Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When A Person Decides To Do Music For A Living...

...he does without lots of other things in order to do it (if he's serious, or course). While the other guys are out drinking beer, chasing women, and putting money into poker machines, the guy who goes onto a stage to give something to his audiences, as opposed to taking, is at home learning a guitar part, fiddle part, banjo part, or learning the words to a song - the WHOLE song, and he sets out to do it right. We don't get to have the family life, the home, the nice cars, bunches of friends, nice stuff; we don't make the money, and we are busy taking risks such as moving halfway across the world because we think that's where we need to be. Our paychecks are not substantial, but the prices of our instruments and equipment are. Our girlfriends or wives often feel slighted because of the time we spend doing what we do. A select few of us will never sell out, we do what we do, we do it our way, and more often than not, we go to our graves unknown, broke, and alone. We spend a lot of time in our own company, and in our own head, some of us don't fit in, or function in society, we are often depressed, bewildered, disgusted by the majority of the human race, and we are appalled at all the injustices in the world. The lazy and inept despise us for our hard work and abilities, and the appreciation that we earn, and will do anything to take us down. Music biz people go to great lengths to make our wares benefit them at our expense. The uppity and the money mongers have many names for us. The funny thing is, me, with all the grief and loss that we must live with, it's my life, I wear it all proudly, and I'm in great company - being that many artists much more talented than me (that's "I" for the grammarians) have gone to their grave living and dying with all of what's written here.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Life With The Banjo, Part II

About a year and a half ago, I'd been spending 3 or 4 hours a day, 3, 4 days a week, trying to get my banjo playing back - after not playing for about 20 years.  This went on for months.  It was painful and wonderful at the same time.  I got to the point where I was kinda ok, and I did the video below.  Then, my playing systematically disintegrated.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, my playing was so bad that I couldn't even recognize what I was doing as playing.  My right arm was so rigid that it was beyond belief, my fingers would not do anything resembling what I told them to.  I don't know what happened a couple of weeks ago, but I could almost play, and now, I seem to be on the road to recovery - at least on my banjo playing :D .

I hope you'll take the time to watch the three minute video, it's a fun watch.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Guess...

...time for still another change.  From frying pan into fire, what's next?  Cruise ships, maybe.  Sure would like to settle in one place for once in my life.  Did I already say how much I hate Portland?  Ok, I'll say it, I hate this angry town.  I loved Austin, always loved San Diego, liked Tucson, liked Florida, but Portland and most of its people - waste of space, air, and food.

On a slightly different subject...   fooled again.  Maybe someday I'll have my own life back, this depending on other people is horrid.  Is there such a thing as a person who will not B.S. me?  Something tells me not.

Tomorrow, park, banjo, hopefully a peaceful day, can't remember the last time I had a peaceful day, so many angry people.  I wish they would keep their anger in their own creepy little world, instead of invading mine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Music Business As We Knew It... And Life

Well, it's over, no more making a living by playing music in restaurants and bars.  After 30+ years of doing just that, I've learned over the past two years that it's just not the way in today's world.  So, what does a guy who only knows the music world do?  He cannot just go and work in a coffee shop or a department store.  Some folks can function in society, others cannot, I'm one of those who cannot - never have.  Everything is based on the almighty dollar.  Because the Powers That Be have destroyed not only the music business, but the world in general, I've spent the past three years living in unbelievably horrid situations - mostly with people who pretended to want to help, but in reality, only wanted something for themselves.  From the self righteous, sexually frustrated hippie woman (hell hath no fury...), and her bullying, "Everything I ever did in my life has been fantastic" land renter (who lives in his delapidated RV in her back yard), to the psychotic barfly who, after two weeks, when she realized I wasn't interested in being her boytoy (another "Hell hath no fury situation), tossed me out in the middle of the night (with the help of local police who she blatantly lied to), to living on the banks of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson, to my friend's crazy, self serving, bullying wife, to the "fellow musician" "friend" who wanted to keep me under his control by having me in his basement.

To add insult to injury, I had the almighty dollar for a while, but gave it all up for what I thought was going to be a good life, true love, and all the other happy horse shit.  I miss that Florida house - which was just about to be paid for, my nice Blazer, my studio room and all my beautiful instruments, financial freedom, and all that goes along with having that ever elusive dollar in my back pocket.  Some people are fortunate, others aren't; and yes, there IS such a thing as luck - I have a lifetime of proof that the universe protects thieves, lowlifes, parasites, and other bottom feeders of the world - at the expense of good people.  I'd have a comfortable life right now, and I'd be of real help to my sister, and any other friends or family members who have been less than fortunate.

If this sounds like bitterness, then yes, you recognize the obvious.  And yes, I've been cheated out of everything I ever worked for in my entire life, and yes again, I'm goddam tired.  I'll just leave it there for now.