Mark Alberto Yoder Nuñez was born in the old, navy hospital across from Balboa Park in San Diego, California on November 19, 1956. The fact that his father was a disabled, front line combat, Korean War veteran had a profound impact on Mark’s life. From the age of two and a half until ten years later in 1969 Mark would grow up in Tucson, Arizona. Mark went to a Catholic school that was run by the Seton sisters, an order created for and dedicated to education. Mark received a firm foundation in education from the start which would shape his future. The Seton sisters were remarkably progressive for the times in the sixties. Although the young Mark thought of Tucson as being like other big cities the influence of his mother’s Midwestern, Ohio background and the cowboy culture of Tucson had an affect on Mark’s musical influences. Although Mark’s goal was to be an artist he started playing harmonica when he was eight and guitar, at his parents’ suggestion, at ten. Mark was surrounded by folk music and cowboy music influences.
Then Mark’s father who missed California took his family to a town of 26,000 in Southern California. This was a town with a major Air Force Base. Since Mark’s father was a retired veteran due to disability caused by war wounds his family received free medical care and shopping privileges on military bases. Mark would later say that he lived in the shadow of the industrial, military complex.
The social upheavals of the sixties had a profound influence on Mark from the civil rights movement to the anti-war movement to the counter cultural revolution. The poverty that Mark witnessed in Tucson with its ever apparent slums left a mark on his compassionate soul.
Although Mark wanted to go to a four year college and could have gotten full, financial aid to pay for it being the second son in a family of nine children his father had other ideas. Mark later realized that his father who received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts himself with the help of the G.I. bill was a prisoner of his own past. Mark almost joined the Army himself but backed out of it.
In the end Mark became a vagabond just as is chronicled in his songwriting. He has spent his life trying to make it in the private sector with only two and a half years of college, mostly junior college. Through it all working as a taxi driver, taxi dispatcher and a charter bus driver along with other assorted jobs Mark has written stories and poetry. His need to express himself with art, music and writing has kept him going and given his life meaning.
Mark's influences include Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Carlos Castaneda and John Steinbeck.