Buzzy Martin, the subject of the book “Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man,” still has a positive impact on teens and young adults. He is a sought-after musician and speaker in juvenile correctional facilities and schools all around the United States, where he utilizes music to connect with kids and share his experiences. Martin’s approach focuses on the use of music as a therapeutic, empowering, and expressive instrument. He has created music programs for young people who are at risk, and has received praise for his dedication to empowering youngsters and coaching them in achieving their full potential. Martin’s continual engagement with young people is proof of his dedication to improving other people’s lives and of his faith in the transformative power of music.
Writer, producer, arranger and performer for 1993 song featured on national television programs, and radio play; Please Come Home to help create awareness surrounding the kidnapping of Polly Klaas and for all missing and abducted children
Buzzy Martin, a veteran musician, first instructed at-risk children in the true account of Guitar Man in order to help them cope with the challenges of daily life. He was offered an opportunity to teach music to inmates at San Quentin State Prison as a result of this experience. He was at first intimidated by the severe surroundings, however he soon found a language he could speak with the convicts: his music. In an effort to convince the younger, at-risk kids that prison was not some kind of “badge of honor,” he went back to them with accounts of the harsh realities of prison life. Real dreams, genuine hope, and the redemptive impact of music could take the place of the perilous roads in which they were heading. Along the way, they learn the true meaning of freedom and experience gift of music.
“… a stunning portrayal of everyday life in the Big Q. Buzzy Martin’s book depicts a not so glamorous account of a city of lost souls. The only glimpse of hope for inmates caged like animals is the two hours they spend strumming the guitar and singing at the top of their lungs with Buzzy. For a close-up view of a dead-end street, young “juvenile hall gang bangers” might read this powerful book about life in San Quentin Prison. Having worked with juvenile offenders for over 29 years, I believe these true life stories grab the attention of the reader immediately and illustrate the shocking reality of inmates in a prison culture who are preyed upon and changed for life.”
– Matthew R. Fenske
“Hey! Don’t Shoot I’m The Guitar Man! I should have known that Buzzy Martin, the author of this unique book would have had a wonderful story to tell. This is such a mesmerizing book, you feel like you’re in prison along with Buzzy’s students. I certainly recommend this book, not only to musicians, but also to families who might have at risk youth or loved ones that are incarcerated. Eventually this retrospect of a music program in a prison setting will become a block buster film and then, there will be many more people moved, because of Buzzy’s work giving so much of his time, helping the less fortunate, all through his spirit of music.”