I’m no William Hung, but my musical ambitions had been a nagging sore at the back of my conscience for almost 20 years. It’s hard to get past all the excuses–no time, not good enough, no equipment, not good enough, no original material, not good enough, no band mates, not good enough… You get the picture. But in December I heard two things that finally pushed me into the deep end of the pool to sink or swim.
Dad’s tapes always inspired me, but at the same time they were part of the reason I didn’t move forward. I mean, he was just Dad. I couldn’t do that like he did. It was too fearless. So, while I’m not comparing myself to Jim Croce, it helped to hear someone as great as him just sitting around in his underwear putting down on tape whatever he liked without worrying about it being perfect.
The second part of the equation came from MJ. When I heard her kitchen table recordings, I had the complement to the star in his underwear: the ordinary person (who may or may not have been in her underwear) who sounded like a star.
That’s only part of the reason her songs got me off my ass. You see, when I heard them, I immediately made the comment that I wanted to record one of them. As with everything else, I went overboard and asked her for the lyrics and made it sound like I actually might do it someday. I suppose I expected her to kind of dismiss me with a condescending pat on my punkin’ wittle head, and that would be it.
But nooooo! The rotten person she is, she was flattered. Now what??? You mean I’d actually have to put out? Damn! After that, I had to find the equipment and get on with it.
Those, dear friends, are the real reasons I traded one of my sacred guitars for a multi-track recorder: pride, vanity and vague promises to a woman I hardly know.
Here’s my version of MJ’s Let Me In.
But there’s more to this fish tale.
One of the last hurdles to jump was a paralyzing fear of being Hung-like. How awful, sez Mister Insecurity, to be terrible and not know it (or worse, think that you’re actually good when you suck). But fuck it (pardon my French). I know I’m not that bad, and maybe if enough people make fun of me, I’ll get my own record contract, too! Just gotta work on the dance…
Besides, when I failed to come up with something to please my favorite critic, I promised her I’d do one she’d like next. (It’s one of these here.) That got me a thank you kiss when it was done. So, if y’all don’t like it, you can bite me. ‘Cuz you know I only got in this music biz to snag a hot groupie, and it still works!