I have been
going out almost every night this year, enjoying the social atmosphere
and the joy it brings me to jump into a sea of familiar faces. It
leaves me with little time to devote to other things, namely my
band, and bills and such. I was at the lowest point of my life in
December and I have been loving all things 2004. I feel the need
to be fulfilled on an emotional level more so than a career or goal-oriented
one right now. I never really have been, and have used music to
fill that hole. But then I not only leave my spirits untended, I'm
lying to myself that I can be healthy with music in its place. Such
is not the case.
2004 for me is about finding what my life goal is truly about.
I am beginning to think it has less to do with music than it does
with spreading love, kindness and happiness. I make people around
me happy and many are always glad to see me. I make them smile.
Perhaps this is what I need to concentrate on. That is what I focused
on this month and I feel good as a result. I don't know what this
means for the future but I am waiting to find out.
Inherent in this is a voluntary sacrifice of giving true love
or cheap sex. Having been crushed almost to death by giving my heart
to people who have mistreated, it has put me in a position where
I cannot love unless I am initially loved. 2003 was dotted with
bad hookups with ugly strangers, only initiated due to severe intoxication,
lack of taste, and the blind belief that it would lead to some kind
of masculine satisfaction. Perhaps being free of these thoughts
and actions will clear my head for greater and more altruistic activities.
To my mother I give much respect for raising me with high morals
and conscientiousness. However, her vision of outward love for others
often left her empty and without love for herself or love in return.
And this trait I have inherited can frequently be as damning as
it is socially enhancing. Imagine the railway worker who toils to
death so that others may profit from his accomplishments, and he
regrets it none, if not proud to be of assistance to humanity. Having
never been truly loved in a boyfriend/ girlfriend manner of speaking
is the reason which I make such a comparison.
I often feel my music completes a similar scenario. I write, sing,
and play my ass off on stage, only to look out and see people in
merriment kissing one and other and taking one and other to their
beds as a result of the joy that my music brought them. Yet by the
time I step off the stage, all are accounted for and my work has
produced a selfless void. Left is an hour of breaking down gear,
getting underpaid and receiving heat for it; looking for a place
that's still open to get food, driving tired, and coming down from
a buzz that was only palpable moments ago. This is the price of
having nothing to show for one's efforts but knowing that the crop
reaped was done so by those who are no longer present. Presiding
over the knowledge that people did profit, and that there
was a very positive result, yet coping with the fact that
you are perhaps the only one who did not.
All is balance. The best show is followed by the worst come-down.
Sometimes the most horrible show is tagged by the most amazing party.
There are upsides. But all in all, it is a very lonely field to
have balls enough to get up in front of crowds of people, sing about
your most painful life experiences, and in the end be left staring
out onto a barren, garbage strewn floor—one that could have
represented any smattering of songs in the set. One that nobody
really understands in a direct connection to the singer but can
relate to in their own way.
For me to skip over all this to-do, and go straight to the one-on-one
experience that can be obtained at a house party or favorite bar
seems to me all the more appealing. Perhaps bubble gum pop stars
that like to sing but have their careers planned for them would
not play a gig that meant losing hundreds of dollars, a full night's
sleep, and 6 hours stuck inside a smelly hatchback. For them, it
is about money and a bit of fun. For them it is not about a means
of direly expressing themselves the only way they know how, short
of writing a suicide note. For them it is not about sacrificing
health, mind and body for art.
Perhaps this is why musicians have such a terrible time finding
a suitable relationship. First, the misconception needs to be cleared
that most musicians (who aren't yet rich) get laid all the time.
Clearly some do, but I would be willing to bet that a majority do
not. It is possible that I am speaking from a begrudgingly jealous
point of view where I wish not to admit my shortcomings. But none
the less, the rumors of plentiful post-show sex and bj's are more
that of lore and theatrical trailers than in the world of independent
music. No money = no bj.
The other aspect of a true musician is that they are a musician
because they are more than likely so fucked up in the head and shoulder
with so many problems that the problems are the reason they became
a musician in the first place. You've heard about Eric Clapton and
Pete Townshend all admitting that they began playing guitar as a
means to score with the opposite sex. In other words, they were
having such a miserable time getting laid that the only way they
could get any ass was to learn some blues chords and form a band.
For me, I am still at a loss to understand why this has not worked
for me. I can, without self-inflation, state that I am one of the
best musicians in my town. I play with deep passion and 17 years
experience. I get hired by many bands to do gigs and studio sessions
with them. I have recorded with some of the most famous musicians
in history, yet I'm an eternally single, under-copulated individual
with a big heart and a head that reels every time I attempt to contemplate
how peace, love and music could be so aversive to so many.
I dream that this is only the case in the Northeast. I imagine
flying to Sweden and discovering that beautiful people on both sides
of their skin do exist. There is the chance that San Francisco holds
the same promise while maintaining a common language. Having moved
from Connecticut to New Jersey to Ulster County, NY (primarily a
suburb of Long Island) and then to Boston, I have not really escaped
the self-serving, money-hungry righteousness that pervades this
part of the U.S.. However, financial standing and the existence
of the strongest music scene in the country demand my Mass-hole
My plan is to stay here only long enough to make it big and be
able to live where I want to. We're working on a new demo with some
fresh material to shop to booking agents and record labels as I
lack the spiritual fortitude to continue the abuse-for-gigs scandal
that finds my face kissing any number of posteriors. The material
is hot though. It's the freshest music the band has ever seen and
affords us a musical direction and sound of our own. We're ready
to blow up but haven't been heard by the right people yet. Soon,
that's the plan.
It has always been "soon," but we have never had the
potential until now. Our chess pieces are in place, for the most
part, and we are ready to close in. Perhaps it's all self-motivation
tactics but in the many years that the band has been in existence,
we've never sounded better. I look forward to where we will be.
This all depends on what 2004 has ahead. Will it be humanitarian
dedication or more personal relinquishment in striving for a career
in music? This is the boat on which I ride today.
Boatman, alone he drifts across the sea/
Boatman, the tide takes him where he needs to be/
Boatman, his wisdom lies not with oar in hand/
Boatman, lets the currents bring him to land