1996. Compilation CD of songs, music and out takes of “Mark Unobsky”…also known as “Trader Mark”.


1996. Com­pi­la­tion CD of songs, music and out­takes of “Mark Unobsky”…also known as “Trad­er Mark”. Mark & I were very close friends up until Mark’s death in 1996. We laughed a lot togeth­er and loved to jam the blues. Mark was a fine blues gui­tarist who grew up in East Mem­phis, down the street from where Sun Stu­dios entre­pre­neur Sam Phillips lived. He was child­hood friends with the Phillip’s chil­dren Knox and Jer­ry. Mem­phis musi­cian and pro­duc­er Jim Dick­in­son who worked for years with Ry Cood­er was an old friend of Mark’s and loved his play­ing, call­ing his style unique.

Mark and I would some­times laugh so hard at some­thing I thought I was­n’t going to be able to breathe, let alone stand up. He was con­sid­ered pret­ty insane by many peo­ple, but I hit it off with Mark the minute we met at John Cipol­li­na’s parent’s house in Mill Val­ley, around 1970. He trad­ed instru­ments, guns and any­thing else that inter­est­ed him…and he’d qui­et­ly clone pot plants for major grow­ers on his lit­tle back porch in Mill Val­ley. Mark had owned the infa­mous “Red Dog Saloon” in Vir­ginia City…a west­ern style saloon where Janis Joplin and Big Broth­er, and the Char­la­tans got their start. The bar­tenders actu­al­ly wore six guns, and cus­tomers had to check their guns at the door. Mark and I got extreme­ly high one day and played on the sound track of the clas­sic “The Fine Art Of Goof­ing Off” pro­duced by Sandy Jacobs for K.Q.E.D. Tele­vi­sion. We record­ed it at Sandy’s home in Mill Valley.
Mark called me one morn­ing say­ing he’d had incred­i­ble chest pain the day before and had to pull his car over to the side of the road. He did­n’t call an ambu­lance but lay there for a while and took a bunch of aspirin. I’d just got through tak­ing a Red Cross course in CPR and it was obvi­ous to me Mark might be in seri­ous trou­ble; so I set it up for him to go and see my own doc­tor and told him I’d pay for the visit.
My doc­tor took one lis­ten to his chest, put him in a wheel­chair and called an ambu­lance. Mark end­ed up hav­ing triple by-pass surgery which kept him alive for many more years until his old lady Joyce woke up one morn­ing to find him dead in a chair in front of the TV.
Joyce gave me a few of his things as mementos…which I still have. I was­n’t able to make his memo­r­i­al ser­vice due to being on the road, but Jean­nette and our son Dylan went. Mark always liked Dylan and our daugh­ter Natalie.
One of his friends made up some live brass shot­gun rounds with Marks ash­es in them instead of buck-shot. He gave them to a few of his clos­er friends. I still have it sit­ting in a spe­cial cab­i­net in my studio…perhaps I’ll blast it off over a field of pot some­day. — with John Cipollina.





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