You may be seeing my name as a byline in various publications soon. After the non-linear obituary for my friend Don Walser was published by the Austin Chronicle, a few other publications that I know folks at asked me to write a piece to two for them as well. I have since penned obits for Don in No Depression and Sing OUT! (that's how they like it spelled,) as well as a 4000 word bit on Klez Kamp for SO!. The Chronicle may be running my story about working on the film Infamous soon, and a highly edited version of the same tale will appear in Bass Player next month.
Over the years all four editors of these magazines have asked me to contribute for them. I have written the odd bit here and there, but I laughed off any suggestion about writing seriously for them or anyone for that matter. And I'll share with you the reason why.
1) In our society you either write or are written about. It's not cricket to do both. In fact, I've been told over and over again that if I am to be successful at all I must stop doing all the things I do and focus on one thing, and one thing only. Try as I might and as much as I like what comes with "success" I am completely unable to be or do anything other than what I'm doing. I still firmly believe that I do things that are worth being written about, and if I become a 'writer" I'll get put in that other category.
2) In my many years of putting out music and traveling around, I was subjected regularly to some of the worst writing I have ever seen or read, and it was about me and my efforts, and it was almost always completely wrong.
3) I love to read. I do it all the time. Have all my life. I'm a Jew and they don't call us "people of the book" for nothing. Further I love writers. Some are my friends. I would never want to suck at it. I try to remember what Charles Bukowski liked to say, "I'm not that good a writer, it's just everybody else is just so damn bad."
4) I assume that the thoughts that I have in my head are just as plain and simple as anybody else's. What could I possibly offer the world that hasn't already been explained very well elsewhere by somebody else better than I could have?
Mishegoss I know. All completely internalized craziness actually.
So, let's get it out there right now. If you don't want me out there being a writer, talking my shit in the public forum, you can find me a gig playing music. If I could pay my mortgage the way I did for years, making recordings, travelling around playing music, I would go back to it in a heartbeat. If, like my old pal Kevin Smith, I got a call from say Dwight Yoakum’s people to go out for 9 months out on the road, I would be packed and out the door quicker than you can say "union wages."
But I haven't. In fact, I haven't been employed (seriously) to play bass in nearly 3 calendar years. None of the many musical projects I have running, playing any instrument actually, have yet to make enough income to even report to the IRS. In fact, in one month of published writing I have outpaced my gigging income for the 10 months prior.
I don't mind writing. Not at all. It's just not what I think I was put here to do. Find me a decent paying gig, and I'll never write another word. Promise.