terça-feira, 12 de abril de 2011
For truth purpose
Tawn Mastrey Foundation in the fight against Hepatitis C Virus: An Eyewitness Interview
Interviewer: Estacio Valoi –Freelance Writer, Blogger, Journalist
February 10, 2011
The cookbook, Eat This!, authored by Tawn Mastrey, was recently launched in Los Angeles and is scheduled this year for a world tour in the fight to eradicate Hepatitis C.
Tawn Mastrey was a veteran radio broadcaster in rock and metal music for more than 30 years as one of the dignitaries who was always ranked as one of the top American radio DJs, and more recent times of her life spent on Hair Nation Channel 23 of the American national dish, Sirius Satellite Radio. She contributed her voice to Nights with Alice Cooper, was the long time imaging voice of WPBZ in West Palm Beach, FL, produced several music videos for MTV and was the only woman in the history of broadcasting music to write and produce a syndicated radio show as she did with Sammy Hagar’s Wabo Happy Hours with the Rock Zone radio team.
Also in her distinguished career was 105.5FM KNAC in Long Beach and Los Angeles, California’s KQLZ 100.3FM (Pirate Radio). Tawn also worked extensively in radio beginning at the young age of 17 at KSAN, then KSJO, KNAC, KUFO, Westwood One syndicated, 93X and more. She also did some television and reported for MTV in 1980 when the station was first launched. She appeared in Metal Head Video Magazine and Night Flight, and had cameos in films such as The Blues Brothers, Heavy Metal Thunder and Mud, and Penelope Sheer’s critically acclaimed The Decline of Western Civilization, Pt II: The Metal Years. Behind the scenes, she produced several music videos including the Scorpion’s “No One Like You”, Greg Kihn’s “Happy Man” and Romeo’s “Never Say Never”.
EV - Of course you like to talk about the book, a tour that will take place later this year and the launch of the new album.
CM - Actually this is Tawn’s cookbook, where she put together some recipes from our Italian family world re-known restaurants we had growing up as children. Tawn was the chef, I waitressed and played hostess. We were just babies. Mama Rosa’s, Mama Angelina’s, Antonios, Valentinos, all in the Midwest. When putting the book together in the 90s, Tawn only managed to bring her good friend, Sammy Hagar, to donate a recipe, Sammy Hagar’s Wabo-Rita (Margarita). She then fell ill and spent the rest of her last years of life with her loving family. The Tawn Mastrey Foundation (TMF) volunteers (the TMF/HCV Bitches as we “bitch” about Hepatitis C) and I gathered more recipes from Tawn’s friends to complete the book. The cookbook of Tawn’s, titled Eat This!, became an instrument to guide sufferers of Hepatitis C and their friends and families. Based on Hepatitis C virus researched studies and surveys, we’ve added a wide range of information, alerts and support means. Another added chapter is based on tributes from fans found in an Internet history of what happened to Tawn. I promised Tawn that I would seek her fans to let them know what was happening to Tawn while she was still alive. After 4 years, since her death in 2007, I continue to seek her fans of 5 million worldwide who still today may have not heard the news of her passing. Tawn wanted the information about HCV (Hepatitis C Virus), Hep C, Hepatitis C, The Red Dragon, all names for the same disease to urge everyone to get out and get tested. I continue to keep my promise to my sister. As a matter of individual health, it behooves each of us to or not to disclose this illness to the world. Tawn was courageous in allowing me to help her and I needed to understand and learn more about Hepatitis C at top speed. At first, she didn’t want anyone to know she was sick. She hid it well, even to her family at first. She was ashamed, felt like a leper and was fearful of becoming a burden to anyone. She wanted very much to live. She became depressed while desperately hanging onto life. Tawn loved life and everyone in it. Life loved Tawn. TMF invited Tawn’s friends, fans and people in the industry to send in recipes for the book in 2008. Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, BOC, bassist) donated his famous delicious Cuban Flan, Tom Morello’s (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Night Watchman) Christmas Tacos, Ronnie Montrose’s Pork Stew, George Lynch’s (Dokken, Lynch Mob) Spaghetti Tacos and Pesto Pasta, Nadir D’Priest’s (original London singer) Shrymp Ceviche Tostadas (Baja Style), Jeff Pilson’s (Dokken) Rock ‘n Rolly Guacamole, Terry Ilous’s (XYZ) Pasta a la Terry Ilous, Dodd’s (co-writer, producer “Slay the Dragon” album, musician) Crock-Pot Chicken Casserole and Robbie “Razor” & Luz Mary Robfogel’s (Metal Knights) Razor’s Headbangin’ Shrimp Ceviche to name a few.
