“One song I always want to hear and never can find is Okinawaville. Funny, raunchy and true.”
“We are Jimmy Buffett's personal management company. Our policy is that we never allow parody lyrics to be written to any of Jimmy's compositions. We appreciate that you contacted us, but would request that you remove Okinawaville from your CD and your website. Good luck with the rest of your endeavors. Many thanks and kindest regards.”
Nina Avramides (Jimmy Buffett’s Manager ) Sept 2005.
“Your music has been an unofficial soundtrack for much of my time in the Corps. It saw me through a divorce, a new wife, and roughly 20 deployments.”
“Listening to some of your music tonight, just want to say thank you for the fucking awesome music! My daughter even downloaded a couple of your songs!” Drive on Recon!
“Kill. I'm a huge fan of your music and writing. Your article “All In” changed the way I think about a lot of things. I figured out the password on my first try, but don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody”
“As I sit here drinking Genny Cream Ale and reading your new site, I am alternately crying and laughing. I remember meeting you at the Marina Bar. Filthy Fifth had a paddle party for me. Micky drove me there and was talking all about you and Okinawa. He even had a shitty tape that probably had Manhattan's Girl on it. Where did the time go Jimmy? Until Shangri-La. Be good brother.”
“You were a religion to us”
“Stumbled accidentally upon one of your videos during my military service (the parallel Israeli unit to yours) and been hooked ever since. Honestly some of the best stuff I heard."
“Always Beside You… what a tune. Been following your music since I was out at 3rd early 2000 to 2004. Hope you keep playing. Take care brother."
“Just found my old LoveSock CD - put it in the player and it's scratched and skips a lot.”
“Wasted away in Okinawaville. Did you sing that song? You gave me one of your tapes back in the day at The Marina in J-ville. It's been 20 years and I have never forgotten."
“I was with LR and we deployed together. I am currently in New York and still jam out to all the tunes you created. I also teach some of our life lessons to the new kids. They all enjoy your music and want to know if you are touring. Semper"
“We just got extended 21 days on the MEU. I've been playing with our band here, and we need something to get us through, Can you send me the lyrics and chords to “The Boat” and any other of your songs from back in the day?"
“I am still trying to spread your music like Ebola. Your ability to transport me from any goat rope back to a time when I stood shoulder to shoulder with my brothers in the suck is unmatched.”
“Referring to the USMC as "The Suck" is both disrespectful and more of a reflection on the person who uses that term. Back in the 60s and 70s the entire USMC was referred to by the Marines who just wanted to get out as "The Suck". A bit later on, it was occasional used by Marines who were pissed off at a situation, but the only people who constantly said it were Shitbirds."
1st Sgt Eugene Harless (Commenting about "All In" on Rally Point)
“I proudly served with 1st Force in Vietnam [1967-1968} and I was in 2nd Force before and after Vietnam. Just read your article (All In) about what it takes to be Recon. At 70-years-old you have me fired up for my runs and Fitness Workouts. Enjoy the 4th and you have a Brother in Rome, N.Y."
“Hey brother just read your article (All In). You can call me anytime. I deleted FB and just tried to disappear. It didn't work, my demons still found me. I really enjoyed the article and I miss the community (I know you understand the feeling) email me or call me so we can catch up. I did listen to everything you said, but I thought it would be different."
Stan (The Guy From All In)
“Your song ‘If You Only Knew’ is still one of my favorite songs! Got it on my iPhone and hit it up once and in a while. Reminds me of listening to you play in the barracks when we took breaks from practicing Morse Code. I read ‘All In’ and I was reminded why I got out, and why I wish I would have stayed in! Perfectly written! I miss the brothers but not the BS. Jimmy Stare changed my life!"
“I am a contracted Fast Company Marine. I have read through your article "All In" and I found it amazing. I would love to join Recon and make those similar sacrifices for my brothers like you have. Do you have any further advice?"
"My good friend and awesome brother ‘Gilo’ was killed after I EASed. We made it through our deployment uninjured but I decided to EAS In July 06 leaving my brothers behind. He was killed on or around the 10th of September 2007, when his truck rolled over 3-155s connected to a pressure plate. So, your song "Always Beside You" has touched me in a very personal way.”
“How did you do it? I’ve read your memoirs on how you struggled with alcohol, family, and The Suck. I’ve also read ‘All In,’ which I found to be an extremely helpful piece of advice. However, I was wondering how you dealt with all these obstacles, and yet, you were still able to be part of an elite organization in which other Marines only dream of."
“I'm shipping out for Paris Island soon and I'm pumped. From reading your posts, I can't tell if you loved it, hated it, or maybe a bit of both. I love your interesting writing style and almost satirical outlook on everything. Thanks for keeping me tuned in."
“I just read ‘Stumbling Towards Happiness’ and man it nearly made me cry. I don’t hold your decision against you. You’ll always have brothers in the community. I agree with your priorities. My son is the world to me, and I know what you mean about the way they look at you. Eyes full of trust. It’s crazy God let us have kids."
“I remember finding your VHS tape of Hot Chow in a cardboard box in the rec room and popping it in. It pissed off the gunny, which in turn made the whole platoon love it more.”
“We just got off the MEU and our last song for battle of the bands was "The Boat."
“There is an idea of a Jimmy Stare, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real Jimmy, only an entity, something illusory, and though he can hide his old gaze and you can shake his hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: he is simply not there."
“For what it's worth: Thanks for sticking it out. I still listen to your music all the time and share it proudly. I boast ‘I brought Jimmy back to Henoko and he rocked the place.’ Watching that show was better than when I watched Nine Inch Nails headline the Coachella Valley Music Festival.”
