Blog For The Weary
Oh man was it hell in 2000 when my dream took an ubershit upside the cold, stark bricks of Reality. I know that's the connective tissue of this bligggg but that's why it's mine. I'm still trying to understand it, the scary potency of it like when you get dosed and you're in the middle of a jai alai game.
The first thing was the simple empty sadness of energy wasted. I would often jerk awake at night after a vision of some wonderful thing I'd walked away from for The Dream or some unbelievable, sinew-rending sacrifice I'd made. It seemed as if years upon years upon years had been needlessly sacrificed earnestly, quixotically, needlessly. Fuck, it didn't seem like it.
The next thing was akin to heroin withdrawal or a really sad breakup. The part where you're just trying to put one foot in front of another or make it through another breath. It was that intense. It was like having the person closest to you in the world die. Yeah, it was. Dude, we're talking about an 18-year fucking lunge here. I would drag ass to the rehearsal space and put The Police on over the PA and play bass along to it. Just tryin' to build up some time in there. Just trying to shove more pastrami between the Slices of Sadness in the Grief Sandwich.
And that was the first time I aged. I was like 34 and I could tell I was aging. That was when I started aging. The skin of the face glowing less, the body revealing some of its long stresses. Cuts healing slower and scarring more. The surprise of feeling bad after a minute at a dead run. Not that I'm not a toned, dashing and chiselled rogue; I'm just a Starting-The-Long-Slow- Roll-Down-The-Other-Side one.
Then what was it? Let me think. Oh, yeah- then I started thinking about things like the girl in the opening band in Tahoe in '98 and how she said I had a "golden glow around me" and I felt like I had let her down. That bugged me because it was an awesome thing to say and it got me through a mile or two. Hearing shit like that is what lets you believe it a little bit and you have to in that game. You have to believe that.
Then it was the confidence. That took a jarring and unexpected blow to the lower vena cava. The difference between a loser and a beautiful loser is small and decisive.
Very productive time musically, I have to say, all in all, once the first shock waves of horror had dissapated. I dove into classical orchestration and scoring and wrote some boss string quartets and listened to a lot of Bartok and Schubert chamber stuff. I rather had to. I had to do something like that. It was a lot of fun, like building a model when you're a kid.
And when I realized it was like building a model when I was a kid, that got me thinking about how I never once would have regretted the time spent building a useless bunch of plastic when I was a kid. It was the doing of the fuckin' thing. It was all in the doing. And when I remembered what a thing of sensual and self-absorbed indulgence it is to just build some fuckin' thing for fun, I started to see the light.
Because that's what you do when you're a kid. You don't dig a fucking dirt pile so you can maybe get a Grammy or a ten spot. You just dig a motherfucking dirt pile. Feels good. Wet and redoolient in olfactorily intensity.
And when you dig a cocksuckin' dirt pile for the digging, you tend to get a better dirt pile. And we're all put here for something, even if it is just to die unnoted in a pediatric ward in Bangladesh in 1967.
And that's when I got Religion, just like that. That's when th' sun burst through like in one of those Monty Python animations and it all became clear. It became clear that the 90 percent of my energy that I'd devoted to getting seen and getting on the air had just been wanting to add itself to the 10 that was writing and creating music so that it would be really good, really airtight and distinctive and worthwhile.
Because that's what it's all about. People can always hear your music. You got the intestinal fortitude you can get just about any gig once. And the intestinal fortitude comes from having indisputably good music. And people can buy it or you can give it to them. And if it's really good and distinctive people will like it. That's all it takes. We've all heard some suckoff music, you know?
There's no point in suckoff music. There's no point in bad dirt piles. There's no point in crappy models that look like ass. Some day I'm going to write something so beautiful and elemental that dogs and cats will get up on their hind feet and do The Scrunge when they hear it. Wars will end and long-trapped testes will descend to a great hue and cry.
Either that or I'll croak. We'll see, huh? We'll just have to god damn fucking see.