Author Interview: Donna Brown

Donna Brown Photo

First off, tell me about yourself?
I have a diverse background. I am a musician, an author of an autobiography, an avid runner, hiker, climber, and enjoy being outdoors. I have worked as a nurse for half of my working career, then decided to do something different and started 2 of my own businesses, one as a pantomime, and the other teaching yoga to change things up a bit!

Tell me about Medusa, what genre was the band, years active and things like that?
Medusa was a rock band I was in back in the early ‘70s. We played original music influenced by legendary bands such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and many prog bands such as Epitaph, Can, Hawkwind, and Amon Duul. I’m sure not many people have heard of these bands, yet the music we wrote and played was heavily influenced by them. Our music has been called everything from “proto metal” to “garage grunge,” and everything in between. We didn’t classify the music we played, we just loved the music we played, yet in those days, not everyone was into our music, as it was different from the horn-dominated music scene that was popular in Chicago in the ‘70s. Kids wanted to hear cover songs to dance to, and our music was too “heavy” and “progressive” to dance to. We stayed together for 3 years, until I left to attend nursing school and the band split shortly thereafter.

Is any of the music available online, and if so provide links?
Yes, our music is all over the Internet! Our music is played on YouTube and Spotify. Here are the links:

Medusa First Step Beyond (first album)

Medusa1975 Rising From The Ashes (second album)

Tell me more about your musical history, what kind of bands you like and how they might have influenced your music?
When our band split in 1976, we thought we were done musically, until a phone call changed our lives and turned our worlds upside down. A record label in Chicago, Numero Group, called me up one day in 2012, almost 40 years later and shocked the heck out of me! The producer said he wanted to release our first album, First Step Beyond, made from early garage recordings! After its release, we reformed the band, toured the east and west coasts, got mobbed with each show, and received worldwide attention! We felt the whole experience was surreal that people would go crazy after hearing our music after almost 40 years!

Bands that are definitely influential are: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Jefferson Airplane, MC5, Soft Machine and the list goes on. Seeing all these bands live, really hit me hard! They were already playing the music I longed to play. Also influential are progressive bands from the late ‘60s and ‘70s such as Epitaph and Hawkwind. We saw Hawkwind in 1974 when Lemmy, from Motorhead, and Stacia was in the band. She was the girl who danced, sometimes naked, in Hawkwind. All these musical legends inspired me to want to play the style of music we played, which of course, back then, we never categorized. Our music has been called “proto metal” to “psych rock” and everything in between.

What inspired you to write a book and when can we expect it to be released?
I’ve always wanted to write a book, ever since I was exposed to great literary works such as Edgar Allen Poe- The Telltale Heart, and J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in my teen years. It was published on the 13th May 2019 and you can purchase it via this link

Are you self-publishing or using a traditional publisher?
A bit of both. Have done most of the work myself, such as writing, editing and self-editing, yet the actual publishing will be done by a publishing company.

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