“I am a former zombie from 3/7. I have been out 11 yrs now. I am now a paramedic so the blood keeps flowing. My buddy used to ask me what your songs meant. I tried to explain, but he just sat there with that deer in the headlights look. It is true, unless you lived that life you have no clue and you never will.”
“I was rolling home from Lowe's with a load of stuff in my truck. I thought I cut some lady off with my truck because she drove right up on my tail. I was wondering wtf was going on when she pulled up on the right of me and mad-dogged me. Traffic slowed up a bit, and I ended up passing her again. Then, she fell in behind me, tail-gating me hard. When she pulled up on my right again, she was mad-dogging me and then she rolled down her window and she screamed "HOW DO YOU KNOW STARE??" I realized she was asking about the "I KNOW JIMMY STARE" sticker you'd hooked me and Duane up with. I told her everybody knows Jimmy Stare and that I was a Marine. She laughed and I ended up passing her in traffic. I saw the FORECON sticker on her back window.”
“I have heard your songs and seen your Hot Chow and 3rd Phase videos. It is very true about what you say in both your songs and your videos, about life on ship and off. A lot of your songs mean a lot to me. I think you are the best thing ever and don’t want to sound like a stalker. I hope your music carries on."
“I was introduced to your music back in '04/'05 by a Recon Marine. My brother is infantry Marine and my uncle is a chaplain who had been stationed with Marines. I have dedicated my career to working with service members. I'm a psychologist and I work at a treatment facility for vets with TBI/PTSD. I was really inspired by some of your songs (and even used one when doing a training for civilian psychologists to better understand military experiences). Thank you for your service to our country and for being honest in your work.”
“The pogue world will never understand the 03 world. Some of them would get it if they had to live it; the rest wouldn't make it and would just be more bitter about it than their current lack of understanding allows them to be.”
“I saw you sing at the ASU in Bahrain. And, I saw you sing a couple times on the Ghetto Wood. I wasn’t a huge fan back then, but a friend of mine gave me a copy of "No Kids, No Wife, No Mercy". I have the original tucked away in a safe place because it is irreplaceable. I didn’t listen to that CD much back then. I really didn’t want much to do with the Corps after I got out. Then one day I found that CD and started playing it. It pretty much brought back a flood of memories. From "Okinawaville" to ship life, to the guys I knew, and some of the girls.”
“Man, I've been trying to get these songs ever since I heard them on the DVD Mr. S made of OIF I. I was a Sapper with 1st during that time. Lost an eye to a fucking landmine out there too. Anyway, good music bro, thanks!"
“I still like listing to your tunes, I can listen to them and remember a life that I miss and don't miss at the same time. Just makes me sick that they play the crap they do on the radio, and not your stuff.”
“We log on the internet for what small time we have and we check out JimmyStare.com. We have a chuckle and sometimes see our friends in the sticker section. You made a few Marines look forward to checking their 12.4 seconds of internet. We just ask that you throw us a bone if you are able to maintain your website and keep us posted. Believe it or not, people read this shit."
“Your writing and your work has motivated me when I was a shithead corporal in the school house. It motivated me when the guys on the SWAT team had a copy of Lovesock sitting around and they were shocked when I told them you were an instructor at the schoolhouse.”
“My husband is currently deployed. I have been listening to his (your) CDs since he has been gone. They are scratched and he is pissed. I need to replace them before he comes home and maybe have a copy for myself.”
“I don't know if you remember my dad but he was in Recon with you at one point. You gave him a CD called ‘Lovesock, Feel the Hate’ and I love this stuff. I've been trying to learn it on guitar but I’m not that good at playing by ear. My dad is a first shirt now. I think he was a sergeant when you knew him. He is going to Iraq soon.”
"I heard one of your CD's for the first time when I moved my brother home from SD. We had 2300 miles and a surfboard between us in the van. You got me through some of my driving time. I’ve never heard of you before, but my brother had told me all about you playing on ship for New Year’s Eve. I enjoy your music and ESPECIALLY ‘Okinawaville.’ I’ve never been to Okinawa and don't plan on it, but I guess I know what to avoid. LOL"
"I was having a shitty day, several ones to be exact and found myself wandering to your website. It absolutely cracked me up (the story of your psycho neighbors). I'm 32 years old living at home again. NEVER try this. I have their camper outside that I retreat to, I've stolen cable, phone and electric to make it suitable for my girly ass needs but being that it is 2 degrees outside, unfortunately I'm stuck inside tonight. I sit here and read to my mom this funny ass shit to make time pass by. My mother said, ‘I haven't heard writing that good since John Belushi and Chevy Chase left Saturday Night Live.’ Thanks for the laughs Jimmy. Stay safe and tell my husband I love him.
“To me, you were always a million miles away. I will marry once more; I checked you off the list (haha). I really am happy that you have a wonderful woman in your life. Be true to yourself and everything will fall in place. You have no idea what an impact you had on my life.”
“I was there the night you got kicked out of the Marina bar in J-Ville, for playing Okinawaville. That shit was glorious."
“I saw Jimmy Buffet when he played on Okinawa. The first thing he said when he came out was, ‘Welcome to Okinawaville.’”
“Stare walked into my office on the Bonnie D and I gave him the proper greeting of the day. He smiled and told me his name was Jimmy. I was a boot ass LCpl then and my gunny was glaring at me. I kept calling him by his rank and he kept insisting I call him Jimmy. I sighed when I finally called him Jimmy. I knew gunny was going to chew my ass. It was worth it."
"You need to write a book."
