now playing: the eagles, “new kid in town”
courtesy of my guitar buddy, bob stirner:
“the music business is a cruel and shallow money trench…a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs.
…there’s also a negative side.”
hunter s. thompson
additional quote from my buddy blake, uttered while driving through the country in the rain:
“man…i’ll bet sheep get really heavy in the rain.”
i’ve managed, somehow, to crawl over a couple of pretty major humps at work, and it feels liberating to have done so…the largest of them, compiling a database tracking every PC and marrying it to the software installed on it, and tying that information to the purchase orders for the machines and the software finished up in a marathon sixteen hour day last weekend…and this week, i’ve finally managed to finish the XSL/CSS code for the template that the CEO wanted to print out labels for his DVD collection from a database he maintains. we finalized all that yesterday in a 90-minute “this is how you use it” session in his office that effectively kept me from another appointment i’d hoped to honor at lunchtime (taking my van over for a quick inspection to see if we can determine what the cute little hammering noise is that’s coming from my front suspension every now and then)…but now that both of those projects are done, i do feel considerably lighter when i walk in the door here at the beginning of the day.
now today, i have to shut down our main file server at lunchtime, pull the SCSI card and the tape drive that are running on the box, and set up a new machine specifically to run the backup hardware here in the office. and it needs to be up and running by morning.
so i’ll probably take that long lunch today and go home and grab some stuff and come back in and hunker down for the night – because it’s gonna be a long one…
last night, i sat down and went through every single piece of mail i could find in the house to try and collect some semblance of an idea as to where i stand financially – i need to try and get a glimpse of the picture so that i can plan accordingly from this point forward, and to try to come up with a “system” of some sort. i’ve taken steps in this direction before, but i’ve never made a very real commitment to staying on course. it’s a problem i’ve had for years – every dollar that comes my way is “found” money, and i’ve never had anything vaguely resembling financial discipline. while i’ve been no more responsible lately than in the past, i’ve definitely gotten myself into more dire straits in the distant past than in the recent past…and i’ve let the fact that it’s relatively easy for me to make money cloud things over for a long time now.
i feel a need, though, with everything that’s happening in my life right now, to fix that…in terms of having a heightened sense of awareness of where i stand at any given time. i don’t know how long it’ll last – because i know how easy it is for me to pile envelopes on the table next to the door when i come home and promptly forget that they ever showed up…especially when there’s a lot going on.
and it might be interesting to consider that as i’m typing all this, i’m exchanging emails with the webmaster of the joe walsh fan club and pondering whether or not to buy tickets for their upcoming show in reading at the “you must be fucking kidding me” price of $130 so that i can attend the meet and greet afterward…so the truth of the matter is that no matter how sincere i might be about trying to set things right, i’m every bit that easily sidetracked.
good judgement will prevail and i’ll talk myself out of it, but i’m honestly considering it at the moment…and for that alone, someone should whack me across the testicles with a wooden yardstick. and as the pain wracks my body, i should be made to scream “where’s felder’s cut?” over and over again at the top of my lungs until i regain the ability to stand upright.
in somewhat related news, i just started a dialogue with the manager of an eagles tribute band who are looking for a singer – they need someone to fill the don henley spot, apparently. we had a great discussion about it yesterday, and it sounds like they really understand what’s necessary to construct that kind of band…whether anything comes of it or not remains to be seen, but it could be a good opportunity. it’s right up my alley, in terms of what i’m willing to play…and if the right gigs are there, it’d be great. i just don’t know if i’m willing to join another start-up…i think i’ve been hoping that i’d find something that was already a working entity, something that would allow me to step into a working situation and hit the ground running.
maybe this is it, maybe it’s not…i remain guarded about it at this point.
i’ve been doing a small amount of fill-in work with a couple of country bands, and while that’s ok – it’s not what i want to do. i’ve been perusing the want ads (gigfinder.com, phillymusic.com, so on, so forth…the usual haunts) looking for potential work, but everything i’ve come across so far has been mediocre at best – one ad looked really promising until i downloaded one of their mp3’s – i got through about 45 seconds of it before i had to turn it off. i got a quizzical look from my office mate – “what the hell was that?” – and that was it for them.
i think the unspoken message here is that there just aren’t that many bands that are playing what i want to play anymore…all the bands that are playing the clubs seem to be either really poor renditions of “classic rock” done by hacks, or really loud, awful versions of already awful material that’s on the radio or MTV right now…also done by hacks. it almost seems like you have to either reside in (or be willing to associate yourself with) a state of mediocrity in order to be able to form a unit and play out…i’m starting to understand why so many great players play for themselves in their basement and aren’t in bands. but – it wasn’t always that way. that’s the thing that kills me. there was once enough work for everyone, and there were genuinely good bands on the circuit who were willing to take the trouble to learn to play the songs and go out and execute them…as opposed to the prevailing apathetic “that’s close enough, man” ethic that seems to prevail now.
i’m starting to find myself considering the prospect that i may have amassed all this experience, may have worked this hard on my ability, may have sacrificed all this time, may have accumulated all this equipment – to arrive at a place where i may have to seriously consider not playing anymore.
that’s a pretty terrifying concept.