EV - What is the purpose of the book launch?
CM - The major goal is to encourage others to take charge of their own personal health, preventing diseases. Knowing how to deal with HCV if health does fail, who and where to turn to. That’s what the Tawn Mastrey Foundation does, informs and educates. We hold hands of those who are in need of information or just someone to talk to, to tell their hidden secret to with no fear of judgement. We hope to erase fears and taboos and refer people in need to places where they can be assisted now rather than later when it may be too late. Tawn wanted everyone to “Rock Hard Live Long”. This is what we do every day. We try to save lives and help ease suffering for the families and victims of this horrible life threatening silent killing disease, HCV.
EV - The same sentiment inspired you to produce the album you’re about to launch?
CM - I believe deeply that we can eradicate this terrible disease through a request for medical testing. Hepatitis C is a blood borne disease, carried from one person to another through blood and can incubate in the body manifesting for more than 20 or 30 years, and could be a Silent Killer if not caught early enough. If you do not know if you are a carrier of this disease, you could be spreading it to others, unknowingly. Sometimes a liver transplant might be necessary, as in Tawn’s case, but, by the time she became eligible to be on the organ donor list, it was too late for her. Her body was not strong enough to endure a liver transplant. Tawn began documenting herself living with HCV during the last years of her life. I and others are interviewing many musician/rockstar friends of Tawn’s for her life documentary. I will not mention names until the production of the documentary is finished but I can promise you will not want to miss it. I am the co-director with Dianna Briggs and co-producing the piece with Alan Goodall. I located one film piece of Tawn where she went to her doctor. It is sad to see her age in such a short time, but the footage of Tawn during her prime will make you smile. It’s amazing that she is not here today. Her 5 million supporting fans feel her absence and many still do not know that she’s gone. But through the tour, albums, books, products, Hepatitis C information, with the development of self test swabs (Orasure), coming out onto the market, where people can test for HCV in the privacy of their own homes. The Foundation also will begin receiving support from sponsors, grants and personal donations to tour the world to alert and educate the masses through music, art, entertainment, multimedia, until we succeed internationally to “Slay the Dragon”. This is also the album title and theme song appropriately titled, “Slay the Dragon”, my promise to my sister. The music of the tour presentation will represent Tawn Mastrey in bright lights in memory of the spirit of Tawn and what she did for the music industry as a pioneer, and for the millions of people who have Hepatitis C, are suffering from it, and/or who have it but do not know they have it, and to their families who are needed to care for their suffering. We aim to end the suffering. Pass the word.
EV - How many musicians will be part of the album?
CM - “A” list artists, your favorite musicians in the world are offering to play and tour with us. Right now I cannot reveal who the musicians are due to contractual liabilities. I’m heading to Los Angeles to upload my humble presentations and will be lead into the studio, where I have great support from many friends there. I’m producing “Slay the Dragon” with my co-songwriter partner, Dodd. I have a proposal for various male singers to join me on a duet, an offer they cannot refuse. I can only choose one.