Steve Morse (30-year rock critic for the Boston Globe)
“When you get out, you will run into the same thing you are running into with the pogues. The never-ending questions like, ‘what did you do’ and, ‘where did you go,’ etc. So often I want to take the civilians I work with and run them to the radio towers of Horno when they complain about their lives. We are forced to look back at our past and be thankful. They do not have the scars that so very few of us have. Keep up the good work Bro."
"Danny showed me your website, then your music, then the Hot Chow video. I was in the Marines, but got the fuck out as soon as my time was up. Now that I'm out, I miss the funny shit. You are a funny mother-fucker and bring back the funny shit for me. I've had a few beers, so sorry if I mispelled shit. My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.”
“I watched your movie with a few fellow chiefs over here in Iraq. You know the rest of the story. They loved it. It won’t be long until we can sit down and smoke a really good cigar.”
“I've been back for about a month now and I have spent all my money and time getting drunk. While I've been drunk, I have listened to your music a lot and I have to tell you that certain songs always bring a tear to my eye when I listen to them. I have a tremendous amount of pride in being a Marine and I can't help but to think of all the Marines we lost over there, when I listen to a few of your songs. I think I was told by someone who knew you that you are in Iraq right now. If so have fun and if there is anything you need I would be happy to scrounge up some money and get it to you. Thanks for your music and your love of the Corps. It's because of Marines like you that make it hard to leave the Corps. I'm so drunk right now and don't know what I'm talking about. You are stateside. I'm not sending you anything. Take care and be safe. Semper Fi.”
“When I read about your time in Oki, it really hit home. I experienced so many of the same exact things. Recon over there wasn't a job...it was life. I swear part of my spirit still run-swim-runs those beaches at Schwabu. It was a place of purity, brotherhood and tradition like no other place on this earth. If I were to die tomorrow, I would want my ashes spread over Recon Point”
“You’re just another delicate flower.”
Anonymous, pissed off corpsman who had to put up with you at the clinic
"You should write a book."
Doc at the VA
“I just had a boot LT come in my office and quote Hot Chow. He said that he saw it in some zero barracks at Stumps. I gave him a CD and a bumper sticker.”
“Your ability to express the way we feel is probably the best way I can communicate to my family what it's like to be a Marine. How it's miserable and the long deployments. When I was a young Lcpl, it was the guy next to me that kept me going. The fucker eating that same red clay up in NTA during the patrolling exercises or the fun endurance course. Now I'm a SSgt, and I've realized it's still about that other fucker. Brother, sorry been drinking beers, just want to say thanks, your music and letters picked a brother up. In OIF I, I was singing Okinawaville before clearing a prison in Baghdad and my Marines looked at me like I was crazy. I smiled and said ‘Some people say there's an officer to blame.. but it's my own damn fault.’”
“I was with 2/4 back in 98-99 when we sailed to Kuwait for operation Desert Fox and you played a show at the ASU in Bahrain. After that, I bought your CD and unfortunately it was stolen out of my room (probably by one of my dickhead friends). Six years later I am walk into Stud Cuts to do what I hate more than anything, and as I sit down in Jo Ann's chair, I look up and see that sticker and I say "Hey, you know that guy?" she says, "Yeah he's some Recon Marine that sings and stuff.”
“I bought an extra DVD and passed it off to a buddy in the battalion. It ran through the whole battalion and has somehow found its way to division HQ. Last I heard, a Flag O saw it and was laughing his ass off.”
“Now that I am a recruiter, I hope to send you some fucking kick ass Marines, so that you can train them and bring them up the way you have done for so many others.”
“I love your music and your antics. My son Mike turned me on with some tapes from your live performances in Oki."
“Heading to Iraq in a few days…probably see you over there. Thanks much for the CD. Great music/memories. Never stop singing and playing and keep the music coming.”
“I got into your stuff after somebody hooked us up with a copy of Hot Chow while on cruise over to Iraq for the initial invasion. Your movies and music rock and you speak the fucking truth. But, most of all I am down with you since we share the same hate and discontent for pogues and ass-kissers.”
“I met Jimmy when he came to Australia on one of his cruises with the US Marines. I went to a recording studio with him to listen to his stuff and it was awesome.”
“A long time ago, in I think 99, I went to jump school and met this crazy guy that could really put together a good set at the bar. You gave me your Lovesock CD, then we headed back to the base. When I got back from Iraq, I found it and started listening to it again.”
"I remember when Stare flipped the fuck out because our class could not recite the Recon creed. He was standing on top of this Zodiac gunnel with a rope in his hand screaming at the top of his fucking lungs. I've never wanted anything more in my life than I did that day."
"I'm not stalking you."
“I completely understand how you feel and where you are coming from. Sometimes I feel that my best years in the Marine Corps have passed me by and it is becoming a struggle for me to keep up with the younger guys. Not so much because I cannot physically do it, or that I am mentally weak, it is just that I have different things in my life that are important. I do not need to spend my off time humping a ruck to get in shape, or spend three hours in the gym thrashing myself. I would rather relax and spend time with my family, head to the beach with my board knowing that I cannot really surf that well, just to enjoy what it represents to me.”
“I’ve got five CDs in my collection and three of them are yours.”
“Your sight helped me cope with my divorce and debt from my ex old lady. Your sight made me laugh when I had nothing at all, and you made it possible for me to look at my situation from a different view. I listen to your songs and watch your movies still. It's not the same without you playing them live or seeing your daily rants in person, but damn it's all we got now man. You keep the hope alive.”
Creepy Mother Fucking Naked Howie
“I read the Fan Room. I didn’t find it funny or entertaining. I was amazed at how well you got it right. No one gives two shits about us and everything we do day to day. Trying to explain it to anyone is just too frustrating; not that I want people to understand. I just want to be left alone. Good luck with the writing gig. Thanks for explaining our side.”
