Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Dreaming was the motivator as well as the killer. Dreaming dreams was what I did. Seeing myself where I believed I was supposed to be, no matter where I was at the time. I have talked about this before, and the redundancy of the subject is purposeful.
I envisioned the things necessary to achieve the goal, which in this case was to write and record new songs. Not songs aimed at commercialism, but songs I wanted to work on for personal reasons, outside of other's opinions or likes and dislikes.
I had to have a tape deck, an amp, a keyboard with multiple voices, an electric and an acoustic guitar, an equalizer, speakers, an effects box, microphone, recording tape, and last, but not least, a place to work when I wanted, which turned out to be at Carol Paulus's apartment.
I set out to get these things by loan or by gift, it didn't matter to me which it was. I didn't have to own the stuff, I just needed to be able to use it for as long as it took to accomplish the end result.
Piece by piece, I accumulated each of the items needed for my project. I was obsessed with the goal, and pursued it as a last ditch effort to fulfill a need inside me.
My quick smile, my staged look, each little detail, was geared to facilitate the progress of the plan. I would get what I wanted, and pursue my own self-interests with abandon. Everything and everybody was fair game at that point I believed.
In my mind I had to do it...I had to have a goal...a place to head for... I needed the discipline of concentrating on the work.
I would write it, engineer it, play it, and sing it. The entirety of it rested on me alone. I did not want anyone to work on it or help me. It was deeply personal in a way that I had not known before.
It was to be a private endeavor, one that I would make all the decisions about, right or wrong. A work done on basic equipment with my whole attention given to it, rather than in a studio with others and all the confusion that accompanied that.
I was too volatile, too emotional, to work with anybody. I didn't want input or debate about how to do it, or when. I didn't want to try and figure out which song somebody else thought would be better than another.
I had worked alone before in the past, but not like this, not with this kind of mindset and desperation to feed off of.
I set parameters that were conducive to me rather than to someone else. I would work all night, if I felt like it, or not at all.
I planned to eat and sleep with it, envelope myself in it, give myself to it, and most of all, I told myself, "I don't even care if anyone likes it."
That last point was total freedom for me, because I did not need to get approval for it. I could do it simply because I wanted to. It was one of the only times I can remember not trying to record a hit.
The first thing I decided to work on was a song called Life Of Crime, about an incident where I seriously thought about holding up an armored car because I was sick of being broke all the time.
I wrote it in a notebook on the hood of my car while waiting for my clothes to dry at a laundromat on Sunset Blvd. I'd watched a Brink's truck picking up money at a market across the street.
Carol did not like blues, and would frown every time I'd play them. Because of this I purposely chose a blues songs to start with. It was my way of claiming my own territory within the confines of her apartment.