Friday, December 12, 2008

Last Goodbye

I have been thinking about Jeff Buckley, Chief Seattle, my brief stint as a bush league manager, and the idea behind this blog.

Jeff was famous for not wanting to be famous. He tried to stay true to his early roots (as a solo acoustic coffee house God) and did his first tour in little clubs playing solo for people who hardly knew him. He had a theory about playing for people that loved you all the time: what's the point? If you were really talented as an artist and you had something to say as a song writer, wouldn't any people, any where, want to hear it and respond? The hype he had wanted for so long was strangling him, and he fled to Memphis where his light finally went out.

Trinkets. They are the downfall of us all. Cell phones, cars, money guns, allies, liquor and external validation. If the trinket is dialed, and the salesman has a good pitch, all walk away from their principles like children off a playground to a strangers car. When the need is at it's most desperate and the temptation is strong, any person will abandon his path, art, or morals. It is sad to watch and even worse to experience first hand.

Chief Seattle had trouble holding off a local tribe, when he saw the first ship in the sound. Deals were struck. They helped him, he helped them and a chain was established that altered the fabric of everything he knew and held dear. We all know how these stories end, with a warrior on a reservation, looking back at a lost kingdom, wondering how things could have drifted so far, and how easy it was to sign in blood.

I believed I was a good person in the swirling toilet of the music world. I was determined to bring an honest approach to the demonic horde and I held my initial concepts close. I wanted more than anything to protect my band, in a way no one had ever done for me. I wanted to rectify all the bad decisions I had made as an artist, and punish the club they wouldn't let me join. And oh yeah, I wanted to get rich. What could possibly go wrong? When I met the band the youngest member was sixteen. His parents had to sign a letter of intent to let me be his manager. He once scolded me for taking the Lords name in vain at a studio. Fourteen months later, I walked in a Hollywood hotel room and found he and his model girlfriend, snorting cocaine off each other. I should have put up my hands, and taken that kid home, but there was a video to shoot, a single to break, a record to drop and I was so deep into my Arie Gold phase by then, it all seemed like a day at the office. The cat was in the cradle.

People want what they want, and the more powerful the desire, the greater the fall from grace. I really want to be a good writer. I want people read what I write. Now that a few people read my posts, I fear that I will offend someone and horror of all horrors, watch my comments dwindle. I fear I am in some kind of polite circle jerk and no one is saying how weird it is, for fear of rejection. You see, once you have fallen into the denial really hard, you are wary for the rest of your life....if you are lucky.

I want Juancho to post forever. I want him (for very selfish reasons) to entertain me, mention me in his blogs and to tell me what a great writer I am. Now I realize I am stealing his land, and telling him MTV will be great for his single, and all the other bullshit things people say when they want you to do what is right for them, and bad for the artist. I went into the jungle to get him, and now I am wearing a grass skirt. I'd hate to see him go, but I'd rather read his book than laugh about how funny our ride at Munson was. Maybe the golden age of his blogs, and the many spin offs has peaked. Maybe we all need to decide if we are writers or bloggers. Maybe it's a good night of karaoke, but we aren't singers. Time will tell, but for now, I am scratching my head and wondering if I fell again.