Thursday, February 9, 2012

(part 270) THE GUITAR...

Trying to explain, for the purpose of clearly conveying an accurate picture, is tedious, but at the same time important. The psychology of it has never been understood, possibly because I have not made it understandable. I spent twenty-two years actively pursuing music from the standpoint of becoming successful in the music industry as a writer/performer. I then spent twenty-two years actively trying not to do that.

This is important in regard to what my life had been, and what it became. I am aware that some people have the capacity to keep active musically while they pursue other things, I am not one of them. I had invested my entire self in music, and the pursuit of becoming a successful artist, writer, and recording artist within the context of doing it for a living.

When I finally called it quits in 1985, I did not simply move on and continue doing music as a hobby. For me, it was impossible to do that. Playing and writing was not a hobby. It was an all out pursuit of something far more specific, which was becoming a success. When I concluded in 1985 that it was over, I meant it, in the deepest sense of the true meaning of those words. I had faced the fact that I had failed, and that I'd given it all I had to offer. So when I left L.A. I left with that mindset.

I eventually sold the guitar, pictured above, to a local music store. It was one of the last remnants of my previous life, other than a few tapes I'd managed to carry with me when I left L.A. I sold it in 1992, I believe, as a final gesture of my complete withdrawal from my previously chosen endeavor. Right or wrong it was what happened. It was in some ways similar to a carpenter selling his tools after deciding to retire. Some would retire and keep their tools, some would not. I fell into the latter group. I did not want to have them there to remind me of the past.

As I have been writing here of late, sometimes with redundancy, and purposeful repetitiveness, I am attempting to draw a clear distinction between the two very different life styles I lived over a forty-four year span of time. It is easy for some to say, or think about, what they would have done in my position, but it is irrelevant to the facts of what my own experience was and is.

I set about to unwind myself from my own self-ordained goal in life, because I had failed at it. Whether you agree, or disagree with my conclusion, is again irrelevant to the facts of history. It is of more importance, in my opinion, to understand what and why I did what I did, rather than to debate whether my doing it was the correct thing to do or not. It may well have not been the right thing, but nonetheless it is what I did.

The store happened by chance, because my mother was getting rid of it, so I stepped in. The gun business, again, was by chance. A momentary decision that turned into a business that ended in disaster. My study of the law was a desperation move that was induced by the disaster of the gun business. All of these things just happened because I was there and I needed to do something, and these are the things I did.

When I started doing yard work in the mobile-home park in San Luis, it was again done out of desperation, and not from a quest to do physical labor because it was good for my health. Only occasionally did I think about music and the music business. But my experience in the past made me wary of even picking up an instrument, for fear I would end up pursuing my old dream, and be once again immersed in the mind altering obsession of chasing success at all costs.

For some it will be impossible to get this fact straight. They will say what normal drinkers say to alcoholics, "Well don't drink so much, take it easy and just have a few drinks!" The trouble with this is obvious, because an alcoholic cannot stop with a few drinks, they have to keep going, even though it is obviously destructive for them. My obsession with music, and the business of music, was like that and I knew it. I knew that if I screwed with it, I would eventually create something that would lead me back to my old obsession, which had nearly killed me, and had certainly disrupted my life in general, if not altogether destroying it.