Monday, May 4, 2015

(part 305) As Time Goes By.......

People piss on you and argue a point, which is in their best interest only, then decide that you have no reason to quit speaking to them when you finally get fed up. Friendship to them is being able to say, and do, whatever they want and demand you accept it. I find this to be the height of arrogance and a damn good reason to cut the ties, whatever they were. In 1985 I did this with and entire city, Los Angeles, because I could not come up with one good reason to stay, but a lot of reasons to leave. There wasn't one person in that whole town that I told where I was going before I left, not one person I valued enough to say goodbye to. I had had a belly full of friendships that meant little or nothing when the shit came down, and in my life the shit always came down. I was honest about being endless trouble. Honest about conveying the reality to those I knew and/or those who I met along the way about myself. My take on being me is that everybody gets tired of a person who is always going through hard times, and I had been going through hard times since I began to crawl, to use and old Albert King line. The blues, and the kind of living that gave rise to them, was a lot of what I'd experienced from an early age. Like working in Arizona in the alfalfa fields around Phoenix at the age of fifteen, or unloading boxcars for two bucks at night, because it was too hot in the daytime. In 1956 and 57, in Tucson, AZ., I was put into a juvenile detention center called, Mother Higgins, a despicable place, located at the edge of downtown Tucson. I still can't remember why I was in there, multiple times, other than the word incorrigible is firmly stuck in my mind. That pretty much means I questioned some authority, and according to the dictionary, could not be corrected. So, as you can see, I have had this problem for a very long time, being hard to correct. Many of the people who I once knew, in person, have attempted to correct me with no success. In fact all they managed to do was piss me off and cause me to further separate myself from them. At this point I am pretty well separated from just about everybody. But that is not new. That is exactly the way it was back in 1985 when I just up and left L.A. It took a lot of years to connect with my brother and mother, once I got here to San Luis Obispo, Ca. A lot of work, on all our parts, to become friends and learn to trust each other, and depend upon each other. I had to overcome decades of old ideas, and hurts, before I could open up to them, and they as well, had the same job dealing with me. Friendship is about trust, about acceptance, and about love. It is about reliability and making your word mean something other than just the words being uttered for convenience. This is something my mother, brother, and I, learned to do with each other. We learned we could count on each other no matter what. I attempted this with others, but found it impossible to accomplish. It seems there needs to be something deeper than the average connection with people. There needs to be a deeper yearning to connect in a way that is less prevalent amongst most. There were times, many, that I wanted to pick up and leave here as well, but opted to stay and work through every goddamn difficulty that arose. It was the first time in my life I chose that road and it was a hard way to go, but the most rewarding and valuable in the end. It was like a marriage in many ways, through good and through bad. It was a commitment to someone else instead of just to myself. It made me a better person and it taught me to understand the needs of others rather than demand that they understand my needs. To put back together a broken family, and it's members, is, and was, a daunting task. It takes everything you have to make it work, never stops to ask you if it's convenient, or fun. It is an affair of the heart and mind, and stretches you out like a rope tightened to it's breaking point. But if you persist, and I did, it will reward you in ways you cannot know other than by the doing of it. I am still incorrigible, still pissing people off, and most of all still willing to give it all I got. My mother and brother did not fix me, nor I them. What we learned was to accept each other the way we were, instead of expecting each other to be the way we wanted.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

(part 304) The Scttering Of Ashes At Sea

I received this in the mail yesterday. It is the certificate of the scattering of my mother's ashes at sea, by the Neptune Society. It was her choice and was made long ago. I waited three months to get this as a form of recognition that her desire was carried out the way she wanted. It is a form of finality and transition from the chaotic months now behind us, and hopefully signals a sense of peace and calm after the storm.

      A map of the location where the ashes were scattered. Made by my brother Quentin

My mother was always busy doing something. She was a talented and beautiful person who loved life, and was always planning her next project, her next painting, or poem. She was the only person I ever knew who never threw me away.

I love you mom..........

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.