John Denver Revisited

I’ve been following Peace Troubadour, James Twyman, since reading his inspiring book, Emissary of Light: A Vision of Peace  back in the days when he was risking his life playing Serbian and Croatian peace songs on radio in that troubled part of the world.
A friend recently sent me his newsletter announcing an unpublished song written by John Denver but never sung by him.
It brought back many old memories: meeting John in Santa Monica to share the “Dolphin Legand; delivering a special crystal to him on the plane to Russia; sharing dolphin stories in Moscow.

John Denver on a trip to Moscow in 1985

 I had a connection with John Denver that lasted over many years and I spoke with him on the phone just an hour before his plane crashed near Monteray, California. I was staying with my friend, Gigi Coyle at a San Francisco Hotel where we were gathered to celebrate the birthday of Jim Hickman, past director of the Soviet/American Exchange, and a good friend of John’s . John was calling from Monteray to say he had a new plane he was about to test and could not make it to the birthday party.  Just two hours later his plane went down over Monterey Bay and he left millions of fans mourning our loss.
Hearing this song brought back many poignant memories. Listening to the newly recorded “Grandma’s Feather Bed” at John’s home in Santa Monica with Gigi and a few friends. Afterwards we all went to a Japanese restaurant where John swallowed a whole chunk of wasabi by accident and was unable to speak for at least 10 minutes!
About a year after that I was asked to deliver a hand-made crystal heart to John who was headed to Russia to perform for the first time. Jim Hickman was managing John’s appearances in Moscow so I agreed to take the crystal to him. As it turned out we were on the same plane from Frankfurt to Moscow and I was able to hand it over.  At John’s first press conference, organized by Jim Hickman,  I had a chance to talk-story with him and a small group of friends. John was fascinated by dolphins and whales and I shared several stories about our interactions with orca whales off the coast of British Columbia and my long-distance connection with the dolphin Holey-Finn in Monkey Mia, Australia.

Linda teaches TTouch to a group of Russian veterinarians in 1985 at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Bitsa.

A small group of us hung out sharing dolphin and whale stories until 2 am when I suddenly remembered I was scheduled to give a talk at the Hippodrome racetrack at 9 am the following morning and I had no translator.  Andre Orlov, a Russian journalist covering John’s press conference, offered to translate for me. That was the beginning of a magical friendship that blossomed over 10 trips to the former Soviet Union between July 1984 and August of 1989. During those years I went as a citizen diplomat working with the Moscow zoo, the Academy of Science and always with riders, trainers and veterinarians at the Olympic Equestrian Center at Bitsa.
Now, listening to his last song brings back the magic of John Denver.
James Twyman writes:
The last song John Denver wrote,
but never had the chance to record:
The Wandering Soul

Dear Friends…

Several years ago a friend of John’s shared an amazing song with me. The Wandering Soul, she said, was the last song John Denver wrote, but he died before he could record it. I was immediately moved, not just because it was significant that he never had the chance to share the song, but because it was one of the best, most spiritual songs he ever wrote. It has taken me almost seven years to release The Wandering Soul, but the time has come. I’m sharing it now through a music video I recorded, and I hope you’ll pass it on to everyone you know. It’s a powerful way to honor John and the contributions he has made to the planet. My goal is for hundreds of thousands of people to see this video and hear the song, but that will only happen IF YOU PASS IT ON. Give it a listen, and open your heart.

To watch The Wandering Soul, click here:

In Peace,



© 2012, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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