Gold, Guns and God
Free!
Minimum price
$10.00
Suggested price

Gold, Guns and God

An Epic of separation

About the Book

Juan Paredes was Bill Gann's 8th Grade English student at the American School, Graded, Escola Graduada de Sao Paulo, in Brazil.

Because Juan's English was poor at the time, the only thing in class that engaged his imagination where the slide shows and stories that Bill told about the American Southwest desert, an area he had visited and photographed for over 40 years.

These stories of native American power spots, miners seeking treasure and freedom, outlaws with guns escaping the law, mystics and artists finding God or Ghosts in the desert.. were how Juan learned to speak English and think about America -- its landscape, ingenuity and the strength of character that settled the West.

20 years later, after finishing his second feature documentary, Eat Like You Live, the student sought his former teacher to ask about those tales that had so fascinated him. He was surprised to learn that not only where these tales true, people Bill had actually met, but that there was a lot more. More stories, more characters, more patinas to the narrative.

Possessed by the impulse to capture the power of the Southwest desert, they burn through their savings to buy the appropriate filming equipment and set out on a journey to write a book and make a feature documentary about the American Southwest desert.

They meet Hal Newell, famed sculptor Gordon Newell's son, who built a 12 stone monument where he placed many of his dad's sculptures while hand-making a stone house and studio, a place of peace, light, human connectedness, inspiration. 

They relive Bill's memories of the amazing radio show Edge of Texas, which captured so much of the west best stories and lore, a show hosted by archeologist and author Alex Apostolides and his wife Patti. 

They meet stories of rock and magic in anthropologists who shared time with Carlos Castaneda; stories of outlaws who arrived at the El Paso Wilderness in camel caravans; A massive buddhist temple standing at the Edge in Adelanto; Burro Schmidt, his tunnel, and cowboy poets who were never seen again.

They seek the stories of the West. The Gun. Those on the right and those Jacksonian democrats who stand firmly behind the second ammendment.

They visit The Alabama Hills. Its film and TV history. The Gene Autry Show. The Lone Ranger. Gunga Din. Django.

They hear the stories of Jim Morrison, L. Ron Hubbard, Phillip K.Dick and other mystics, who sought solitude and a space of freedom in the desert.

America is the power of freedom. Solitude makes one realize that one is free, this freedom breeds ingenuity, this ingenuity creates art.  This is Gold, Guns and God.

About the Authors

Juan Paredes
Juan Magg

Bill Gann is a photojournalist and retired teacher. He has covered the Eastern California Desert, the summer of Love, march on Washington and the Brazilian Amazon. He is the author of Last Chance Canyon.

Juan is a writer, photographer and filmmaker. He was producer in the feature documentary Apaporis, Eat Like You Live. He grew up in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia and currently splits his time between Los Angeles, Big Sur and Death Valley.

William Elmore Gann
William Elmore Gann

Bill Gann is a photojournalist and retired teacher. He has covered the Eastern California Desert, the summer of Love, march on Washington and the Brazilian Amazon. He is the author of Last Chance Canyon.

Juan is a writer, photographer and filmmaker. He was producer in the feature documentary Apaporis, Eat Like You Live. He grew up in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia and currently splits his time between Los Angeles, Big Sur and Death Valley.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Gold: Treasure Movies
  • Guns: Movies
  • God: Finding God
  • Imaginarium: time to Create
  • Music of the Desert
  • Edge of Texas Storytelling and the Southwest
  • Speed of the Desert
  • Buddhists at the Gate of the Desert
  • Spiritual Churches
  • Hal Newell
  • Jael Exorcisim Fear Demons in the Desert
  • Ida Reese Leaving Savannah
  • David Reese — Looking into Rock and Sky
  • The Teachings of Don Alex
  • A Mountain Lady, a Famous Schmidt Tunnel and a Lost Phone Booth
  • The Star Gazer
  • Spirits at Black Mountain
  • Walt Bickel
  • Mojo Mark
  • Outlaw and the Camel Lady
  • Chasing Blue Scout
  • The Many Lives of John Bullock
  • Fat Tony
  • Bodyparts Lee
  • About the Author
  • Appendix A: Desert Playlist
  • Appendix B: Select Desert Mystics

The Leanpub 45-day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 45 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

See full terms

Do Well. Do Good.

Authors have earned$10,903,365writing, publishing and selling on Leanpub, earning 80% royalties while saving up to 25 million pounds of CO2 and up to 46,000 trees.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers), EPUB (for phones and tablets) and MOBI (for Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF, EPUB and/or MOBI files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub