Reconnecting with Family: Red Beards’s Unexpected Reunion

Red Beard, also known as Joshua Owen, is a street musician who shares their story in an interview conducted by Soft White Underbelly. Growing up in San Diego, California, and later moving to Texas, Red Beard faced challenges at home after their mother passed away and had to live with their father and his new family. This led to a difficult family dynamic and instances of abuse, causing Red Beard to run away multiple times. Music became their coping mechanism, allowing them to heal from their past and connect with others. However, Red Beard also struggled with drug addiction, including heroin, throughout their life and faced challenges reintegrating into society after being incarcerated. Currently residing in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco, Red Beard has three sons, two of whom are in Texas, and one whom they were adopted by but later reconnected with. They have regrets about the harm caused during their addiction struggles and express concerns about the current political climate and its potential consequences for future generations.


Introduction to Red Beard (Joshua Owen)

Red Beard, also known as Joshua Owen, is a street musician who has captured the hearts of many with his raw and honest music. Born in San Diego, California, Joshua grew up in Texas after experiencing difficulties at home following his mother’s passing. His upbringing was marked by a challenging family dynamic and instances of abuse. These circumstances led him to run away multiple times in search of a better life.

Interview conducted by Soft White Underbelly

Soft White Underbelly, a popular online platform, conducted an interview with Red Beard to delve into his life story and the struggles he has faced. The interview provides insight into Joshua’s early life, his experiences with addiction, and his passion for music. Soft White Underbelly’s interviews offer an unfiltered look into the lives of individuals who have experienced various challenges, showcasing their resilience and strength.

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Early Life and Family

Growing up in San Diego, California

Red Beard’s journey began in San Diego, California. However, after his mother’s passing when he was just eight years old, his life took a different turn. The loss of his mother significantly impacted him, even though they weren’t particularly close. This event marked the start of a challenging period in his life.

Difficulties after mother’s passing

Following his mother’s death, Red Beard was thrust into the care of his father and his new family. The dynamic between his father’s new wife and step-siblings was strained, and they took out their frustrations on him. Red Beard had to navigate through this unfamiliar and hostile environment, dealing with confusion and pain at a young age.

Living with father and his new family

Living with his father and his new family proved to be difficult for Red Beard. The relationship between his father and stepmother deteriorated, and his father faced hardship, which made it challenging for him to care for Red Beard. Unable to provide a stable home for his son, Red Beard was eventually taken into state care.

Experiencing abuse and challenging family dynamic

Red Beard’s time in state care was far from ideal. He experienced abuse and a challenging family dynamic that left lasting scars. As a child, he struggled to understand the violence and pain he witnessed at home, often feeling confused and resentful. His memories from that period revolve around confusion, pain, and a sense of not knowing what he had done wrong.

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Running away multiple times

Faced with a difficult home life and little support, Red Beard made the brave decision to run away multiple times. His determination to escape the troubles at home led him to embark on an independent journey in search of a better life. These experiences shaped his resilience and fueled his drive to find purpose and meaning in his life.

Reconnecting with Family: Red Beardss Unexpected Reunion

Music as a Coping Mechanism

Music as a healing tool

For Red Beard, music became a powerful tool for healing and self-expression. Initially, he picked up the guitar as a teenager, a gift from his father on his 14th birthday. Learning to play the guitar gave him an outlet for his emotions and a way to process the difficulties he had faced. As he grew older, he discovered that writing and performing music allowed him to release and heal from the pain he had carried.

Connecting with others through music

Red Beard’s music not only serves as a coping mechanism for himself but also resonates with others who have experienced similar hardships. Through his heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies, he has touched the lives of many who have found solace and understanding in his songs. Red Beard’s ability to connect with his listeners on a deep emotional level has established a strong bond between him and his audience.

Struggles with Addiction

Drug addiction, including heroin

Throughout his life, Red Beard has battled with addiction, including substance abuse and dependency on heroin. As a young adult, he found himself drawn to the lifestyle of rock stars, many of whom struggled with substance abuse. This led him down a dangerous path of addiction, where he sought solace in drugs, unaware of the long-lasting consequences.

