Addressing the Email Issue
I wanted to grab a few minutes here and explain the whole email deal. Recently my “American Roots Radio” co-anchor Paca set up an address on the contact page of this web site that is filtered through him and passed on to me. Obviously as you can understand to post my own personal email address would have been irrational so it was decided to set something up separately that catered exclusively to those visiting my Internet pad.
I guess a lot of you guys come by for a visit considering the amount of mail we’ve been receiving which is why I feel the need to straighten out a few ground rules, address a couple of questions and just say thanks for the compliments and kind words.
Please believe me as someone who’s been around a spell you might think that the compliment thing has gotten old? No way. I will always be eternally grateful that my work has touched lives, inspired and healed people in dark times. So to each of you that has written in and simply reached out to say thanks, thank you back - I’m hearing every one of you.
Since it’s impossible for me to respond to the many requests for me to do so, I thought I’d try and address some of the issues and questions that surface more frequently than others.
First off the bat is a touchy subject, but one that I feel should be gotten out of the way and dealt with immediately. This contact was not set up as a means to request autographs or get memorabilia signed. This is not an office and I don’t have a staff. I like my isolation too much to have hired hands running around doing my bidding. My web site is an office of one, a personal spot where I’m happy to share with you my thoughts, my art gallery, current projects and, of course, my beloved radio show. I guess in essence what I’m saying is this is not a fan club run by a mass marketing business with a mail room and a bunch of old ladies forging signatures on 8x10’s. If you notice the merchandise section of this web site is a separate entity entirely plus I will admit I get pretty prickly when my home space is invaded. When and if I’m out and about I’m fair game but my home is sacrosanct, no trespassing.
OK, next are a few things that we can also get out of the way as I have addressed these topics on my blog. Farm Dogs? Just covered that one on my last posting. A couple of folks have asked about the “Tribe” album. Check out my blog of 12. 15. 09. (Frankincense & Blues) I believe there’s a paragraph or two on it in there. Oh, and to folks from my past who have reconnected with me through this medium, hi good to hear from you, don’t recall every name mentioned but to them and you, thanks for the memories. Lastly, under the heading of “already covered” is the question of interview requests and media related inquiries. In respect to this I’d point you in the direction of my introductory blog of 05. 04. 09. I think that explains my position on this matter.
So onto some other reoccurring questions. Many cries for help in the “Any tips on how to become a songwriter, how do I improve my game and how do I break into different fields of the entertainment industry” department? Dear boys and girls, if I knew the answer to that one I’d be floating around on my 150-foot yacht off the Amalfi coast drinking Crystal Rose and checking out my villa through a pair of Leica’s.
The music industry has become so impersonal and corporate in the last decade that breaking in through those doors is all but impossible. The monolithic headquarters of modern day record companies don’t want their sanitized offices and corridors clogged up and contaminated with shaggy, raggedy guitar slingers hawking their demos. Real A&R men are a thing of the past and the most creative and conventional way of getting noticed nowadays is through the Internet. Believe me the modern A&R man is more than likely trolling youtube for the next Nirvana rather than circumventing the globe with perseverance and integrity. Hit the road and play as much as you can. Record in your living room, press your own CD’s and sell ‘em out of the trunk of your car. If you’re the real thing, and I mean the real thing, someone will find you - believe me.
Songwriters? No real tips here I’m afraid. There are those that might disagree but you may teach yourself or be taught to write songs, but a genuine gift for it is inherent or inherited, a natural trait that you’ve just got or you ain’t. Again if there’s something there, a real sense of melody, original ideas, passionate storytelling and personal commitment then pound the streets in the places that matter, a great song will eventually find a receptive ear. Just remember Kris Kristofferson was a janitor in Nashville until he rented a helicopter and landed in Johnny Cash’s backyard with a sackfull of tunes and a lot of balls.
No I’m not going to do a sequel to “A Cradle of Haloes”. My memory of my childhood is much better than that of my 20’s and beyond plus between you me and the lamppost I’ve no desire to regurgitate that part of my past as it’s been done to death by people far more interested in it than me. There are many out there in Internet land that seem obsessed with details of our early years, people who knew us and those that didn’t. Each one seems to have their own version of how things happened, endless blogs of detail that chronicle very little other than inaccuracy and a chance to elevate their status to knowledgeable insider or cog- in-wheel.
Someone sweetly said that they thought I was one of the most underrated songwriters of the modern rock era! Thanks, but I’m pretty happy with our ranking on most of the blogs and lists out there these days. I am not complaining. In fact, I’m quite grateful. Last time I checked the books, in terms of longevity and success, Elton and I are on the same page as Lennon & McCartney, Bacharach & David and Holland, Dozier & Holland (check out news item of 06. 03. 10.) If that’s underrated, Vanilla Ice was the Eminem of the 80’s.
Explaining the meaning behind certain songs. Someone once came to the conclusion that “Madman Across the Water” was about Richard Nixon. Fabulous! How do you top that? Which is exactly why I prefer not to. Other people’s theories are much more interesting and exactly the reason why it should be left to individuals to use their imagination and make something cryptic their own. I love that. Who cares what I was thinking? Having folks create their own scenarios for a song’s meaning is immensely gratifying, it’s half the reason I like this gig.
I’ll be honest…with my shoddy memory a lot of those old songs are a fog when it comes to recalling their genesis. I could tell you one story today and a different one tomorrow and either one could be true. No, if you’ve got a theory about “Levon” or “Take Me to the Pilot” that’s what it is and that’s how it should be. Once it’s out there it’s open season and I’m good with that. Still it’s not like everything I’ve written is a riddle or some kind of weird parable. I have written you’ll agree much that is pretty straightforward so you’ll understand that I’m somewhat perplexed when I’m asked what “Sacrifice” is about and what’s the story behind “Funeral for a Friend”? Just checked the lyric on the former and it’s pretty obviously about infidelity and the latter? Well the last time I checked it was an instrumental!
Oh and yea, yea I know I did those voice over deals on the lyric page, so before you go saying I’m contradicting myself, just remember I might have made them up.
Lestat? That has to be a separate blog it’s way too complex. Although one thing I will throw out to the guy who loved the San Francisco production, hated it in New York and then proceeded to rag on Rob Roth. Tit-bit of info, San Francisco was Rob’s vision and New York’s was in fact Jonny Butterell’s. Yea I’ll get back to you on this one,
Sorry don’t know if there are any plans for a remastered “Blue Moves” and no the “Friends” soundtrack is sadly not available on CD. Out of my hands folks.
I’ve had several people sending notes and requests for me to forward things on to some guy called Elton. Please, guys, EJ has his own web site where I’m sure there is some place to post email. Let’s be reasonable - I’m not his P.O. box and besides, he doesn’t do email. In fact the last time I checked he doesn’t have a computer or own a cell phone.
All this being said I would very much like to say once again I’m flattered by all your good wishes and warm words. I’d hang around and pound the keys a little longer but I gotta go. I’ll try if time is on my side to get back to you all via this kind of deal so feel free to bitch and moan or make nice. You seem like a pretty straight ahead bunch but then again there was the chick who claimed that repeated viewings of “Gnomeo & Juliet” kept her love for Joaquin Phoenix alive!