Category Archives: War

a good day to die

If they are going to discuss whether to sentence a youth as an adult or a youth – calls having rules into question. If they were a youth at the time, then they were a youth, that’s how it is but to say we’ll do it differently because this one is worse than the last one, says something about the state. It says we can’t adhere to our rules. Where have I heard that before, is the state just a mirror? Another old friend received a death sentence, stage 3. If I’m in the 2cnd half of life, seems part of the tone, is adjusting to knowing many players that are leaving the stage. It shouldn’t be a surprise, have had a lifetime to register this but that is the problem, one gets busy with plans and believing they can be finished. How did that story go? A certain kind of person greets each morning saying today is a good day to die. Sometimes I think I will get to finish every song I started, what nerve.


Some musicians try to control every detail, want credit for playing every instrument, deciding every fader level, judging every outside player’s contribution and others are pliable, unfazed to try supplying whatever they are asked to do. I’m thinking about this while reading Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of The Oppressed and the sides he articulates; oppressor and oppressed.
Reminds also of the different ways people control or submit to being controlled in music making. Still, the thing that is behind the art that most moves me, are people able to switch sides, on some level they get it, that to consider opinions that are not their own or not even necessarily likeable to them, is a frequent ingredient behind powerful pieces.
But more vividly, it is like the dialogue people have internally. The inner arguments between them and them or I and I, one can be the boss and the worker and forget that one is in neither, just a collection of belching synapses.

win win

I played SXSW in 1993 and after that was offered a publishing deal. It was (in theory) worth the average cost of a Toronto house – if everything worked out. If everything worked out means there were clauses that stipulated various sums of money would be awarded if certain conditions were realized. For instance if anything cracked the billboard top 100 then $75,000 would be released, other threads like that.
Most troubling for me was the duration – my life plus 50 years. Not unusual in American publishing deals, so said lawyers and artists I then knew. In Europe the durations for such deals were less. Imagine that, everything you write and everything you might write, is now be pre-owned by someone else. Imagine you want to write critically about the man ….but the man already gets a 50% commission on whatever it is you are saying. Another clause said $25,000 released upon signing the deal. Hard to turn down a whack of money when you don’t have a whack of money in the bank.
My lawyer was not quick to get everything together and after a month they resigned the offer. My lawyer felt like it was his fault. I didn’t care, I was immobilized the entire month, wondering if I could live with myself if I did it. So now the decision was made, ok by me. During the next couple years, anytime I needed that lawyer for anything at all, he never charged me because he felt like he had owed me. It was win win.