Monday, April 20, 2015

(part 303) April 20, 2015....70 Years Old Today

I am 70 years old today and have spent most of it crying. My head hurts so much I cannot push it out of the picture. I am sick and alone, and that's the way it is here today. If I felt up to it I would do something different than what I am doing, which is staring at the emptiness around me. I wish I had someone here with me to talk to, but I don't. I wish my head didn't hurt so much, but it does. My reality is not your reality, so I don't expect you to understand, yet possibly some of you do. I am not the only person who has had to go through difficult times, but know, that for me, these are the most difficult of times. I always look forward in hopes that things will improve, but in the last few years they have only gotten worse. I have not given up, or found it necessary to hide myself in a bottle, or a handful of pills. I have fought many battles in my life and won a few here and there. It is something I just do and will keep doing. I write this today as a reminder to me of how it really is, as opposed to how I wished it were...or how others may believe it is...

Bob Jameson April 20, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

(part 302) The Young Blond Girl

                                      By Miruna Uzdris

In 1967 you just disappeared one day.
Never said anything.
I never heard from you again,
until forty years later.
And like you left, you reappeared
without warning.
It was four decades later, and at first
I didn't remember you, and you acted hurt.
But forty years is a long time between
no goodbye and a second hello.
When you walk out on a person,
without a word,
they tend to push you out of their
mind and forget you.
That's what I did, I forgot,
and it took me awhile to start remembering
the young blond girl from the restaurant on
Sunset Blvd. in 1966.
But then I did remember.
I recalled the rides to the beach,
and along the strip in Carol's Jaguar,
the nights I played the piano and you listened.
It was all there, locked in my memory 
like an old photograph from a distant time,
from another world, another life.
I grew close to you and was glad you found me again,
glad you wanted to, glad you remembered me.
And when I gave you my heart, and made you
my queen, you began being less interested,
less available.
Like an old message on a new day,
you began to look elsewhere,
and then without a word
just disappeared as you had before
so many years ago.
So now, as then, I am trying to forget you,
trying to see my world without you,
trying to push you out of my mind…

Monday, April 13, 2015

(part 301) A Man Of Means By No Means

Even though there are some who have strongly suggested that I quit writing and thinking about the music business, this post will pursue that subject once again. I will be 70 years old in a week. I find myself in difficult financial times since my mother's death, because we shared all the bills which made it possible for both of us to be basically covered. But now all of it falls on my back alone. So the subject of this post is about money, not money from record sales or publishing, of which there is none, but money for making records in the past, of which there were many.
(list of records I made)
I was a member of both Local 47, the Musicians Union, and AFTRA. That means I had the right to be paid when I played on a session, or sang on a session, which for the most part I was not. The reason this is important now, is because by not being paid for work I did on sessions in the past means the necessary monies that were to be paid into the fund, which becomes your Social Security in later life, where I am now, was not paid. this means I do not get Social Security. I get something different called SSI (supplemental security income), which I am grateful for, but which is considerably less than I would be getting if I got Social Security. At 70 years old I find myself with more bills than income, and I live in the least costly way I can, with no frills at all. It is my past in the music business, and the failure of those who did not pay me, for session work only, that rears it's ugly head a half a century later in my current life. Once again, I am not talking, at all, about record royalties, or publishing royalties. I am speaking specifically about union money that I earned for work I did, but was not paid for. Money that would have meant I got Social Security decades later, which is now. It is hard, if not impossible, to disassociate myself from old facts that are currently making my life extremely difficult to live now. As much as I would like to put the past away, I find myself forced to deal with the problems I have today, which were caused by events long ago. When I was young I wanted to make records. So, what I should have demanded, from those who did not pay me, was left up to trusting them, and accepting their explanations for why I wasn't being paid for my work as a musician and singer. I didn't know enough back then to see fifty years into the future and realize how I would be affected. But I'm here now, and it's as clear as a bell how it happened. I do not want, or like, to complain about these things, but find myself forced to face the day to day hardships I encounter whether I want to or not. SSI does not permit me to get any outside help, or to work, unless I report it to them. If I report it to them they turn around and take any money I obtain, from any source, and deduct it from what they give me that month. So if I went and cut someone's hedge, and made $75.00, SSI would allow me to keep $60.00, but would deduct anything over $60.00 a month, whatever it was. If I don't report it to them, or lie about it, I am guilty of a crime under Federal Law. It is not like Social Security at all. Social Security is your own money and you have the right to it, and can work, or get other money, without it affecting your Social Security in any way. SSI is considered not to be your money, but the government's, and with it they force their rules and regulations down your throat for getting it. This is why, and how, the music business keeps being a part of my daily life now, even though I have not been part of it for over three decades. For those of you who seem to relish each opportunity to find fault with me, and to school me in how to live, think, and feel, I post this, as my latest invitation for you to once again issue forth your superior intellectual comments about my endless shortcomings.....


