Talon was born in 1963 in Iowa, the oldest of three siblings and later three additional half-siblings. Childhood in the peaceful Midwest was anything but peaceful for Talon. From the age of four, Talon was exposed to every type of abuse imaginable. These were the most turbulent years for Talon
From the age of 13 to 18 Talon was placed in foster care, mental institutions, and eventually, the penal system. Trying desperately to get out of an unhealthy environment, he was labeled a chronic runaway. He was always caught eventually and put right back into that same environment. His fight for survival ultimately resulted in him being classified as a criminal. Even so, he was a straight “A” student up until high school. At that point he basically gave up and became what the system had portrayed him to be … incorrigible.
Talon’s adult family life showed the influence of his childhood. He fathered his oldest child, a son, out of wedlock at the age of 16. He married his first ex-wife at 18 and they had a daughter. The marriage didn’t last long. He married again at 23 and was divorced again two years later.
His career in music started out basically by chance. Talon remembered singing in the car with his family in those rare happier times when he was just small, His grandpa and uncle were musicians, but Talon didn’t realize how talented he really was. Survival was the stimulus that launched his singing career.
With a colorful past and a sketchy work history, Talon had a hard time finding a job. The Bible belt is not as forgiving as you might think. In desperation he discovered that he could make a modest living singing in bars. He also figured out that he could supplement that income by criminal activity. Talon had his own unique set of rules at that point in his life.
There were three rules that he lived by. One, if you had something he wanted and he was big enough to take it, it was his. Two, the only thing against the law was getting caught. The last rule; three can keep a secret if two are dead (meaning he couldn't trust anyone). He didn’t see a problem with those rules.
Tragedy was what eventually turned Talon’s life around. When he was 31 his brother died of AIDS. Talon watched him die a slow, miserable, painful death. Nine months later his best friend was murdered by an intentional overdosed of cocaine. Three weeks after that his son was violently murdered at the age of 16. That was the bottom for Talon, but eventually those life changing events made him the man he is today.
It was not any easy change. Old habits die hard, and he still got in a little trouble along the way, but he had figured out that there was something wrong and he needed to change. Talon says “I did AA for a while ….. it didn’t help me stay sober, but it started me getting my head right and finding a new way of life, a life of giving instead of taking”.
He didn’t make the change with just AA; He felt there was something about sick people making sick people healthy that just didn’t add up. Along with AA, he decided to see a psychiatrist and that was a big step along his road to recovery, but not the most significant.
The most influential person in Talon’s journey is a gentleman by the name of Bob. Talon says “Bob ultimately saved my life. He taught me what it meant to be a human being and helped me get my head right. He is like a father to me. Ever since I met Bob my life has just gotten better”. Still, the change was slow and painful.
Talon left the music industry when his brother died. Eventually, he found a company that was kind and forgiving enough to give him a second chance. He became a warehouseman running steel cutting machines. Unfortunately, steel wasn’t the only thing he cut. He accidently cut off his thumb; it was reattached but nerve damage put an end to playing base guitar.
With the intensity that is just part of Talon, he jumped into the “American Dream” and bought a nice big expensive home. Unfortunately, he became a workaholic to pay for it and a slave to taking care of it. Burn out was inevitable.
That burn out brought about one of the biggest changes in Talon’s life. He left the Midwest at the age of 41 and moved to Arizona. He left the job, the house, and the stress behind for a new life in the West.
It wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. The arrangements he had in place didn’t work out like he planned, but with a new attitude, he made the best of what life had to offer. What life had to offer at that point was a homeless existence.
Talon was determined to make it in Arizona. He was asked to sit in for a jam session at a local bar. After the first session, he was asked back frequently. And so he started doing music again. He decided he wanted to record a CD of cover tunes so he could get his feet wet and learn the process. Not many people could have accomplished that while being homeless, but Talon did.
Today Talon makes his home in an RV in Apache Junction, Arizona. He has had the same motorcycle for seven years. He keeps life simple; he loves his life and he loves to sing, but he does so much more. His music is the way he gives back to the community and how he shows he cares. Talon sings at charity events to help raise money for people in his community that are in need of the help. He will never say no when asked to help somebody else.
Talon says “if just singing was what I wanted I could just sit in my motor home and sing”. He found a way to use his talent to help others and that makes his life worthwhile to him. “I finally today feel like a real man and a real human being. I’m not so negative. I surround myself with positive things and positive people. Today I love my life”.
Talon beat the odds, the labels, the predictions, and the negative expectations to become a beloved and respected part of his community. You can call it redemption, you can call it making up for the past, whatever you want to call it. He just knows today it feels better to give than to take, so he will continue to do what he does because it helps him be the man he is today.