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Marco Cholo Music !!! Mark Fielding Darden

markdarden53@gmail.com; 919-624-7905

PO Box 2552 Oxford NC 27565

"Cholo"... someone from the country of Panama who is an everyday good guy. He likes to smile, likes to work, has walked most of his life, has a machete wrapped in paper on the bus, knows how to clean fish and chicken in his sleep, takes care of his mother, has never won the lottery, and is usually missing a few teeth here and there.

"Marco Cholo"... someone from the country of Panama who is sharing all of his original songs with you from the past four plus decades... for free... who is an everyday good guy... or trying to be!

( But before you read all that hype below, why not go to the Songs/Stories menu button above, then click on an album, then on a song, then on the lyrics of that song as it's playing? You can come back and read about the "Cholo" below later.... )

I was born on the banks of the Panama Canal of American parents and grew up catching crocs and iguanas with my hands. Then I moved up to sharks, but I used hooks and hand lines. Good thinking, eh? I remember seeing black panthers on the edges of our neighborhood from time to time, and finding very deadly snakes in the bushes next to our home in La Boca. It was called "La Boca" because it was at "the mouth" of the canal. I got a machete for Christmas when I was 7 years old, and it was sharp too.

I was always scared of sharks, so I was not much of a surfer, though I hung out with lots of them, taking our jeeps into wild jungles in search of new beaches and "mud" adventures. I was more into fishing and skin diving (where I could see the beasts instead of baiting them with my legs dangling in the water). The first shark I ever caught was a 13 foot tiger shark. I still have the jaws on my wall. We also fished on Gatun Lake, which is the huge fresh water lake feeding the canal, with dense jungle to the edge. There were crocs to look out for there, big and little, even more now than then! Hunting in the jungles with my father was always fun too, if you could keep the snakes, black palm needles, pica-pica vines, and dragon-fly-sized skeeters from shredding you. Nevertheless.... we loved it.

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I started playing drums at an early age and began making money playing for local plays at the college and art centers around the Canal Zone. Then I played with a group of GI's called the Exciters for about three years, touring the NCO clubs at all the military bases. I was 15 then and it was just about 1969. I was playing a set of sky blue pearl Ludwigs I had bought with money from my two paper routes. I made a bunch of money doing that GI gig and bought stock in Boise Cascade and Briggs & Stratton. Sure wish I still had that old set...wonder who does? I'd rather have that than the stock I finally sold in 1976 to buy a PA system, car and trailer to move to Colorado to play music with my best friend Milton... unlike the economy, I'd still have the drums....

When I was 16, I picked up my sister's nylon string guitar and that was it for me. Later, I bought a 12 string Martin for $275 dollars from my guitar mentor (Lou Bateman) who bought it from a soldier in Fort Clayton who was headed to Vietnam. The first song I learned on my sister's guitar was Gilligan's Isle. Then Sweet Baby James. Then I started writing my own songs.

I grew up in the Canal Zone school system listening to all the great bands from the Sixties. I made good grades and never embarrassed my great family, but I was a kid just like all kids. I wasn't perfect. It took me a long time to grow up. I was capable of it, but I didn't want to. Holden Caulfield was one of my heros.

Nevertheless, even with a degree from NC State in Philosophy to confuse me, I remembered my roots and did not abandon the timeless spiritual teachings my parents instilled in me as a boy. I am a Christian. In case you're too young to ponder this, we're all wearing earth suits that will be traded in someday at a most inopportune time... some of us don't even know we don't.... as Clapton sings... "People get ready, there's a train a coming..."

Although I have lived most of my life in the USA and love America, my heart is in Panama. My first song was written on the banks of the Panama Canal, with a message of "I can't wait to get out of here"... but now many decades later, I realize just how amazing Panama was and is, and I can't wait to get back. I speak Spanish and have dual citizenship, and my lady and I plan to retire in the mountains of Panama someday (like when I'm 70).

There is something about that place that gets into your blood. All of my friends who grew up there ("Zonians") will confess that there is a constant movie going on in our heads about all the places we went and explored and the friends we loved. It was a small jungle oasis, captured and then lost in time. People that meet a real Zonian know they have met someone who is still trying to find his home again....

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We are Twilight Zonians...

These songs represent a lifetime of writing songs about subjects as diverse as the planet. If I get an idea, I'll go with it. Some of these songs were also written when I was more "wild" than I am now. But I have included them because they are part of the whole picture. Some are deeply spiritual in nature. That's part of my picture too, especially as I get older and sense my life coming to an end. So if any of the lyrics or comments are offensive to you, at least you are getting an honest picture of my life's work, not a watered down "scared to share" version...

I was influenced by Dylan, Stones, Beatles, Irving Berlin, Clapton, Sting, The Band, Tom Petty, Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Hendrix, Who, Cream, Traffic, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tijuana Brass, Creedence, Chris Tomlin, James Taylor, Floyd Cramer, The Ventures, Eagles, Grateful Dead, CSNY, and even Zappa....and many more great bands from those days. Regional bands that I loved over the years were Boat Rockers, Nevermind, Cigaretz, Truth, Arrogance, Uncle Tripp, Headlight, Dark Marden and the Shadows, and Walkin' Debris Band. I love melody/harmonies with a good back beat, as well as engaging lyrics and lead parts.

I'm past the age of pretending I'm going to "be" somebody... other than an everyday good guy cholo. I am putting these songs out there for all to hear and enjoy. If you want to buy them, please DO, and more links should appear shortly on this site for iTunes, AmazonMP3, and many more. Thank you in advance for your interest, correspondence and purchases.

CONTACT: If I am still alive when you read this...... markdarden53@gmail.com..... 919-624-7905.......... PO Box 2552, Oxford NC 27565

ps: this is a great crossword puzzle site. i love it !!!
http://www.onlinecrosswords.net


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