My old bassist and guitarist will be part of the album and a special range of musicians will help to bring in the thunder and power, I can almost taste it. I am looking for all instrumentalists, percussionists, guitarists, bassists, maybe violinists and cellists, with influences such as Metallica, Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Foo Fighters, Chris Cornell, with a chick singer. Slash suggested that I put this album together for Tawn. She is very much loved and very much missed.
EV - Tawn was a woman well-connected, not only from helping to launch 100s of bands in the US, such as AC/DC, and Metallica, but also interviewed celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld, Larry King and many others. Who will be part of this tour and how many albums will you have?
CM - I will be co-producing my personal album to Tawn, “Slay the Dragon”, Power Rock/Metal/Alternative, and also a second album to be produced by Veteran Producer, Shelly Liebowitz (produced with all the classic, greatest female singers), using songs from classic favorites Tawn enjoyed growing up. Also, Shelly’s and my favorites, which were Tawn’s, too!
I will sing one or two songs on that album, but who would you like to hear in this 2nd album? My personal album in memory of Tawn, “Slay the Dragon”, is a piece of art and something I’ve been writing and waiting for the right time to record and release it, since I first became a singer some 30 years ago, and Tawn was like my mother/sister of the stage. She would insist I do what I do. I’ve always put family first and decided not to join in on the tours in past years and perform locally in the US and abroad. Plans are to release the album in 2011, but I will not give you the deadline because it is not in good light to do so. This is a new era of renaissance! Whoever is in Los Angeles when I will be there will be excited to take part in the music for Tawn. The album will blow the doors off the hinges! Power and metal baby, just how Tawn liked it.
I have a CD out now which teaches other singers how to sing, get to the high notes, power vocals and breath control, titled “Sing with Mastrey” (can be purchased at http://www.cdbaby.com/singwithmastrey), co-produced by Tawn which gives support to administration and communications for the Foundation. Tawn said about me, “You’re like the jungle drums, Sheila on the mountaintop, with your voice shouting, singing warnings to the village about what comes ahead” (Gaelic Ceuta folklore).
EV - All these years of carrying the hope within you, how have you have faced the question of the Hepatitis C that claimed the life of your sister?
CM - I was a nurse, (ORNA), for a short time, also worked as a private nurse for newborn children, taught children art, music and dance, and I have a teenage daughter. I hated seeing my strong, big sister Tawn suffer, but also worry about me as I cared for her as though she was my child. I couldn’t find a liver to save her life. She could not think for herself due to the toxins of the disease that affects that brain. She depended on me completely along with one of our other sisters and our 80 year old Mother.
I tried to keep the promise I made to find her a liver but a liver never came. We were planning to do a lot together as sisters, in helping to help others with HCV. I’m wearing both hats and many more now. For me, it would be cruel and selfish to stop work while others may benefit from my experience. I am giving people an alternative, shorter distance so they do not crawl in the last minute trying to find or talk to people who know about the pain of Hepatitis C. Tawn and I didn’t even know about HCV until she got it! We never thought this would be so serious. NO WAY was I going to lose my sister. It was a nightmare and a complete shock. Since Tawn died, I’ve lost many dear friends to Hepatitis C. Many contacted me through Facebook and other means confiding in me saying, “I have this HCV.” They thank me. They have nowhere else in which to turn. They may have no family to care for them or a hospice nursing home they can afford. Many cannot afford the drug treatments, may not have health insurance or it is too intense to take the drugs, so they choose to go outside and look for other alternatives that are suggested. Funds are also needed to further research and to change meld score laws, and organ donations to be better organized and more humanly distributed.
