Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time To Go For Bigger Rewards

Yes, after last week's "audition", and the flaming B.S. I had to be on the receiving end of afterward, I (actually we) made a decision.  I've been in this crappy, corrupt business since January 1, 1980.  Besides seeing much of our country, I've also seen other parts of the world.  I've played with good musicians, and bad ones, I've been dealt cowardly blows from booking agents, club managers, radio people, musicians, people who run the world, people who run the music business, and I'm still here, still playing music.  I guess I've been looking for answers here lately, after spending the first 20+ years doing what I thought I needed to in order to get "signed" by a major record label.  I've been to Nashville three times, the first time (in '81), I had no business being there, as I was too new, only been playing a couple years, didn't know how to deal with much of anything in the business; add to that not being very good at playing or singing.  Second time, in '91, I went there half heartedly and with no support.  I missed my son terribly, who was 9 years old at the time.  Some things started to happen in the short month I was there that time, but I couldn't be away from my boy, and I couldn't be in that cold town with that nagging at me all day, every day.  Wife at the time also seemed to enjoy playing games with my mind, and me being in the fragile condition I was in, I stumbled back to Hawaii after just a month.  Third time, in 2003, I just went there to see what was there, didn't really have any plans to stay or try to accomplish anything.  The second and third times I was there, the place was a ghost town, with scammers preying on young musicians and aspiring artists; while places where the real thing was happening being kept a well protected secret - as a matter of fact, that's still the case.  To make matters worse, there are less live venues to play than there were even ten years ago.  Another funny thing is that the last two times I was there, I didn't see many good musicians or artists - other than a good bluegrass band that was playing regularly at one of the bars on Broadway.

So, I've decided to take one last trip to Nashville to see if I can stir up anything.  My attitude this time is to see what I can discover, and to see if I can offend any of the people in the business.  At this point, I'm pretty disgusted with the whole music scene, the corruption, the egos, the bullying, the deception, the trickery, and the destruction of the music business itself.  I fully expect the same crap, but being that I'm not expecting anybody to sign a 50 something year old guy, I'm gonna enjoy going to open mic nights, songwriter venues, and whatever other places I can find where things are happening, where "important" people might be.

Looking back, I have to say that my first wife, the one who played in the band with me, she did everything possible to keep me from getting anywhere in the business.  It took me about five years to finally convince here we should get out of Hawaii.  She had relatives in Nashville who were in positions to help, but she refused to get in touch with them.  Based on what I saw while being on stage with her for 10+ years, she didn't want to deal with the groupie types on a national level, who go after guys who make their living on a stage - she foamed at the mouth enough just at the ones who hung out at the neighborhood bars and dance halls.  Her jealousy boiled over into abuse - had I been a smaller guy, I'm sure she would have beaten the daylights out of me every chance she got; as it was, I got lots of practice blocking punches every time a pretty girl danced by and smiled at me.

While I had my doubts up until recently about the girl I'm with now, it's becoming apparent that she actually does want to see me accomplish something at the next level - if that's what I choose to do.  She is supporting me all the way, and she seems happy to do it.  It would have been great to have some kind of support sooner, but well, it didn't work that way, so now I'm diving in.  While I've watched many people have things handed to them - college educations, good jobs, support, connections, money, etc., I've had to fight tooth and nail for every tiny thing I've ever had; that's not to mention being lied to, stolen from, tricked, manipulated, and exploited at just about every turn.  I know what some are thinking - some love to throw that word, "blame" around.  Well, first, you can take your worthless Pop Psychology bullshit and shove it, and second, as I've said so many times, responsibility is an all way street - as in I'll be responsible for my stuff, and everybody else be responsible for theirs - that especially includes the greedy, lying, vindictive lowlifes of the world.  Anyway, yes, I made a couple of decisions that turned out to be a bit stupid, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in the history of the world to accomplish that feat.

The plan is to head to Nashville in early March, after the weather starts to warm up a little.  In the meantime, I research as much as possible, and try to play my instruments whenever I can.  There are times when I look forward to encountering all the lying, thieving parasites that surely will be there, and there are other times when I dread it.  Funny, I never fear competition, lack of my own ability, or somebody being better, it's always the cheap, cowardly tactics that the lowlifes, cowards, and parasites use in order to take me down.  I guess it's just part of my process.  I'm pretty sure that by the time March comes slamming into my life, I'll be ready - that's of course, seeing that nothing horrible happens before then.

In closing, I'll say to the Nashville bigwigs, as well as the ego driven musicians who would do anything to stifle me - you guys can all go screw yourselves :D .

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