“Damn! Your site is fucking AWESOME!!!!! I ran across it after searching for SERE info. The fucking stories are so true!!! When I was stationed in Dam Neck, we'd have people returning from VA Beach and you could hear them puking on the floor in the whole damn barracks. Laughing about it was the best and making fun of them the next morning HAHAHAHA man good memories.”
Possible random Team Guy who hasn’t written a book yet
“Your site is a nice breather. Just keep being yourself Jimmy - good mood or bad - up or down - just keep it real.”
“I am at college in the Midwest and I don't think there is another Recon Marine within 500 miles. The only thing that keeps me from going nuts is your website and music.”
Dan (The Marine who shit himself at the end of the beach run in front of the BUDS class)
“We were playing at the Hansen E-club and there were about 30 guys sitting at one table. They told me, ‘You gotta listen to this song called Okinawaville.’”
Bob (The guy from the Almost Nuts Band, who put Okinawaville on his album)
"I park in your spot at Schwabu every day. I think I fuckin rate it. I also have a picture of you, Chuck P and I on my desk. I love you Jimmy Stare (no homo), your old jump buddy."
“Just read ‘nod and smile.’ Some of the funniest shit I've read in a while (in parts). Your site is the only outlet I have to relate to. I can't talk to anyone around here; no one knows what the fuck I’m talking about. I remember you playing ‘Brothers’ at a coffee shop in Coronado and ‘Okinawaville’ at our hail and farewell before graduation. Thanks for telling the truth and saying what every Marine wishes he could. Please don't stop doing what you’re doing. Two to the chest, one to the head, and crazy as a shit house rat. You keep writing and singing, I'll keep reading and listening.”
“I don't know if you remember M from MSPF, but he got killed by a sniper. Jumbo got shot too, but he’s okay. I have a buddy who is a DJ up in Michigan. What kind of legal issues would have to be sorted out so he could play your music and would you even be okay with him doing so?”
“Long time no see. I'm glad to see you weathered this storm called life. I've only had one chance to visit your site before the soul suckers came down on you. Keep your chin up.”
Clark (First TL)
“Back in 98-99 when we went over to Kuwait with the Dirty Worst, I was in the trailer platoon that worked with you guys. I never had one of your CDs that got passed around the platoon, but I borrowed one from friends on several occasions. Years later, I was talking with one of my buddies and we got to talking about ‘Okinawaville.’ I hopped online trying to find the song, and that eventually led me to your site. There’s always something I look forward to. It’s hard to explain what exactly I get out of it. Maybe it’s just good to know someone else looks at things different than the average person.”
“You're fucking stupid for feeling guilty. There's a gunny PAO billet in the new unit, no kidding. I'm laughing my ass off right now because I know that info just sent you into a fucking tirade about how they'll never let you go and they just created that billet to fuck you, and on ,and on, and on...”
“I'm sure there's a publisher who would love to hear your accounts of the REAL Corps.”
“I saw this sticker on a base in Afghanistan and tried to google it but it only came up with a page with some music, pics, and the slogan ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves.’ I know this is a Marine thing. Can one of you Marines tell me what it means?”
Anonymous random question posted on Reddit
“Jimmy Stare shaved my wife.”
Anonymous answer to random question posted on Reddit
“I was a student of yours. At the end of the Recon skills ruck run, one of my team mates could not recite the Recon Creed, so you took us back to the top of Ball Buster. I am over in this shit hole with 2nd F and a good friend of mine was killed right next to me the other day. We both got hit a few times. He was a great guy and also one of your students, when you first started teaching. He always got a kick out of your page and we both really like the song “Shipboard Station.” He was always getting shit for his mustache and hair. The day he got killed he was told to get a haircut. War zone priorities are a trip. Fuck it.”
“I was running by a black Dodge, and saw a ‘Jimmy Stare Changed My Life’ sticker. I scratched my head, and thought, there's only one Jimmy Stare who'd inspire that brand of nonsense.”
“Dude, just read “Domino” and had a brief flashback, pissed myself and broke out in a cold sweat. I envisioned myself curled up in the fetal position, in my rack, on the Big E, listening to the proverbial “Domino motherfucker” over and over again. Every time I went on float, some lame-ass no-action guy we had to share the berthing with would bring his new swabbie friends by and play on the decorative gaming table so graciously provided by the swabbies. And, it was always right next to my rack. And, who can forget the all-time classic; porn at 2 AM in the lounge with 15 Jarheads gathered around, wrapped in poncho liners and watching the TV like it was the fucking Sports Center. Thanks for the memories, I’ll send you my therapy bill. By the way, your hair is looking short. You going lifer on us? Next picture you put out, you might have a damn horseshoe. Kick me in the Jimmy!”
“A couple of the guys I work with were eating at Hooters and they started playing Margaritaville. No big deal--until the second verse was about to start and we all (at the same time) belted out "I don't know the reason.” It wasn’t until after that verse was over (and with some funny looks from the people around us) that we realized we were singing your version of the song and not the original. We all just kind of looked at each other for a second and were like ‘Holy shit, its happened.’”
“I came across your CD while I was out there in Anbar, cracking heads and getting blown the fuck up with 1/2 Charlie. My corpsmen had it blasting and I sampled. No doubt your shit spread faster than a wet fart in an amtrak. You tell it like it is and while shit was crazy, your tunes really kept us cool man. My squad would blast your CD in the hummers while rolling up and down MSR Tampa doing bullshit I.E.D sweeps and vehicle patrols. I even threw a couple tracks on a video I made for the guys and their families (beats buying that damned tour book from the MEU where there's only like one good pic of the BLT guys and a shit ton of pogey pics) We still play it now over here in OIF III.”
