Video produced by Luis Carrión and Mitch Riley

If you followed the Tucson music scene in the 1980s, you might recall the name Bill Sedlmayr. He was a creative force with some of the most prominent bands of the time.

“Music, you know rock 'n' roll, was my life-blood,” Sedlmayr says. “It’s what kept me going a lot of the times.”

These days, Sedlmayr continues writing poetry, prose and songs, and he is producing a project that taps into current Tucson music scene. He spent more than a decade behind bars, serving time for assaulting a police officer and drug-related offenses.

“It feels great doing this project,” he says. “I feel like I had a record in me for about five or six years, a strong record.”

Sedlmayr says he feels lucky simply to be alive. He credits an inmate writing program that was part of during his incarceration with providing opportunities.

“I just started writing stories about my life,” he says. “(Writing) started meaning something to me. It started giving me a feeling of self-worth.”

Erec Toso and Richard Shelton discuss the inmate writing program during an interview on AZ Illustrated.