Description Green Beret Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler composed the #1 song in 1966, 'The Ballad of the Green Berets.' John Wayne used it as a theme song in his 1968 'The Green Berets.''Out here, due process is a bullet.'...John Wayne as Colonel Mike Kirby, 'The Green Berets'This portrait of Sadler was used, as a drawing, on the cover of his novel 'Casca;' and altered with different costumes in subsequent sequels in the series.'The Ballad' sold 12 million copies, a million in Japan alone and 'went into nine versions in Germany,' even though it was banned in East Germany where the government labeled the Green Berets 'perverts', liking them to the Nazi SS. The first royalty check was for a quarter of a million dollars. That day Sadler, dumped on the living room floor in front of his wife Levona, $50,000 in cash. He had never earned more than $5,000 a year.'I like creating, but I don't like going on tour - I don't want to be an entertainer. I don't think I like the traveling that much. Seems like for about 15 years, my bedroom was over a juke box. My folks were professional gamblers and we traveled a lot, wherever there was a game. Once, I went to nine schools in one year.'The Army sent Sadler on tour to promote their enlistment programs. He made more than 800 public appearances in a year and a half. Then he was released from service even though Sadler wanted to re-enlist.'And I'd been wounded anyway. They took a chunk of beef out of my leg. I was on a patrol and stepped on a damn punji stick. Some Viet Cong had spent a few minutes sharpening a piece of bamboo and dumped it in a dung heap and there I was - infected and out of action. Can you imagine $50,000 of trained soldier sent home because of a lousy two-cent bamboo stick and manure? It was a hell of a war.'...Barry Sadler (1940-1989)NOTE: I have other images of Sadler in my film, TV and literature essays.An archival, limited edition, signed, matte C-print can be purchased at my eBay gallery store-stores.ebay
David Lee Guss, Caaa Grande, Arizona Member Since November 2009 Artist Statement I first became obsessed with photography and motion pictures while growing up in post WW2 Manila in the Philippine Islands in the late 1940's/early 1950's. Film noirs were a particular influence.
But my first love remains the theater. I acted in numerous amateur productions from 1958 to 1978. In 1979 I earned a MA in drama from the University of Arizona; earlier getting a BA in English from the University of Minnesota, where I co-founded and ran for four years the first film society on campus. While at the U of A, I studied with the master black and white photo essayist W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) the last year of his life. I am the last person cited in Jim Hughes' definitive biography of Gene, as I wrote about attending his final class days before his death.
I still consider myself an amateur photographer as almost all my work displayed here has been self assignments. After graduating from an announcing school in Minneapolis in 1964 I began employment as a news anchorman/booth announcer/writer/still photographer, at the now defunct KXAB TV in Aberdeen, South Dakota, without having taken a journalism course or ever have taken a photograph. I bluffed my way into the job. Being essentially my own boss of a one man news team, I could repeatedly blunder and bury my numerous mistakes. There I began my thematic, photo essays as stories for broadcast in black and white slide form. I found photography much more rewarding than being a media celebrity.
After an abortive try at the Peace Corps I landed at KVOA TV in Tucson, Arizona in April 1967 as a news editor/cinematographer. I continued with the photo essays now shot on negative film, and printed/ rephotographed with 16mm film. My only on air appearances were when I did "stand-uppers" or interviews.
Since then I have spent decades as a teacher of arts related subjects (acting, film making/history, creative writing, art history, literature and photography, English, etc. in various community colleges, universities and prison facilities in Arizona.
My images, with the captions and descriptions, speak for themselves. I am presently building a website (vanishingamericanwest.com) which will feature my photo essays and short films.
My photo essays are in numerous archives/museums in the US and Europe. I am the only living photographer who has his own archive at the University of Arizona Special Collections Library: http://aao.lib.asu.edu/ViewRecordFrame.jsp?record=0000001158
My prize winning short films/videos have been screened at festivals in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan. Malta and Spain; and on many US cable systems.
Since 1994 I have lived in an adobe house in Casa Grande, Arizona.