Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It Took Painful Loss to Put God's Voice in His Songs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It Took Painful Loss to Put God's Voice in His Songs

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

ST. SIMONS ISLAND - A lot of kids dream about making it big in music. Tim Haynes began living his dream at 13 when he got a Kapa Starburst electric guitar. His father was a distributor for Atlantic Records handling vinyl records of the likes of Otis Redding and Junior Walker and the All Stars.

"I wrote my first song at 14. It's still in my head,'' Haynes said over a cup of iced coffee. "I recorded it when I was 18."

Although he was 16 and shouldn't have been there, he was at the Cellar Door, a bar, playing and singing to an audience that included Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne.

"I had no idea who she was,'' Haynes said of Raitt. "She said, 'Boy, you're awfully good for your age.' "

Cellar Door Productions lined him up a job as a sound and guitar technician.

"I toured with the [Grateful] Dead for 2 1/2 years,'' he said. "I did get to sit down and play with the boys once in a while. I got to see Jerry Garcia warm up. I was blown away.''

He lived a rock fan's dream for years, but says, "If I had stayed in it, I don't know if I'd be alive today."

His marriage didn't survive, and with custody of his children, Jason, 3, and Aliese, 1, he moved to St. Simons Island 17 years ago. He took them to the beach, let them play with other kids and, when his savings ran out, got a job laying tile.

About four years later, some good things happened. He formed his own company, Create Ceram and met Laurence Maurer, whose first name is pronounced "Luh-ronse." Her daughter, Sigourney, was one his children's playmates, being slightly older.

He went to St. Simons Community Church - he says Laurence had to drag him - and he sat among what was then a congregation of about 100.

"I got radically saved," he said, and began playing in the church praise band.

In 2001, he put out a CD of secular music that went nowhere and by his own account, "went into remission writing songs." Except for a few slips, life was still good, he was still gigging and he, Laurence and their children were happily together.

Then came the nightmare of Dec. 26, 2007. The day before her 21st birthday, Sigourney was coming home to the island across the F. …

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