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

(part 300) The Eagle

(To my son, Bob)

How proud and angry
The eagle in his flight
Wings outstretched
High, high, higher than the peaks
Higher than the mundane world below
Higher than all the sparrows
He glistens in the sun

Yet I have seen him bound to earth
Full of sorrow
I have seen him with his wings folded
Struggling for breath
Struggling for meanings
Struggling for truth
Yes, I have seen the eagle cry
And his tears fell into my heart
Each one leaving a wound
That will not heal

Oh, eagle
Lift your wings
Fly in the sun again
Be not only proud, but wise
One can see much up there above the peaks
Close to the sun

Written by Troy Parker Farr

This particular piece was written by my mother, 2010, about me. It is her recollection of watching my struggle back to life from a coma after a drug overdose an attempted suicide in 1972. Her words, "struggling for breath" refer to that day in the intensive care unit of UCLA Hospital in Westwood, CA. I cannot change the circumstances of why she wrote this. I can only share what she wrote and why she wrote it. Fortunately she was able to see me get clean and sober in 1976, and stay that way for the rest of her life.


Monday, April 6, 2015

(part 299) Willy-Nilly

It is the dream thing. The thinking of it before it is, the hearing and seeing of something not yet, becoming something in the now. The artistic, co-creationistic universe at work in the human mind, and emotions, that gives life to art in many forms. It is something I have played with since I was a child. It is not something I thought to do, but something I noticed I did, and still do. It just happens, whether I like it or not, or notice it or not. I cannot stop it from happening, and would not even try. I sat down at nine years old, and wrote my first song on paper, while at my mother's piano in Tucson, Arizona in the fifties, and have been writing ever since. People who do not know about this, because they have never paid attention to it, specifically, still do it whether they know it or not. Maybe they do it when they're cooking, or thinking of a flower arrangement, or something, but they do it nonetheless. It is an activity that goes on willy-nilly during everyone's life. It could be a person thinking about flying an airplane or dancing on a stage. It does not matter what it is, only that it is. We all create within ourselves what we pay attention to. We can create almost anything without exception. "As a man thinketh, so is he," is a saying that attempts to convey this message to whomever. There are many such messages on this planet that have existed since time began, but they are only adhered to by some.

If one becomes caught, as I have been in my life, in the rut of too many negative experiences, then they tend to expect, as I do, more of the same, simply based on past experience. The trick is, to consciously attempt to rework that thinking into new thinking that proposes better circumstances now, and in the future. As simple, and true, as this is, it is not at all easy to do. I spend a lot of time in trying to recreate my own expectations for something better. I have found myself besieged in the last few years with one catastrophe after another, which is something countless persons experience. So it becomes even more difficult to look past these occurrences to brighter days, yet that is exactly the point. Whether it is Ernest Holmes, Buddha, Jesus Christ, or some other version, the point is always the same. See what you want to see, not what you don't want to see, even if you are currently engulfed in it. If not, you will continue creating for yourself exactly what you don't want, but have had.

When one is ill, like I have been for years, it is of paramount importance to try and bend one's own vision of him/herself into the belief of wellness, even in the face of dis-ease, or disease. If I tend to continue to see myself as "sick" then my message to myself is sickness. So I have to fight to recreate this picture, and belief, into a better picture and better belief. It is like a piece of art, perhaps a painting. You get to decide what it is you are going to paint, and if you make a mistake, you can fix it, or change it and make it right. The same is true with writing. If you write something poorly, you can always go back and change it, or fix it, and make it the way you intended it to be. The biggest problem is not knowing, or believing, that you can do this, or giving up on it, simply because you don't get the results you want immediately. Stick with it, it works! Stay the course and you will be intrigued by what you can accomplish. Everyday I believe I can do better at everything, even though a times it seems futile. The only true mistake I will ever make, is giving up on what I am trying to correct.....


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

(part 298) FUCK YOU!!!

This comment was posted by an anonymous commenter on my post "This Time Will Be Different" a couple of days ago. I will attempt to decipher the actual meaning and intent of this comment, which congratulates me on my success at staying clean and sober, but quickly switches to a quote of mine to set up the needed groundwork for what is to come.

