David Swinson is the author of the critically acclaimed Frank Marr trilogy, The Second Girl, Crime Song and Trigger. He is also the author of City on the Edge. He began his career at the height of the punk rock movement in the early 1980s. After attending California State University as a film major, he booked and promoted punk rock and alternative music at Fender’s Ballroom and Bogart’s Nightclub in Long Beach. He presented such acts as Violent Femmes, Social Distortion, Nick Cave, John Cale, Chris Isaac and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Swinson also started a Wednesday night evening of conversation and spoken word with luminaries such as Hunter S. Thompson, Dr. Timothy Leary, John Waters and Jim Carroll. After several years of booking, promoting, as well as developing lasting relationships with such people as Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson, it was a natural segue to develop and co-produce Sound Bites from the Counter Culture for Atlantic Records in 1990. This spoken-word compilation featured writers, orators and politicians, including Thompson, Leary, Carroll, Abbie Hoffman, and Eugene McCarthy. Billboard called the album “essential listening.”
In 1990, while having drinks with Timothy Leary and friend, Bill Stankey, in Leary’s home in Beverly Hills, an idea for an offbeat buddy film entitled “Roadside Prophets” was conceived. Hunter S. Thompson was also included in the project. The film found a home with FineLine Features and was distributed theatrically by New Line Cinema. The film starred John Doe (of the band X) and Adam Horovitz (of the Beastie Boys) and featured Timothy Leary, John Cusack, David Carradine and Arlo Guthrie. Over the past few years, “Roadside Prophets” has become a cult classic among young viewers.
In 1994, Swinson pursued another passion – law enforcement. He returned to his home base of Washington DC, where he entered the Police Academy and joined the Metropolitan Police Department. Swinson began his career as a police officer in uniform. He was then assigned to the Gun Recovery Unit as a tactical officer. Shortly after that, Swinson was assigned as a plainclothes/undercover officer, targeting narcotics and crimes in progress. In 1998, Swinson was assigned to the Third District Detectives Office as an investigator, where he covered offenses ranging from burglary and armed robbery to homicide. In 2000, he was promoted to detective and was assigned to the department’s Special Investigations Bureau/Major Crimes, and was the lead investigator in the District of Columbia for investigating serial burglaries, high profile cases and organized criminal operations related to narco-fencing.