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Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff - Bestselling Author, Voice Over Artist and Media Assassin

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VANISHED BEAUTY: What Really Happened to Robyn Gardner and Tina Watson

Fatal Sunset: Vanished Beauty

A new true crime mystery thriller by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff

Vanished Beauty cover

Just why did Robyn Gardner’s travel companion purchase a $1.5 million insurance policy and make himself the beneficiary? Did Tina Watson’s husband really insist she increase her life insurance coverage to $1 million before the wedding? When both suspects’ stories are deemed suspicious, what does the evidence ultimately reveal?

VANISHED BEAUTY is an investigative look at the tragic fates of both Robyn Gardner and Tina Watson including the controversial new theories about what really happened on those fateful trips. Fully examine for yourself society’s reaction to these shocking cases allegedly involving human trafficking, kidnapping, insurance scams, fraud and deceit, then decide: when a vacation tragedy turns into suspicions of murder, just who is to blame?

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Empty Spaces: Backwards Messages, Stairway to Heaven and a Failure to Communicate

The+Wall++high+resolution+pngI’d like to show you what this song actually all about. Below is an excerpt from my book “Tearing Down The Wall: A Contemporary Guide to Decoding Pink Floyd – The Wall One Brick at a Time.” I’ve added a few videos from YouTube to help demonstrate some of the backwards messages here in “Empty Spaces” as well as the creepy backmasking in Led Zeppelin’s iconic “Stairway to Heaven.” 

EMPTY SPACES – From “The Wall” by Pink Floyd.

The ghostly wisps of airport terminal ambience and faces from the past fade; the journey now reaches at its next destination. Our arrival point now pulsates with a mechanical rhythm conveying the essence an assembly line of some sort. The synth and guitar play a subdued, darker, much more sinister version of “In the Flesh. 

In many regards, this industrial throbbing percussion in “Empty Spaces” makes the song feel like a blood cousin to “Welcome to the Machine” from the band’s smash album Wish You Were Here. Even lyrics from “Welcome to the Machine” seem to echo from the same DNA of disillusionment found throughout The Wall. 

What did you dream? It’s alright. We told you what to dream.

The musical separation from the living, breathing, organic sound of the finger-picked acoustic nylon-string guitar of “Goodbye Blue Sky” to this synth-driven conveyor belt heightens the sense that we have been torn from the innocence of Pink’s youth. There is no more free pass from obligation that childhood often affords us. Now, as a young adult, Pink is faced with the obligations of manhood.

Primarily those which come with romantic entanglements.

Is this some sort of Brave New World for Pink? Is this a world filled with the Futurist’s embrace of technology that separates us from our loved ones and, more dangerously, ourselves?

Narratively-speaking, Pink now remembers himself as a young adult. The years have not been kind. Throughout his upbringing, his unstable relationship with his own place in the world has deeply affected his ability to connect with others and form true relationships.

Is he now paying dearly for it, because inside of his soul he now feels these “Empty Spaces?”

As a work that deals with the erosion of sanity and its effects upon relationships, The Wall contains surprisingly few overt references to Syd Barrett, the founding member whose LSD addiction fried his brain and forced him out of the band. Perhaps Roger felt he had excised Syd’s spirit with Wish You Were Here’s infamous ode to Syd, “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” 

That being said, there are moments in The Wall that feel like we are being visited briefly by the ghost of Syd’s presence in the band and in Roger’s life. Remember, Syd was Pink Floyd’s original lead singer and songwriter; it was only after Syd’s mental breakdown and subsequent curb-kicking that Roger began his brilliant career as a songwriter. In this case, however, it’s not so much a visit from Syd’s ghost as an embodiment of the man but instead as a form of cautionary tale.

“Empty Spaces” is a song about failed communication.

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces where we used to talk?

Of all the clichéd audio trickery allegedly found in rock record audio production of the era, backmasking was not a Pink Floyd hallmark. This practice of searching for backwards messages, intentionally inserted into recorded music in order to deliver a subliminal message, really didn’t hit the mainstream until 1969 when a caller at a Detroit rock radio station convinced disc jockey Russ Gibb to play The Beatles’ “Revolution 9” in reverse. Therein, explained the caller, were clues to prove the rumors of Paul McCartney’s death were indeed true. When played backwards, the phrase “Number nine” became obvious — to some people — as “turn me on dead man.” When other listeners tried this sonic experiment on their turntables at home, the station’s switchboards lit up. According to them, the mix also contained buried, backwards recordings of a car crash and the voice of someone screaming, “Let me out!”

