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Henry Fishinger

Trivia - Who

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One of the Doobie Brothers?

 

yep, close enough...

 

Jeffrey Allen "Jeff Skunk" Baxter (born December 13, 1948)

is an American guitarist, known for his stints in the rock bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers during the 1970s. More recently, he has been working as a defense consultant and chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense.

 

While working at Manny's Music Shop in Manhattan in 1966, Baxter met guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who was just beginning his career as a frontman. For a short period during that year, Baxter was the bassist in a Hendrix-led band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, along with fellow Manny's employee Randy California. Baxter also worked as a guitar tech and amplifier repairman at the long-defunct "Jack's" Drum shop on 252 Boylston Street in Boston across from the frog pond.

Baxter graduated from the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut and enrolled at the School of Public Communication (now College of Communication) at Boston University in September 1967, where he studied journalism while continuing to perform with local bands.

Baxter first reached a wide rock audience in 1968 as a member of the psychedelic rock band Ultimate Spinach. After the breakup of Ultimate Spinach, Baxter relocated to Los Angeles, California, finding work as a session guitarist. In 1972 he became a founding member of the band Steely Dan, along with guitarist Denny Dias, guitarist-bassist Walter Becker, keyboardist Donald Fagen, drummer Jim Hodder and vocalist David Palmer (and session player Elliott Randall on various tracks). Becker and Fagen were employed at the time as staff songwriters for ABC Records, and they formed the band as a vehicle to promote their songs. Baxter appeared with Steely Dan on their first three albums, Can't Buy a Thrill in 1972, Countdown to Ecstasy in 1973, and Pretzel Logic in 1974. Among his contributions was the guitar solo on the 1974 hit single "Rikki Don't Lose That Number". While finishing work on Pretzel Logic, Baxter became aware of Becker and Fagen's intentions to retire Steely Dan from touring, and to work almost exclusively with session players in the future. With that in mind, Baxter left the band in 1974 to join The Doobie Brothers, who at the time were touring in support of their fourth album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. As a session man, he had contributed pedal steel guitar on Vices as well as "South City Midnight Lady" on its predecessor, The Captain and Me. Baxter's first album as a full member of the group was 1975's Stampede. Baxter contributed an acoustic interlude entitled "Precis," significant turns on slide and pedal steel guitar, and the guitar solo for the hit single "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)".

 

Baxter fell into his second profession almost by accident. In the mid-1980s, Baxter's interest in music recording technology led him to wonder about hardware and software that was originally developed for military use, i.e. data-compression algorithms and large-capacity storage devices. As it happened, his next-door neighbor was a retired engineer who had worked on the Sidewinder missile program. This neighbor bought Baxter a subscription to Aviation Week magazine, provoking his interest in additional military-oriented publications and missile defense systems in particular. He became self-taught in this area, and at one point he wrote a five-page paper that proposed converting the ship-based anti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gave the paper to California Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began. Backed by several influential Capitol Hill lawmakers, Baxter received a series of classified security clearances. In 1995, Pennsylvania Republican congressman Curt Weldon, then the chairman of the House Military Research and Development Subcommittee, nominated Baxter to chair the Civilian Advisory Board for Ballistic Missile Defense. Baxter's work with that panel led to consulting contracts with the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He now consults to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community, as well as for defense-oriented manufacturers including Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC"), Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. He has been quoted as saying his unconventional approach to thinking about terrorism, tied to his interest in technology, is a major reason he became sought after by the government.

"We thought turntables were for playing records until rappers began to use them as instruments, and we thought airplanes were for carrying passengers until terrorists realized they could be used as missiles,"[4] Baxter has said. "My big thing is to look at existing technologies and try to see other ways they can be used, which happens in music all the time and happens to be what terrorists are incredibly good at."

Baxter has also appeared in public debates and as a guest on CNN and Fox News Channel advocating missile defense. He served as a national spokesman for Americans for Missile Defense, a coalition of organizations devoted to the issue.

In 2000, Baxter considered challenging Rep. Brad Sherman for the 24th Congressional District seat in California before deciding not to run.[5]

In April 2005, he joined the NASA Exploration Systems Advisory Committee (ESAC).

Baxter was a member of an independent study group that produced the "Civil Applications Committee Blue Ribbon Study" recommending an increased domestic role for U.S. spy satellites in September 2005.[6] This study was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on August 15, 2007.[7]

Baxter is listed as "Senior Thinker and Raconteur" at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.[8]

Baxter is a Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Regents at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies [1] .

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