“I just did a search for images on the net and found your great site. I am an English guy, (don't let that put you off) just searching for amusing images and now I am listening to 'If you only knew.’
“Last time I saw you was at Mc P's right before I went to recruiter school. I was the drunk dude on the float in 98 that gave you 50 bucks at the Desert Dome to play your song “Ten years.” That fucking song still rocks.”
“I enjoyed reading your website. It kept me entertained when I was in Afghanistan and was able to get to a computer. I could always depend on your posts to make me laugh and lighten what was usually a pretty crappy day.”
“The highlight of my month was going to your website on the first and reading your updates. They always made me laugh or reflect on things in my own life. I downloaded all of your website articles, just in case it disappears someday. I hope you get your book written and published. Semper Fi.”
“I have a drum of Vaseline and boxes of porn to be forwarded, so let me know your mailing address.”
“I still remember when I was about to get plowed in the camp at SERE and nobody did anything. Then, you started banging the shit out of your cell wall with your canteen cup and roused the crowd. You asked for rice and coats when the dumb LT was too afraid. And, starting the fight with the STA guy as an unsuccessful diversion on the sand bag working party…Ah, memories. I learned a lot from you personally and passed that on.”
“I am thankful for the few real men out there that my son has met, that have been there to help initiate him into being a man. There are just some things a female (ie mother) cannot and should not do. Teaching a young man how to give into the nature of the adventure-spirit of his maleness is just something I had the instinct to trust God about, in order to bring those certain ones across my son’s path.”
“Every time me and my buddies are sitting around, drinking and listening to music, I put in "Lovesock, Feel the Hate" and we all just say damn, that’s a Marine doing that man.”
“I'm shit-faced and have been listening to your CD's for the past few days. John is sitting here with me and we have something to say. *NOTE* Capital letters means we are fucking yelling this at you like obnoxious fucks at the bar. "DUDE, YOU FUCKING ROCK!!! HAPPY, SHIPBOARD STATION, AND BRASS BUTTON COLLAR, OH, AND MANHATTAN’S GIRL- DON’T FORGET THAT ONE:)- ARE THE SHIT!!!" Thanks for the music man. I hate leaving the Corps, but I want to be an SF medic and this is what I have to do. I will take your music with me to Fayetteville and make those motherfuckers play your shit.”
“I was a boot ass PFC at the School of Infantry, listening to your tunes in dirty Oceanside hotel rooms. Our squad bay had your music playing from day one until the day I left because I got a DUI. I once approached a SSgt in the chow hall, who was sporting a Jimmy Stare sticker on a Nalgene bottle and asked him if the, ‘Chow was good sir?’ He laughed and said, ‘Changed your life too huh?’”
PFC "2nd award"
“This music is what gets us grunts through all the bullshit! cause it’s all true.”
“I was in Afghanistan and I got all shot up, but I’m home recovering. My knee is all fucked up and I may need a knee replacement, but I’m lucky. I got hit 4 other times in my plates so I’m grateful for that and my teammates are fine, I just wish I was still there with my brothers. We were lucky, we were ambushed by 15 guys and it was only 3 of us. I’ve seen your movies and like them a lot. People I know ask me where they can get your music when I listen to it.”
“In July of 2005 my older brother was killed in Tal Afar, Iraq. Since the day I found out, I did not stop drinking. I was sober for duty of course; and the mandatory eight hours of sobriety beforehand. I stayed on post another 4 days before I left Nairobi to go home. The last 24 hours in country I was not sober. In those same 24 hours maybe 30 minutes of the time I did not have a beer in my hand. Strange as it may seem I was never drunk. I was only numb. For 15 days, I was numb and I was in shock. I could function on all levels, but alcohol was the grease that kept me going. So, when the day came to go back to Nairobi, I was sufficiently lubed up. I continued my tour in a very distant and unplugged way. I knew my fellow Marines were there for me. But I just couldn’t feel anything. Then the time came for rotation. I decided to take leave and I went to visit friends of mine from my old unit and go surfing. A couple of buddies of mine had just got back from Iraq so we went out. They understood. They had seen death. Dealt it. Felt it. But they couldn’t help. One night, some friends of mine told me about your site. It was as if you were telling every Marine’s story, not just your own. You get it. Thanks for all of your music and all you have done for me. You will never know how much you have helped me. Without being cheesy, I want to say Jimmy Stare Changed my life.”
“I was on the Ghetto Wood with you guys in 98. I was the 3rd award lance criminal and I won one of your CDs for getting busted. Those who manage to find anything obscene about your writing and music are the type who are offended by breathing. Don’t get lost in your cave. Bring some glow sticks or something.”
“I was the swabbie zero that lived the same apartment complex in IB. You came over one day and showed me a surf DVD that you had made. I told you that I liked the music and you gave me a copy of your ‘Lovesock’ and ‘Jarheads Only’ CDs. I still listen to them today. Keep doing whatever feels right to you. Don't let anybody dictate to you what you should do. You have been there and done that and you know what truly matters in life.”
“I was at our poguey USMC Ball and there were about 400 Marines celebrating. A few of us were in a corner drinking copious amount of JD and trying to forget about the idiots on the dance floor who give incompetent orders and think they understand. I get pretty drunk and want to hear ‘Okinawaville’ and stumble to the DJ. I ask if he has ever heard of you, but like the other 399 people in attendance he has not. In my drunken stupor, I attempt possibly one of the largest documented conversions; minus your concerts. I had burned some of your tunes to a CD and had it in my cover. I whip it out and say, “Play track 2 (Okinawaville).” The room quiets down, but as people recognize the tune they begin to sing the lyrics penned by some other Jimmy. The first verse and chorus go by and there are some who start to really listen and they like it. I apparently misjudged some of my audience. Certain sections of the room (zeros/Tops and above) start to point at me. Brass Button Collar is the next tune and it gets more of the room pointing in my direction because of the ‘dirty’ language and all. I finally wrap it up with ‘Shipboard Station.’ I got plenty of questions about who did those original songs and where they could get them. I don't know exact numbers but I believe you have about 150 new fans. I haven't had an ass chewing like that in about 10 years, but those doing the chewing are the ones who just don't get it and never will. My POA even got corrected during that one, just like a good LIFER would do to a shit bird. Thankfully cash sales had a sale of pre-loaded ass mags. Ironically, Blackhawk makes a pouch for them as well. HAM SLICE!”