Record companies and artists scoffed, citing the phenomenon of “phonetic reversal,” wherein a word sounds like another word when reversed. This did not deter some rabid backmasking hunters from convincing themselves that these subliminal messages were not only subversive in nature, but also boldly satanic.

Possibly one of the greatest examples of backmasking paranoia stems from claims that one of the most famous rock songs ever recorded, “Stairway to Heaven,“ is filled with backwards praise of the devil himself.

Right after the bridge of “Stairway” Robert Plant sings:

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now

It’s just a spring clean for the May queen

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on

Without getting too analytical about the lyrics within the context of the song, “Stairway to Heaven” is really about a spirit quest of sorts, harkening back to legendary pursuits like King Arthur’s grail quest or Homer’s Iliad.

The mythical quality of the song’s narrative also lends itself to shades of Paganism. The reference to the May Queen invokes an ancient ritual in which a virgin clad in white was chosen to lead a parade for May Day in celebration of spring. After being crowned with flowers though, a sinister fate awaits our lovely May Queen — for in this pagan ritual, she becomes the victim of human sacrifice.

Also quite undeniable is the allusion that the two paths and the choice to change one’s road refers to the spiritual destination that awaits at the end of this long journey.

That being said, it’s probably not that ridiculous to understand why some self-appointed backmasking detectives believe that when this section of the song is played in reverse, you clearly hear is:

Oh, here’s to my sweet Satan

The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan

He will give those with him 666

There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan


Before you give yourself severe ocular strain from rolling your eyes too hard, take a listen for yourself. (It probably helps to be really high when you do.) Most likely you will find these supposed backwards lyrics to be the product of overactive imaginations belonging to those who strive to find something hidden where nothing exists.

What makes this all very interesting is that “Empty Spaces, a song about failed communication, actually does contain its own backmasking!

Essentially a joke of Roger Waters’ own creation, it contains a certain poignancy that helps give this song a very deep meaning within the context of Pink Floyd’s history and the tragic story of Syd Barrett.

Beginning at approximately 1:12 into the song there is an obviously unhidden garbled audio element in the mix. Played backwards you can clearly hear what is being said.

“Hello looker,” Roger Waters begins. “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink in care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont…”

Then cutting him off before he can deliver the entire address you hear recording engineer James Guthrie call out, “Roger! Carolyne’s on the phone!”

To which Roger replies, “Okay.”

Considering that original Floyd singer Syd Barrett had been institutionalized in a mental hospital, it’s easy to see how this could refer to him, though not as lovingly as in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

The “Carolyne” in question is no doubt Carolyne Waters, Roger’s second wife. In the past, Waters has publicly stated that if it had not been for Carolyne’s insistence on communication between them, he would have ended up as crazy as Pink.

Or perhaps Syd.

It’s worth mentioning that the use of Roger’s real wife’s name is the first time we are removed from The Wall’s fictional universe by something directly from the real world. However, that may be precisely the point. In order to illustrate the many layers in The Wall and to momentarily remind us that it’s a metaphor, he uses Carolyne as a grounding point to give us the right perspective and see the work for what it is.

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Things get really interesting in “Young Lust.” I invite you to check out “Tearing Down The Wall” if you want to know more about the hidden meanings, messages and the incredible way the audio in The Wall was shaped to tell its own story-within-the-story. 

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YOUR MISSION – an excerpt from “Go Forth and Kick Some Ass” by the Rev. MYN.

GoForthAndKickSomeAss-coverI love spring. I look at it as a season that feels so full of amazing possibilities. It wasn’t always like that though. For too long I was my own worst enemy, until I realized one amazing thing: The obstacles in your life do not prevent you from living your life. The obstacles in your life are your life. 

YOUR MISSION – from the book “Go Forth and Kick Some Ass” by the Rev. MYN. 

Beware the Boogeyman for he is real.

Not flesh and blood, for flesh and blood can be stopped with a silver bullet or a stake to the heart; the Boogeyman is as real as any monster you can imagine and believe me, twice as dangerous.

No matter how far you run, he can catch you.

No matter where you hide, he can find you.

