Saturday, June 30, 2012

Envy - A Very Serious Self Inflicted Condition

As far back as 1980, when I first started playing music for a living, I have witnessed some of the most pathetic behavior in people (musicians) that I could ever imagine.
Ross Costa, the guitar player who I replaced at Ducky's (the first bar I worked at as a "Professional" musician) - the guy still hates me to this day - and the only reason they hired me was because I was no threat to anybody at the time.  Ray Christie - the first time a nice looking girl showed interest in me - he told me some lie about how she would flirt with a guy, then call her husband to come in and start a fight.  Billy Edwards - doing and saying everything possible to turn people against me - this went on for years, from about 1980 till 1988 - didn't do him any good, but damn did he ever try.  Gene Davis, who I hired as a "singer", then proceeded to tell everybody that it was his band, even going so far as to steal our original band name by registering it with Commerce And Consumer Affairs.  Allen Stolz - playing every sneaky game possible to convince me, as well as the listeners, that HE was the main attraction in the band - he lasted 3 months, at which time I enjoyed firing his sorry ass.  Jim Mitchell - booking agent - used every dirty trick in the book to silence my band, while promoting his wife's band (Tina Marie and the White Buffalo Band) - including lying to club managers and owners, cheating, and stealing from me every chance he got.  Warren Johnson, who desperately wanted to be the "Top Band", going so far as to threaten a club where he was the house band, saying he would quit unless they got rid of me there - I was getting just a bit too many people in the Cowboy Inn on Sunday and Monday nights (I was the house band at Pecos, where it was packed to the rafters just about every night).  Debbie Travis - who went out and spit venom about me to the folks who were following my band everywhere we played - also did her no good, but boy did she ever try.  Phil Christman - who ended up pouring coke (the drink) into two of the horns in my Peavey monitor wedges, and who tried to get into the equipment room to destroy more of my equipment.  Julie Shultz, who had a somewhat successful band in the late 70s, went into Pecos trying to take nights from me with her new band, using sneaky tactics and threats - she couldn't do it, but damn did she try - she ended up disbanding because she couldn't get any footing.  After moving to Ft. Worth, Texas, one guy saw me at a jam session, invited me to come to his across town, and when I showed up, he did everything he could to silence me - including trying to get other guys in his band - who didn't sing, didn't have mics in front of them, and who said, "You know I don't sing" - to sing.  I hired these two guys - Bill Powell and Jack Daniels (yes, I said Jack Daniels), they were so enraged about what I was doing that on the last night of playing in my band, they acted like a couple of 5 year olds having tantrums - right there on the stage - I enjoyed firing their sorry asses that night.  I had guys come up to me - apparently musicians, or maybe just wannabes - and try to knock me down a peg or two - as in, "Yeah, I noticed you had trouble sounding like Randy Travis (HUH, I wasn't trying to sound like Randy Travis), and other such silly attempted insults.  Off to Northern Virginia/Southern Maryland/DC area.  Auditioned at (can't remember the name of the place - in Alexandria) - how do I put this without sounding like a fathead - I won't, I'll just say that the people weren't shy about showing their appreciation for our half hour set.  The owner literally ran out the back door at our last note, and we could never get in touch with him after that.  Couldn't get near Zed, or Steve's place (can't remember the name of his club - Steve was one of those wannabes who would go around and sit in with the bands, pretty boy, the hat, the Shepler clothes, the line of shit, and couldn't get away with his shenanigans when he sat in with us) - so his revenge was, when daddy gave him the money to open his own little place, he wouldn't let us anywhere near it - answering, "I don't like Rio".  Back to Hawaii, David Jones - my own (ex) half brother, who, having the worst case of compulsive/pathological lying I've ever seen, set out to destroy me in Hawaii - telling endless lies to his drug buddies - some in high positions by that time - and succeeding in seeing to it that I could never get anything played on the radio in that town.  In Austin, Keito, doing everything possible to sing over me, as well as prevent me from playing after the shows - instead getting the youngster dancer to play Hip Hop CDs through my sound system - even when there were mostly senior citizens at the shows.  JC, who was losing his job as bass player in some country band, while I was sitting in on lead guitar, the rumor being that I was going to be hired on bass, went berserk, coming all the way over to my side of the stage (during a song) to try to insult me.  In Tucson, club manager - steroided to the hilt - I'm convinced that he hired me to play in that Hawaiian restaurant, thinking I would fail.  My fiddle got a lot of attention, and I guess he didn't like that, so he started by ordering me not to play the fiddle (yes, it was a Hawaiian restaurant, but you cannot play Hawaiian music all night for non Hawaiian people - it just doesn't work - so I started out with Hawaiian, and went on to play a variety - including one fiddle song at the end of each set).  He went on trying to bully me when I played the fiddle anyway, at which time I told him I'd had enough of the management telling me what I could and could not play - he had to deal with some really angry people after I left, but that was easier for him than seeing me make his customers happy.  In Portland, I gave ex half brother, David, a second chance, wouldn't ya know it - it did the same thing he did the first time - thankfully he didn't have the clout in Portland that he did in Hawaii.  Then came Al Morales, the sneaky, cowardly little bastard who spent unbelievable amounts of effort running all over town, saying god knows what about me, in order to turn as many people against me as humanly possible, and to make sure I could not work - and not have friends.  I actually worked with this numbskull for a while, watching him do his damnedest to get me to make him look good, while keeping me under control as much as possible - his desperation was about the most pitiful thing I'd ever seen.  This is a guy who knew about 15 Hawaiian songs (and nothing else), some of which he only knew one verse, but pretended to know the whole song - after all, these are haoles, they would never know any different.  If I told you half of what he did, you probably wouldn't believe it, but let me tell you, he did it, and then some.  Then there was the wannabe banjo player in the biker bar, "Your Johnny Cash wasn't quite there", yeah, nothing I do is quite there - dumbasses.

There are more, these are just ones that I remember off the top of my head.  A lot of it is hindsight - things I never really thought about until fairly recently.

So, while I chose to be in this crappy business, I had no idea going in, what I was in for.  I probably would have done music for a living anyway, being that it was the only thing I knew, and the only thing I could imagine doing for any length of time.  My faith in people is down to nothing, as of now I can't imagine ever wanting to work with a musician again.  I will avoid them at all costs - not only in playing, but also in associating with them in any way.  I'll continue to play out live, until I can get into one of the other avenues that are starting to take shape in the music business.

Yeah, envy, people do some very stupid things in the name of envy.  Pitiful and pathetic is what I have to say in closing.  See y'all next time.

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