Hepatitis C Virus lives inside of blood. I have many questions that even doctors cannot answer. But doctors themselves are worried about all the baby boomers, Vietnam veterans, the kids returning from war, sharing needles, drug testing, tattoos, body piercings, may be affected with the virus and will be finding out soon that they have been carrying the disease for many years and it may be too late for treatment. Everywhere can be a possible danger in contracting the blood borne virus, even a beauty salon lounge where improper sterilization might take place, or sharing a toothbrush, comb or razor to shave can be dangerous for possibly contracting HCV. The current virus can stay alive for weeks outside the body. If anyone has a small cut on their hand, perhaps even a doorknob could have some blood on it and HCV could be in the blood waiting to slip into another body to host, like a dragon of greed and hunger heading directly for the liver to stop its normal function as the poison begins to devour the body from the inside out. Slay the Dragon. No amount of hand sanitizer or soap and water can kill this virus. The only thing that can kill the virus outside of the body is high heat, fire, sterilization alcoves and bleach. There is no known cure for HCV, though there are treatments of all kinds, but one must know if they have the disease before it becomes too late to treat. This is where TMF comes in we suggest everyone get tested once a year.
EV - Are there any preparations currently on the stage?
CM - First our plans are to carry out a tour of Europe, preferably kick starting off in Paris. French / Italian fashion designer Sylyana Lisi and I have been planning to do a fashion show/TMF Rock event. We’ve been receiving support from all over the world and calls to action in countries such as Egypt, Istanbul, Bahrain, all with a high rate of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). There’s also lots of blood transfusion in armed conflicts.
EV – How can one get informed about the HCV pandemic and where can they turn for help?
CM - Please buy the book Eat This! to be better informed. It is important to take individual responsibility for one’s health to enjoy the good quality of life. People do not know that, if no measures are taken, they may be spreading HCV without knowing it. Eat This! is a great start to Slay the Dragon! It’s more than just a cookbook filled with mouthwatering recipes (secret family, rockstars and more), but it’s is also a survival guide providing many links and resources. Thanks for your interest and support. More information will come, as well as the fully revamped, new www.tawnmastreyfoundation.com website which will keep you more informed and updated about the Foundation, products, auctions and events. My personal thanks goes out to all the TMF “Bitch” Angel volunteers (Angela Albee - #1 Bitch, Communications Manager; Diane Anderson - #2 Bitch, Manager, Product Management; Shannon Stang-Holets - #3 Bitch - Band Coordinator/Hostess, Sexy Librarian; Laura Lou Tveite - #4 Bitch, Personal Management Assistant, Memorabilia, Hostess; Hollie Olson - #5 Bitch, Sassy Chef; Rachelle Alberts Thorpe - #6 Bitch, Assistant to Hollie, Hostess; Jennifer Torkelson - #7 Bitch, Staff Communications; Lien-Sherry S. Doan - #8 Bitch, Masseuse, Healer, Product Inventor; Adriana Rubio - #9 Bitch, Publicity and Promotions; and Tara Lynn Grealish - #10 Bitch, Band Hostess); as well as our Baby Angel Bitch Xaria, Alpha Angel Bitch K. Ginger Rothchild, Golden Bitch Angel Nancy Marcus Golden; and also Matt Erwin - Managing Director, Personal Assistant; Remy Maxwell - Personality, Musical Director; Wally Devlin - Executive Producer; David Helfant - Legal Advisor; Pat Hunziker - Product Manager; Rick Silva - Silent Auction Manager; and Robbie “Razor” Robfogel - Survivor and Friend; Archbooks (www.archbooks.com) for donating their time in publishing and binding each book personally by hand and giving TMF 100% of the proceeds from the book sales for the cause; Scales Advertising (St. Paul, MN) for their promotional tools and printing; and everyone who helped us to make this book possible.
This was Tawn’s wish…a beautiful hand-bound book…a gift, helping to save lives, a keepsake for every home. Purchase your copy of Tawn Mastrey’s Eat This! cookbook at www.archbooks.co/ContactTMF.
Visit www.tawnmastreyfoundation.com to learn more about the foundation and to stay informed on events, auctions, medical breakthroughs, news, tributes, concerts, updates, products and more.
Rock Hard Live Long!
Singer, Actress, Songwriter Performing Artist, Vocal Coach, single Mom, concerned citizen.