‘Fry’ is the word we use around these parts when one has worked too hard, too long, as in “I’m starting to fry, people.” And when one starts to ‘fry,’ other things start to fall apart: like sanity, health, and relationships. Certainly, I’ve been down this road before, and made albums that you could argue took far more out of my marrow than this ‘project’ (to use the LA code word for ‘what you’re making to sell). But yes, I’m fried. Same 9 songs, over and over, until you start to wonder what it was you liked (or was it loved?) about music?
Now, there is another side to this notion, and that’s that adversity is the mother of invention. As the challenge, here, is that I want to finish this album in the same manner that I began. The process, or the journey (if one will) being ‘the thing;’ frying or not. As I like to say, we all must ‘throw the ring in the fire,’ and any artistic endeavor is at its core an exploration of Self, or a device by which to reveal the Self.
So yes, I’ve enjoyed our little trip, and am indebted to my shipmates JS and HW, who’ve pushed young/’ol William P to be his very best-est. Because remember, not all believe, and you hear it all the time when a team wins a championship: “Everyone counted us out! And all we kept doing is saying to one another, ‘I got your back, buddy.’”
Whatever, I’m spewing nonsense, which though enjoyable shares only a hint of what I really mean; which is there are those among us who are sure that my musical life, as it were, has seen better days; and as it is you could, and I do, say that about others. For isn’t the industry I ‘play’ in forever doomed to a state of collapse? And when you’re frying, who are you busting you tail for if you don’t believe but a few beyond the faithful will still be ‘there;’ wherever ‘there’ is?
Which takes us back to this reality…where this ship sails…and sails…
I like to think, in a sweet way, that this is The End, but Shredder says, “no, you’re wrong.” And he could point out those other moments where I pretty much said the same: in 1994, or 1998, or 2004, or even 2009. But methinks this is different, and in that I’d remark that if the end is a beginning, it’s not so hard to consider.
“So William,” you ask, “define what you mean by that?”
“You mean an ending?”
“Well, I guess I’m trying to say that the way of the album, that collating of tracks into a cohesive mind, has played itself out. And as I’ve said publicly, that’s borne out by the way people listen now. Look no further than the rise of streaming services!”
Which, if I was tooting my own bugle, I predicted about 15 years ago; or was that that other guy with crooked back and teeth? Anyway, my point is do this 2nd record, ‘DAY FOR NIGHT,’ and I’m outta here (insert smiley face emoticon).
Infortuitously, this is starting to read like one of my old posts, and hitting delete would be a fair-minded idea, save for how I, myself, have appreciated the general honesty of these posts. Because honestly, there’s nothing to hide, or hide for, best I can tell.
Yes, you guessed it: it’s just Herr Producer, The Shredder, and WPC and our gaggle of engineers in the submarine, looking for that Octopuses’ garden in the shade.
Music’s the thing, not commerce. Or taking a selfie in front of ‘insert festival band here.’ But commerce, and those kids, defines what’s left for us bards. Scraps, really, from what was there once was. The good part being you have to be strong, tough, and talented to get by, the bad news being that anybody with an autoharp and auto-tune has a shot too. Which brings me, finally, to DORIAN.
DORIAN: eurydite tune, obvious tale that isn’t so clear when you scratch Deco surface of lyric, currently rocking version 3. #1 being the demo, #2 being the charming, 80’s-tinged street crawler, and #3 being a deconstructionist ode to one’s unique take on loss, as represented by broken toys making new sounds. Where there’s no less than 24 (?) ‘Dorians’ sung.
“Is it a single?” Jeff asked Howard about 4 PM yesterday.
Howard stares at ceiling. “As it is, no.”
“They why am I about to overdub this part?” I ask.
Howard: “Well, I like it, I just don’t think ‘they’ will.”
Howard doesn’t have to define who ‘they’ are. The Shredder and I know. We’ve seen them, on their phones during the jams, and holding up those same phones during the classics. And somewhere along the way he and I decided we loved them more than ‘they’ were the enemy.
Facing the short-attention-span world is just fine, for it presents a unique challenge, which is: can a machine built for adaptation adopt? And for those poking for inferences, you can tell who I believe can adapt by who is currently in the room with me. If that strikes you as cold, it is.
But no colder than facing a half-full hall, or watching years of your life wasted as you make good music that is, by and large, tossed aside carelessly.
So yeah, DORIAN, from 4 PM on we started over, looking for that under-rhythm that would make the simplest of progressions more exciting. For without benefit of ‘a band’ this is how it goes: me dum-dum-dum-dum on a keyboard to a beat-box beat.
And once Howard smiles, the sun shines too. And like a sucker I start believing again, and I don’t feel so fried. Which is why it’s easy to talk about the past frankly; even if the past is yesterday; today being best.