Thursday
Jan182007

« Downsizing »

Well, after some deferred action due to much agonizing hand wringing, I decided to finally be good on my word and sell some shit and take the loss so that I might feel my overall load of material stuff is lighter. The most significant sale was my Warwick fretless bass which sold for precisely half the price I paid for it about five and a half years ago. I don't know what is more saddening. Is it the ridiculous sale price that eats at me? Or the fact that I had to fess to not being Jaco Pastorius or Jack Bruce (who plays a snappier version of the Warwick as I had)? Or is it that I really have lost my muse and it doesn't matter what I sell now because it all feels like having vestigial limbs or rolls of fat after a gastric bypass surgery?

The year 2006 was a year of really evaluating what is dear to me, and in the process, I watched as my musical gear and other household stuff just ate at me, even at the thought of its very existence, and for being under my roof. Sometime in the coming months, I will have to move again, and I really can't see dragging all this stuff around, while not using it like I thought I would. Glenn (Cheekymonkeyfunker musical buddy from 2005) tries to talk me out of selling stuff, but the last piece of music remotely worth signing my name to was done with him back in May of that year. All of 2006 came and went with not a single piece of worthwhile music emerging. So I feel that maybe I shot my musical load. So I hit Craigslist hard this last couple weeks to try to clean out the shit that is most redundant or underused. I still have more of that stuff, even before I slash into the core of things, but I am not really clear how I want to progress. But some things are obvious. I blew out a small collection of old, cracked, or otherwise unused cymbals today. Other stuff is on the block, including my first G4 Mac and the monitor that goes with it. I don't know whether I should sell my Pro Tools stuff or not. It is handy just as a sound card, but the presence of it drives me mad, considering how useful it would be if I worked the way I did back in 1995-2000.

I often talk about just heaving shit off a cliff and being done with it. Or heaping it onto a bonfire. Or just smashing it in the driveway. I've had many a thought about how I worked hard in the late 90s to be able to afford that stuff, with it often being a way to fill a void in my life that somehow I feel has been filled by being in a relationship and now married. Other gear was bought with inheritance money from my grandmother, and not insignificantly, I have realized that the shopping spree of 2001 was a huge mistake. The spree was the final blowout of my effort to replace a need for something wholesome in my life with gear that would permit me the means of channeling my fear and anxiety and frankly, hatred for the world into something meaningful. But when I go that far, I say, why would I want to make music now? Why spend all that time? Who cares? I played music for friends in my heyday and they pretended to like it. But now who are my music buddies? Who gives a shit? With mp3s and all the devaluation of the art of music and lack of respect for musicians, how could I ever even pay back my investment? Am I good enough somehow to even call myself a musician? Or am I just a guy who owns a lot of shit that has the potential to make music if someone with talent and vision picks up those tools?

Recording for me was always a very isolated thing. Rare were the days when I actually jammed with people, or actually collaborated. The studio was small, windowless, hidden in many ways. The world outside was harsh. The world inside was freeing. But I had to be very isolated, and I just can't do that anymore, at least not that way. I have a responsibility to Kelli to be present in the marriage, and frankly, the time I spent in the studio has always been well fed by a persistent hatred for how the world works, and the depression that follows. I just can't see returning to that type of life. Other things are too important.

I still pick up a guitar or bass or hit the drums some, but it's just not there. The spirit is just not in me to do that stuff in an original music setting, though I have fun poking around learning something now and again from other music. But it doesn't take my once-significant investment to have the tools to do music at that level. I miss having a keyboard of some sort, and I find myself longing for an acoustic piano again—after selling one in 1996, and also having sold over the years two subsequent electric pianos, and a synthesizer. I don't know why. While in exile in my apartment in late 2005, I found myself longing to have my studio put together again. Now that I have it and everything is ready to work with, I don't use it. All I have is a museum of who I used to be, or so it seems.

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