Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Guitarist, Defense Consultant_ Jeff Baxter, an Improbable Story

This photo is in the public domain, because it's from NASDA.

Reading Jeff Baxter's bio on wikipedia gives you a surrealistic feeling -- can this be true?

It was, and is, and I repeat it to encourageyou in all the things you want to do anddream of doing.

Jeff Baxter, guitarist, was founding member of Steely Dan and a member of of the Doobie Brothers band. He was born in 1948.

Wrote one commentator, "Baxter had a keen interest in weapons systems (did that give you a jolt?), which began when he was researching music technology. A self-taught expert, it continues, Baxter read everything he could about weapon systems. Today, Baxter chairs the Congressional Advisory Board on Missile Defense and is a highly paid consultant for clients like Northrop Grummanand General Atomics. "

The photo above is rather current and is in the public domain because it was taken by NASA.

Ready for more?

Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter continues studio work. He occasionally plays in The Coalition of the Willing, a band comprised of Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to the US; Alexander Vershbow, US Ambassador to SouthKorea; Daniel Poneman, formerly of the USNational Security Council and now of theScowcroft Group; and Lincoln Bloomfield,former US Asst Secy of State forPolitical-Military Affairs.

Baxter fell into his second profession,defense consulting, almost by accident. Inthe mid 80s, his interest in music recordingtechnology led him to wonder about hardwareand software that was originally designed formilitary use, i.e., data-compressionalgorithms and and large-capacity storagedevices. As it turns out, his next doorneighbor was a retired engineer who hadworked on the Sidewinder missile program. This man gave him some magazines to read andencouraged his interest in military defensesystems in particular.

(all this from wiki) He wrote a 5-page paper proposing converting the ship-basedanti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gavethe paper to Ca congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began.

To read more about this, go HERE.

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