Sunday, August 31, 2014
Some Of The Guys I Admire The Most…
Back in the 80s and 90s, I would drive to the other side of the island (Oahu), just to get out of the city, away from the crowds and traffic. Out in Haleiwa, there were these guys who lived right there across from the beach – near that old iron bridge. They would build surfboards, and give surfing lessons. They were all older than me, maybe 10 years or so. These guys lived, for the most part, free from society, free from traffic, crowds, and the demands of society. They looked healthy, and they looked happy, laughing, smiling, and treating their visitors with laughter and kindness that I don’t see much, if at all these days. I sometimes thought that maybe I would like to live that way – never pursued it, being that I was busy raising the boy, which was fine, but then getting the gigs, make that paycheck, and all that other societal horseshit that poisons people’s minds – it was expected of me, so I did it.
I’ve struggled for 30+ years trying to “make it” in this horribly corrupt music business, doing what I thought was right – paying my dues, taking risks, getting as good as I could at what I did – learning how to play ten instruments, to play them well, learned to sing songs that I loved, and that I knew most people related to. I recorded CDs – nine of them, to be exact. I have two of them at this moment, being played on Pandora Radio, with no way to know what, if anything, will happen with that. I play one night a week at the Wildflower Village – no pay, just practice for me – trying to get my ducks in a row, get my fingers to do what I tell them – after being out work for the most part of the past three years. I just had an audition, and if the entertainment director wasn’t BS’ing me, I should be working there before too long. There’s a lot of rust to shed, so I do as much as I can to do just that – within the limits of my current life situation. This brings me to my next point.
I’ve spent the most part of the past three years sitting in a recliner, in front of the television – not because I enjoy doing that, but because that’s pretty much what my current situation allows. I don’t have a lot of sayso on what I do, if you get my drift. I get food, and a place to sleep, but I have things I want to do, and this situation does not allow me to even think of moving towards any of it. That’s not to mention, I don’t deal so well with being treated with such disregard and disrespect. If I thought I could heal any of this, I would, but if ya can’t talk to a person, ya can’t talk to the person – if they don’t listen, they turn everything around, you got nothing to say. Money has been the stifling stick between me and the life I would have liked to have. Well, it becomes more and more apparent that I will not get my shot at the next level of this disgusting music business – maybe I’m too old to be in front of an audience, maybe I’ve been stifled by the Powers That Be – for whatever reasons, maybe my music isn’t good enough to be on the national airwaves – I may never know either way. That being said, maybe it’s time for me to pursue a different lifestyle – one where I can be free from most of society’s bullshit. I know, nobody can escape it completely, but I can certainly do better than I’m doing now. It’s come to the front of my mind that I’ll be damned if I’ll spend the rest of my life rotting in that recliner – in front of the goddam television. Maybe it’s time I investigate, or maybe just go for it – seeing what it’s like to live on or near the beach – somewhere maybe in San Diego or Los Angeles. I hear the Santa Monica Pier is a cool place, that’s not to mention there are tons of nice beaches on Highway 1 between L.A. and San Diego – I’ve seen them with my own eyes. There are also some nice beaches in San Diego, any of these places where I could sit on the beach, or on the boardwalk for a couple hours a day, playing my guitar, my uke, my banjo, have the case sitting out in front, maybe earn enough tips so I can eat, and maybe even rent some small shack or studio apartment in the area. Maybe I could also sell CDs. If I were to live outside under the stars (which I’ve done a couple of times in my life), the biggest challenge would be where to store my instruments – I have about ten of them, plus my clothes and my PA. The couple of boxes of personal stuff, I would probably throw out. I would certainly be healthier, and likely a whole lot happier. My current situation, I’m sure is deteriorating my health and my mind. Being controlled and dictated to has never been something I’ve been all that good at accepting. Before now, I always had my own income, my own life, so when I found myself in a situation I didn’t want to be in, I would just get the hell out. Well, no money means no getting the hell out – thanks, Powers That Be, for destroying so many people’s lives, dreams, families, and whatever else. Anyway, should I be able to pull this off, I would probably get rid of my phone, and only keep my computer so I could record CDs to sell – or maybe not, maybe I would just go natural, sleep on the beach, play for the folks during the day, eat good food, and do that until I drop dead, or until I decide to check out on my own terms. That would be a hell of a lot better life than sitting in front of that stinking idiot box – that’s death for any decent, self respecting person. I really don’t have a whole lot of other choices, and this sounds like something that would be challenging at first, until I got the hang of it. I remember both times when I was homeless, the first couple of weeks were strange and difficult, but I got used to it, I found places to be, and I found myself less stressed – as ironic as that may sound. So, whatever I decide, I need to do it within the next few months, because as I already said a couple of times, I’ll be damned if I’ll let myself rot here. There is one place I could go for now, should this living arrangement get past the point of bearable, and it’s possible I may end up there before too long, if things here continue the way they’re going. I do have to ask once again, what the hell good is having money if you can’t do something constructive or worthwhile with it? That’s a rhetorical. People always think they’re going to be the one to finally figure out how to take it with ‘em.
I guess for the time being, I live the best I can, I bull my way through the stress, the migraines – and how’s THAT for a guy who never had a headache in his life before the last 3 years? I’ll live by society’s rules for a little while longer – only because I have no other alternative at this particular time. So, maybe I’ll see some of ya on the beach before too long, till then, you might want to take a look at your own life, think about how you’re going to feel about it when you’re near your last breath. I already know what I don’t want to do.