Incarceration and reintegration challenges

Red Beard’s drug addiction eventually led him down a path of incarceration. He faced charges related to burglary and weapons possession, resulting in a six-year sentence. During his time in prison, he had to confront his past actions and reconsider the choices that led him to his current situation. Reintegrating into society after serving his sentence presented its own set of challenges as he navigated a world that had changed significantly during his time behind bars.

Current residence in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood

Currently, Red Beard resides in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, an area known for its high levels of crime and drug activity. Despite the challenges he faces living in this neighborhood, Red Beard continues to pursue his passion for music and uses it as a means of overcoming the struggles he encounters.

Reconnecting with Family: Red Beardss Unexpected Reunion

Reconnecting with Family

Three sons, two in Texas

Red Beard is a father to three sons, two of whom reside in Texas. Despite the distance between them, he maintains a strong connection with his two sons and cherishes the moments they spend together. Their presence in his life is a source of motivation and a reminder of the importance of family.

Adopted son’s reunion later in life

In addition to his two sons in Texas, Red Beard’s family expanded when he reconnected with his adopted son later in life. This reunion brought a mix of emotions, including joy, regret, and hope. Red Beard recognizes the mistakes he made during his struggles with addiction and strives to make amends while nurturing his newfound relationship with his adopted son.

Regrets about past harm caused

Reflecting on his past, Red Beard acknowledges the harm he caused while battling addiction. He expresses regret for the pain he may have inflicted on others during that time and carries the weight of those mistakes. His journey towards healing involves recognizing the impact of his actions and taking responsibility for them.

Importance of family connections

Red Beard has come to understand the importance of family connections. Despite the difficulties he has faced, he treasures the relationships with his sons and embraces the opportunity to rebuild bridges with his loved ones. These connections provide him with strength, love, and a sense of purpose as he continues to navigate life’s challenges.

Facing Fears

Concerns about the current political climate

One of Red Beard’s most significant fears revolves around the current political climate. The uncertainty and potential consequences weigh heavily on his mind, raising concerns for the future of society as a whole. As someone who has experienced hardships first-hand, he worries about the potential impact on future generations and longs for a better world.

Potential consequences for future generations

Red Beard’s fears stem from witnessing the difficulties and struggles he has personally faced. He worries that the current political climate could perpetuate cycles of pain, abuse, and addiction, making it even more challenging for future generations to rise above their circumstances. Through his music, he aims to shed light on these concerns, hoping to inspire change and create a better world for those who come after him.

Reconnecting with Family: Red Beardss Unexpected Reunion


Reflection on Red Beard’s journey

Red Beard’s journey has been marked by hardship, resilience, and personal growth. From his challenging upbringing to his struggles with addiction, he has faced numerous obstacles. However, through it all, he has found solace and healing in music, connecting with others along the way. Red Beard’s story serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the capacity for growth, even in the face of adversity.

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Importance of resilience and growth

Red Beard’s story highlights the importance of resilience in overcoming life’s challenges. Despite the setbacks he has faced, he has persevered and continued to pursue his passion for music. His journey serves as an inspiration to others, showcasing the strength that lies within each individual to rise above difficult circumstances.

Continued pursuit of personal and family connections

Moving forward, Red Beard remains committed to his music and the connections he has fostered through it. He prioritizes his relationships with his sons, cherishing the opportunity to rebuild and grow with them. The adversities he has faced have fueled his resolve to create a better life and future, not only for himself but also for those who may find solace and inspiration in his music. Through his unwavering pursuit of personal and family connections, he strives to leave a positive impact on the world around him.

Soft White Underbelly interviewed and portrayed Red Beard, also known as Joshua Owen, a street musician in the Tenderloin in San Francisco. You can listen to Joshua’s music by visiting this link.

To enjoy ad-free and uncensored videos, as well as access to exclusive content, you can subscribe to the Soft White Underbelly subscription channel on It only costs $10 per month and you can watch it on mobile apps for Apple and Android, Roku TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.

If you’d like to support some of the individuals featured in SWU interviews, you can contribute to their GoFundMe campaign through this link.

Lastly, if you’re interested in purchasing the Soft White Underbelly book, you can find it on this link.

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