“There were days when your website was the only laugh I had. Thank you for all of the posts and the songs and the good times that your website gave me.”
I was one of your first students at the schoolhouse. I wore BCGs as a responsibility force field. After I got out, I found myself in Afghanistan as a civilian gun-toter, in my mind trying to pay back what felt I owed to all my friends that I left in Kuwait in February 2003. You can count me among the crowd that will occasionally look back and think, ‘Jimmy Stare changed my life.’ Best of luck and Semper Fidelis.”
“I can count on my hands and toes of how many people looked at my laptop and asked, ‘Who is Jimmy Stare? and how did he change your life?’ Thanks for the kick-ass jams that explain the thoughts that run through thousands of Marines minds in countries all across this earth.”
“You changed my life in 1999 when I was a 19-year-old E- fucking -2 swabbie attached to the grunts. I was in the mouth of the canyon, catching blue shit from one side and green shit from the other. It was my first time away from my family and I was all by myself, right in the middle of what I thought would be the greatest adventure of my life. Anyway, this guy took me in and gave me this CD called Lovesock and told me to listen to it. I fell in love with it. Two of my most favorite songs on that CD were ‘If You Only Knew,’ and ‘This Guitar.’ You wrote good fucking songs, and I thank you for that.”
“I see your sticker all over the place from Kuwait to Iraq to ships to the devil dog barber shops. Keep your web site open and the music coming.”
“I like the words from the Lovesock album. What your words had to say I can relate to even now.”
“I was jamming on South of the Pier and my pregnant wife came down and told me to
turn it down, I didn't and slept on the couch.”
“Some people might think you have problems if you show up to breakfast drunk. I just like to think that we had goals.”
“Pogues got that sidesaddle holster on their butt stock for that one magazine that will save their ass on the FOB when the masses of insurgents raid a fortified U.S. base. When they get back, they gotta make sure that combat action ribbon sticker is posted so all can know "That Guy" rated. I appreciate all you've done. Semper Fry.”
“Your site keeps me entertained here at fucking DFAS KC (the bleeding asshole of the Marine Corps). Keep writing and I'll keep reading.”
“Reading your stories takes me back to when I was a mindless turd and fucking, drinking and trying to keep up on PT (after a long night of drinking), showing up to formations still drunk or sneaking in drinks during the day. Good memories and sometimes I am amazed I’m not dead.”
“My girlfriend has fallen in love with your music. She doesn’t even like that type of music; she listens to really shitty pop MTV shit. The really funny part is she likes the ones about the Corps the best. This girl has never known anyone in the military and her lack of knowledge shows. But I swear to you she can sing every lick of ‘The Boat’ and now knows what it all means. Unfortunately, she has a terrible voice. Your fans are not just fellow Jarheads. Have a good one bro.”
“I heard that some dude on Camp Fallujah got laid because of your music. Now if that ain't some troop welfare I don't know what the hell is. Going to Iraq with the Wing, is like going to Hillcrest looking for pussy.”
“A Friend of mine went to go get a haircut today at the FOB place, and a bunch of new guys were there getting peeled. A SSgt asked if they were getting high and tights and my buddy says, ‘Nope SSgt I'm an anonymous low reg.’ The SSgt says, “What'd you say?” My buddy repeats himself. The SSgt just shook his head and said, “Fuckin Jimmy Stare.” Six thousand miles away and people you've never met curse your name. I am going to try and put your sticker on a Hornet.”
“I’ve been a devout reader since I read your story called, “My Cat is Gay.”
“I was on a float with you in 97 and started playing guitar after I saw you play. Shit, I even taught my son how to play.”
“No offense, but you are a far better writer than a singer. I loved your neurotic little rants.”
“I got to see you jam in a couple of bars on Oki, and I got my first Lovesock album from you on the G-Town. I also have an autographed copy of the ‘Begin Again’ album complete with the photocopied cover picture from the WOG ceremony. I listen to it religiously. Your music really hits home man, especially now that I’m stuck in this civilian hell working for shitbags that don't even rate mess duty. Semper Fi.”
“Stare is a fuckin' virus. He exudes so much damn passion that it turns his fans into zealous freaks who will do almost anything to kick the talentless American Idols out of the way and show the world what real music is!”
“Two words dude, SEEK HELP! Our man B busted me off a copy of one of your CDs. Daddy like!! My old lady thinks your gay, BUT WHO GIVES A FUCK WHAT SHE THINKS!”
“Every month we would wait for the update and every time we were laughing our asses off, or just shaking our head in sad agreement. It would remind me of the things I loved about the military. Not the Oorah bullshit, but the ‘You couldn't make that up if you tried’ stories that very few people get to live.”
“My hubby is a DI at the basic school and on pick-up he asks the candidates if they know you. If they don't, he makes them do all kinds of weird shit.”
“I've been listening to your tunes for years and feel like it's a soundtrack to the tragic comedy that is our existence.”
