11/10/2005

Bobby Lightfoot's Greatest Hits #8: The Only Way I Ever Made Any Headway In The Pop Business

This goes back a ways to one of th' lower ebbs of my manic depression Lite. I appreciate the horrible beauty of randomness the older I get because I have to. Here's one way I like to give myself a break: I look at the fact that I wasn't the one in a million to actually have a great career as a songwriter and I transpose those odds to mean I won't be the one in a million to perish of dick cancer.

I think that makes sense. See? You get to carry the odds.

It's sort of like The Algebra Of Failure.

And just like that, my dear co-passengers on this great Spaceship Earth, my next album is named.


The only way I ever made any headway in the pop business was by taking every person that I ever came in contact with by the collar and shaking them and telling them how great I was until they'd perform some obeisance so I'd stop. That's exhausting, because you sort of have to believe it yourself, and your very behavior will soon disabuse you of feelings of greatness. L'dissonaince Cognitevueax, the Freedom call it.

And any time I'd stop grabbing people by the collar and shaking them and telling them how great I was for even a day or two, the whole thing would start to slip back downhill.

It was like trying to push a lead bicycle.

And it dawned on me that this is exactly what famous people do. I mean, professionally. You know how rich people are basically greedy, selfish leeches that sit around and suck their teeth and figure out ways to turn 10 dollars into 11 dollars instead of making anything or creating anything or helping anyone? Well, famous people are sort of like that. They usually have to make something but they kind of get divorced from the creative part of their lives because the "career" demands that they spend 99 percent of their energy jealously guarding how fucking great they are and convincing YOU of that, and it becomes more and more difficult because, well, they're NOT. At least not anymore. And it dawned on me that what separated the famous from the diseased and flea-gnawed, aside from talent in a few cases, was this constant, unflinching, psychic puffing out of the chest. And it dawned on me that spending a month to try to get enough people into The Mint on West Pico was interfering with my music.

And I've been extremely prolific ever since. Done my best work, in fact.

It's taken a little while to own the fact that very few will ever care, but that never really was the point for me. I just loved music. Music is a delicious alchemy that turns math into emotion. I just loved putting it together, like a fun project on a rainy day. With drugs. It's what I'll miss when I'm dead. It's why I want to be alive.

You always have to remember why you started doing something and reconnect with that, because sometimes it's the only remaining nondelusional thing when everything gets fucked up and you get confused. I would always get confused because I was supposedly a musician and I was spending all my time doing other things, sucking ass and kissing feet and grabbing people by the collar and doing stupid interviews and saying the same thing over and over and poring over radio playlists and driving to fucking Victorville and opening for fucking Blink 182.

I never wanted to be a stahhhhh. Anyone who has known me for any period of time will tell you that I never went on about being a stahhhh. I went on about music. And I just wanted to make enough for 3 squares and a packa smokes and some Patrone on the road 'cause it's tough sometimes when you're going 1-2-3-4 months. Unfortunately, to make even that much you have to be a stahhhhh.

And as I leave my commercially viable years I'm horrified because, well, I really suck at everything else. Really bad. Like, buffoon bad.

Do you know there is no Plan? Do you know you can't really be anything you want to be if you work really, really hard? Do you know that what is right now is pretty much what will be? Do you know that The Way That You Make It, That's The Way That It Is? Do you know that you'll never be young again? Did you know that lives are lost and wasted? Do you know that "Visualizing" your "goal" is not going to make it "happen"? Do you know that all the good you do doesn't guarantee you a seat at Baby Jeezis' right hand? Do you know? Do you?

Do you know how beautiful that is?

5 Comments:

Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

Good one Bobby. I agree. It is a serious stroke of luck (and maybe BAD luck) for an artist to become a "staaaah!" The good bit about being a "staaah" is the freedom to be creative without having to worry about paying the rent.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

Al: Except most of those who become "staaah"s aren't creative. They don't use the freedom they've got to create. They go out and shop for more shoes.

skzketu - Wasn't he the kid in "Gasoline Alley"?

2:12 PM  
Blogger corndog said...

Bobby, are you accepting applications to be your disciple? 'Cause I am so freakin' ready. Thanks for the solar flare of hard-won wisdom.

jnczcfln - the metallic aftertaste of burnt custard.

9:28 PM  
Blogger teh l4m3 said...

You can tell, too. The ones who want to be stahhhs are insufferable assholes. As opposed to Bobby, who IMHO is a loveable, relatively well-adjusted asshole.

10:12 AM  
Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at this infinite goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Howdy

'Thought & Humor'

9:39 PM  

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