Happy New 2023 and beyond. This years going to be amazing. Really love to hear from you so please respond to this blog if the spirit moves you. My father was an ardent of WH Auden. Here’s an example of that poets insight
Every writer would rather be rich than poor, but no genuine writer cares about popularity as such. He needs approval of his work by others in order to be reassured that the vision of life he believes he has had is a true vision and not a self-delusion, but he can only be reassured by those whose judgment he respects. It would only be necessary for a writer to secure universal popularity if imagination and intelligence were equally distributed among all men.
Validation from like minded people is a key motivator when it comes to creating and people kindly tell me things about my art that I would prefer not to be reminded of. For instance …the need to hone down lyrics because that is key.
Being a fan of John Martyn my ear inclined more toward the early work especially the sensational “May You Never.”
Got to meet him ever so briefly backstage Aerial Railway Sweetwaters where I was on after him. Expressed my joy at meeting him to the stage manager and she indicated that she couldn’t tolerate him on account of his stoned drunk state…which in those days was fashionable.
But not so cool when that lifestyle crippled and killed him but there and then he was phenomenal in his band calling for a joint from the audience and lighting up in his mainstage gig earlier. All very cool while you are young but not so hip later in his avoidable crippled condition.
So sad when heroes fall from grace.
It’s true isn’t it that the work from the pre recognition phase of an artists life often stands the test of time.
I rarely listen to his later stuff but he had a perfect folk-rock edge which he never captured in a studio…..nothing like his performances at those Sweetwater performances way back in the dawn of the 80s.
Do I look back nostalgic like? Hell no!
Those days inclined to believe the whole hippy thing was a disincentive programme to discredit viable values like the stern opposition to the Vietnam War from leading intellectuals and influencers. They lost a voice once the hippy ran with the baton taking the public imagination into fields that plough themselves and land that is free and sex that’s as meaningful as having a cup of tea. Ha ha and an antiwar which disempowered off the war cause those able to successfully oppose it were disinclined to join ranks with greasy long haired sex and love addicts. Ha ha
Anyway the point is that oftentimes we get it right in the early work and proceed to wreck it by experimenting with weird and wonderful innovative productions that lack the essential core elements like great lyrics and memorable melodies that came out of a genuine love of music and songs and not
1. Aimless travels and squalid hotels
2. Distractions of other people who “looooooooove your work” at the expense of your real friends
3. Less time writing most time promoting…selling…distributing which often ends up going nowhere. Unless someone volunteers to have it done right coz it’s often the case that the inventor of something is the worst person in the world to promote it coz marketing is a dark art few know how to master.
In those days you couldn’t play anywhere if you played originals…..and it’s like that again and it’s driven players to the streets or into mental asylums or cemeteries.
Am I being melodramatic?
Ask yourself. We’ve lost many of our best people to this absurd cult of mindless alcohol & other drug consumption and it’s time to reflect.
My message to anyone reading this is simple. Question anyone who thinks it’s cool for “creatives” to get high.
Show them decades of lost potential from a multitude of broken artists. Preventable poverty illness disability death all in the name of being cool.
End with a story told me by Dave Hiakita out of Back to Back. They had resigned from playing at the Tai Pei nightclub Dunedin . The owner Eddy Chin tried everything to get them to play again after Dave pulled the pin on account of some issue relating to inadequate remuneration…which of course is always a problem. Anyway, one night in sheer desperation Eddy rang Dave begging him to play because the band Cool Bananas hadn’t turned up and Dave politely declined to which Eddy replies
“They not cool banana! They rotten banana”
Anyways….thanks for the support. Please keep visiting bandcamp.com and downloading (or streaming) my albums or singles there & you can donate to the proposed live street album called “Don’t Clap Throw Money.”
Not a bad title is it? It’s gonna be mainly live street stuff in Auckland playing an SB outside SB.ie a Steve Barkman guitar outside Star Bucks ha ha
Also tell your besties that I’m on Spotify but tell em also to support bandcamp. Give me a call if Rotten Bananas doesn’t show at your BBQ or you need some sounds at a tiny gathering (or a huge one) 021 0259 2919 is my number. Don’t all call at once. Let’s get live entertainment into people’s homes. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bye by Hollyweird…we can do it ourselves. Touring again in March – book me.