“I’ve met too many people here (pogues) that feel intimidated by anyone who’s actually done shit in their time in the Corps. Because they refuse to realize that they've spent their entire time being a stupid prick in the name of being ‘squared away’ and ‘motivated.’”
“I’m sitting in a Tex-Mex restaurant in Sichuan province, China, checking my email. I have a ‘You can’t kill Jimmy Stare’ sticker on the back of my laptop and I have random Chinese folks asking, ‘Who is Jimmy?’ Thank you for the good music that keeps guys like me going.”
“We just got the internet set up in my current home, Haiti. I was reading your latest and greatest, and just felt like saying Merry Christmas. I had a fine Christmas feast of macaroni and cheese and tuna. After a bottle of the local rum, the guys I work with here liked your music too. Could have been the rum though.”
“Times change, life changes, we live, we die, we procreate and tell our offspring about our days in the Corps. Then we make them hike the Appalachian Trail because it's ‘Fun.’ Keep writing.”
“Bro, your music and website keep some of us old Recon boys who made the mistake of getting out, alive and connected. It’s our link to what we once knew. The life we once had. I give you major props for staying sober in the Corps. I don’t think I could have done that. I hope all is well and I hope you get to mushroom stamp the motherfuckers who made you shut down the site.”
“I realize now how the pain you made us endure in training actually paid off. I led a jump and a two-day patrol just outside of Fallujah a few years ago. It was seconds away from turning sour, but your insight got us through it. To this day, I still tell stories about this crazy, tattooed, hyper guy who always seemed to be pissed off. The Corps needs more of you bro.”
“This is to settle an argument between me and JH. Is he on that Feel the Hate cover? I ask because he has a really bad memory and I generally like to fuck around with people who do. But, if I’m wrong, then it’s hard to do that. If you don’t remember or whatever, no worries, just a random question.”
“I first heard the Lovesock CD at some bar on Trash 2 Street. A few friends liked the CD so much they went back and bought it. I've never known who you are or what you are about, just heard you were some Marine. I introduced your CD to my husband and lately he's been bugging me to look you up on the internet. I didn't even know where to start, had no clue what your name was, but just typing lovesock worked. What I liked most about the Lovesock CD was the sound of the person singing (guessing that's you) and the way the guitar is played. The words help, but aren't the core of what makes it a good song and CD. Even your posts were written like someone who knows how to write. Just wanted to let you know your fans are still growing.
“One night, at The Garage, some guys yelled your name out to the band. Next thing you know they were playing one of your songs.”
“I was in the Baghdad embassy the other day; it’s a big beautiful palace with all of the amenities. I went to take a piss and there was graffiti on the wall. I read a couple of those back and forth arguments that people, who usually cannot spell, partake in and thought, ‘What kind of loser actually carries a sharpie around and writes shit in the pisser?’ Then, I came across it, like a beacon of light shining from the wall above the toilet paper, JIMMY STARE CHANGED MY LIFE. Fucking classic.”
“You talk about the side of the Marine Corps we don't want to talk about; but is there. The Marine Corps makes you more of what you REALLY are. I tell people to ‘be advised.’ Like me, Jimmy is quite outspoken and a true Recon Marine to the bone. Some of this will offend, hurt or even make those without an open mind tend to think that we are assholes.”
“The only thing that was making sense to me on my drive home was your fucking CD. I had what alcoholics call a ‘moment of clarity.’ Hope my name is on the list at the Fan Room. See you round the suck.”
“I’ve been listening to the 'Through the Years' CD almost non-stop since you gave it to me the last time you visited the shop. I absolutely love it, especially ‘Tonight’ and ‘All We Are.’ I’ve been doing everything I can to spread your music to my guys downrange.”
“Apparently, ‘He broke my Jimmy Stare CD’ is not a valid excuse to assault someone. Or so the police officer said. That’s one thing I miss about the Corps, the police were never involved in little scuffles, you either took a beating or gave one, and the next day, life went on. Fuckin civilians. Some people don’t appreciate the songs that deal with the Corps, but then again, I’ve seen people jamming out to ‘Shipboard station’ that have never even seen a ship.”
“This fucking recruit depot is a festering disease of motardation and your music is the cure bro. If it wasn't for the music man, I'd be hanging from the gallows by now.”
“Some Marines were fishing at a lake in Dallas on a little 12-foot boat with a MARINE sticker on it. Ross Perot saw that boat and stated that a, ‘U.S. Marine deserves better.’ So, Ross Perot bought them a house boat for the lake. Four times a year they have a big party on it and they play your music. The word is out that Ross Perot likes your music.”
“I am glad that your foul mood gets me cool shit. I hope you sent me a sticker, as it will more than likely end up on my Smaj’s little shit box truck. I installed what I like to call a ‘Give a fuck switch’ a couple of years ago. I got pretty close to rock bottom and just stopped giving a fuck, about anything at all. Then I realized that in order to get by in the circles that I reside in, you have to give a fuck, but only when it matters. I still don't give a fuck for at least an hour a day. It’s great to just throw the switch. Just another grunt that you helped along.”
“Your movie Third Phase rocks. You call your shit the way it is and you break shit down to the reality it is. So many people in life are so afraid to be real.”
“I cried when I heard the song “Waiting For You.” I think I could picture Shane listening to it and feel every emotion he felt. So many songs seem to remind me of Shane. He called me up one day and told me about this great musician who was a Marine and sang about how he felt in life. He told me about the funny videos and how this musician’s music really inspired him. Thank you for sharing your music with me and how Shane was involved in your life.”
“I went to MS recently and there were a bunch of grunts that guard a nuke Submarine base nearby. I heard them saying quotes from Hot Chow, and I asked, ‘Have you been through the schoolhouse?’ They said ‘No,’ they've just had a copy of Hot Chow and 3rd Phase in their TV lounge forever. No one knew who you were or what the significance of the movies were until I explained it.”
