Master Chief Petty Officer John Else returned from Afghanistan in 2010 ending a 30 year career as a United States Navy “Seabee.” This ended a distinguished career, which included two extended tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations on Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and the Pakistan Earthquake. John began writing his memoirs, which took a tangent into poetry. Circumstances brought him to well known Texas recording artists and songwriters, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Kevin Welch. Ray and Kevin were so touched by John’s poems they emphatically encouraged him to share his story through song. One year later, John has written over 200 songs, many about the military and combat and the trials of returning home. John has performed all over the world, and has found audiences and particularly other veterans and families respond to his songs about daily life in a combat zone and the difficulty of fitting in again after leaving the military.
John and Rick Millward met through the music social networking site Reverbnation. Rick was looking for singles projects to produce and John was at a point where he wanted more orchestrated recordings of his songs. After some discussion they decided on the song “Seabag”.
“Seabag” tells a story that is all to common for today’s returning veterans, many who come home to find that there is nothing left for them; spouses have left, friends have moved on, no work can be found, with the result being a person who feels “lost at sea”. The song reminds us of the difficulties veterans face and evokes the loneliness and hopelessness that they feel.
Rick took John’s original song and rearranged in more of a traditional blues mode with a driving rhythm that ebbs and flows suggesting ocean waves. John’s vocal is counterpoint to an electric guitar that weaves melodies through the track with the drums providing both a solid groove and dramatic punctuation throughout.
As a first single for John it’s the perfect introduction to this songwriter and his special point of view. “Seabag” can be downloaded from iTunes and from John’s Reverbnation page.
Rick played all instruments on the track except for drums (Andrew Allen)
"SEABAG" by John Else
(©2012 John Else
Holes in all my pockets
Nothing left to lose
If the Texas weather holds out
I Won’t make the 10 o’clock news
Savings cashed at Coinstar
Pawned everything I had
Whole world on my shoulders
Whole life in this bag
Still living from my sea bag nevermore to sea
Information on my dog tags is all that’s left of me
Got nobody waiting Got no next of kin
Given up on moving up so I'm moving on again
Your memory ain’t likely
To bring a smile to my lips
In my dreams I hold you tightly
In the light you don't exist
You didn’t leave a thing behind
It’s a bitter truth
Feels like all my sacrifice
Don’t mean a damn to you
Floating through my life now
Like I’m lost at sea
I just cannot see how
find my way by wandering these streets