The Boogeyman lives in the shadows of your mind, in the dark crevices of your consciousness waiting to spring out and kill your happiness. Kill it dead. Slice its beating heart out and show it to your face as your terrifying scream is locked in your throat with no escape.

And the Boogeyman does this by way of its two greatest spells that it will attempt to cast upon you like some kind of evil wizard in the night.

Fear and Doubt.

You know the Boogeyman. You have met him. You have felt the touch of his icy fingers against your skin and watched the gooseflesh raise upon your arms in tiny bumps.

The Boogeyman is your mortal enemy. If you let him get close he will keep you from that which you desire most:

Success. Happiness. Contentment.

If you let the Boogeyman control your actions, he will take over your life and treat you like a puppet on a string. He will destroy everything you’ve worked to create. He will strangle your hopes and dreams.

Fear and Doubt. Doubt and Fear.

Those two things will derail you from your path and once the Boogeyman hits you with one of these debilitating emotions, it’s not long before the other will breed inside of you like a blackened evil seed full of poison.

Fear and Doubt are the most powerful forces that can keep you from finding success. Alone or together they can paralyze you.

Close your eyes. Imagine the following:

Red wire. Green wire. Timer counting down.

You gonna cut one or just watch the clock run down to zero?

Can you even imagine having to make a decision like that? Red wire. Green wire.

Let’s just hope you’re not colorblind; this will be pretty difficult, as it is.

Pick the one you think is right. Say a small prayer that you have chosen correctly. Use your cutters. Do it fast.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that chances are good you won’t be faced with anything quite literally as harrowing as disarming a bomb. Although, and this is just my opinion, if you happen to be using this book as part of training yourself on explosive ordinance disposal you may want to consider reading faster.

Since the path to success is often fraught with chaos, you can never account for every possible variable. Because shit happens, you evaluate your best mental snapshot of the situation, weigh it against your goals and then take your next step with full commitment.

Do you hesitate? Do you falter under pressure to succeed?

Perhaps the effects of your past still weigh heavily upon you. So much so that it hampers your ability to make progress.

Repeat after me: I am my own worst enemy.

I do things to sabotage myself.

Sometimes I even realize I’m doing it and I still can’t stop myself from monkey-wrenching the whole damn thing.

That’s right, monkey wrenching: the act of screwing yourself out of what you have worked so hard for.

We have somehow conditioned ourselves to accept that we can, might, and will cause the gears of our own progress to come grinding to a halt because that’s just who we are.

That’s how we are wired.

One day I gazed at the face looking back at me in the mirror and asked it a couple of tough questions.

Hey Face, 

How hard should it be to find a life I can truly be passionate about? 

If happiness isn’t going to find me, how will I find it?

Face had no answer. So I sat and I thought.

Understand that I had realized early enough in life that happiness is tied hand-in-hand with self-worth, and by that I don’t mean what you have in your bank account. By self-worth I mean how you feel inside about the progress of your life, and the trajectory in which it is headed.

My happiness rises and falls with the successes I have–in work, in love, and at play.

As I looked at Face in the mirror, I wondered which Face would be staring back at me in the years to come and I realized whatever I was going to do with my life, I just truly wanted to be successful at it.

Face agreed with me, even if he was just along for the ride.

Success breeds confidence.

Success breeds opportunity.

Success breeds more success.

And above all, success breeds happiness and some of the deepest satisfaction you can ever know. It is just that simple.

That being said, don’t ever mistake simple for easy. The only thing in life I ever had that was easy required a penicillin shot afterwards.

Look, if all you want out of life is fame and fortune then you should just go wait in line to buy a lottery ticket or get on a reality TV show; basically just punch your one-way ticket to the magical land of Dipshitville. Just because you think you should have success doesn’t mean it will come to you. Success, for the most part, requires effort and I have to tell you that a lousy work ethic along with a sense of entitlement is not life’s perfecta, my friend.

To find success in this world, you have to be willing to accept an uphill climb. You have to want it.

First, take a deep breath. Now second, really and truly ask yourself, “Do I want it? Do I want to enjoy the rewards that success can and will bring emotionally, and more than likely, financially?”

If you answered “no,” you’re too fucking stupid to read this book.

If you answered “yes,” I’m not going to drench you in bullshit platitudes like, “You just made the first step of the biggest journey of your life.” Hell no. This isn’t about “trust circles” and “wish penguins” or any of that sappy New Age crap.

