Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Story Of My Life

This is the guy who has been stifled for the most part of 30 years :O

I always say that it’s not a good thing to bullshit people – and I live by that, not because I’m afraid of some firey hell, or that I think I’ll be rewarded somehow, I stay honest because it’s what I want to do.  The only exception to that is when my life or my safety depends on it – and when I do find myself in such a situation, I do all I can to get away from it, so I can live my life my own way, without having to answer to any wardens or gatekeepers.  I’ve had wardens and gatekeepers for most of my life, seems to be the story of my life, something I’ve never understood.  Most of the time, getting out takes much longer than I would like, and I usually go from one crappy situation to another, but still…

In the spirit of being honest, I’ll once again state things as I see them, and not how I would like them to be – or even worse – how other people would like them to be.
In 1980, I played my first professional music job – otherwise known as the “gig”.  I learned things, how to play, how not to play, how to sing, learned to play ten instruments, and to play them well.  I learned how to be in front of an audience, how to communicate with them, read them, give them something that will make them feel, and I think I've accomplished these things - better than most.
In pretty much all businesses, a person will experience good, bad, and everything in between.  He will put up with bullying bosses, useless workmates, angry customers, and less than pleasant working conditions – all par for the course.  In my business, at least for me, I can’t decide which is worse, the people in power and their pathetic, egotistical bullshit, or the listening audience – namely the angry, resentful sourpusses who would do anything to take a person down.  I’ve been on the receiving end of some of the most vicious acts of vindictiveness and jealousy that you could imagine – and then some – again, par for the course.  I’ve been on the receiving end of foaming at the mouth wrath from venue owners and upper management – again, par for the course – especially being that I’m somewhat decent at what I do – the more you threaten their tiny, dysfunctional body parts, the more and bigger sticks they will try to beat you with.  I’m not convinced that I’m not on some master shit list here in Reno, and maybe even on a national level, because come on, I’m no bar act – I know, fathead, sorry, but I’m not going to water this down – the shit just is what it is – as they say.
I’ve seen people who would not recognize talent if it came down in the form of an asteroid and blasted them into outer space – if some guru, or some slick advertising trick didn’t brainwash them into believing this or that.  There’s Joshua Bell in the subway station, there are the street musicians who more often than not don’t even get a second look – no matter how amazingly talented they are.  One of the things I’ve noticed along those lines – in my own musical journey, is the way so many people will treat me with such gross disrespect.  They will come in with their sour face, see other people having a good time, and the first thing they want to do is complain about the volume – being that that’s an easy target, and they know that most managements and owners will not hesitate to pass this venom filled demand to the entertainment.  I did notice, though, that when I had the full bands, I didn’t get this much, if at all, most of it has been since I started doing the solo – it’s common knowledge that a bully will be more likely to screw with a smaller target than a bigger one – cowards that they are.  I’ve also experienced a few times, some dimwit will walk up to the stage and proceed to tell me how to play my music – “Do this song, do that song”, “Slow it down”, “Speed it up”.  I lifted a great answer for that, which I used on the few occasions – “Eh, I don’t come down to McDonald’s and tell you how to cook your hamburgers, so don’t come in here and tell me how to play my music”.  Works every time - thanks for that, Freddy Morris.  As if that’s not enough, I have somebody who claims to care about me, who treats me with the same disrespect – “It’s too loud”, “Play this song, play that song”.  AND, the latest, I went to a casino to try to get in touch with the entertainment coordinator who said she would call, and didn’t, and this person just HAD to come along, AND, when the entertainment person came down to see me, this shadow walked right up to the counter with me – observing every word that was exchanged, then added her own.  Had the entertainment person showed up with her husband or boyfriend hovering, I would have wondered what the hell his problem was – and I’m guessing she was probably thinking the same thing.  It annoys me beyond anything I can think of, that a person who has never been in the business, who has no musical background, has never dealt with a venue manager, owner, or booking agent of any kind, thinks she should tell me what I should do, how I should do it, and who I should do it with – that’s not to mention this is the case not only with music, but all the way across the board in my current life (that's a whole 'nother).  It’s not bad enough that the people in power in this horrid business have stifled me in every way possible, and not bad enough that the economic state of affairs in the world are what they are, but now I have to be talked down to, dictated to, instructed on how to do MY job by a person who has no f’n idea about the music business.  It’s as if most people think that not being signed by a major label makes me stupid, that being out of work for any length of time – makes me stupid.  Again, I get beat over the head with this crap in all areas of my life – by a person who should be on my team.  Once again, the current state of affairs has forced me to stay in a situation that has not been good for me.  I feel stifled in so many ways.  I don’t spend near enough time with my instruments – because I don’t want to listen to the thinly veiled snide remarks, or put up with the skulking around for weeks at a time, and if I dare stand up for mice elf – the bullying, the threats, the smartass, and whatever else.  I’m not allowed to pursue anything by going out to the venues – again, the thinly veiled bullshit.  I listened today, once again, to shitty remarks about money – as in, “I didn’t get any gas money from this or that” – which is actually more B.S., because when I was working, I did fill up the gas tank, I took the car to get washed, bought food, and even paid $500 to fix the heating and a/c system when it went down.  I’m also to understand that what I contribute to this “relationship” is worthless, since a monetary price tag cannot be put on it – how sad is THAT?  The disrespect, the hovering, the control, the jealousy that is violently denied, the sniping, the controlling of the money, the bullying, the threats – and this person cannot figure out why I can barely stand to be around her most of the time.  P.S.  I don't care all that much anymore about being loved, it's much more important to me that I be treated with respect.
It would be a good thing for me to get some kind of work, whether it be local work, regional national tours, or monies from royalties, before I get too old to do this anymore, or before all the numbskulls who have tried to take me down kick the bucket.  I want them to see that I kept at it, didn’t sell out, and didn’t let their vicious B.S. stop me.  This brings me to another point:  For whatever reasons, I have never been one to doubt me – in spite of the fact that most people in my life have been discouraging, envious, insulting, vicious, and vindictive.  I’ve always known what my abilities were – and are, nobody has ever been able to shake me on that.  I really don’t know why – it’s not that I’m some super hero with super powers, or some noble pillar of strength – quite the opposite, actually.
So, I continue to play my music – it’s all I know, it’s all I care to do.  There may come a time when I’ll come to a crossroads, where I’ll either have to cave in to society’s bullshit, and get a “real job”, or live on the streets – or, check out on my own terms.  P.S.  I will never cave in to society’s B.S., and I’m pretty sure I won’t allow the universe to put me back out into the street.  I wouldn’t be the first artist to end up broke and alone, going to his grave never having had a shot at a decent life.
I have no alternatives at the moment, all I have is that I continue to work on getting some kind of life of my own.  If it doesn't happen soon, well, I guess I don't know...

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