My songs where placed in Network and Cable programming 161 times in the last quarter. My payment was just over $45.00 – That’s fucking depressing really. These shows have massive budgets and I guess music in these shows just isn’t important. I’m not sure what to think really. It’s just a shame. I want to believe that the cultural value of music remains but it just doesn’t pay.
I guess a lot of solitude gives one the chance to take a look a his or her life and attempt to come to terms with decisions made and how they’ve brought them to wherever they are.
I started out as a street performer, that’s where I cut my teeth, learned to play, entertain, and write. Well was trained classically but I forgot all that shit out of resentment I guess. I have literally hundreds of amazing stories of playing on the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and London etc. These are stories of magic and hard to explain unless you’ve lived them. No one tells you where to play, or when, or how. It’s the people you meet, really connecting with humans on the rawest level. The goal? Money for cigarettes, food, and a place to sleep. You meet new and amazing people everyday, you hear their stories, you end up in some cafe with your new friends, smoking, drinking, it’s a dream really.
Then the mind plays dirty tricks at least mine did. It said “You should start playing in coffee shops, bars etc. You should have a band. You should record all these songs. This could be so much bigger. You could be popular.” And so I listened and did all of those things, I formed bands, recorded, dealt with managers, labels, agents, publicists, radio promoters, venues etc. A mountain of money was spent. The fact is I’ve never needed anyone to tell me my music is great, I know it is. How? The guitar case filled with cash proved it every day.
Now this was before I had a computer, a cell phone etc. Before social media and all the things I despise. It’s a dirty game of trying to sell your art, seeking likes “Like this, Share that” and all that crap. It’s slowly driven me mad in a way. It’s made me empty and sad.
But here I am still at it, I mean what else can I do? I form bands, I take massive risks, I record prolifically, I tour, and I play a lot of shows. But I still play on the street as much as I can because that’s where I am most happy and content with what I have to offer the world. I don’t have to ask for permission, or make plans. The day just happens as it will and that is a very beautiful way to live.
My music has never really sold a lot of units. It’s certainly not because it’s not been available. It’s literally everywhere on the web for sale. At times, no doubt, it’s been very frustrating due to the fact that I know it’s high quality. It’s been very well reviewed, my shows are high quality and I’ve toured quite extensively over the years.
I’ve tried every trick in the book to let the world know about my catalog and nothing seems to work really. I release high-quality music prolifically and it’s been placed over 1000 times on TV and selected for at least 5 feature films.
I do know that people will take it for free as it’s been downloaded over 30,000 times for free in the last four years alone.
So I’ve come to terms that it will probably never really sell. But I do know what it’s worth and that’s good enough for me.
“It strikes me that there’s a considerable amount of bullshit going on here.”
I’ve been writing, recording, and performing my songs for 20 years. They’ve been well reviewed, charted at radio, and given me opportunities that most could only dream of. Libations, sensations that would stagger your mind.
I have never lived in the mainstream and I don’t write for the mainstream. The mainstream bores me to death and always has. It’s like having a conversation with a wet noodle.
Now my music is on TV about three times per day on average on shows that I never watch primarily due to the fact that I don’t own or care to own a TV. My songs have been placed in some amazing films and I’m very thankful for that.
So hey mainstream keep on numbing your brain with over saturated, auto tuned crap served up with the latest no talent slag that the big bosses can find and have a great day.
Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s a sad day for the arts. Philip was such a highly skilled actor. His beautiful and most times heartbreaking interpretations of the human condition will remain with us as a wonderful legacy. I have no interest in the details of his passing. I’m sure those details will be the medias primary focus. I just choose to celebrate his amazing catalog of work and trust that some of life’s questions can be answered there.
Thank you Philip for sharing your amazing gift with us on stage, screen, and as a human being for all these years.