Thursday, January 23, 2014

Joy, Hell, and Me

The Fid, Around Late1983

It’s been 34 years in this nasty music business.  It’s been fun, it’s been great, and it’s been hell.  Not sure if this is a permanent thing or not, but these days I just don’t feel the thrill or the joy that I used to.  I will say that I missed out on the joy part for most of my years doing music – it was always, “Get the gig”, “Make that paycheck”, “Learn them songs, learn them licks”.  It was being on the receiving end of pathetic little men (and sometimes women or girls) whose streak of envy and jealousy, along with ruthless vindictiveness, caused me to look on with my jaw on the floor and my face with a look of puzzlement and total disbelief.  Add to that, every significant other that I’ve ever had gave me a hard time about – well, just about everything, but music in particular.  It wasn’t as if I lied to any of them, I was a musician when they met me, and I always told them right up front what they were getting into.  They all nodded knowingly and with a big smile, but living up to it was a whole ‘nother – which none of ‘em could do.  Some of them had a gigantic problem with pretty girls being in the room – and I NEVER gave any of them any reason to worry, be jealous, threatened, or whatever else.

At this point, I feel beat down beyond anything I could have imagined.  I did, early on, have this nagging feeling that I would get burned out before my time, not sure if this can be considered before my time, but I am burned out to beat hell.  Over the past 2 or 3 years, I seem to have developed something that finally allowed me to find real joy in playing – and I mean playing for me, for the trees, for the dragonflies, and for the birds and squirrels.  4 hours would fly by when I found the time and opportunity to get outside and play – and there was nothing like it.  It even seemed that the birds would come hang around where I was – seeming to like the music – or at the very least be curious.  In the past couple of months, though, even that seemed to go away – I play in my room, but with circumstances that I have no control over, I just don’t feel any motivation to play.  I’m also still fighting with some kind of strangeness with my banjo playing – my brain and my fingers know exactly what to do, but fingers won’t do it.  I don’t have stiffness, aching, or pain of any kind, but my fingers will do everything but what I tell them.  The first time around, it took me a few weeks to be able to play the thing – and it was like walking – no effort.  For the longest time, I thought it might be a case of the “Yips”, but I’m beginning to think it might just be something else – something much more serious and sinister.  I won’t go into the sinister part right now, but the fact is, it’s very strange – the way my fingers seem to be doing some kind of involuntary thing.  Over the past 4 years or so, I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours, maybe into the thousands by now, playing my banjo, only to have my playing get worse, not better.  It’s even more strange that on a given day, I may seem to make some amount of progress – where it starts to feel like I might be actually playing again, only to pick the thing up the next day and be right back where I started – this is not normally the way it works – when you learn, make progress, you will always pick up from where you left off.  So, bizarre doesn’t begin to cover it.
Whatever is or is not happening, and regardless of why, I just don’t find joy in playing.  My CD, “Wooden Trail”, that I recorded back in July, 2013, is currently being played on Pandora – I don’t know how Pandora works, but it is being played, and while it would be great if something happens with it, the only thing I really hope for is that it brings me enough money to have my own life back – so I can have control of what I do and don’t do, and so the bullies from hell that I have always attracted can go suck an egg.  If it does nothing, well, I don’t know what I’ll do.  I will say that I’ve about had it with being stifled at every turn.  Somebody once told me that if I worked hard at something, got good at it, treated people with respect, kept my hair combed and my shoes shined, that I would be successful – well, that was a lie.  So, we’ll see what happens with Pandora and the CD over the next few weeks, if nothing, well, I’ve had about enough of being stifled, ridiculed, and otherwise bullied into oblivion; not to mention, watching the world spiral down the toilet at a dizzying rate that I could easily do without.  No sadness here, just lots and lots of disgust.

All for now.

Until I decide otherwise, you can find me here:

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