wanted List. He didn't die that day. His death didn't arrive until several years later after being released from prison. He was involved in a shootout with police in Hot Springs, Arkansas and killed several officers before being killed. I digress - I survived these things - along with many overdoses - and returned to physical exercise. I eventually qualified as a Certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and competed in the EAS Grand Spokesperson Championship in 1997. I won 2nd Runner-Up in my category - Physique Transformation at 39 years old but turned 40 during the competition. I won this amidst 54,000 other competitors. Experimental and Applied Sciences (EAS and Bill Phillips) fed me for the next year. I competed years previously in Wiesbaden, Germany in the Mr. Wiesbaden competition. I didn't place then, but I learned a lot. I have Managed a few gyms in the USA as well as in England. My best lifts in the three power lifts were: 405 pound Bench Press - 450 pound Squat - 450 pound Deadlift. I still lift and occasionally find myself with an injury. At 57 years old as I write this, I always try to include cardio in my workouts. I'm not running 70 miles a week, to include a 25 mile run every Saturday, like I did while I was in the Army, but I do like to include some interval training - walking, some running and swimming.
I am from a strong military background. I served in the U.S. Army for almost 9 years as a Combat Medic and Neuropsychiatric Specialist. I know insanity, confusion, stress and man’s search for happiness. I was a Sergeant when I was honorably discharged. Suffice it to say that I’ve been exposed to a lot of death. Recurring nightmares of the most horrific description have been commonplace in my life, even before being discharged from the military. I write these things down and, most of the time, allow my demons to manifest through the characters I create. I have some stories to tell.
Serving in the U.S. Air Force, my father was MIA during WWII for two years and survived in the jungles, slipping in and out of native villages on an island in the South Pacific during and after his escape from Japan’s Bataan Death March. When the war was over, he resurfaced. He also faithfully and intelligently served during the Korean War. We talked a little about his experiences before he died. It wasn’t something he particularly enjoyed discussing. He spoke of taking many meals surrounded by the dead. My brother also served in the Air Force and the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era. I have sat down with my brother and two sisters and we have talked about these things. The ripple effects have been with us all of our lives.
I am also from a religious background. My immediate family was Baptist and my extended family was a mix of Protestant and Catholic. We had Freemasons in my family. My father was open-minded. He had a tendency to avoid organized religion, leaning toward what I considered to be a more spiritual eclectic approach, although keeping the Bible in his hand and in his mind every day. My mother was easy-going, on the quiet side most of the time and went with the flow around her. In her later years, she has become more vocal. Because of our family’s non-prejudiced, tolerant and non-judgmental approach toward spirituality, religion and life in general and the encouragement to just be you, I explored world culture, world religion and alternative spiritual systems from my youth. I professed to be Jewish when I entered the military but eventually found myself baptizing my father and mother into the Mormon Church later in their lives. Even though we were all involved in the performance of secret sacred priesthood ceremonies in the temples of the church, we continued to explore and ask questions. I stopped working in the temples in 1990. Since then, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell…) I have found myself caught up to the third heaven and a number of separate realities on many occasions. I have some stories to tell.
I was twelve years old. I had just listened to The Beatles ‘White Album’ and watched ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ on the Rebsamen Ford’s Friday Night Horror Show featuring Mr. Crypt. I have a deeply compassionate side as well as a very dark side. It was Friday night around 2:30 in the morning. I stared out the window of the back door of our home into the creepy, heavily wooded property immediately behind our home in Benton, Arkansas. Panthers used to scream out in the middle of the night from those woods. I remember hearin them. They sounded like women screaming. I clenched my jaw and decided it was time to challenge the devil himself. I was furious over the pompous personality of the devil. I walked into the heart of those woods, down into a deep hollow surrounded by Native American Indian burial mounds. I commanded that Satan appear before me. I cursed, directed crude hand gestures into the ground and scoffed while I continued to stand there alone. I turned to walk out of the woods, cursed again, and defiantly called the devil a coward. Tree limbs and brush cracked and the wind began to howl. I whirled around, turned back into the wood and stared into the darkness. Unleashing pent up and rampant fury, I challenged the devil again, screaming and demanding that Satan appear before me – RIGHT NOW. Once again, I scoffed at his failure to manifest before me. I departed from those woods with a new intimate relationship with the darkness… forevermore. I have never been the same. I have some stories to tell.
I was also part of a Border Morris Dance Team in England known as Wharfedale Wayzgoose. I played the mysterious role of the Dejadude, maintaining the mark of the Aum across my right cheek. It was basically a team of drinkers who were also dancers. We danced all over the country, attending festivals exhibiting our violent and extremely agressive form of dance, frightening children and the elderly. The clashing of big sticks often ended in bloodshed. It was a genuine athletic event requiring tremendous stamina if you chose to dance as well as drink. . . which is exactly what I did.
I was born in England and lived there, off and on, for seventeen years. I also lived in Germany for three years and have traveled the world, visiting most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the majority of the countries in Europe. I particularly enjoyed Malta, Gozo, Greece, Spetses and Ibiza. I love the Mediterranean. I have spent time in the deserts of North Africa; been to the Middle East and the Far East, including Southeast Asia. My favorite places of all are tropical. I have a deep love for Key West. I currently live in the New Mexico desert and keep myself locked away in the shadows of unnatural circumstances so that I can write. I have been married and divorced four times. I have some stories to tell.
I have a wonderful son and two lovely daughters from my first marriage, eight fantastic grand-children and a beautiful daughter who will be four on the 1st of April. I live with my lovely fiancée, Cora. We are raising our daughter together along with Cora’s eight year old son who is exceptionally gifted with the ability to make you believe he can be in many places at the same time. I love my family and my friends. I am so happy. If you’re wondering why I write the things I do, I suppose it’s partially because I was always a very strange kid. Although deeply appreciating the beautiful things life has to offer, I was also attracted to grotesque images, scary stories and the thrill of being so frightened that you ended up in a fit of laughter. Most of the time, I considered fears to be irrational. And having said that, I was also attracted to the horrors of the unknown that science had genuinely not explained… such as demonic possession, stigmata, alien abductions, near death experiences, out of body experiences, precognition and many other of life’s anomalies. There are many things that go bump in the night that have yet to be thoroughly explained.
I was told my greatest asset in life was my imagination. I was told that I had tremendous persuasive abilities. I was also once told that I would never make anything of myself. That is yet to be seen. Time moves on and changes us all, although I’m much the same today. I’ve simply evolved into a stranger more creative man. I’ve worn many hats. I am not a conformist, regardless of my time served in the military. I’m not politically correct. I listen to Buckethead. I’ve made mistakes and I haven’t always done the right thing. I’ve failed a lot. I'm not afraid to fail. I’m not apologizing. This is a confession. I’m a bit of an outlaw. I also confess that I absolutely love to write… although my writing can be very disturbing, frightening and controversial. I am drawn into writing about death due to my life experience and because I am growing ever closer to the fascinating day of that great transition – that transition that each of us will make one day. But I will also make you laugh. I’ll cause you to reflect, to stop listening to what everyone tells you and to do your own research. I’ll stop you in your tracks, fill you with compassion and bring a tear to your eye. I’ll show you beauty. I’ll show you terror. I’ll show you romance. I’ll show you revenge. I’ll make you cringe. I’ll make you sad. And then probably really piss you off. I’ll take you deep into my heart and my mind and escort you on a journey through my twisted imagination. Sometimes you may feel very alone, but I promise I’ll be right there beside you all the way. I hope the journey we take together will in some way entertain, enhance, improve or awaken your life. Did I mention I have some stories to tell?