Biography and Autobiography

In Memoriam

Rex Eugene Peer, musician--my trombone teacher 

Horace Eldred "Danny" Dill, song-writer--my former father-in-law 

Edith Yvonne Bissell--my aunt

Mildred E. Bissell--my aunt

[Special note: until the above-mentioned two ladies passed away, I was only aware of one historical oddity about death dates and special days. Back about 1820, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4. Now, at least for my family, there is another such day. February 17, the day Yvonne and Mildred both passed away, is also the birthday of my youngest son Daniel and my very good friend Chris Sciabarra.]

Before Rex Peer was the guy who started me on trombone, Ollie Joiner. Here is his obituary:

Oliver Joiner, musician, school band director, school superintendant--my first trombone teacher and band director.

Characters I'll Never Forget

During my nearly 40 years as a professional musician in Nashville, Tennessee and Orange County, California, I have worked with a lot of funny characters. And by characters, I don't mean actors or cartoon figures. I mean real, flesh-and-blood musicians.

Some of them were leaders, others sidemen. Some of them were excellent musicians, others just got by. But they all had one thing in common. They were unforgettable. Every time I get together to reminisce with old friends in the music business, we always seem to tell the same old stories about the same crazy guys.

I have decided that for posterity--and just for fun--I would record as many of these stories and recollections as I could. My apologies in advance for any minor factual inaccuracies that might have crept in. Sometimes the story takes over from reality. Believe it or not, though, these people really did the wacky things I'm writing about.


Reflections on Life
under the Influence
of Ayn Rand

This is as close as I will come to writing an autobiography. It covers various facets of my life and my interests, noting in what ways they were molded, warped, inspired, provoked, and energized by Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. The original draft of this material was written in 1991, but it will be revised from time to time. REB

Part 2: Libertarianism and my Interest in Politics

Part 3: "Don't Let it Go!" -- Notes on my Professional Music Career

Part 4: Genealogy--Rational Past-time or Concrete-Bound Cop-out?

Part 5: Confessions of a Would-Be Mathematician

Part 6: The Journals of Roger Bissell? Not!