Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(part 178) MY MOTORCYCLE IN 1976

In 1976, I looked back through the years to 1963, when I'd first come to Hollywood to try and make records and write songs. For over a decade, I'd done that, but for the most part, I'd done it for free because I loved doing it.

But now I was looking at my life from the perspective of wanting and needing to make a living doing what I loved. I'd always been broke in the past, and unable to pay any rent or sustain myself in even the most basic of ways.

Because of that, making a living doing music was a primary issue in my thinking. I was living in a nice place, but as usual had no money, and in reality had done nothing to warrant the apartment other than be the recipient of a friend's gift.

As I thought about this, my focus became, specifically, do what you love but get paid for doing it, or do something else. If I sound obsessed with money, remember, I never had any.

If you think I should have done music for the sake of the music, that's in essence what I'd done for 13 years.

If this new philosophy I was learning about was actually going to work, it would have to work on all the critical factors which would make up the foundation of my day to day reality.

I would have gladly made more records for free, in 1976, because I loved it, but what I was trying to accomplish was to arrive at a place where Bobby Jameson could make a living doing what he loved.

This choice ran headlong into my history with negative facts. My problem was my own experience. AA and Science Of Mind were philosophies of change, which I was endeavoring to apply to my own personal circumstance.

My job was to incorporate all the factors into a functioning practicality of sobriety, work, and compensation, that would allow me to be an ongoing contributing member of society. My belief was, I couldn't have these things. My goal was, "Yes I could."

For instance, if you take someone engulfed in poverty, and tell them they ought to go to college, they may well agree, but then they might ask you "How do I do that?" The truth is, that they have no experience in the mechanics of how that might actually be accomplished.

The only part of the equation I understood, experientially, was thinking or believing my way into the music business as a teenager. I'd seen that work, so it became my model.

To see so clearly a thing, that nothing can convince you otherwise, was the blueprint. When belief outweighs denial, then the actualization or manifestation of the perceived becomes physical reality. I'd dreamed myself from one place to another before, and I was determined to do it again.

While in the apartment on the beach, as promised, my girlfriend brought her parents by to meet me and to hear what I'd put on tape. They listened to everything, and had nothing but praise for what I'd done.

After what turned out to be a generally pleasant afternoon, they left. My feeling was, at least they didn't seem to disapprove of me based on the length of my hair, which at times had been subject to comments by some people.

I managed to keep my swearing to a bare minimum, and was glad they didn't care that I smoked. My girlfriend's opinion was that they were very impressed by me, which I questioned, but kept to myself. Later, when I was alone, I wondered about the whole thing.

Was I selling myself a bill of goods, or was what I was doing the right choice? Was I right? I didn't know the answer, so I just settled on, "I'm sober today and believe what I'm doing is what I'm supposed to be doing." I asked God to direct my steps and headed off to an AA meeting.

As I rode my 500 Triumph through the streets of Venice Beach, I kept saying to myself "Believe more than you disbelieve, Bobby, believe more than you disbelieve."

"Maybe it will be different this time," I thought, "maybe it will work. Maybe, because this time I'm sober." I knew in my gut that being clean was the key to everything, and without it nothing was possible except a return to the nightmare I'd come from.

I rode off into the night, feeling alone. I realized then that I had never met anyone like me. I hoped someday I would, but so far it hadn't happened.


  1. "Been where you'd been...done what you'd done"?Probably not—yours is such a unique blend of "barely's and almosts, of highs and lows...." The thing is that you have outlasted many of those folks that you met who had superficial similarities, talent and career ups and downs: Jesse Ed Davis, Brian Jones, Curt Boetcher, to name a few—none of whom made it out alive. That is part of what makes your story so unique. You have lived to tell it.

  2. I couldn't have put it better myself, Paula. Please forgive my echoing your comment again.