“My SSgt hates the song “Manhattan's Girl.” That's because he's never been to Oki. It's playing right now for him. Two more months till we raise beers to being shaved headed, tattooed, and politically incorrect on U.S. soil. Hopefully, one day in the next 5 years, I'll be a zero singing your music drunk in some O' club.”
“Your music, at times, has been what’s held me together.”
“Your music illustrates universal truths of military life; mid-level NCOs eating the shit that rolls downhill from ass-kissing SNCOs and fucking self-serving, goat-fucking zeros, more concerned with how things look, or whether shit is PC, than busting ass to accomplish the mission and developing ‘esprit de corps’ of the troops. I also thoroughly enjoyed your deranged movies 3rd Phase and Hot Chow. I'm happy to see someone other than myself who can appreciate the occasional necessity to pull down their pants and show a little ass for humor even if we do have ‘Small Coxia.’ The fukin' no-talent, touch-feely, we-are-the-world, asexual performers you interviewed in 3rd Phase had me spewing protein drink all over my nuts, laughing at 0030hrs. Almost woke the baby and wife. Like your buddy in the film, I'm now gay after watching those shitbirds. I'm a fan for life.”
“I’m on my second consecutive vacation to Iraq. Your songs keep my spirits high when the big Green Weenie attacks. I never heard your CD until someone, don’t ask me how, scored one over here. You have at least a rifle platoon of new fans.”
“Jimmy is a Marine and he’s been around. He writes music that hits you at the core of what you are. Music that tells of his life, his exploits, and what it's like being a Marine. He had a blog on his site, that gave his view on life and events. He has a way with words that puts you right where he is. His music has been adopted by the Strider guys as their official music, of sorts. He has brought an understanding of what it's like to live in his shoes to those of us that will never get the chance. That's why Jimmy Stare Changed My Life!”
Random comment on old Strider knives page.
“We need stickers. We want to put them on IEDs we find.”
“I listen to your music almost every night, thinking about how my life is not as messed up as yours.”
“I just got back from a party at a friend’s house. She had your Hot Chow video and we watched it. They were laughing their asses off and asked for copies of your movie. If you get an email from some strange people that might be them.”
“Thanks for putting a lot of things in perspective.”
“We had just left the LZ and were going to be late. I called my SSgt to explain. She said it was cool I took the Marines out, but it was not OK to be late. Then, it came: ‘Is this because you listen to Jimmy Stare?’ Priceless.”
“My husband has listened to your CD, that he brought home with him last year, so many times it's gotten worn out!”
“We have used your songs in quite a few of our platoon movies from OIF 2 and 3.”
“Most people in this day and age would rather you just lie to them than tell them the truth. Nobody wants to hear how substandard they are. And, it seems like everyone these days likes to hate those that do stand out and are above average. It’s the same reason the rest of the Corps likes to hate on the community. Because they are threatened by the fact that we don't think or act like the rest of the ‘Real’ Marine Corps; lying to themselves about how ‘every’ Marine is a rifleman or that ‘all’ Marines are elite.”
“After seeing your coffee house skit in 3rd Phase, I thought you might find this funny. After reading the millionth article about another pretentious, local rich kid, indy band described as ‘The barbed innocence of feminine lure with the aftertaste of a failed relationship,’ my friends and I decided to start an indy spoof band. There will be berets and black turtlenecks all around. We already started on one song called ‘It’s hard (living without your credit card)’ Take care man.”
“Your site has never been PC, which is an integral part of the charm of your site. Nor has your rhetoric been completely error free, which is also part of the charm of your site. Remember to get your hair cut by the barber who has the worst looking haircut, because he’s the best one in the shop.”
Wiz (Web Master of the original Site)
“Work has been sucking here lately so we came up with a solution. We refuse to allow any other music besides yours to enter our ear holes until the work gets better. We've been on this kick for about two weeks now and things are looking up. Thanks for the help. The Chow is fine here Sir.”
“Your music gets us through some tough times.”
“Every time I play some of your stuff in my room, the stories come out about how you played a paddle party here a while back and it was sick.”
“I was a roper with Jimmy back in Oki. I was there that night in Dickey Barracks
during the Typhoon. We both suffered and learned a lot under Hack.”
“Just keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll make sure my friends keep getting updated on that crazy guy from Force Recon who writes and sings silly songs that somehow have meaning to a bunch of dumb ass grunts stuck humping in black flag conditions, or on some shitty ass big gray taxi with a bunch of fat slobs. My parents loved Hot Chow and Third Phase.
“I first heard Jimmy Stare play ‘The Boat,’ during a barbecue on deck out in the middle of the ocean. I laughed so hard it hurt. Just the look on the faces of some of those 02’s, 03’s and 04’s was enough to make it all better for a while. Jimmy doesn’t have the polish that a multi-million dollar production budget can buy, but when you strip away all the fireworks, amplification, remixing, layering and airbrushing…very few performers I’ve seen have his real talent for telling a story.”
“My husband was killed and I was left behind at 8 months pregnant with our 5 kids and still don't know how I survived to this point. He was my entire world. Our kids, his dog and his Recon brothers helped me keep my head above water at times, but when it just got too bad to keep going I would put the old scratched up CD of yours on and make it through another night of 'alone'. It helped me remember him at his core; the fractured part that found normal civilian life alien. That strange person he was underneath everything else was who I loved most. Listening to those old songs of yours during that time probably saved me from myself. I don't know if I would be here without those long nights with that CD on repeat”
“You were able to elaborate things I myself felt, and that's the magic of your music and your spirit.”