"But I still need to learn that me and the music business are done"

Following this quote, the commenter launches into the real point of their comment, which is to belittle me, while pretending to offer helpful advice. It fails completely at understanding the difference between being in the music business, and writing about the music business, while not actually being in it anymore. 

The commenter goes on to trash the music business with a number of hyperbolic words, that I wonder if the commenter really understands from their own experience, or has just chosen to make a point. I am congratulated for some of my work, while at the same time, dismissed, for the rest of my work. Each bit of praise is followed by a dismissal of the praise just given. In other words, no matter what you did, or do, right, you are still not right enough, in the commenter's opinion. I suffer from bad luck, according to the commenter, but on the other hand am lucky I didn't make it, because if I had, it would have killed me.

i love this part of the commenter's comment,

"I took the time to post this on your blog with good intentions, and if it comes across as unwarranted criticism, lecturing, or some inept or sanctimonious attempt at "tough love" it is intended to be none of those."

"Really? That's exactly what it is you fucking moron. It is you coming here, and taking a lot of time, and effort, to post your sanctimonious, unsolicited advice, and criticism of me, on my blog. You set yourself up as being, not only critical, and condescending, but excuse yourself from any intention to be that way, while being it."

The commenter goes on to say I did a good job of telling my side of the story, but again reverses course to demean me for continuing to post my thoughts and music here. At the same time, the commenter belittles anyone, and everyone, who likes what I do, as unknowing weaklings for liking it.

In finishing up. the commenter tells me I will never find true peace until I submit myself to promising never to utter another word about the music business, or post another repetitive story, or song, involving my past. And then re-clarifies the fact that I am sober, but restates that peace will elude me until what the commenter suggests, as a remedy, is done.

I don't think you are in a position, anonymous, to talk about peace to anyone. I think you are a person who builds yourself up, in your own mind, by belittling others under the guise of help, much like a narow minded pastor in some god awful little cult like church in never land.....FUCK YOU!!!!

Nearly forty years of sobriety is definitely nothing to be sneezed at, and certainly seems to be, in your case anyway, a really good thing. You deserve congratulations.

"But I still need to learn that me and the music business are done ..."

True that. But how can you ever be "done" with the music business when you keep bringing it up all the time and constantly keep posting your same songs & recordings over and over again?

I think it's great and admirable that you have managed to purge alcohol and drugs from your brain & bloodstream, but I doubt you will ever find peace until you someday manage to do the same with your musical past.

I also, like you seem to have implied, think you should put the music business behind you. All of it. It wasn't in the cards for you for whatever reasons.

The music business is, or at least at that time - as you know - for the most part was more often than not an evil dirty lowlife business, controlled by and teeming with greedy, uneducated lazy predators,nutcases, conscienceless "merchants" and organized crime scum.
And had you achieved "success" fame and money in such a business, especially based on your then predilection for alcohol and drugs, it more than likely would have destroyed you, as it did so many that we all miss today.
Granted, some of your music is just as good, and to be fair, some of it just as shitty as all the stuff that was on the radio at that time, but you should know as well if not better than most that getting that first big "hit" is as much about luck, "right place / right time" etc. than it is about talent
(though maintaining that success in my opinion is a somewhat different story).
You were, based on what I have read, unlucky, and even a bit self-destructive career-wise as well.

It's a free country, and you have every right to say and do and post anything you damn well please, and I would vigorously defend your right to do so.
I took the time to post this on your blog with good intentions, and if it comes across as unwarranted criticism, lecturing, or some inept or sanctimonious attempt at "tough love" it is intended to be none of those.

You have told your whole side of the story, and told it well.
But I think that as long as you keep dredging up the music business, posting the same stories and music over and over, etc.
- and while certainly there will always be plenty of online yes-men/women, toadies, inexperienced clueless "civilians" who are starstruck about the music business,
and even genuinely decent well meaning people who, in search of "friendship" or simply in what they think is well-meaning support, will encourage you to keep doing so
- they just might unknowingly be doing you more harm than good.

In the end I doubt you will ever find any true peace until you close and LOCK the door on that whole sad ugly pathetic chapter of your life, as well as put to rest any remaining desires or temptation for "recognition," strokes or even justice
... and just let it go.
Feel free to throw rocks.

Again congratulations on your sobriety, and here's hoping one way or another you eventually find some true peace in this life.