Sunday, November 22, 2015

Measure Of Success

That smell of alcohol and nitromethane mixed with burning rubber and a metallic odor of brake dust- that's the stock car races from Phillips Field when I was twelve years old. Oh yeah, cigar smoke and roasted peanuts.

Joy? It may be easy to call it up but keeping it handy can be tricky.

Last night I sat through three sets of perfectly crafted versions of music from the sixties played with all the skill and all the soul and all the mastery of my pals in Coo Coo Ca Choo. It doesn't hurt that they're some of the finest people on the planet. Plus I was with my Kentucky friends who have brought me all the joy I can handle for the last several years.

Yeah, so the music and the joy; that's the secret. For me. I suppose I've known that since I was about twelve.

Grow up. That's what's expected of you. Tie a ribbon 'round your neck and wipe that smile off your face. Unless you need it to close the deal. Move up. Get your share. Take some more. You'll feel better about yourself. Choose a side.

Well, sir, I just want to play rock'n'roll. That's where the joy is, remember?

Well, then, get famous. Get rich. That's the ticket. That's where the real joy is.

Oh, you mean like Elvis. Like John Lennon?

Well, I've tried. Off and on. Half heartedly. You have no idea how many wonderful friends have stepped in to "manage" me only to pronounce me "unmanageable" after a short stint. Every one of them has had great ideas and good intentions. None of them ever wanted to be a manager.

Here's to the ones who can't be managed. Here's to the ones who found their joy.

I played a show in Hull, in the north of England, ten or twelve years ago. My opening act was a local guy by the name of Mike Greaves. All of the folks in the venue clucked their tongues and shrugged and spoke in sad tones of his lack of success. His near misses. I wasn't fit to carry his guitar case. I doubt he was much worried about failure or success that night. We hit it off and we shared some songs and some joy. 

I had to make up this little video because you can't really find much Mike Greaves stuff out there. I play him on the radio every chance I get.

Here's to the fifteen year old writer. Here's to Mike Greaves. Here's to the joy and the love.

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