There is no mystical healing crystal ball that will envelop you in a shining glow and make your life easier and everything go your way.

Trust me. I would know. If there were I would have bought the damn thing already.

If you answered, “Yes, I want it,” I want you to understand there is indeed a road ahead and it may not be all smooth sailing.

Remember, there is no easy money.

Sure, you may hear about tech workers making millions off “stock options” and wish you were so lucky. Well guess what? You are that lucky. You already have stock options in yourself.

It’s called, sweat equity, and it generally means the more work you put into your chosen passion, the greater the reward will be when those efforts finally pay off.

And what I wish to do by giving you these keystones for personal growth is make the road ahead much easier to navigate and that sweat equity much more valuable.

So go ahead and ask yourself, “Why not me?”

Though I won’t pretend this book contains a secret formula to riches, I have a feeling that by the time you finish reading this from cover to cover you’ll be on your way to never having to ask yourself that question again.

Today, when I look at the mirror, Face is much older and has its share of battle scars, but I can tell you Face is happy. Face is satisfied.

I want you to be able to look in the mirror and see yourself as a being of infinite potential. I want you to be excited about the future and taking control of your destiny. This book is for those of you out there who wish to be doing or getting something you want, but are stymied from achieving it simply out of fear.

For years I allowed myself to be held back from my true potential; the forward march of my own progress stopped cold. There were things I wanted to do with my life but were afraid to.

Inside the confines of my barricades were my nest and a certain level of safety.

Outside lived a monster. I knew his name.

The Boogeyman.

Nobody is going to save you.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no cavalry. No knight in shining armor who will come and rescue you from this life that seems like it could be so much more.

Should be so much more.

Am I wrong?

I know you have been waiting.

That, I again hate to say, has been part of the problem why there is a divide between where it is in life you wish to be and where you are right now.

You are not where you want to be.

You have been waiting for the problems and the shortfalls in your life to be taken care of by someone else; the person who will by way of job, relationship or circumstance will turn your life around.

You’ve been waiting for a hero to save you from the dismal fate of an unhappy existence.

A lifetime wishing you were someone else.

Stop waiting. Life is capable of being a lot more than just a string of disappointments.

The only person who can save you is you.

I knew that if I ever wanted to achieve the things in life I desired most I would have to leave the confines of my nest and face my demons.

It would take:

COURAGE.

CHARACTER.

PERSEVERANCE.

and FOCUS.

But as I learned, these superpowers needed to defeat the forces that held me back were already inside me.

They are inside you, too. You just need to find them.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is one of great importance:

Find your superpowers.

Be the hero of your own life story.

You can do it. Just turn the page.

*****

Pick up a copy of GO FORTH AND KICK SOME ASS

“Life is tough and this book reminds you of that, but it also reminds you that YOU are tougher than anything life can throw at you. Mark has taken years of experience and boiled it down to an inspiring, humorous and dead on serious look at what you need to do to be successful in life. It isn’t as difficult as you might believe.”

- C.C. CHAPMAN – New Media trailblazer and bestselling author of “Content Rules”

Go Forth and Kick Some AssKINDLE  Go Forth and Kick Some AssNOOK  Go Forth and Kick Some AssIBOOKS PAPERBACK

This book is for anyone who has ever suffered from the crippling self doubt that comes from feeling like your life is stuck in a rut.

Ordained minister, Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, a.k.a. “The Rev. MYN” will take you though some simple steps how to power yourself out of that rut and get back on track.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: ”I wrote this book to tell you that no matter how futile it seems, there’s always a path out of the woods. Now, I’m not here to show you some kind of new-agey slight-of-hand that will magically change your life. I’m going to simply explain to you the thought process I used in order to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. A wise man once told me that the hardest thing in the world is getting from zero to one mile an hour. Let me show you how I did it so that I could begin living the life I wanted to live. I’ll be honest with you, this book isn’t for everybody. But if you’re ready to stop feeling down about where you are in life and start moving toward achieving your goals, big and small, and if you are willing to make an investment in yourself, I want you to give this book a try.”

GO FORTH AND KICK SOME ASS will not only show you the mental tools you need in your arsenal but how to best acquire them and use them to your advantage. Because, believe me when I say this, you can absolutely be the hero of your own life story. You just have to want it.

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